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Check out our useful hints and tips articles to help you get the best out of your home interiors projects.

How to make sure your bathroom stays smelling fresh

Cleaning a bathroom. Photograph by Graham Soult

No-one likes using a dirty bathroom, let alone a bathroom that smells less than fragrant. So, keeping your bathroom in good shape is essential for all the household's daily bathing enjoyment.

However, what do you do if you've cleaned your bathroom and it still doesn't smell quite right? Well, there could be a number of issues contributing to your problem. It might be that your cleaning just doesn't go far enough - or isn't performed often enough - or the issue could be deeper, such as mould. Here are some possible answers to your whiffy problems.

Basic maintenance

Keeping your bathroom clean is the first and most obvious step you have to consider, and a deep cleanse once or twice a week goes a long way to keeping smells at bay. You don't need to use a lot of bleach, however, as that can be hard to ventilate, especially if your bathroom has no window.

Poor ventilation, in fact, could well be a contributor to your problem. If it doesn't already have one, installing a fan in your bathroom will help to circulate the air and reduce the smell, as well as reducing the risk of further odours.

When it comes to cleaning all surfaces, an all-purpose cleaner may be just what you need. Use it to clean the bathroom countertop, as well as the toilet, the washbasin, your bathtub, the wall tiles and even the floor. If bleach is required to remove stains and grime, be sure to test it on an inconspicuous area first and avoid using it on acrylic or enamel surfaces all together.

Remember to clean the corners where mould and mildew usually gather, as removing both is a step in the right direction for a fresh-smelling bathroom. A final trick is to spray some vinegar on the floor of the bathtub, shower tray, basin and inside the toilet bowl. It works like a charm in removing stains and built-up grime.

Heavy-duty solutions

Think for a second how much water you use every day in your bathroom. If at least one of the drains or pipes is clogged up, dirty water will accumulate there and your bathroom will smell unpleasant no matter how often you clean it.

First, try to see if you can clear the drain yourself - either manually with a plumber's snake, or with a commercial product that dissolves organic materials. Pouring baking soda, bleach or vinegar down the drain is a good way to keep it clear and free of odours. If the clogging is deep down, and you can't remove it, maybe it is time to call a plumber. In the meantime, you can always light up some scented candles, or keep essential oils on a shelf, in an attempt to disguise the bathroom smell.

If thorough cleaning doesn't remove your smelly problem once and for all, it may well be time to call in the professionals. You never know, you could have an issue such as a dried-up water seal on your toilet that is letting the stench in from the sewer! If this is the case, the only solution is a plumber who is legally allowed to perform work on your sewer. Never attempt to remove pipes or fiddle with plumbing or you could end up with much bigger issues than just a bad smell.

Photo credit: Graham Soult

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