The Best Plants for Your Bathroom

Whether you’re looking for an innovative way to add color to your bathroom or are seeking clean-air solutions, bathroom plants are a natural way to bring life and clean air into your home. Although the minimal natural light and high humidity in bathrooms aren’t ideal for some plants, there are a lot of houseplants that thrive in your bathroom’s tropical conditions. In order to choose the best houseplant for your bathroom, you should consider the environment your bathroom offers: some plants thrive in low light, while others may require lots of space. Here’s a list of popular plants you may wish to incorporate into your bathroom décor, along with the ideal conditions and basic care of each.

Aloe Vera

Widely grown as an ornamental plant, Aloe Vera is a succulent plant species suitable for a bathroom environment. If you buy a plant that’s already established and add water only after its soil has completely dried, Aloe Vera should be extremely easy to grow. Although Aloe Vera prefers bright, sunny conditions, the plant can burn under too much sunlight, making it an ideal candidate for the bathroom. An added bonus: Aloe Vera can be used to treat minor abrasions and burns. Simply snap a leaf, and squeeze the juice directly onto minor wounds. The extract will moisturize and speed up healing time.

Snake Plant

Tolerant of low light levels and irregular watering, the snake plant is a popular plant for the bathroom. Although the plant is considered by some authorities as a weed, it’s widely used as an ornamental plant both outdoors in warmer climates and indoors in cooler climates. A study performed by NASA ranked the snake plant as one of the best plants for improving indoor air quality – the plant passively absorbs toxins such as nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde from the air. Ideal for those lacking a green thumb, a snake plant is one of the hardest plants to kill, and prefers to be watered every 7-10 days.

Orchids

This beautiful, tropical plant will produce brightly colored flowers that are sure to liven up even the dullest of bathrooms. Although this plant can be difficult to cultivate and may die in other areas of the home due to dry air, the humidity of the bathroom creates an ideal environment for this plant to thrive. With over 20,000 species, orchids are one of the largest families of flowering plants. Since all orchids are perennial herbs, you’ll only get to enjoy them for part of the year, so keep that in mind before purchasing an orchid for your bathroom.

Spider Plants

Characterized by long shoots of thin foliage with off shoots at the ends of many leaves, the Spider Plant is one of the easiest houseplants to grow. Spider Plants only require light watering, and will only need to be watered once every two weeks. Although Spider Plants prefer natural light, they should not be placed in direct sunlight and should be removed from sunlight if their leaves turn brown. If the plant is kept within five to eight feet of a window, it should thrive in a bathroom environment.

Hanging Plants

Although hanging plants aren’t a specific type of plant, hanging plants are very popular and appreciated among those who grow plants in their bathroom. Hanging plants above the bathtub or from a hook on the ceiling is a great way to add greenery to your bathroom without taking up too much space. Ideal for bathrooms low on space, you can experiment with hanging plants and find interesting ways to display them in your bathroom. If possible, find a way to hang the plants in front of a window where they’ll be exposed to the most natural light.

Note: Many houseplants are poisonous to children and pets. Please research any houseplant before incorporating them into your bathroom.

How to Transform Your Bathroom into a Relaxing, Spa-Like Retreat

If you’re as busy and stressed out as the rest of America, you probably don’t take time out for yourself very often. Although personal pampering has known stress relieving benefits, we don’t all have the time or financial freedom to book a spa day at a high end resort. Instead, you can transform your bathroom into the relaxing, spa-like retreat of your dreams. By following these tips, you’ll be one step closer to feeling just as pampered and relaxed as you would after a day at the spa – except without the costly bill.

Ensure Privacy

One of the most important parts of any home spa experience is ensuring you have uninterrupted time just for you. If you have to jump out of the tub to answer the ringing doorbell or soothe your crying toddler, you may end up feeling even tenser than you did before entering the bath. By making arrangements for uninterrupted solitude you’ll be fully prepared to indulge in the luxury of a bath. Keep your cell phone out of the room, let the phone go to voicemail, and consider taking a bath while the kids are in school or are otherwise occupied – you’ll thank yourself later!

Don’t Forget the Tunes

If you can arrange to have music in your bathroom, you’ll be glad you did. Whether it’s a soothing, classical record or an acoustic performance by your favorite band, music can work wonders to melt away stress and remove you from reality. Additionally, if you share a space with others, music can help drown out the sounds of everything that’s going on elsewhere in the house. Some use their phones to stream music, while others opt for waterproof, Bluetooth enabled speakers. Whatever the method, music shouldn’t be overlooked when transforming your bathroom into your own personal retreat.

Pay Attention to Details

Did you know eliminating labels can help you relax? By transferring cotton balls and Q-tips to clear, glass jars you can reduce the stress caused by clutter in your bathroom. If shower space is an issue, consider using a curved shower curtain – it’ll create space and ensure your showers are relaxing. Another easy way to create a relaxing atmosphere in your bathroom is to trade colorful towels for white, fluffy ones – they’re clean, simple, and won’t act as a distraction. When’s the last time you went to a spa and were given a striped or brightly colored towel? Spas use white towels for a reason, and so should you.

Take Advantage of Your Senses

If the lights are on, your eyes will wander and your brain will follow suit. Lighting the room with candles is ideal, since the flickering of the flame when combined with the soothing scent of a candle will do wonders to relax your body and mind. By using lavender-scented bubble bath or aromatherapy bath salts you can take advantage of the soothing effects scent can have on your body. Many spas incorporate fresh flowers, so why not include a vase of fresh cut flowers in your bathroom?

Father’s Day: Bathroom Gadgets for Dad

Whether your dad is technologically savvy or new to the tech game, these bathroom gadgets are guaranteed to make the perfect Father’s Day gift, no matter his experience level. Forget about embarrassing him with another funky tie or cliché Hallmark card, and really put some thought into his gift this year. Here’s some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Heated Shaving Cream Dispenser

With a heated shaving cream dispenser, your dad’s favorite foam or gel will be warmed for a luxurious, close shave each and every morning. The product works with virtually any brand of foam or gel, and even comes with two separate nozzles. With an attractive, chrome-like appearance, the design of this shaving cream dispenser is sure to blend in with virtually any bathroom design. Setting up the dispenser is simple: use the included tool to pop the top off any standard can, attach the proper nozzle, adjust the heating preference, and in about two minutes the heated gel or foam will be ready to dispense.

The iPad Musical Shower Curtain

If you’d like to turn your dad’s shower into a media-rich bathing event, get him this iPad shower curtain. This shower curtain comes with built-in speakers and a waterproof pocket for an iPad. The shower-facing side of the pocket is made of touch-enabled material so he can navigate through a movie, jump from song to song on his favorite playlist, or even take a call while washing his hair. The integral audio cable of this product connects an iPad, iPhone, Android phone or MP3 player to two speakers in the upper left and right hand corners of the curtain, so he’ll never be bored in the shower ever again.

Single-Handed Soap Dispenser

If your dad’s a bit of a self-proclaimed germaphobe, he’ll love the unique design of this soap dispenser that can be operated with the back of one hand. To use, your dad will just have to place his hand into the C-shaped opening and press down firmly to dispense soap onto his fingers or into the palm of his hand. The dispenser is easy to fill and clean, comes with a soap-level indicator so he’ll never have to worry about running out of soap, and is suitable for all types of liquid hand soap. Additionally, this single-handed soap dispenser will keep the top of the pump cleaner and more hygienic.

Eco-Friendly Water Pebble

For the eco-conscious dad, this palm-sized pebble will take the guesswork out of water conservation by tracking exactly how much water he’s using during his daily shower. Programming the water pebble is easy: simply click the restart button on its base and place it near the shower drain. The pebble will measure his water usage and will flash future finishing times against this benchmark, reducing suggested stop times by 5-7 seconds each time he showers. Before your dad knows it, he’ll be enjoying shorter showers and conserving water in the process.

Towel Spa Towel Warmer

For dads who live in exceptionally cold areas of the United States (or those who just prefer to stay warm after a shower), this towel warmer will produce toasty towels, robes, and small blankets in just a few minutes. Traditional towel warmers take up to twenty minutes to work, but this product will warm your dad’s towels in less than six minutes – more than enough time for him to hop in the shower and enjoy a warm towel upon completion. This towel warmer is small enough to move from room to room, and can conveniently fit on dad’s bathroom counter. Something tells us mom is going to love this one, too!

Clean Bathroom? Check.

Whether you clean your bathroom in a few hours or spread the task out over a few days, it can be hard remembering to scrub every tile, dust every surface, and wash every towel. By using this handy daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly bathroom cleaning checklist, you’ll keep work to a minimum and give yourself the time you need to do the things you love. If you have a larger family, consider handing parts of this checklist to family members, delegate tasks, and ensure everyone sticks to the schedule.

Daily:

  • Wipe down sink, tub, and faucets after each use
  • Wipe down counters
  • Spray shower and shower curtain/door with cleaning mist after use
  • Wipe down counters

Weekly:

  • Scrub bathtub/shower/tiles
  • Scrub & disinfect the sink & toilet
  • Clean mirrors & faucets
  • Wipe down & disinfect counters
  • Wash toothbrush holders & cups used for rinsing
  • Wash & refill soap dispenser or soap dish
  • Wipe down & disinfect door & doorknobs
  • Empty & wipe down the wastebasket
  • Vacuum, sweep, or mop the floor
  • Wipe down any switch plates, moldings, or baseboards
  • Replace & wash towels
  • Dust windowsills & other exposed surfaces
  • Wash any rugs or mats, if necessary (Some prefer to wash rugs bi-weekly)

Monthly:

  • Wipe down & disinfect the fronts of cabinets & drawers
  • Organize medicine cabinets, linen towers & items in drawers
  • Deal with any mold & mildew in the bathroom
  • Check & restock supplies, including toiletries & cleaning supplies

Quarterly:

  • Clean & re-seal grout (if needed)
  • Dispose of expired or old medication, cosmetics & toiletries
  • Change or launder the shower curtain & liner
  • Wash walls & ceiling
  • Launder window curtains, if applicable

Yearly:

  • Wash windows inside & out
  • Replace torn mats & rugs
  • Replace torn window curtains, if applicable
  • Clean out/vacuum ventilator
  • Deep-clean carpet, if applicable

Easy Ways to Keep Your Bathroom Smelling Fresh

In the small, damp quarters of a bathroom, odors can quickly become an issue – especially if the bathroom is shared or frequented by more than one person. It’s not a secret that bathrooms are ground zero for some of the dirtiest and most pungent odors in your home, so in addition to frequent cleanings it’s important to take proactive measures to keep odors away. Although keeping your bathroom smelling fresh and clean may seem like an arduous task, with these simple tips it doesn’t have to be.

1) Let the Air Flow
After a steamy shower, it’s important to let fresh air circulate. Whether it’s by turning on an overhead fan, opening a window, or leaving the bathroom door open, this will help freshen stale air and rid the room of humidity which, over time, could help mildew grow. If keeping the bathroom window open for a few hours each day is a possibility, it is greatly recommended. By doing so, your bathroom will begin to smell fresh due to all the natural air flowing in and out.

2) Use Essential Oils
Instead of masking your bathroom’s smell with artificial scents and chemicals, consider taking a natural approach. Lavender oil is a good choice because of its calming properties, but citrus oils like lemon, tangerine, and wild orange are a great way to perk things up. Take a Q-Tip and dip each end into your essential oil of choice. From there, fasten it into the inside of your toilet paper roll or hide it in a bathroom vanity drawer for a secretive way to create a fresh-smelling bathroom.

3) Plants or Flowers
Potted plants and flowers aren’t just for looks – they’re also natural air purifiers. While an automated air purifier can make air seem cleaner and fresher, plants can do a much better job of filtering air, and at a fraction of the cost. Not only do plants filter the impurities from the air, but they’re pleasant to look at and provide us with a sense that we’re one with nature. If your bathroom is on the small side, consider incorporating hanging plants into your shower.

4) Freshen Your Fabrics
In the moist environment of the bathroom, it’s easy for fabrics to pick up a musty smell. Launder towels and washcloths at least once a week, and don’t forget to also wash the bath mat and shower curtain. After your shower, be sure to pull the shower curtain closed, which will allow air to circulate within the folds. You’ll be less likely to see – and smell- patches of mildew forming on shower curtains. For towels with a musty odor that lingers, try running them through a washer cycle with a half-cup of white vinegar, followed by another cycle with detergent.

5) Potpourri
By using natural, dry ingredients found around the kitchen, you can create a fantastic and wonderful smelling potpourri in no time at all. Leftover lemon peels from last night’s dinner, mint leaves, and cinnamon are popular potpourri ingredients. These spices, when combined with flowers and woods from your garden, are guaranteed to create a pleasant scent in your bathroom. Additionally, potpourri makes great gifts and allows you to ‘recycle’ your garden while using fresh ingredients.

Four Spa-Inspired Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. For most of us, this usually means hunting down a last-minute gift and scribbling sentiments of love and appreciation in a mass-produced card. This year, do something a little different by going the extra mile and showing your mom how much she really means to you. While a luxurious day at the spa is a popular gift for mothers, help her create a spa-like atmosphere at home instead with these bath accessories perfect for any mom. Pick and choose which you think she’d prefer, or combine them all into an oversized gift basket that’s sure to make her smile.

1) Luxury Spa Robe
No spa day would be complete without a robe that exudes luxury and comfort. Offered in traditional, kimono and wrap designs, and in materials that include velour, terry cloth, and cotton, you’re sure to find a Luxury Spa Robe that will match your mom’s style and personality. No matter which design or color you choose, their robes are built to last and will evoke the same relaxing sensation she’ll get at a luxury hotel or spa. As an added bonus, ground shipping at LuxurySpaRobes.com is free on orders that exceed $100 and there’s a 30-day money back guarantee.

2) Bliss Fabulips Treatment Kit
This four-piece lip-conditioning set includes a foaming cleanser, sugar lip scrub, instant lip plumper, and softening lip balm. After just a few uses, your mom's lips will be fuller, softer, and more beautiful than ever before. Designed to lift impurities and remove dead skin, her lips will reach new levels of moisture and health. For women concerned about lines around the lips, Bliss Fabulips may help reduce the appearance of fine lines, as well. And, with a $74 value for just $45, you might just have enough cash left over to treat your mom to a beautiful Sunday brunch.

3) Flavor Infuser Water Bottle
With this flavor-infusing water bottle, anyone can be a mixologist. Whether your mom likes her water with lemon, strawberries, or mint, this sleek water bottle will infuse her water with flavor in just a few minutes. Now, mommy dearest can treat herself to a refreshing, mid-day pick-me-up after a trip to the gym, or a soothing mint and chamomile concoction while relaxing in the bath. Not only will you be giving mom a delicious treat, but you’ll be treating the environment as well – this sleek, glass bottle will reduce her dependence on plastic water bottles!

4) Crabtree & Evelyn ‘Hand Therapy’ Box Set
This beautiful box of 12 ultra-moisturizing hand lotions is guaranteed to nourish and pamper your mom’s skin. With eclectic scents that range from avocado, olive oil, and basil to pomegranate and grape seed, this box set is the perfect gift for the one you love. With ingredients that include shea butter and macadamia nut oil, her hands will be noticeably softer and smoother with each use. Not only is the Crabtree & Evelyn ‘Hand Therapy’ Paint Tin Box Set a great value, but mom can re-use the tin to store other items once she’s used all the lotions.