Bathroom Tips – Modern Bathroom Blog | Modern Bathroom

From design ideas to cleaning best practices, the Modern Bathroom Blog provides tips and tricks for creating or maintaining a beautiful bathroom.

How to Remove Paint Splatters From a Vanity

Removing paint splatters and spots is a common problem, even if you’ve used plastic tarp, painter’s tape, and other protective measures while painting. The real challenge isn’t in removing the paint spills, but it’s in doing so without removing the finish of your vanity. One of a number of solvents might work, and it’s a good idea to start with the mildest one before working your way to stronger solvents that can more easily cause damage. If you’ve tried scraping off the excess paint to no avail, here’s some tips for removing paint splatters from your vanity.

What You’ll Need

When it comes to removing paint splatters from a vanity, it’s a relatively easy task with only a few necessary "ingredients". Here’s what you’ll need before you can start:

  • Mild soap
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Water
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paint stripper
  • Soft cloths
  • Cotton balls

The best time to remove paint splatters and spills is when they’re fresh. If you’ve waited too long and a skin has developed, you’ll probably find that the paint is too difficult to remove by wiping it with a cloth. If this is the case, follow these steps to remove paint.

Steps to Remove the Paint

The amount of effort needed to remove the paint relies heavily on how long it’s been there and the condition of the vanity surface. Start by cleaning the surface and paint splotches with a mild soap or bathroom cleaner. From there, scrub the entire surface gently with a soft cloth. If the paint is fresh, this may be all that’s needed to remove the splatters. If the paint has already dried completely, it will be more difficult to remove. If this is the case:

  1. Moisten a cotton ball with nail polish remover.
  2. Rub it over the entire surface.
  3. As soon as the paint is removed, clean the surface with cleaner and water to remove any residue from the nail polish remover. (Note: if the nail polish remover is left on the surface of your vanity for too long, it can cause irreversible damage, so clean it off as soon as possible.)
  4. If the paint splatters remain, it may be necessary to use a paint stripper to remove it. Apply it very carefully, and spot check to avoid any damage.
  5. Once the paint is removed, clean the surface as usual.

Other Tips and Advice

To avoid unnecessary damage, always start with the least invasive removal method possible. From there, gradually work your way up to the paint stripper. Additionally, it’s best to spot test a hidden area of the vanity to ensure the products you’re using won’t discolor or change the finish and surface of your vanity. Finally, the longer you wait to remove the paint the more difficult it will be to get rid of. If possible, clean as you go – it’ll save you time and effort down the line.

How to Drain a Water Heater

Most people never give their water heater a second thought – until it stops working. Experts recommend draining your water heater every year, no matter what type of storage tank water heater is currently installed in your home. Regular maintenance helps remove sediment which, over time, can compromise the energy efficiency of your water heater and can cause fixtures throughout your home to clog. Just because clean-looking water comes out of your tank, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in tip-top shape. To remove sediment, you must completely drain your water heater using these steps.

Check the Pressure-Relief Valve

Before you start draining your water heater, it’s important to check the pressure-relief valve. This valve helps prevent the tank from bursting due to excess pressure. To check this valve, switch off the power to the water heater and trip the lever on the valve in the cold water supply line. Once you have opened the valve, listen for air and look for water. If you hear air and see water, the valve is working as designed and you can move onto the next step. If nothing happens, you’ll have to replace the pressure-relief valve before moving forward.

Run the Drain Line

Once you’ve ensured the pressure-relief valve is in working order, it’s time to run the drain line. To do this, run a garden hose from the water heater drain to the exterior of your home. If the tank sits in a basement, you’ll likely need to hoses: one that runs from the rank to a portable pump, and another that runs from the pump outside. To be on the safe side and protect yourself from burns, give the water in the switched-off water heater a few hours to cool off before beginning this process. Note: taking a long, hot shower is an effective way to speed up this part of the draining process.

Flush Your Tank

Once the water stops flowing out of the hose, open all the hot water faucets in your home and turn the water supply back on. This will flush out any of the remaining sediment left behind in the water heater. Let the water run through the hose until it comes out clear – once the water runs clear, close the drain valve. At this point, it’s safe to turn the hot-water faucets inside your home back off. The heating element could possibly blow if there is no water in the tank. Some tanks may need to be completely full in order to prevent damage, while others don’t. When in doubt, always read the warnings and instructions on the tank label carefully, as water tanks vary.

Finish Up

If the water coming out of the tank appears to be running clear, turn the supply off before closing the water heater drain valve and turning on the cold water supply. At this point, it’s safe to turn the pressure-relief valve back to its original position. Once you’ve done so, restore the power to your water heater and move on with your day, as you’ve successfully removed drained and removed the sediment from your water heater.

How to Stage Your Bathroom for Buyer Appeal

The rooms that potential buyers most closely inspect (and judge) during an open house are the kitchen and master bath, according to Trulia and other real estate experts. Since these are the interior spaces where the most value can be added during a sale, extra steps should be taken to ensure they look their best during an open house. A sparkling master bath with clean linens, clutter-free countertops, and a fresh smell could help convince a buyer to purchase your home. If you’re preparing your home for an open house, here are the best ways to stage your bathroom for buyer appeal.

Invest in Minor Remodeling

If you don’t have the cash for an in-depth remodel, there are plenty of affordable upgrades that can increase your bathroom’s appeal. Simply swapping out a cracked or damaged sink or cupboard for an attractive bath vanity can make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of your bathroom. Take a walk through your bathroom and look for any improvements you can make – for an extra set of eyes, invite a friend or neighbor to give you their honest opinion; they may notice something you’ve completely overlooked. Other minor upgrades can include a new toilet seat, a new shower curtain, a new mirror, or something as small as a new soap dish.

Clean (Thoroughly!)

You might be surprised at the amount of homeowners who simply give their bathroom a quick clean and call it a day. There’s no better time than now to give your bathroom a deep clean – look out for mildew, mold, strange odors, toilet bowl rings, dirty grout, clogged drains, or anything else a potential homebuyer may be turned off by. Clean out the drains, behind the toilet, underneath the countertops, and anywhere else prying eyes may investigate. If you have to, hire a professional cleaning service to visit your home once a week until your home is officially off the market.

Remove Personal Items

When it comes to home staging, less is more. You may love that quirky tooth brush holder, but a potential homebuyer may not. If you’re still living at home while your house is on the market, it may be difficult to hide all your personal care items. To make it easier, keep a plastic shower basket handy. When it’s time for an open house or private showing, place all toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, shampoo bottles, and medications into the plastic basket and hide them from view during a viewing. Not only are clear countertops and empty medicine cabinets less of a distraction, but it’ll give the buyer a chance to envision what the bathroom would look like with their own belongings.

Final Touches

Once you’ve upgraded, cleaned, and removed the personal items from your bathroom, it’s time for the finishing touches. A bathroom that looks and feels like a bed and breakfast can be very appealing to a visitor, and doesn’t take too much effort to accomplish. Place a couple scented candles in colors that match the rest of your bathroom on the countertops, or substitute candles with a vase of fresh flowers. Not only are the flowers visually appealing, but they’re a natural way to freshen the air in your bathroom. As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot of time, effort, or cash to transform your bathroom from a trivial space to eye-catching escape.

The Benefits of an Eco-Friendly Bathroom

Whether you live in California or have heard the drought news from across the country, reducing your water consumption is as important as ever. While cutting back on water usage isn’t mandatory in every city or state, going green in the bathroom can not only save energy and water, but it can lower your monthly utility bills as well. Whether you're completely renovating your bathroom or are looking for ways to reduce your water consumption and be kinder to the environment, there are dozens of eco-friendly bathroom fixtures and products available from some of the most popular manufacturers. Here are some benefits of "going green".

Conserves Water

According to a 2013 report from the United States Environmental Agency (EPA), each person in the United States uses an average of 100 gallons of water each day. Unfortunately, a part of that waste can be contributed to dripping faucets and toilets that don't stop running. If your home is one of the 10% that have water leaks due to old and ineffective toilets and faucets, you should consider an upgrade – one person alone would use 30% less water by upgrading to water-efficient fixtures and appliances. Whether you live in an apartment, a rented home, or a home of your own, it's a good idea to invest in water efficient fixtures.

Saves Money

Since eco-friendly bathroom fixtures and appliances conserve energy and water, homeowners are sure to notice a decrease in their energy and water bills. Traditional showerheads use an average of 2.5 gallons of water per minute, while water-efficient showerheads use just 1.5 (or less) gallons of water per minute. Similarly, replacing your old toilet with a low flow toilet can help the environment and your bank account. Depending on the fixtures or appliances you replace with water-efficient alternatives, you'll notice a decrease of 10-50% on your monthly water and energy bills. Over time, this can quickly add up to thousands saved per year.

Improves Indoor Air Quality

Before the 70s, every product seemed to be coated or made from lead – including faucets, paint, and other bathroom fixtures. If your home was built before the 60s, replacing the fixtures with eco-friendly alternatives will not only conserve water and save money, but it can improve the indoor air quality of your home. In order to truly preserve your home's air quality, switch to eco-friendly cleaners. Major cleaning brands have green cleaning products available that are affordable and easy for the public to get their hands on. Biodegradable and natural products will serve your home's cleaning needs without negatively harming the planet.

Durable & Sustainable

Eco-friendly homes require less effort to maintain since eco-friendly products tend to be more durable. Since installing green bathroom fixtures give you the unique opportunity to conserve our Earth's resources without having to change your lifestyle, you'll be actively protecting natural resources for future generations to come. With constantly dwindling natural resources, homeowners should make every effort to conserve what they can while they still have the chance. Since eco-friendly homes will only continue to grow in popularity, installing eco-friendly fixtures could even help you sell your home more quickly once you decide to put it on the market.


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