Modern Bathroom Blog

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

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

Bathroom Storage Ideas for Small Spaces

If your bathroom is small enough to touch both walls while standing inside, you’re not alone. Bathrooms tend to be the smallest room in the house, yet are used to store the most varied collection of times. Whether your bathroom is standard sized or smaller than average, you’ll probably have to create enough space to store extra linens, make-up, beauty supplies, and toiletries. While traditional storage cabinets may provide much-needed storage space, many bathrooms can still use more. For those whose bathrooms are low on space, here’s some creative storage solutions for your small bathroom.

Shelf above the Door

If you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings in your bathroom, the space above your bathroom door is prime real estate. Although this space isn’t realistic for items you use every day, it’s a great space to store cleaning supplies bought in bulk, extra rolls of toilet paper, or old magazines. Installation is simple: use wood screws to secure a pair of wooden shelf brackets to either side of the door frames. Then screw the shelf to the brackets and voila! You’ll have yourself a convenient above-the-door shelf in no time. To make retrieval of items easier, consider keeping items in small, handled boxes.

Towel Bars

Very few bathrooms have enough space to hang towels –especially if the bathroom is used by more than one person. If you find yourself with inadequate space to store towels, consider installing a few towel bars behind your bathroom door. By stacking towel bars behind closed doors, you’ll remedy the space shortage issue and be able to use space more efficiently. In order for this to work effectively, the door should be flat or single-paneled. Additionally, it’s easier to affix towel racks to a wooden door rather than a wallboard or plaster wall.

Mason Jars for Small Items

Ideal for smaller items like cotton balls and Q-Tips, mason jars affixed to a wall are a great space-saving solution. For those interested in adding a bit of functional flair to the bathroom, antique mason jars in different styles and colors can be found in most antique stores. By fixing mason jars to a piece of wood and nailing the piece of wood to a bare wall, all bathroom items will be within reaching distance. For the style-conscious, the wood and jars can be painted or decorated to match your bathroom’s color scheme.

Shoe Organizers

If you don’t have enough space to add shelves or live in an apartment and aren’t allowed to drill holes into your walls, you can get a ton of storage without drilling holes by using an over-the-door shoe organizer to store your bathroom items. By utilizing an over-the-door organizer, your make-up and bathroom products will be kept off the countertops and out of view. For additional convenience, use a clear organizer so you can see exactly where everything is without having to dig through the pockets.

On the Wall Storage

In most cases, the sink or vanity countertop is generally the only countertop surface in the bathroom. By paying attention to space on the walls and installing a shelf or dishwasher-safe wall-hung containers, your bathroom items will still be within reach without sacrificing precious counter space. In lieu of a shelf, consider installing spice racks to store the items you use on an everyday basis. By adding a coat of paint or stain, you can color-coordinate the spice racks with the rest of your bathroom decor.

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.

Four Bathroom Vanity Installation Tips

Although bathrooms begin to look dated very quickly, it’s not cost-effective or practical to renovate them completely every few years. Instead, you can improve the look of your bathroom with a few simple changes – like incorporating a brand new bathroom vanity, or updating your cabinetry. In an effort to save cash, many homeowners are opting to take the DIY route, and choose to install vanities and other bathroom fixtures themselves. Here’s four tips for installing a new vanity in your bathroom:

1) Consider Your Needs
Before purchasing a new bathroom vanity, take some time to plan out your installation. Why did you get rid of your old vanity? Was it lacking counter space? Did you want an extra drawer? Once you have an idea about what type of vanity you need, measure the space you have to work with. Take your time and be sure to carefully measure the area; measure two or three times to ensure your measurements were correct the first time. Although bathroom vanities can be purchased online, many homeowners enjoy visiting showrooms where they can touch the items and truly get a feel for how it will look in their bathroom.

2) Don’t Forget About Plumbing
Although you can go from a pedestal sink to a vanity, it’s important to remember that you’ll probably have to re-do the plumbing within the wall to make it work. If you have to make any adjustments at all to the plumbing, you’ll probably have to rely on the services of a professional, which can blow your budget out of the water. You’ll need to install faucets and water lines to the sink before you can install most countertops. Once your water lines, faucets and drains are installed, put a line of silicone caulk around the edge of the countertop and set the top in place.

3) Make It Easy on Yourself
When you’re ready to install your vanity, start by making it easier on yourself. Remove all drawers and mirrors, take off the doors, and don’t try to set the vanity in place with the sink top attached. (Note: Always check manufacturer installation instructions first before removing doors or sinks.) Line up the new vanity with the wall, and measure where the pipe holes and drill holes need to match. Cut the holes at least 1/2" bigger than the pipes to ensure easy installation. Mark where a stud is on the wall, and mark the same location on the inside of your cabinet. Now you’re ready to slide the vanity into place, fit the pipes through the holes, and attach your vanity.

4) Keep Things Leveled & Secure
Now that your vanity is ready to be attached and has been pushed against the wall, you can begin to level the cabinet. Use a level to measure from wall to wall, to ensure the vanity sits evenly. If you need help balancing the vanity permanently, use a few wooden shims under the base. Once your vanity is level, you can secure it to the wall with a few screws. Many experts recommend using at least three 1-1 1/2" screws per wall stud.

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