Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Funky time

Dear Allegra: My bathroom develops an awful odor a couple times a week. What can I use to keep the bathroom smelling fresh?

If you are experiencing really heavy odors in your bathroom no matter what you do, you may have a sewage issue to address from your septic tank system or waste stack. Odors are caused by bacteria. You will need to get rid of the bacteria.

Starting with the simplest solution, here are a few tips: Clean out hair, oil and grease that have collected in the drains in the sink, tub and or shower. Using a wire coat hanger pull up hair clumps that have been trapped in the drain. Use a slim, long handled, round bristle brush and clean the walls of the drain by twirling the brush. Fill a bucket with warm water and a cup each of vinegar and baking soda. It will bubble. Pour the solution down the drain in a gush then follow with a slow pour. Clean the toilet and the top and underside of the seat regularly with disinfectant. Replace cracked and otherwise damaged seats. Wipe down bathroom walls with disinfectant particularly around the splash areas near the toilet and shower.

Clean floors, mirrors and doorknobs daily, if necessary, using your favorite scented disinfectant. If you have a bathtub mat, clean it on both sides after every use so scum does not accumulate. Drape floor mats over tub edge or shower rod to air dry after use. Use a plastic liner in the trash receptacle and don’t let trash accumulate day to day. Wipe the trash can with a disinfectant cloth. Keep soap trays clean. Keep scented soaps and candles in the bathroom. When using the bathroom light a scented candle to help absorb odor. If you keep a clothes hamper in the bathroom, drop in a few mothballs and use a plastic or cloth liner to catch clothes. Don’t leave damp laundry in the hamper.

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