Thursday, January 26, 2023

Trusted Cleaning Hacks to Make Your Shower Sparkle

White tiled shower with glass enclosure.

Showers and tubs do a great job of keeping us clean – but what about the reverse? So that your shower is always on standby, it’s essential to regularly clean your shower.

4 out of 10 Americans admit to cleaning their bathrooms once a month or less. The shower curtain or door is the most overlooked element when it comes to sanitation. 

Don’t be among those 40% of people who rarely scour their bathroom toilets and sinks! Cleaning a shower is a necessary household chore that helps prevent the buildup of mold and mildew. It also maintains the appearance of your bathroom. 

How often you clean the shower depends on how much you use your shower. A good rule of thumb is to aim for once per week. You can probably clean the shower about every two weeks if you spend a minute or two on maintenance each time you use the shower. This might involve squeegeeing the walls or door so soap scum doesn’t proliferate.

As you think about developing a good cleaning routine, there are several hacks to be aware of based on the type of material of your shower. Whether stone, ceramic, or fiberglass, here’s some shower cleaning hacks to make your shower truly sparkle and save yourself time.

Bathroom Organization Hacks

Marble shower with teal striped wall and glass enclosure.

How to Clean Stone Showers

Cleaning a stone shower requires some extra care and attention, as certain cleaning products and methods can damage or discolor the stone. Whether your shower is granite, marble, or another type of stone, here are some helpful cleaning tips:

  • Use a pH-neutral cleaner specifically formulated for stone surfaces. Avoid using harsh and acidic cleaners, such as vinegar or lemon juice, which can etch the stone’s surface.

  • Gently scrub the stone with a soft cloth or sponge, taking care not to scrub too hard or use a scouring pad.

  • If you need to remove tough stains or soap scum, you can use a small amount of a mild abrasive cleaner, such as baking soda.

  • Rinse the stone thoroughly with water to remove all traces of cleaner.

  • Dry the stone with a soft, dry cloth to prevent water spots.

  • To maintain the appearance of the stone over time, you can apply a stone sealer twice a year, which will help to protect it from stains and make cleaning easier in the future.

Bathroom Sink Cleaning Hacks

Blush bathroom with cream-tiled  shower and glass enclosure.

How to Clean Ceramic Showers

The biggest burden of keeping ceramic-tile showers clean is they are privy to mildew spores that form in the grout. To make sure there’s no buildup of mold or mildew, here are our tricks for cleaning a ceramic shower:

  • Empty the shower of any bathroom products. 

  • Use a dry scrubber to loosen any soap scum. Plastic or mesh non-scratch scrubbers are usually best for tile.

  • Pre-treat the entire shower with a tub and tile cleaner and let this soak for 5 to 10 minutes. This will allow the cleaner to penetrate into the grout and start breaking down any mildew or mold (making your eventual scrubbing job even easier!)

  • Use an all-purpose scouring pad to scrub the shower until the surface appears clean. Never use a metal or hard-bristle scrubber, which will scratch the tile.

  • Rinse the walls with water and squeegee them until they are dry to avoid any water spots.

Are Sliding Shower Doors Outdated?

Corner shower glass enclosure with terracotta hexagon tile on the walls.

How to Clean Fiberglass Showers

Maintaining the sparkly white surface of a fiberglass shower can feel like a challenge, but it’s actually quite easy to clean if you use the right tools and products. Here are several tips to clean and disinfect your fiberglass shower:

  • Remove any clutter from around the shower and fill a bucket with warm water. 

  • Add a few drops of dish soap to the bucket so the water becomes bubbly.

  • Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the soapy water and use it to scrub the walls and floor of the shower. Be sure to pay extra attention to any buildup of soap scum or hard water stains.

  • Rinse the shower thoroughly with clean water to remove the soap.

  • Dry the shower with a towel or squeegee to prevent water spots.

  • Adding a protective coating of fiberglass boat wax to the shower walls will allow water to run right off without spotting, which will make cleaning easier. Just be sure not to wax the floor, because it will leave a slippery and dangerous finish!

With these tips in mind, you can adopt a foolproof cleaning routine that keeps your shower looking pristine and shiny, regardless of its material. Need to start fresh? Shop new showers here.

Shop New Showers

Thursday, January 19, 2023

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Bathroom Feel Calm and Cozy

Cozy bathroom in winter white with double vanity and decor on the countertop.

Are you tired of your cold, clinical bathroom and ready to transform it into a warm and inviting space? 

From warm and natural materials to comfortable seating and spa-like features, you'll find all the inspiration you need to turn your bathroom into a calming retreat. So grab a cup of tea, get comfortable, and let's get started on creating your dream cozy bathroom with these 5 design ideas!

Brass towel warmer in a cozy bathroom.

1. Add cozy textures like plush towels and bath mats

The first step in achieving a cozy bathroom design is to, of course, integrate materials and textiles that are luxuriously soft to touch. After all, what’s better than stepping out of the shower and having your toes warmed by a plush and fluffy bath mat? By thinking carefully about the quality of the materials in your bathroom and choosing towels, robes, slippers, or rugs that are made with only the coziest fabrics, your space will drive home the lush, comfortable vibe you’re aiming for. 

Minimal pedestal sink in glass and chrome.

2. Choose furnishings with extra charm like pedestal sinks

Features like the shower, sink, and toilet are essential to any bathroom – but who says you have to stick to traditional models? Opting for appliances and furnishings that make an eye-catching statement and align with a particular design style is a great way to make sure everything in the space complements a cozy look. For instance, pedestal sinks are largely seen as one of the most charming bathroom features, along with clawfoot tubs. Perfect for smaller spaces, pedestal sinks are inherently cozy by nature of their size, shape, and simplicity. 

Warm, brushed gold toned bathroom faucet.

3. Focus on fixtures and hardware with warm tones

Since it’s usually quite typical to have limited space in your bathroom, focusing on the small details is all the more important – starting with the fixtures and hardware. If your fixtures don’t feel cozy to you, you can easily swap them out for ones that are finished in warmer tones like brushed nickel. One idea is to install this curvy Virage Single Handle Faucet, which can be finished in several different warm colors. You really can’t go wrong with a faucet that’s finished in gold for the ultimate cozy (yet luxe) feel!

Small stool in chrome and black for the bathroom.

4. Create a dedicated seating area 

Similar to a window seat in a bedroom or a banquette in a kitchen, having a special area for seating in any room adds immediate charm and coziness. In the bathroom, incorporating comfortable seating like a plush bench or armchair will create a relaxing spot for you to unwind. You’ll be surprised how much you use this extra sitting area while waiting for your bubble bath to fill up or to make self care activities like painting nails or applying lotion much easier!

Strip vanity lighting with soft frosted glass shades.

5. Install soft lighting to set the mood

Last but not least, a final way to make your bathroom feel much cozier is to install soft and warm lighting that will help create a calming atmosphere. Candles, simple string lights, and floor lamps are all great options. Of course, you want to make sure that there is adequate lighting that makes it easy to get ready each morning, but you can still achieve this with soft white or even vintage bulbs. Accent lighting is generally softer than overhead lighting, especially if you add the option of dimming the bulbs for those middle-of-the-night bathroom trips. 

Looking for more ideas to create the dream bathroom you’ve always wanted? Check out these additional ideas for cozy and indulgent bathroom design.

Get More Cozy Design Ideas

Thursday, January 12, 2023

How to Prep Your Home for Winter Weather

Copper pipes with insulation.

Wintertime is one of the most magical times of the year. It’s also one of the most problematic.  

While a delightful snowfall is great for pictures, heavy snowstorms alongside sleet, ice, and wind chills are more frightening than festive. Frozen pipes, heating problems, and power outages are nightmares for homes.  

But there’s no need to be frozen in fear. There are several ways you can keep your home safe, warm, and winter-ready.

Invest in a Backup Generator 

Keeping a generator handy is a good idea no matter what season it is, but especially in the wintertime.  

In recent years, unseasonably cold temperatures combined with an influx of energy demand have led to strategic blackouts and all-out grid failures in the worst-case scenarios. Even in regions where cold temperatures are common, power lines are susceptible to ice and damage from wind and fallen trees leading to a loss of power. 

The Red Cross has a generator safety guide that goes more in-depth on which generator to choose, how to use it, and other safety tips. 


Ceiling fan in a white walled living room.

Check for Under-Door Drafts 

According to the Department of Energy, space heating alone accounts for 45% of the average American’s energy bill. But without the proper air sealing protections, your heat and hard-earned money are leaking out your door.  

Energy Star estimates that sealing and insulating your doors—and other vulnerable areas like windows—can save 15% on energy bills year-round. Typically, that means calling a qualified contractor, but you can DIY if you’d like. Another alternative is a door draft stopper, which you can purchase online or in-person at your nearest home improvement store. 

Protect Your Pipes 

Frozen pipes are a common wintertime problem. The most vulnerable pipes are those in unheated areas—like your basement or outside your home—but pipes that run in exterior walls and those without adequate insulation are also at risk. 

Thankfully, there are steps you can take before the temperature drops. According to the Red Cross, preventative measures include: 

  • Adding insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces 
  • Checking water supply lines in unheated areas 
  • Relocating exposed pipes to insulated areas 
  • Installing insulated products around the pipes themselves 

Other preventative tips include keeping the faucet at a trickle and opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing. The Red Cross’ full list of tips and tricks can be found here

A gloved person cleaning debris out of roof gutters.

Keep Your Gutters Clean 

Just like your pipes, gutters can easily freeze over in the winter. But unlike your pipes, gutters and the corresponding downspouts are confined to tight, highly secured spaces. Clogged gutters with an excess of ice will become overweight and can fall, leading to exterior damage. 

Before the winter season, clean out any leaves, sticks, and dirt so water can flow unabated. You should also be on the lookout for damage, like cracks and punctures, and replace any damaged components as necessary. 

Person on a roof next to a brick chimney cleaning it.

Get Your Furnace and Chimney Inspected 

Ready to gather around your fireplace with friends and family? While a wood-burning fireplace is one of winter’s cozy delights, it’s also a lurking hazard. Unexpected fires, excess smoke, and carbon monoxide are ever-present risks, especially if you use your fireplace frequently. 

To mitigate the dangers of a fire, the Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends a chimney inspection once a year. The typical chimney inspection checks for: 

  • Creosote buildup 
  • Flue blockages 
  • Leaks 
  • Cracks 
  • General damage 

Other factors like new appliances or fireplace fuel types, home inspections, and the aftermath of severe storms may prompt a chimney inspection.  

Do you use central heating? Furnaces are prone to the same risks if left unchecked. A professional HVAC inspection—including your furnace—is another annual staple that’ll keep your home safe during the winter. 

Change the Batteries in Your Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors 

As we just discussed, your heating system of choice is prone to fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide leaks. Before it’s time to settle inside for the winter, go ahead and change the batteries in your smoke AND carbon monoxide detectors.  

While smoke and flames are easy to see and smell, carbon monoxide has been deemed “the silent killer” due to its odorless, colorless, and tasteless properties. With an uptick in heating system usage and appliances like ovens and stoves during the winter, early detection of carbon monoxide is essential for your safety and well-being. 

Safety and warmth are especially important during the winter season. Want even more tips on staying warm this winter? 

How to Keep Your Bathroom Warm without Running Up the Bill

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Best Houseplants for the Bathroom & Their Benefits

Small bathroom with white walls and blue tile with plants on the corners of the vanity.

When we think about the defining qualities of a spa-like oasis, one of the first things that comes to mind is undoubtedly plants. Incorporating houseplants into your bathroom is a surefire way to make it feel more relaxed, tranquil, and in touch with nature. 

But beyond the aesthetic appeal, there is actually a wide range of benefits – some that are even backed by science – to having plants in your bathroom. 

Here are just a few of those benefits according to Healthline.

Boston fern on a countertop in bathroom.

Reduces stress levels

Thanks to their calming effect, houseplants were found to be a source of reduced stress levels in one recorded study. The study found that the act of repotting plants resulted in lower blood pressure and heart rate levels among the participants. Much like taking a back, tending to bathroom houseplants is a perfect low-stress activity after a long day.

Improves indoor air quality 

Since bathrooms are already one of the most humid rooms in the house, adding a few plants known to purify the air quality can be highly beneficial. Studies have shown that houseplants can help to reduce harmful gasses like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and can even clean the air in closed or limited spaces.

Supports cognitive health and well-being

A study by Rutgers found that houseplants also reduced mental fatigue, with a group of dementia patients experiencing better short-term memory after spending time in a Japanese garden. In general, exposure to indoor houseplants often leads to improved feelings of well-being overall.

Beyond these benefits and many others, houseplants are – at their root – an excellent design choice for the bathroom, which is one of the spaces most commonly used for boosting our health and wellness.

So, which types of plants are best for the bathroom? Let’s explore some of the top houseplants that can thrive in humid environments and create a relaxing bathroom oasis!

Person holding a small, potted air plant.

1. Boston Fern

Boston Fern is not only one of the easiest fern variants to care for, but it is also adaptable to high humidity since its natural environment is a damp forest floor. Whether nestled on the side of your sink or displayed in a hanging pot, the Boston Fern’s lush fronds will transform any bathroom into a nature-inspired retreat. Just be sure to keep your Boston Fern out of direct sunlight and to water it once weekly. (Fun fact: this plant is also pet-friendly!)

2. Pothos

Also known as Devil’s Ivy, Pothos is an attractive, trailing plant that has heart-shaped leaves. This plant loves to hang and climb tall, making it a perfect addition to your shower curtain rod or as a framing device for a window. Pothos prefer moderate to indirect light and require minimal watering, meaning they are extremely low maintenance and will grow well in bathrooms of any size – so long as they have the room to stretch out their vines!

3. Air Plants 

Futuristic-looking Air Plants (or Tillandsia) are another excellent choice for the bathroom, as they can soak up the humidity from your bath or shower. This is because Air Plants don’t use roots to absorb nutrients or water; they simply grab both things right from the air. Without any need for a pot or planter, Air Plants give you more room for creativity in their display and can fit smaller spaces easily – like atop a toilet bowl or even within a built-in shower shelf. Keep in mind these plants prefer indirect sunlight and like to be soaked in room-temperature water for ten minutes every one to two weeks.

Want to learn more about how to make your bathroom feel like a serene, spa-like oasis? Check out our recent post about doing hydrotherapy at home.

Get More Spa at Home