Care and repair tips for sinks, showers and tubs

Stained tubs, clogged shower heads and not-so-bright sinks are all common occurrences. The good news is, many problems with showers, bathtubs and sinks are easy to fix yourself. Here are some solutions to commonly found problems:

Care and repair tips for sinks, showers and tubs

Dissolve mineral deposits

Is your showerhead clogged with mineral deposits? To make the water flow again, fill a plastic bag with vinegar, put the bag around the showerhead, tape it in place, and let it soak overnight.

Remove copper stains

  • Water with high copper content can leave blue-green stains on your tub.
  • To remove these stains, make up a paste: Combine equal amounts of cream of tartar and baking soda — usually 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of each is enough.
  • Add some lemon juice drop by drop until you have a paste. Rub it into the stain with your fingers or a soft cloth. Leave it for 30 minutes, then rinse well with water.

Repair a cracked tub

  • If your porcelain bathtub develops a hairline crack, fill it with caulk to prevent the crack from enlarging.
  • Rub regular bathtub caulk into the crack, and then wipe off any excess with a damp cloth. Allow the caulk to sit overnight, then skim off any excess with a single-edged razor blade.

Safely clean fibreglass

  • Fibreglass can be difficult to clean because mild cleaners have little impact on a seriously soiled unit, and abrasive cleaners applied with too much scrubbing pressure will quickly dull the finish.
  • For everyday cleaning: Spray on a household cleaner or a tub-and-tile cleaner, and wipe with a nonabrasive sponge.
  • If you need to do a heavier cleaning job: Use a powdered cleaner and a light-duty scrubbing sponge, but don't overdo the scrubbing pressure.
  • Be sure to rinse well with water so that the chemicals won't stay on the surface.

Dissolve rust stains

Got some rust on a stainless steel sink? Rubbing with lighter fluid will dissolve the rust and renew the steel.

Preserve chrome

  • To prevent scratching your beautiful chrome or brass fixtures, when doing repairs, wrap the jaws of your pliers with adhesive tape.
  • Do the same with the tips of screwdrivers.

Sprinkle baking soda

Keep baking soda in a recycled plastic spice jar on the sink. Sprinkle on the sink basin and fixtures, and wipe with a sponge once a day to keep them sparkling.

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