Easy fixes for shower issues

June 30, 2015

Bathrooms suffer from the combined effects of humidity, which can cause mildew, and lime, which clings to shower doors. These issues can be fixed with common household materials and a little know-how.

Easy fixes for shower issues

There’s mildew on my walls

Clean it with bleach

Mildew is a mould, or fungus, that grows wherever it is damp and warm. It can indicate a water leak from a pipe or gutter, but is most often caused by condensation of warm, wet air on cooler walls and surfaces — conditions that thrive in the bathroom. If your wall is stained by mildew, try the following remedy.

  1. Wearing rubber gloves, mix 3:1 of water and household bleach in a bucket. Soak a sponge in the solution, then thoroughly wet the affected area of the wall. Leave for 20 minutes, then repeat, whether the stain has disappeared or not.
  2. After another 20 minutes, rinse the wall with water. Allow to dry completely and then spray the wall with an antimicrobial agent. This can be bought from hardware shops.

Tips to prevent mildew

Stop it before it starts

  1. When you buy a new shower curtain, soak it overnight in salt water before you hang it to keep mildew at bay.
  2. Get into the habit of closing the curtain after use, so that it dries quickly and isn't left bunched up.
  3. If you do notice mildew developing on your shower curtain, pop it in the washing machine with a couple of towels to help cushion the curtain from impacts with the machine's beaters, and wash it on a gentle cycle with detergent and half a cup of baking soda.

Tools of the trade

Newspaper for a shiny shower door

To remove ingrained lime from a glass shower door, wipe it with a soft cloth soaked in lemon juice. Then spray a 1:3 mixture of white vinegar and water onto the door and rub it clean with a piece of scrunched-up newspaper.

My shower curtain has torn from its hangings

Reinforce the top strip

It's easy to accidentally rip a shower curtain if you slip and grab it for support; damage usually occurs to the holes at the top of the curtain.

  1. For a temporary fix, cut a strip of sticky-back plastic 10 to 15 centimetres (four to six inches) deep and as long as the curtain is wide.
  2. Stick this along the entire top edge of the curtain, with half the depth of the strip on the front side of the curtain. Fold the strip over the top and press it against the back of the curtain, too.
  3. Use a hole punch to reinstate the holes in the reinforced curtain top.

Choose the colour of the sticky-back plastic to match or complement the colour of your shower curtain.

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