Bathroom Sink                                                      Photo Credit: hgtv.com

When it comes to choosing the bathroom sink, there are plenty of options to consider before making your decision.  Things like style, price and material are some of the frequent considerations that go into buying a sink. The lifespan of a typical bathroom sink varies based on use and abuse, but a sink normally lasts anywhere from 15 to 20 years, which means that once you’ve decided on a sink, you’ll be stuck with that choice for quite a while. While you don’t want to spend your whole bathroom budget on the new sink, you might also regret too plain of a choice later down the road. There are also stylistic aspects to consider, such as drop-down or vessel, modern or contemporary, stone or porcelain, etc. Your stylistic elements may be partially determined by your price range, as different materials and styles can be pricier than others. So, where do you start? How do you decide on the many different features and go home with the sink that’s best for you?

Price
It may not be the most fun starting point, but it is necessary. Ultimately, your price range will be the ultimate decision maker in your sink type. Once you start shopping for sinks, whether online or in retail stores, you will be tempted by the extensive variety of luxurious and eccentric bathroom sinks but these can range in the thousands of dollars. If you’re looking to make a big statement with your bathroom sink, this may not be a problem, but if you’re hoping to save your budget for a different aspect of the bathroom, you may finish your new bathroom feeling slightly disappointed by the less than all-out sink you ended up with. Have a set budget in mind before you start sink shopping, and don’t allow yourself to even look at sinks outside of your range. This will allow you to walk away with a sink that fits inside of your budget, you’ll know it’s one of the best options you had for the price you needed.

Material
Traditionally, sinks are normally porcelain or ceramic, but the modern and contemporary styles have stepped outside of these boundaries and have created infinitely more choices in sink material. Now, there are stone sinks, glass sinks, copper sinks and more.  Sinks can come in different colors and there’s something for everyone. Consider the type of material(s) that you’d like your sink to be made out of and look at the options for that material and your budget. This can weed out some of the time in looking for sinks because you already have your target material in mind and will be only looking for sinks that fit into this category.

Shape
Shape isn’t something that we immediately think about when considering new bathroom sink. Oval has been the traditional sink shape for quite some time, but the contemporary sink has taken on a new edge. Many sinks now come in square shapes, curlique spirals, and more. Will your bathroom sink be a more traditional oval shape, or will you step outside the box to experiment with something bolder? The choices are limitless and you might find yourself with a sink you never even knew existed.

Size
Size is another factor to consider when choosing a new bathroom sink. Will your sink fit into a vanity design or stand alone? Will you have a double vanity with two sinks or only a single sink station with a sink that is a bit larger than normal? Or maybe you’re cramped for spaced and you’d be interesting in considering a dual designed toilet-vanity-sink that will save room and allow you to squeeze in other important appliances? Just like the shape, the size of sinks can differ incredibly and it’s up to you to decide which size will work best in your bathroom.

Style
Finally, the element we’ve all been waiting for – style! The style of your sink may be one of the most important features you can choose.  Sink styles are vast and numerous and it is important to consider the rest of your bathroom as you choose a sink. Does your bathroom have a rustic feel? Then, a wood or copper vanity might be a great match for style. Does your bathroom have a more modern or contemporary design? Consider a vessel sink made of stone or glass, which can enhance the statement your bathroom is trying to make.

These are some of the key considerations to make when choosing a bathroom sink. Remember, you’ll have to live with the sink for the next few years, and the style you choose now may limit your options if you end up choosing a new sink design later down the road. Take your time finding the right sink for your bathroom and make sure you’ll still be happy with the decision, as with your bathroom, for years to come!

PetsPhoto Credit: pawsitivepetsit.com

Whether its cats, dogs, hamsters, or something in between, if you have pets, chances are, their odor is starting to take over your home. As a pet owner, you might be so accustomed to the smell that you no longer notice it, but your non-pet owner friends might be secretly trying to cover their noses every time you invite them over. If you’re pets are indoor pets, you keep the litter box in the bathroom or your pets have a tendency to shed and/or drool, you might be able to use these tips to clear the odor out of your home and get your home back to smelling clean and fresh despite the furry friends that may not be so mindful of their odors.

Keep the House Clean
It seems obvious, but this one can really contribute to eliminating pet odors in the home. Just like human odors, which most of us are so used to that we don’t notice, pet odors can develop over time and they become stronger after they’ve had a chance to build up. Simple chores such as vacuuming, dusting, mopping and washing fabrics such as furniture cover and animal bedding are great ways to keep odors to a minimum.

Keep the Pet Clean
Like you’re home, it’s essential to keep your pet clean. Have you ever visited a friend with a dog that smelled so awful you could barely breathe? Well, chances are, your own pet starts to smell like that from time to time, and even after you bathe him or her, that odor is still left on things like their bedding, your furniture, and the dust balls occupying every corner of the house. Give your pet a good brushing every day to reduce the amount of shedding, and keep your pet a good bathing on a regular basis. A simple rinse and shampoo in the garage sink or with the back yard water hose should do the trick.

Clean Your Pet’s Stuff
It may seem like a hassle, but cleaning your pet’s belongings can go a long way in keeping your house smelling clean and fresh.  Your pet’s bedding, cage, toys, dishes, litter box and anything else they use should be cleaned on a weekly basis. You should be able to throw must of their items in the dishwasher or washing machine.

Say Hello to Baking Soda
Baking soda should become your new favorite household cleaning product. Baking soda is a wonderful tool to help neutralize and remove odors from your home. Baking soda can be used as a natural air freshener. Just leave an open box out on your counter or near an odor, and watch in wonder as it absorbs and neutralizes the odors. You can also try sprinkling some baking soda on soiled areas or areas that smell particularly unpleasant and vacuum it up after it’s had time to sit for a bit. You can also add baking soda to the litter box to tame the odor.

Create an odor neutralizing fabric spray by adding one teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a spray bottle and filling it the rest of the way up with two cups of water. The spray will not have a scent, but it will soak up negative odors and you can spray on furniture, use it as an air freshener, or spray it over soiled areas on the carpet to prevent your pet from marking their territory again.

Air Out the House
It seems like another obvious tip, but pet odors can be significantly reduced by simply airing out your house. Many pet odors get trapped inside the house and soak into furniture, carpet and the pet’s bedding; but simply opening the windows in the house, turning on fans, and allowing a cross breeze can greatly reduce the amount of odors that are left in your home. Another option is to utilize humidifiers or air purifiers. Make sure to use HEPA filters and change them periodically.

Mask It
When all else fails, and you can’t get rid of the odors, you can always try to cover them up. It’s definitely not the best option, and will most likely cause odors to build up and become worse over time, but it can work when you’re in a bind with time and you just need something to get your house smelling less like pets and more like humans. You can use dryer sheets around the house and place them in the furniture, the pet’s bedding, and other discrete places. Carpet fresheners, scented candles, plug-in air fresheners and sprays are also options to give your home a fresh fragrance to cover up those nasty pet odors.

Try these tips and let us know what works best for your home. Are you a pet owner who already has some tips and tricks for keeping your home smelling clean and fresh? Leave your suggestions and questions in the comments below, and together we’ll overcome the scent of our beloved furry friends!

 

 

 

Bathroom Spring Cleaning

The weather is already getting warmer, and summer will be here soon. It’s time to pack up the space heaters and down comforters and put them back into storage, and replace them with room fans and cooler bed clothes. Depending on your demographic location and your living arrangements, you might like to open all the doors and windows when the weather gets warmer, allowing the air to filter through your home and air things out; or it might be so hot that you have to close everything up and crank up the air conditioning.

Regardless of what it is, almost everyone has a routine that they go through in preparation for the warmer weather, and part of that routine often involves a bit of spring cleaning.  It’s hard to put things away and get new things out without cleaning them first, and once you get into cleaning mode with one thing, it’s easy to fall into a cleaning frenzy and start scrubbing down the whole house.

One key cleaning spot for spring cleaning is the bathroom. It may be the least desirable space to clean, but it is often the most necessary. After a while, the mirror starts to gather so many water droplet stains that it becomes difficult to see through, the bathtub starts to grow mold and mildew, things clutter up inside of drawers and on top of counters, and dust balls start to gather under the vanity and behind the toilet. So, what are the key areas to clean in the bathroom as part of your spring cleaning ritual?

Towel and Vanity Cabinets
Cabinets are one of the most important areas to go through as part of your spring cleaning. Begin by taking everything out of the cabinets and wiping down the interior of the cabinets. You might be surprised to find out much dust, debris and clutter can build up in cabinets over time. Scour the inside of them, especially if it is a cabinet where your clean towels are kept – you wouldn’t want to have to dry off with a mothball-covered towel. Once the inside of the cabinets have been cleaned, go through everything that was previously stored in the cabinet. Are there old, ratty towels that can be thrown away or moved to the rag pile? What about old toiletries that have expired and should no longer be used? Go through your stuff and try to get rid of anything that will not be used and just takes up space.

Tub/Shower Scrub Down
We all know that mold and mildew love warm, damp spaces (a.k.a., the bathroom!). We’ve seen it at that friend’s house that has a huge black spot forming in their bathroom ceiling, or maybe it’s happened in our own bathroom. Yet, this knowledge doesn’t make the cleaning process any more appealing. Use this spring cleaning as an opportunity to give the tub and/or shower a thorough scrubbing. This is the time to bleach those stains and remove surface mildew before it causes serious damage. It can be a great experience to step into a bathtub or shower after it’s been thoroughly cleaned, and you’ll feel much better when this task is out of the way.

Take Care of the Flooring
Whether it is hardwood or grouted tile, the floors in the bathroom need a good cleaning from time to time. Your cleaning methods may differ based on the material out of which your floors are made, but a good sweeping or vacuuming is necessary for most floors, followed by mopping (if you have anything other than carpet). Take special care of things like baseboards where dust and debris accumulates and is often ignored. Behind the toilet and under the bathroom vanity are also areas that see build up of dust and debris.

Counter Surfaces
Countertops are another area that should get special attention. Water stains build up over time, as well as toothpaste and water splatter that covers the faucet, sink and counters. Surfaces are known to be one of the most bacteria and germ ridden places in any room of the house, but this couldn’t be truer for the bathroom. Use Clorox wipes or another safe anti-bacterial cleaning product to make sure that the counters are disinfected appropriately. While you’re add it, wipe down the toilet handle, bathroom door handles, and the light switches as well.

Medicine Cabinet Makeover
You don’t have a lot of space in the medicine cabinet to begin with, but after a while, things stop being as organized as you first placed them, and things tend be just sort of thrown into the medicine cabinet, as you close the door quickly hoping that nothing falls out – until you open it again, that is. Medicine cabinets are another space that tends to accumulate expired and unused products that never get removed. Take this opportunity to go through the supplies in your medicine cabinet and throw out anything that has expired or will no longer be used. Wipe down the shelves and reorganize everything in such a way that it will be easy to maintain over time.

Trim Shower Curtains
Not all curtains are made alike, and this means that some of your shower curtains will be too long for your shower. While this may not be a huge problem, trimming the curtains can give your bathroom a neater and more tidy appearance, and it can prevent the spread of dust and debris, as the curtains won’t sweep them together every time you open or close the curtains. If your shower curtains touch the floor, or come pretty close to touching it, they’re probably due for a trim, and you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes in your bathroom.

Bathroom Organizers
Since you’re in the spring cleaning mode already, take this opportunity to create more organization in your bathroom. Even if you are the most organized person you know, things tend to revolt over time, and there are always new and improved ways to maintain order in your home. Make floating shelves out of old crates, install in-door shelving inside your vanity cabinets, hang a towel rack, etc. There are many ways to create organization in your bathroom, and we encourage you to find the right solution for your space.

 
Spring cleaning may not be fun, but it sure does feel good when it’s done. Spring cleaning in the bathroom is especially important if you’re one of those folks who never seems to have the chance to clean the bathroom as often as you would like. What are some ways that you like to reorganize and clean out your bathroom around this time of year? Leave your feedback in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!