Tag Archives: cleaning tips

How To Deal With Unexpected Guests This Christmas

We’ve all been there, you’re getting ready for a quiet family Christmas at home and everything is organised, and then the phone rings. An unexpected family member or friend is now coming over to stay for the Christmas holidays. Suddenly, there’s so much to sort out!

Have extra presents ready

Imagine the horror. Your long-lost cousin/friend/auntie turns up with a handful of presents for you and your family and you have for them… absolutely nothing. And you can’t use the excuse that you’ve left them at home, because you’re at home!

The best solution to this is to have a handful of “stock presents” wrapped and ready to go should anyone unexpected turn up. Choose a selection of generic gifts – bathroom sets, nice bottles of wine, food baskets, or chocolates, for example – and make sure you cover men, women and children’s gifts just in case. Wrap each present with gift tags (left blank of course) and if you can’t remember which present is which, use post-it notes to remind you, which you can swiftly whip off once you’ve written the gift tag.

Christmas Presents

(Here’s a tip – choose presents that you and your family will like, so that if you don’t have the need to give them away, you can quite happily enjoy a relaxing evening of bath salts, Hotel Chocolat slab and a nice Sauvignon Blanc!)

Extra space at the table

If you need to squeeze a couple of extra people in at the dinner table, then an extending dining table could be a godsend. If your table doesn’t extend, find a smaller table to add on the end of your main table and stick the kids (or yourself) on that one. It’s all part of the fun and you’ll laugh about it afterwards! If you haven’t got enough of the “good china” to go round, then make sure that it’s you and your partner that use the everyday plates and cutlery rather than your guests.

Christmas Dinner

And of course, make sure you’ve got plenty of crackers and table gifts for more than you need, and always make extra food – everyone will gladly eat the leftovers on Boxing Day! If you don’t have enough food to go round, consider turning your sit down meal into a buffet.

No guest bedroom? Invest in a sofa bed

Sofa beds and futons are fantastic for housing those last-minute overnight Christmas guests. As well as providing extra soft seating, you’ve also got an extra bed whenever you need it. Keep some extra bedding in the airing cupboard and within 5 minutes you’ll have another bed made up and ready!

Check the bathroom

If you’ve got guests staying over this Christmas, the worst thing to happen at the last-minute is to discover the bathroom is in need of some much-needed TLC! Don’t panic, you can soon have a bathroom to rival a hotel in next to no time.

Get rid of old shampoo bottles that have been hanging around for too long, and clear surfaces of anything unnecessary – it will instantly lift the room. Get the rubber gloves out and start cleaning until everything sparkles!

Make sure guests have fresh towels to hand and if you want to be really attentive, provide them with little shampoo, conditioner and shower gel bottles.

If your shower has seen better days, there are some simple steps you can follow. Firstly, check out our shower cleaning tips to get rid of some of that limescale build-up!

However, if your shower is beyond saving with white wine vinegar then perhaps you need to buy yourself a new shower spare part. Whether it’s a shiny new hose to keep your shower looking shiny, or a new shower head to make sure performance is as good as new, a new shower accessory could be just the thing to make your bathroom ready for guests this Christmas.

If your shower is beyond saving, then our next working day delivery could be your Christmas saviour, but make sure you get the shower delivered with enough time to get it installed and up and running before Christmas!


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Organise Your Shower Clutter!

Have you taken a look at your shower enclosure lately? Is it more ‘Clutter-full’ rather than ‘Beautiful’? (sorry)

Typical shower cubicles are only a few square feet big, so why waste what precious space you have with clutter? If you need some inspiration, head to your nearest bathroom showroom to take a look at how the professionals display and store their showering essentials.

De-clutter your shower!
Although we use them to wash everyday, shower areas often get neglected when it comes to de-cluttering.

Check all of the shampoo and shower gel bottles you have – throw away any that are empty, or make a concerted effort to use up the last of any product in the bottles. Do you have any duplicated products? Get rid of anything unused and have only the regularly used products on display. Use this opportunity to have a good clean up as well. Do you really use that old sponge? That’s right, throw it away. Now let’s evaluate what storage options you can have…
Shower Space Saving Ideas

Shower Caddies
Shower caddies are great space-saving features, and are also easy to install as well as being affordable. Shower caddies come in plenty of shapes and sizes and usually have space to store shampoo bottles, soaps, and shaving accessories. Some are designed to fit into corners of rooms to maximise space if your shower enclosure is in the corner of the room. Look for one that won’t rust and is adjustable, like this simplehuman model, which is available from Tesco.

Shower Caddy

Shower caddies that hang over the door are also exceptionally handy at creating storage whilst not taking up at lot of space. They’re also ridiculously easy to install! This is a typical stainless steel model:

Over the door shower caddy

Shower Niche

Requiring slightly more work, but a great idea all the same, shower niches are recessed areas in your bathroom wall which can be used to store items. Adding a niche to your bathroom would probably be part of a much bigger bathroom refurbishment and not a simple weekend job. By using decorative tiles, you can really make a niche stand out in your bathroom, or by using the same tiles you can add a more subtle effect. Here’s a mosaic tile style niche:

shower niche
So this weekend, if you’re looking for something to do – clear out that shower clutter!

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Hard Water, Limescale and Showers

When reading through our customer feedback and online plumbing forums, we see a lot of comments relating to hard water and limescale and the problems that can be caused for showers. Those who live in hard water areas may find a lot of issues are encountered with their showers, as well as other household appliances such as kettles and washing machines.

What is Hard Water?
Hard water has a high mineral content (when compared to soft water) and is found in many areas of the UK. Please see the map below for areas affected by hard water:

Hard water is not harmful to our health, but it can cause serious problems for equipment that handles water e.g. boilers and showers because the minerals in the water form deposits that can clog plumbing. This hard, off-white, chalky deposit is called limescale.

Limescale is often found around the home, on kettles, taps and shower heads. We’re all familiar with a kettle that has been affected by limescale (please see picture below), and the need to descale our kettles – but did you know that electric showers can be affected in exactly the same way? If you’re finding that your electric showers are failing after 18 months/2 years, there’s a very strong possibility that it could be down to limescale.

How To Remove Limescale
Descaling agents can be used to remove limescale, and there are many products available in shops, but two of the best methods are lemon juice and white vinegar, both of which are acidic and will break down the alkaline properties of the limescale. Lemon juice will leave behind a lovely smell, but vinegar can often work best on more stubborn deposits.

Removing limescale is not as straight forward as simply wiping it away, it needs to be soaked in the acid, and it therefore necessary to make sure the appropriate acid stays in contact with the limescale for a long enough time to do its job. With a shower head, for example, it may be necessary to remove the head from the hose and submerge it in a solution overnight to break up the limescale.

Please note: Before using any products, make sure they are suitable for use on the materials in your household.

Solutions for Hard Water
But, removing limescale from the outside of your products will not solve your hard water problem, and there is still the chance that the shower will have problems, and possibly even breakdown. Electric showers in particular work in a very similar way to a kettle – imagine how the element in a kettle can be damaged – that could be happening to the element inside your electric shower.

Water softeners are commonly used in areas of hard water to reduce the adverse effects caused. There are many different types of water softener s and descalers available. Your local water board or plumber may be able to recommend the most suitable system for your home.

Gainsborough Showers and Hard Water
Some of our showers have a phased shutdown feature. This is an intelligent feature which flushes residual hot water from the shower once it is turned off. Not only does this protect the next user from potentially scalding themselves, it also helps to cut down on limescale build-up. If hard water is a problem for you, look for the Phased Shutdown Feature on your next Gainsborough shower.

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How To Clean Your Shower

Spring is finally here! The clocks have gone forward; it’s time to rejoice in the longer evenings, Easter eggs, daffodils and new-born lambs jumping around…. The sunshine does have a habit of showing up the dust that’s collected over the winter, so what better time to have a spring clean?

At Gainsborough Showers, we believe that regular shower maintenance is essential for a healthy lifestyle, so if your shower is looking a tad neglected, these handy tips should have it looking as good as new in no time at all.

With any product you use, always make sure it is suitable for the materials & surfaces you are using it on. Some products can actually damage your shower, particularly abrasive cleaners, so please make sure you check before using them. Usually, the more natural the product is and the fewer chemicals it has, the better it is for your shower and for you.

Getting Organised

First of all, clear a morning or afternoon to dedicate to cleaning your bathroom. Open the window or keep the bathroom door opening to ensure the room is nice and ventilated and put your rubber gloves on. It’s time to tackle that dirt!

Cleaning the Shower

Clear the shower area of any bottles, loofahs, soap and other items. Put them in the sink or onto the side. Take the opportunity to throw away any bottles that are empty and anything else that is no longer used.

Bathroom Set

If you have an adjustable shower head, use it to rinse the surrounding shower area. If your shower head is fixed, then fill a bucket with warm water and rinse all surfaces in the showering area. At the moment, you are just trying to rinse away any hair or dirt particles.
Next, you’ll want to remove any mildew that’s built up. You can either buy a mildew remover spray or research and make a homemade recipe (these usually involve baking soda and white wine vinegar). Spray the surfaces affected, leave for a few minutes and then rinse off (again either using the shower head or bucket). When using a spray, always make sure to follow the instructions carefully.

How To Clean The Shower Head

Shower Head

Shower heads can be breeding grounds for harmful bacteria if they are not kept clean so it’s very important to clean your shower head regularly. Vinegar is effective at cleaning shower heads. You can either use cotton wool pads soaked in vinegar or an old toothbrush to clean the head and nozzles. If your shower head is particularly dirty, remove it and soak it in a bowl of vinegar for a short while. You can then scrub the head with an old toothbrush to take off the dirt before rinsing and re-attaching it.

How to clean the shower curtain

For shower curtains made from plastic or vinyl, usually a solution made from water and vinegar and applied with a sponge should be all it takes to clean, but check first to see if your shower curtain has any specific cleaning instructions. Always remove the shower curtain from the hooks or rings and lay it flat before cleaning as shower curtains have a tendency to rip easily. The hooks and rings can also be cleaned using the vinegar/water solution. Rinse both the hooks and curtain with water before hanging back up to dry.

How to clean the shower door

If you have a glass shower door, soap deposits and limescale can leave it looking dull and dirty. Using a white wine vinegar and water solution should get it looking nice and sparkling. Leave it on the door for a few minutes before wiping clean with a soft cloth. If you’re finding the marks a little more stubborn, a teaspoon of dishwasher detergent in with the vinegar mix can help to shift them.

The type of shower gel and shampoo you use can actually affect the amount of residue that is left on your shower door. One with a neutral pH level can reduce soap deposits. After each shower, try to rinse down the door and wipe off the excess water with a squeegee. This will leave the door looking cleaner for much longer.

How To Clean the Tiles

Scrub your tiles well, ideally with a mixture of water, vinegar and baking soda. Using an old toothbrush between the tiles can get rid of dirt in those hard to reach areas.

Cleaning the Drain

Finally, you’ll need to clean out the drain, which unfortunately is the worst part of the process. If you or anyone in your family has long hair, it may be worth investing in a drain cover to prevent hair getting caught in the drain.


And finally…

If you do decide to use a vinegar solution whilst cleaning your shower, using a few drops of your favourite essential oils can help to minimise the vinegar smell.

To avoid spending another afternoon cleaning your shower, the best option is to clean it regularly. How often you use the shower will determine how frequently you need to clean it.  Just giving the showering area a quick rinse and wipe down after each shower, however, can go a long way to keeping the area nice and clean for much longer, leaving you time to enjoy the sunshine outside!


Filed under Showers