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10 Bathroom Dilemmas – Solved

August 7, 2017

From a casual analysis of popular search terms, we can draw a few conclusions about people’s feelings toward their bathrooms: They’re too small, there’s too much stuff in them, and when they’re not building up clogs, they’re springing leaks. To free you from these familiar annoyances, here we solve 11 common bathroom dilemmas in the simplest ways possible.

By Debra Immergut


  • How do I squeeze more storage into my small bathroom?

    Small bathroom storage

    Start by hanging plenty of hooks and getting a medicine cabinet with a mirror. Inexpensive stacked units are also great options to maximize space under the sink, in the shower, and behind the bathroom door. Do an online search, or check out the storage solutions at your local home goods or hardware store.

    Photo: ikea.com

  • How do I fix a running toilet?

    First, try jiggling the handle. If that doesn’t stop the toilet from running, open the tank lid and have a peek inside. Check out the flapper and flush valve, and clean or replace as necessary. If you continue to have a problem, drop a bit of food coloring into the tank. If you see the color seeping into the bowl, you may have a leak that requires further investigation.


  • How do I fix a clogged toilet?

    Start by grabbing your plunger. If it has a rubber flange, make sure it’s extended for the best seal. Angle it to cover the opening and start plunging, slowly at first, and then more vigorously. If you’ve given it 15 to 20 tries and the water still isn’t draining, you’ll need a plumber’s snake—or a plumber.

    How do I fix low water pressure in the shower?

    If the water pressure is just fine in other areas of the house, your shower head probably has a clogged nozzle. Unscrew the head and soak it in a vinegar-water solution. If that doesn’t work, you may need to invest in a new shower head.


  • How do I remove mold from my shower curtain?

    If you don’t want to take the curtain down, try spraying the spots with a bleach-infused spray cleanser, then rubbing them with a plastic scrubber and rinsing the curtain off with water. For a no-scrub solution, run the shower curtain through the washing machine on gentle cycle, using cold water and a cup or two of vinegar.


  • How can I improve bathroom ventilation?

    If you have a fan installed already, clean it by removing the cover, taking down and rinsing off the grille, and using a cloth and vacuum to get rid of all the dirt and dust that’s accumulated on the fan blades and in the housing. Get into the habit of always running the fan after you shower, or opening a window if you can. If you don’t have a fan, consider investing in one: It’s not a terribly expensive upgrade, and it cuts down on the growth of mold and mildew.


  • How can I fix a slow drain?

    Standard unclogging liquids are full of nasty chemicals, so either purchase a less toxic product or try pouring a half cup of baking soda and a whole cup of white vinegar down the drain. Cover the drain with a cloth or stopper for five minutes, then flush with a gallon of boiling water. If you suspect that there’s a lot of hair in the drain, pick up a plastic “hair snare” or “drain stick” at the hardware store. These long, flexible snakes have jagged teeth that grab at the clog and yank it out of the drain, solving the problem instantly.


  • What’s the best way to clean grout?

    Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the dirty grout using a stiff plastic brush. Spray the paste with white vinegar, let it sit for a while, then scrub with your brush. If you have marble or stone tile, you may want to avoid this method and opt instead for a specialized cleaner to prevent surface damage.

  • How do I fix a leaky faucet?

    A worn-out washer is often the cause of a leaky faucet. To replace it, remove the handle (there’s usually a screw holding it in place) and use a crescent wrench to unscrew the nut and stem. You’ll find the seat washer underneath these. Replace it with one of the same size, then reassemble the faucet.

  • Where can I store my kids’ bath toys?

    The smartest option here is a mesh hammock that mounts on the tub or shower wall with suction cups. This solution will keep all those rubber and plastic doodads in one spot while allowing plenty of air to circulate around them. Letting the toys drain and air-dry will cut down on mold and bacteria growth. You could also try placing a colorful plastic basket near the tub, or hanging a perforated drawstring bag on a faucet or shower head.


Stuck and need help? Call us, we are here for you!

Jim Lavallee Plumbing
Serving Eastern Massachusetts and the Boston area (moreā€¦)
Phone: Toll-free (888) 884-4122


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