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How should I clean my basin in order to maintain it in top condition?

It isn’t always obvious how to keep your bathroom basin looking squeaky-clean. However, there are a few handy ways of getting rid of all those annoying stains that build up over time, including toothpaste and rust.

If a bathroom suite is worth spending money on, it is worth taking a few minutes every week to tackle any mess and, as you will see, it doesn’t take too much effort!

The basics

For a quick and easy clean, all you need is washing up liquid and a scouring pad - just be sure to use the soft side! Squirt a little bit of the liquid into the sink – making sure the plug is closed – and then pour in some warm water. Very gently, scrub the surface of the sink with the scouring pad and then drain the water out and wipe down with a soft cloth. Do not do this with the sponge or a wet cloth, since this will just put water marks straight back onto your newly cleaned surface. This can easily be done once a week, just to keep those little stains at bay.

Something a bit more thorough

When it comes to a deep clean, vinegar is your new best friend. Though you might not expect it, vinegar is one of the best things for cleaning basins – porcelain, to be specific – and it’s very easy to use.

With the plug closed, pour one and a half cups of white vinegar into your basin. Dip a paper towel into the vinegar and then place it around the edge of the sink. Continue doing this until the basin and sink are covered in paper towels. Leave these to rest for 20 minutes, before removing the towels and wiping everything down with a dry paper towel.

Vinegar has great antibacterial properties, this is why it is a good idea to leave a thin film on the surface of your basin so it can continue to kill bacteria. While you are doing this, it is recommended that you soak some of your bathroom items in the vinegar, such as toothbrush holders and soap trays. Scrub these and wipe them down after soaking, but don’t rinse them – or the basin - in water as this will put a load of watermarks straight back on. Once you have finished cleaning, and wiped down all your surfaces, the smell will naturally disappear when the vinegar dries.

The vinegar technique is not ideal for coloured porcelain, as it may damage the surface and cause discolouring. Is it also recommended that you don’t use vinegar on marble, since the acidic qualities of vinegar will dull the shine of your marble basin. For cleaning marble, it is best to start with something as basic as a micro fibre cloth and warm water, and if you need something a little bit stronger, try a soap with a neutral pH level. You can also buy special marble cleaners, but always be sure to avoid abrasive or acidic products. If in doubt, contact your retailer for more advice.

If your porcelain basin has rust stains, then it’s back to the kitchen for a solution. For this, you will need a slice of lemon and a pinch of salt. Pour the salt onto the lemon and rub the lemon over the rust stain. Do so until you see the rust start to loosen, then wipe down with a soft cloth or paper towel. The lemon will give your bathroom a natural, citrus fragrance – much better than an air freshener!

For a clean that will leave your basin as shiny as the day it was made, you’ll find great results using bicarbonate of soda. Wet the entire sink and basin with warm water then sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda over the surface. Using a soft cloth, rub the surface and the bicarbonate of soda will start to form a paste. Make sure you get all those tricky bits around the overflow hole and the base of the taps. After this, rinse the whole basin and sink thoroughly before wiping down with a dry cloth. This will leave your basin looking very shiny and as good as new.

If it’s a scratch or two that you have to tackle, then there are a number of kits you can buy, whatever material you’re working with. As with any other cleaning products, it is best to aim for ones that are as natural or organic as possible, and avoid anything bleach-based. To reduce the risk of scratches, try keeping any heavier items on the countertop, rather than the basin itself, and maybe place a small felt cloth underneath things like soap trays. It is vital that you use the soft side of a scouring pad, rather than the rough side, so as to minimise the risk of scratching during cleaning.

What to avoid

Ammonia-based products and bleach are not the best things to use on a bathroom basin. These products can be toxic if ingested and since your toothbrush and face cloths are usually kept near a basin, this could potentially be harmful. Natural items like vinegar, lemon and bicarbonate of soda are ideal for getting rid of stains and keeping your bathroom basin looking fresh and shiny.

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