How to Clean Bathroom Surfaces
The surfaces in your bathroom are made up of loads of different materials, most of which are cleaned in different ways. Here’s a quick overview of how to clean different types of bathroom surface.
|Surface||Characteristics||Likely Fitting||Cleaning Tips|
|Acrylic (plastic)||Lightweight, keeps room temperature. Practically all budget and
DIY-store baths are acrylic.
|Bathtubs, sinks (especially in cloakrooms [half-baths]), shower
|Avoid abrasive cleaners because acrylic scratches easily.
Instead, use a liquid cleaner or a mild cream cleaner if it
specifically says that it is safe for acrylic. Keep on top of the
cleaning: It’s especially easy to get a build-up of soap on
acrylic. Be careful not to drop sharp items – the acrylic may
be very thin. A sharp or hard object (a razor or a metal can of
hairspray, for example) may crack the bath, meaning you have to get
|Cast iron/steel||In terms of cleaning the metal doesn’t matter because
both get a top coat of enamel. This is what you clean, so see the
entry for enamel.
|Enamel||Solid and shiny! Briefly feels cold to the touch (that’s
the metal underneath the enamel coating).
|Older (pre 1970s) bathtubs and sinks and expensive modern
|Take care! Use only products that state they are safe for
enamel. Avoid acid-based cleaners (and limescale fighters) as they
can eat into the enamel. Over time, the enamel coating can wear
thin. Your plumber can advise you if professional re-enamelling is
|Porcelain||A top choice for sinks and toilets. Not found in bathtubs.
Heavy, solid items falling into the sink may chip the edge, so
watch what you put on that windowsill!
|Sinks, toilet cisterns, and pans||It’s hard wearing and can stand gentle abrasives. The
most delicate part is the plughole, which can discolour if strong
cleaners are left to pool.
|Ceramic tiles||Smooth, hard wearing, water-resistant.||Used as splashbacks to sinks and baths and as water-resistant,
hard-wearing wall coverings.
|A doddle to clean and can withstand most all-purpose cleaners.
Rinse then buff dry with a smooth cloth to bring up shine.
|Glass/toughened plastic||Slick, shiny surfaces.||Used for shower screens, shelves, and mirrors.||Prone to smearing and getting coated with soap scum. Easiest
choice is a specialist daily shower spray, but you have to use it
at once, whilst the glass is still wet. Otherwise, use the glass
cleaner you’d use on your windows.
|Resin-bonded||Solid, with flecked appearance. This mix of stone and resin is
tough and hard wearing
|Shower trays||Use gentle liquid bathroom cleaners and rinse off, using the