(BPT) - Americans may be spending less time on housework, but that’s probably not much consolation when you’re scrubbing the toilet for the third time in a week. Meanwhile, hours spent working are taking more of our time, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey. Factor in other time demands like taking care of the kids, your in-laws, your spouse and yourself, and it’s easy to see why products that improve cleanability are gaining ground in bathroom design.
Fortunately, elbow grease and harsh chemical cleansers are no longer the only ways to keep a bathroom clean. Today, a variety of bathroom fixtures, devices and construction materials can all help contribute to a bathroom that cleans up with less effort from you and stays that way for longer.
Innovative fixtures and faucets
Cleaning the toilet, tub and shower probably doesn't top anyone's list of favorite tasks. While it’s still necessary to do regular deep cleaning, when it comes to daily maintenance, a range of new bathroom additions can lend a hand.
* Self-cleaning toilets — Even in the cleanest households, the toilet can be a hotbed for a variety of unpleasantness. The new ActiClean self-cleaning toilet from American Standard can make day-to-day cleaning of the bowl a much easier task. The press of a button releases cleaning solution into the bowl for either a one-minute quick clean or a 10-minute deep clean, while the patented VorMax jetted flushing technology powerfully scours the bowl to remove all splatter, skid marks and clinging waste. At the end of the soak period, the unit automatically siphons away the cleaner and rinses the bowl with clear water. Simply press a button, walk away, and let the toilet do the rest — it's that easy.
* Smarter showers — Sure, you can find high-tech, high-cost showers that keep shower doors spotless through nano-technology that repels dirt and water droplets. But having an easy-to-clean shower can actually be simpler and less expensive. It starts by choosing the right materials and design. For example, traditional shower doors are notorious for building up mold, mildew and grime in door tracks. Frameless shower doors can eliminate that problem. If you hate mold in tile grout (and who doesn’t?) you have numerous options. Tile your shower with a dark tile and dark grout. Or, opt for tiles made with mildew-resistant coatings. For super-easy cleaning — not to mention leading edge design — you can even choose a concrete shower.
* No-touch faucets — The bathroom faucet is the most touched area in a bathroom, which means it can also have the most germs. After all, everyone touches it right after using the toilet (you hope). Touchless bathroom sink faucets can help reduce the spread of bacteria and germs, since no one needs to touch them to turn them on. Plus, their hands-free operation ensures that the faucet stays free of fingerprints, soap scum and toothpaste splatters. A wave of the hand starts the faucet -— and you're on your way to a tidier, maybe even immaculate, bathroom.
Of course, if you’ll be renovating a bathroom or building a new home, the best way to ensure a cleaner bathroom at the get-go is to start with construction materials that promote cleanliness. Mildew resistant tiles and grout, mold-resistant paint, and solid surface countertops can all add up to less cleaning time down the road.
One of the most important features to incorporate into a bathroom to help keep it fresher and healthier is an exhaust fan. This will not only remove unpleasant odors from the bathroom, it will also vent moisture out of the room from steamy showers and baths. Excess moisture in a bathroom is one of the leading causes of mold and mildew, which can be unsightly, smelly and unhealthy.
Yes, you can achieve freedom from cleaning. By installing easy-to-clean bathroom fixtures and materials, you can invest less time, effort and energy keeping the room clean. Unexpected guests — drop in unannounced at any time!