Your Top 10 Bathroom Dilemmas—Solved

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.

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  1. 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.

    Related: 10 Smart Storage Tricks for a Tiny Bathroom

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  2. How do I fix a running toilet?

    How-to-fix-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.


    Related: 15 Cheap Home Repairs That Could Save You Thousands

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  3. How do I fix a clogged toilet?

    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.


    Related: No Plunger Needed: 7 Easier Ways to Clear a Clog

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  4. How do I fix low water pressure in the shower?

    Low-water-pressure

    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.


    Related: 10 Quick Fixes for a More Refreshing Shower

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  5. How do I remove mold from my shower curtain?

    Removing-shower-curtain-mold

    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.


    Related: 21 Money-Saving Tricks That Every Homeowner Needs to Know

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  6. How can I improve bathroom ventilation?

    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.


    Related: The Dirty Dozen: 12 Places You Probably Never Clean But Definitely Should

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  7. How can I fix a slow drain?

    Slow-draining-shower

    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.

    Related: 14 Home Essentials You Never Need to Buy Again

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  8. What's the best way to clean grout?

    Cleaning-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. 


    Related: How To: Get Your Bathroom Guest-Ready in 20 Minutes or Less

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  9. How do I fix a leaky faucet?

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    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.

    Related: The Cheapest, Fastest Fixes for 10 Everyday Home Headaches

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  10. Where can I store my kids' bath toys?

    Bath-toy-storage

    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.


    Related: Control Kids' Clutter with 7 Creative DIYs

    istockphoto.com

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