Updated 20 May 2013

The basin - problems & solutions

Hands can be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria and hair can clog basins and trap germs.


The basin - why this could be a problem

A house without a basin is a bit like a room without windows. This is an essential part of any bathroom and much happens here - from toothbrushing, to shaving to rinsing of underwear, to general washing - you name it.

But, while hands may be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, like Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Campylobacter jejuni (all of which can cause gastroenteritis), hair can clog basins and trap germs. Cold and flu germs might also be lurking on taps, since these are touched by unwashed hands.

Bad bathroom cleaning practices can lead to the spread of germs. E. coli, which lurk in human faeces, can be spread from the toilet to the basin by using the same rag or sponge to clean both.

Keeping the bathroom basin clean

This is one of those charming household tasks that doesn't take a minute, but needs to be done regularly. Clean your bathroom basin at least twice a week with a clean, sanitised rag. Chlorine bleach or a good household disinfectant can be used to kill germs. Always rinse the basin with hot water after you've used it and pay special attention to the hygiene of your taps. Wipe taps once a day with a disinfectant.

Try not to clog the drain opening with hair. Always remove excess hair with your hands and use a good chemical buildup remover to prevent grease and soap from clogging your drains. These contain enzymes that break down and digest organic materials. A liquid drain opener containing sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide also works well.

Remove basin stains by rubbing it with a paste of borax and lemon juice. Alcohol, in the form of spirits, will also do the trick. This will also get rid of germs.

Handy hint:
If there are any stains in your basin, rub the stained sections with a damp cloth that has been dipped in baking soda. 

The shower
The toilet
The bathroom air
The floor
The bath
The drainpipes
The ambience


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