There are many common bathroom problems you can solve on your own, quickly and inexpensively. If you're bothered by a wobbly toilet seat, or frustrated with a slow tub drain causing the tub to fill with water when you take a shower, read on! Here are some simple solutions to five common bathroom problems:
1. Clogged showerhead
It's frustrating when you know your water pressure is just fine, but the water is still coming out of the showerhead with a weak spray. The culprit is most likely mineral deposits that have formed inside your showerhead, and are partially obstructing the flow holes.
Fortunately, the solution is cheap, nontoxic and requires an item you probably already have in your cupboard - white vinegar. Here's how it works:
- Fill a plastic baggie about halfway up with white vinegar. (The sandwich-sized ones are fine, but the quart-sized ones are even better.)
- Lift the filled bag up and over the showerhead, submerging the showerhead holes in the vinegar.
- Secure the bag with a rubber band or twist-tie.
- Let the showerhead soak for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Remove the bag of vinegar. You may want to gently scrub around the holes with a soft brush before turning on the water.
- Your showerhead should be clean and ready to go.
2. Wobbly toilet seat
This is a very common problem. Perhaps you tighten the nuts on your toilet seat bolts every few days, but they always seem to loosen up again. The solution is an inexpensive item called a toilet seat tightening kit. You can pick one up for under $10 from any big-box home improvement store. The kit comes with a special tool, which lets you install washers that keep the nuts and bolts secure. It takes about 15 minutes to do the job, and your problem will be solved for the foreseeable future!
3. Slippery shower
A shower seat might be a great option for a family member with mobility issues, or even to just sit down and relax while taking a shower. You can install a shower seat even in a small shower stall. Folding types open and fold down when you're showering, and then fold up against the wall afterward. These seats are more affordable than you might think, with even higher-end models going for around $150.
4. Slow tub or sink drain
Before you call a plumber, pick up a Zip-It tool from any hardware store, and give it a try. The tool looks like a giant zip tie. You simply work it into the clogged drain, pushing it as far down as you can, then pull it back up. Lots of hair and gunk should come back up with it. Wipe off the gunk, rinse the tool and repeat until it seems like you've pulled up most of the clog. Then run hot water down the drain.
5. Dripping water supply valve
Here's something to consider: If your water supply valve is dripping, you may not need to replace it. First, try tightening the packing nut. This two-minute fix will often take care of the problem, so you won't need to call a plumber or think about replacing the valve yourself.
Hopefully this will help you solve some of those annoying bathroom issues on your own, without any need to call a handyperson!