It’s impossible to deny the modern, clean appeal of a white bathroom — clean being the operative word. A white bathroom with dust gathering in the corners or discolored grout just doesn’t have the same charm.
But have no fear if you’re considering a white bathroom, or already have one. It is possible to keep it sparkling. Hotels do it every day: Take The Mark, a luxury hotel in New York City with white bathrooms that are inspected with a white cloth (yes, that actually happens!) before each guest checks in.
We spoke to Olivier Lordonnois, The Mark’s operating manager, to get to the bottom of how exactly the hotel keeps its white bathrooms looking spiffy.
1. PLAN AHEAD WITH SEALER
If you’re still in the planning stages of your bathroom, consider how you’ll seal the white marble surfaces. While professionals suggest certain types of marble are so nonporous they don’t need sealer, most require it to prevent stains and nicks. (Be sure to ask your contractor about how your specific marble will react to a sealer first.)
“The sealing is very important to avoid stains like water marks on the marble,” says Lordonnois. “Every year we get rid of the sealing, polish the marble, and seal it again to protect the marble and make it shine. For about eight months, the marble is so shiny you can see yourself in it.”
2. EMBRACE THE POWER OF SPONGES
Spot a scuff on your wall? Don’t run for white paint. In most cases, painting over a small mark will leave a slightly different color than the original paint. Instead, try sponges.
“A Magic Eraser sponge is extremely efficient for marks on the wall or doors,” says Lordonnois. “It’s not abrasive, so you can use it against a lot of different paints, and it doesn’t show on the walls after you use it.”
3. PUT DOWN THE BLEACH
Not only can bleach harm delicate surfaces if used repeatedly over time, if it’s not rinsed off completely, it may leave behind chemicals that you or your guests are sensitive to.
Despite its many white rooms, The Mark doesn’t use bleach at all. If you do care to use bleach in your bathroom, use it in small doses and on targeted surfaces — but, honestly, another product will likely work just as well.
“There are products on the market that are just as efficient as bleach but don’t carry that smell,” says Lordonnois. “They’re also usually less abrasive and don’t leave chemicals behind.”
4. PROTECT YOUR GROUT
Resist the temptation to scrub a toothbrush against grout; it won’t keep mold and other gunk at bay.
“A toothbrush probably isn’t the best thing to use,” says Lordonnois. “If you want to be efficient, you have to go a little deeper than that with a special tool.”
It’s worth investing in a grout-cleaning “rake” or other sturdy tool that will scrape out any grime in the grout (you can find these at most home stores). After you’ve cleaned the grout, apply a silicone paste to prevent mold and marks.
5. KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO REPLACE TOWELS
If you want your perfectly white bathroom to include fluffy white towels, keep in mind that you’ll likely have to replace them more often — and consider if that’s going to be economically sustainable.
“Products can only do so much,” says Lordonnois. “When there are signs of wear or tear on bathrobes or towels, we replace them with new ones. There’s just no special trick.”
6. DON’T JUST SWEEP
To keep your white bathroom floors spotless, it’s imperative to pick up every piece of hair and stray fluff — something brooms or mops can’t always accomplish.
“We vacuum first, and then use sweepers to clean the floors,” says Lordonnois. “When the rooms are checked, someone uses a white cloth to check the cleanliness of the floor.”
As seen on elledecor.com