Surprisingly Dirty Places in Your Home

Shower Drain
It can get clogged by hair and soap. And if you use your shower infrequently, larvae can develop in the drain, which can lead to flies in your bathroom, says CR home writer Keith Flamer, who dealt with this mysterious insect phenomenon while awaiting a shower renovation.

What to do: For clogs, you can try using a plunger first, and if that doesn’t work, give enzymatic cleaners a go. They’re usually a gentler alternative to the harsh chemicals found in many drain cleaning products. Here are two you might want to try.

For drain flies, you can try pouring hot water down the drain as a temporary fix. To eliminate them, use a foaming enzyme cleaner, which is more effective than bleach and less harmful to your pipes, says Ian Williams, technical service manager at the pest control company Orkin.

If you don’t clean your showerhead regularly with a cleanser, deposits can build up and clog it.

What to do: For a metal showerhead, put it in a pot filled with one part vinegar to eight parts water, bring it to a boil, and simmer for about 15 minutes. For a plastic showerhead, soak it in equal parts vinegar and hot water. 

Scrub grout in your shower with a toothbrush dipped in a half-cup of bleach and a gallon of water, says Mary Farrell, a CR home writer who has written about how to clean every surface in your bathroom.