When you think of preparing your home for winter, your bathroom probably isn’t the first place to spring to mind. That’s understandable but doing a little work now could make your life a lot easier when winter really sets in. Here are some tips to help.

Deep clean your drains

Winter is the toughest time of the year for drains. That means it’s a good idea to get them in the best possible condition before the cold weather sets in. You have at least three drains in a regular bathroom. Give all of them a good, deep clean.  

This is one time when you might want to reach for a chemical cleaner straight off. They aren’t great for the environment but they will clean your pipes really thoroughly. This will reduce the likelihood of them needing to be replaced early. For the rest of the winter, you should probably be fine with more gentle cleaners like dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, and hot water.

If you’re not using them already, you might want to pop some drain sticks down your sink and tub/shower. These help to dissolve any solids which do manage to slide down your drain. Likewise, plug protectors are also a really good idea.

Think about heating

Whatever system you use for heating water, get it double-checked before winter really kicks in. Then keep a close eye on it over the course of the winter. If you have a radiator in your bathroom, make sure you bleed it early on. Then, again, keep an eye on it so you are always quick to pick up if it needs bleeding again. Consider putting silver foil behind it to reflect extra heat back into the room.

Think about whether you need, or would just like, some form of extra heating in your bathroom. Remember that bathrooms can get pretty chilly during the winter, especially in the mornings. In the old days, you often just had to live with this because most bathroom heating had to be hardwired.  

Now, however, you can get a much wider range of plugin heaters suitable for use in bathrooms. What’s more, increasing numbers of them are “smart”. Smart heaters are great for all kinds of reasons. In bathrooms, the main benefit is that you can activate them remotely.  

So, for example, if you need to make a trip to the bathroom before the heating goes on, you can switch your smart heater on before you even get up. By the time you’ve walked to the bathroom, the heater should at least have taken the edge off the cold. For extra coziness, at some bathroom-appropriate mats to protect your feet from cold floors.

Check your window seal

Bathroom windows have a tough life. Not only do they have to cope with different temperatures both outside and inside but they also have to cope with humidity. This means that they can end up needing maintenance, repair, or even replacement long before other windows in the house do.

The most common weak point is the sealant between the glass and the frame. You can generally fix this just by retouching it. If the sealant is really damaged, then you may need to get in a professional to replace it completely or, in the worst case, replace the window.  

This might not be what you want to hear with temperatures dropping. It is, however, far better to deal with any issues now than to leave them until the cold weather really starts to bite. This is particularly important if you’re going to be relying on your bathroom window for ventilation.

Think about ventilation

It’s really important to make sure that your bathroom gets enough fresh air in winter. If it doesn’t then the humidity could start to become a real problem. In particular, you could find yourself having to deal with mold. This can be a serious health hazard. The easiest way to do this is just to make a point of opening your bathroom window from time to time.

If you don’t have a bathroom window then look at your current ventilation solution and make sure that it’s in good shape for the winter. In particular, remember that vents generally only work effectively if they’re clean. Again, check this as soon as you can so that, if necessary, you can take action before winter really strikes.

Declutter and restock

If you still have spring and summer products then now is the time to get rid of them. If you really want or need to keep them then move them into an off-season storage location. As a rule of thumb, anything which has been opened needs to go.  

This is particularly important for makeup, sun protection, and bug-repellant. Expired makeup can actually be bad for you. Sun protection and bug-repellant just won’t work the way they should. It can, however, be a good idea to hold on to medical products such as lyclear cream. These can be useful even in winter.

Once you’ve cleared out your bathroom, you can use the space you’ve created to restock with winter-appropriate products. This is your chance to make sure that you’re well-prepared for the inevitable winter colds. Just as importantly, it’s your chance to stock up on moisturizing products.  

Winter weather can be hugely drying on your skin (as can heating). Your face and hands are particularly exposed so look for deals on facial moisturizer, lip balm, and hand cream and stock up. This is a good opportunity for you to give your bathroom storage a deep clean and general reorganization.

Consider switching out your light bulbs

This is really a bonus tip but it’s still worth considering. For many people, winter is challenging both mentally and physically. Installing color-changing LED light bulbs can make bath/shower time a bit more fun. This can go a long way towards helping people to cope with the “winter blues”.

On a similar note, if you don’t already have a radio in your bathroom, then now’s a good time to get one. Music is also great for helping people to feel more cheerful even in tough times like winter.