Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wet Bathroom, Moldy Bathroom

For those of you who have not been in Asia, it's quite common over here to see the "wet bathroom". Asian bathrooms are generally constructed on the idea that the bathroom is an inherently wet place, so there's no point in trying to keep it dry. You can by plastic sandals for 1,000 won anywhere you go, to place outside the bathroom door to keep your feet dry when you go in.

In older apartments and villa style homes, showers are generally a hose that goes from the sink to a shower head which rests some where on the wall of the bathroom. There is no special place to shower, just try to avoid hitting the toilet paper as you do it, and the water goes down a drain in the middle of the floor. Pretty much everything gets wet, but I guess if that's all you have, you get used to it quickly. More modern apartments like mine may have a separate shower area. I am especially lucky, my shower is completely enclosed behind a glass door, and its quite a large shower area too. The drain, though, is located just outside the shower, so the water must flow out of the shower and into the drain.

Cleaning this style bathroom is quite convenient, though. Just take everything out of the bathroom and spray everything down with the shower head. I think that's the purpose of the drain being outside of the shower.

The one cleaning problem I have is the constant struggle against the mold. There are no windows in my bathroom, so there is basically no air circulation. I need to keep the door open whenever possible to keep some semblance of airflow so that things can dry a little bit. Even still, inside my shower, the floor is covered with very small, maybe inch-sized tiles. It looks very nice and stylish, but the mold, from the constant dampness, grows in between every tile and becomes a nightmare to clean. Maybe if I were a clean freak who cleaned all the time, I'd be able to prevent this problem, but unfortunately, my cue to clean is when I see something dirty (otherwise, why clean it, right?), so it's usually too late before I am motivated to do something about it.

Recently I found that scrubbing with an old toothbrush can get those hard to reach places, like the corners of the shower and in between the tiles. I still have to scrub the big tiles on the wall pretty hard sometimes to get the film of pink that has grown there that I didn't notice till it was almost fluorescent (that may be a slight exaggeration).

This video perfectly explains the inconvenience of a typical wet bathroom, I'm so glad that I don't have to deal with a bathroom like this except for when I'm away from Seoul...

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone had had any similar problems with their bathrooms, and what you do to solve the mold problem. Any other comments on Asian style bathrooms?

1 comment:

  1. An old toothbrush, like military boot camp style???