How To

How to keep a soap bar from sticking to the shower caddy

If you’ve ever gone into the shower and reached for the soap bar, only to find it stuck to the shower caddy, this video’s for you! It’s a quick and simple hack that makes it really easy to pick up the soap bar from the caddy, even when it’s stuck to it.

Since I published the video, a commenter has pointed out the hack will only work for rectangular soap bars, not for bars with rounded sides. True enough. I’ll think of something simple you can do for those kinds of soaps. Meanwhile, the first thing that comes to my mind is a simple magnet which you can embed in those soaps and which will let you hang the soap vertically on the metal part of the shower caddy or right on the faucet, helping it dry faster.

Standard
Thoughts

A new faucet design

I had an idea recently about a new faucet design. (If you’ve been reading my website for some time, then you may remember I post my ideas here — when I remember to write them down and don’t forget them.)

When you look at a shower, right after it’s been used, you’ll see the splash line is somewhere at chest or shoulder level. Very little water goes above that line, unless you’ve been monkeying around in there.

If you’ve also seen the pipes being put in for a shower, and the faucets also being put in, you’ll know that first the pipes have to be laid in the wall, then the tiles placed over them, making sure to leave two holes with the appropriate hot and cold water connections for the faucets. And these holes happen to be right at waist level, where it’s easy for most people to reach the faucets — and where most water also happens to splash.

What you’re essentially doing is piercing the water barrier (the tile or marble wall) with two big holes right where you throw the most water. If you’re concerned about water seepage into your wall, or if your walls already have water issues, then this isn’t the smartest thing to do. Plus, there’s a lot of mildew that accumulates around those two holes, and no matter how much silicone you put there, you still get mildew and overtime, you still have water seepage into the wall.

Behold my new faucet design, which does away with this problem. I scribbled it down on a piece of paper when I got the idea.

The point here is that the two faucet holes are brought up above head level, above even the shower head, where water is seldom splashed, if ever. The faucet design consists of its two attachment points at the pipes, with hot and cold water lines coming down, exposed, to waist level, where the faucets are located, then continuing upward to the spigot, where they unite (or they could unite down, in-between the faucets, then come up to the shower head as one pipe). The shower head can be included as part of the package, or you can attach your own shower head to the faucet assembly.

So, there are three points of attachment for this faucet assembly to the wall. Two at the faucet lines and one at the shower head. There are no screws that connect the faucets to the wall at waist level. There the faucet assembly has two contact points with the wall, dressed in rubber, which can be left as is or secured to the wall with a bit of silicone.

What are the implications of this design? Well, it will clearly be bigger than normal faucet designs. It’s also not going to be for everyone. It’s going to be for those discerning consumers who want to reduce the seepage of water between their shower cabinets and the wall, who want to protect the beauty of their shower walls, and who are interested in a new design.

It also means that the builders will have to be clearly instructed where to place the new faucet holes. This faucet will need to purchased ahead of time and its exact location determined before the bathroom walls are laid with tile or marble or precious stones. It also means existing bathrooms cannot be fitted with this new faucet unless significant modifications are undertaken to the shower cabinet.

Like I said, this new design isn’t for everyone. It’s for certain discerning consumers.

Standard
Thoughts

Not so civilized after all

Someone once said that the mark of a good civilization is set by how they handle their poop. By and large, it’s a good rule of thumb. And yet, in this modern and somewhat sanitary world of ours, it’s so easy to be reminded of how fragile our constructs of civilization and sanitation are — all we need do is look at our bathrooms.

I was working on our toilet yesterday, attaching it to the floor, and I realized that all that stands between me and the neighbors’ poop is some height and a thin water layer that blocks the primitive smells from infesting our living spaces. In light of all we go through to isolate ourselves from other human beings, in our quest for privacy and cleanliness, with fences, walls, soundproofing, thermal insulation, fancy double-paned windows pumped with inert gases and vacuum-sealed, double-bolted doors, curtains, tinting and other things, it’s so ironic to see how close we are when it comes to our more shameful habits. Sure, we can’t hear or see our neighbors — we’ve taken care of that — but we sure can smell their poop, and in some unlucky cases, even see it erupting from our toilets onto our floors.

Staring into the open toilet pipe, not only could I smell the offal of my fellow human beings, but I could know the exact moment when they flushed their toilets, and I could hear the rush of the brown waters flowing into the communal collection pipe. When I placed the toilet on top of the pipe and sealed the ring that secured it there, the smell persisted, winding its way through the toilet’s innards and out into the bathroom. It only stopped coming up when I flushed the toilet for the first time. That thin seal of water, sitting in the low part of the P-trap loop inside the toilet, is really all that’s keeping our civilization civilized, at least when it comes to the two numbers we must all do at some point during the day.

This wasn’t the first toilet I installed, and I’m not knocking our modern plumbing system — all I’m saying is there’s surprisingly little between us and wilderness, in spite of all the constructs we’ve placed between us and it, and between each other.

Standard
A Guide To A Good Life

The decline of personal hygiene

I’ve come across so many pungent body odors lately that I’m led to assume personal hygiene is no longer important to people.

Just yesterday, I was in a department store, and two different people smelled so bad I almost vomited as they walked by me. They’re not isolated incidents, either. I’ve seen people of all walks of life and ages whose body odor was so powerful, so acrid, so stomach-turningly revolting, that I was left speechless every time. If you can stand it, let me reassure you this isn’t the smell of sweat after a hard day’s work. No, these people truly stink, as in a medieval, once-a-year bathing, wearing the same clothes for weeks kind of a stench.

How is it possible that in this day and age and country, when a hot shower and a bar of soap are so accessible, that so many people forego this daily necessity? How can it be?

Then, seeing people use the bathroom and not wash their hands (before and after) seems to be an almost daily occurrence. How grown men can handle their private parts after they’ve touched all sorts of nasty things (keyboards and mice being among the filthiest, even more so than toilet seats), is beyond me. And then, leaving the bathroom without washing their hands is an even more disgusting sight. To think, these ninnies then go on to shake other people’s hands, and to pat them on the back, or worse, lend you their pens, or touch your door handle, sit down at your desk to type at your keyboard… The possibilities are mind-boggling.

I’m not germ phobic, and I don’t wash my hands countless times every day – just when I use the bathroom or when they’re dirty. I don’t use hand sterilizers, either. I don’t have cans of Lysol spray lying around, ready to be used. I don’t think I’m cuckoo, but it seems that I see more and more people (no, filthy beasts) acting as if it’s perfectly alright to smell like a pig and have the bathroom manners of one as well.

Standard