The Complete Bathroom Cleaning Guide
It’s Saturday, the one free day you have to get all your errands and chores done. You’ll likely run to the grocery store, fold all the laundry, and do a quick rinse of the dirty dishes that have been laying in the kitchen sink since yesterday.
You’ve checked off nearly everything on your full to-do list, only to realize that the last task is to clean the bathroom...which we all can agree is the worst chore. The mirror is probably speckled with toothpaste splatters, the sink drain is covered with strands of hair, and there may even be mold in the shower — yuck! Luckily, if you use the best cleaning products and follow the right routine, your bathroom will be sparkling clean in less time than a 20-minute episode of The Office.
Our Favorite Bathroom Cleaning Products
The right tools make the worst job so much more enjoyable. Scrubbing mildewy tile grout or wiping down a toilet is a lot easier when you have cleaning products that actually work AND smell wonderful. Who doesn’t want their bathroom to smell like a fresh lemon grove or the French countryside?
Mirror Cleaner: SprayWay Glass Cleaner
Why we love it: This glass cleaner is perfect for mirrors and windows. Not only is it streak-less, but it will also dissolve fingerprints, dirt, and smudges upon impact.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Why we love it: There’s not a single stain or smell that this cleaner can’t power through. Not only can it kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria but it leaves a pleasant wintergreen scent.
All-Purpose Cleaner: Method All-Purpose Cleaner
Why we love it: If you’re looking for a naturally formulated cleaner that doesn’t skimp on strength, look no further. This spray will cut through dirt, stains, and smudges and leave your bathroom smelling like a lavender meadow.
Cleaning Sponges: Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
Why we love it: I didn’t believe in magic until I tried cleaning my bathtub with a magic eraser. Better than any sponge, rag, or scrub brush, these will LITERALLY erase any soap scum and dirt.
Why we love it: This tool is for those who hate mopping. You just purchase the Swiffer mop once, then you can buy disposable mopping pads. No need to wring out dirty mop water or lug around a heavy bucket. Throw away the pads after every use, which is much more sanitary and convenient.
Vacuum: Dyson Cordless Vacuum
Why we love it: No more tripping over vacuum cords and emptying filter bags. While a bit pricey, this high-power vacuum has a long-lasting battery, so you can vacuum your entire house without it dying halfway through.
Room Spray: Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Spray
Why we love it: Before using the toilet, spray Poo-Pourri into the water. It releases a fresh lemon scent, so any unsavory smells are completely masked, thus avoiding any embarrassing moments.
Weekly Bathroom Cleaning Checklist
It’s recommended that you clean your bathroom at least weekly. This will not only curb stains and smells but it will also keep you safe from bacteria. Following this 20 -minute routine will ensure that you have a fresh smelling bathroom in no time.
- Remove everything from the bathroom. Take shampoo bottles off the bathtub edges, pick up all the clothes and towels off the floor, and remove any items on the countertop. Throw the bathmat, hand towels, and shower curtain into the washer, on the hottest cycle possible.
- Turn on the fan or open a window. This will help circulate the air in the bathroom, so you won’t be harmed by the cleaning product fumes.
- Squirt toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet, then spray the lid and exterior with an all-purpose cleaner, then wipe down with a rag. Scrub vigorously with a toilet brush. Let the solution sit for a few minutes, while you clean the rest of the bathroom. Flush the toilet clear of the cleaner when finished with all the other tasks.
- Spray an all-purpose cleaner on the countertops, sink, and faucet. Wipe with a microfiber cloth and rinse out the sink with hot water. Spray the light switch and all the doorknobs.
- Spray the mirror with glass cleaner and squeegee off the excess to avoid streaks caused by rags. If you don’t have a squeegee, clean coffee filters will work just as well.
- Use your favorite bathtub cleaner or mix white vinegar and blue Dawn dish soap together to spray the solution all over the bathtub and/or shower. Fill the tub with a small amount of hot water and scrub away the soap scrum, mold, and dirt with a magic eraser or a scrubbing brush. Rinse away the debris and excess cleaner with hot water.
- Dry all the surfaces with a soft cloth. Return the products back to the countertop and the bathtub shelves.
- Vacuum or sweep the floors. This will pick up any hair strands, dirt, and stray pieces of floss, and will also prepare the floor for sanitation.
- Mop the floors, either using disposable mopping pads, or a homemade mixture of warm water, vinegar, and baking soda. Let the floors dry thoroughly before walking on them.
- Hang up the damp shower curtain, fully extended, to let it dry. Replenish the towel racks with clean hand towels and keep a few stashed underneath the sink just in case.
- Take out the trash and put a new garbage bag in the can.
- Spray air freshener or diffuse lemon essential oil to give the bathroom a fresh boost. Now admire the beautiful results of your hard work!
How to Deep Clean a Bathroom
Unfortunately, a basic wipe down of the bathroom is not always sufficient to curb disease-causing bacteria. It’s good practice to deep clean your bathroom every two weeks because dirt, mold, hard water, and germs can build up in the places we may forget about. Sure, scrubbing the toilet is important, but have you thought about the bacteria that could be living inside of the medicine cabinet?
1. Descale Hard Water from Your Shower Head
Even if you have a water-softening system, you may still get hard water deposits on your shower. It can even clog your shower head, which not only spews over-mineralized water onto your hair and body, but it also lowers the water pressure. To dissolve any clogs, fill a Ziplock bag with white vinegar and tie it to the shower head, using rubber bands, so it is fully submerged. Leave it to soak in the vinegar overnight, then turn on the hot water to clear out the mineral deposits.
2. Clear Out Gunk in the Ceiling Fan
The purpose of a bathroom ceiling fan is to circulate the air and harbor mildew growth from the constant moisture. However, the fan can’t properly do its job if it’s clogged with dust. Remove the fan cover and vacuum the vents so they’re free of dirt. Fill the bathtub with hot water, vinegar, and Dawn dish soap, and leave the vent to soak in there. Vacuum the interior of the vent, to clear out the dusty sides and the air duct opening. Thoroughly dry the vent cover before replacing it in the ceiling.
3. Wipe Down Fronts and Interiors of Drawers
The bathroom cabinet drawers are filthy. How often do they get cleaned? Probably not often at all. Take everything out of the insides and spray the interior with an all-purpose spray. For extra sanitation power, use vinegar and warm water. Make sure to wipe any plastic or metal containers, because they catch a lot of bacteria and dirt. Spray the drawer pulls, and while you’re at it, you might as well tackle the towel and shower rods. Dry thoroughly with a soft cloth and return the items to their proper places. Now would be a good time to toss any expired products and reorganize your drawers!
Pro Tip: Getting ready for work or school in the mornings is much quicker if you have designated drawers. Make a “dental drawer” and fill it with your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, and your retainer. You’re still wearing your retainer, right? We’re just making sure! Create a “hair drawer” and fill it with your hairbrush, comb, hairspray, hair ties, and other various gels and sprays. Having designated areas for your belongings will not only keep things clean and organized but it will also prevent things from getting lost. No more finding hairspray that expired five years ago because it was accidentally tossed in the back of the cabinet.
4. Scrub Away Tile Grout Grime
If your shower or floor tile grout is looking a little dirty, it could use some attention. Dip an old toothbrush in bleach and scrub the grout to kill germs and remove stains. Making a paste of powdered OxiClean and warm water can also do the trick. Don’t use vinegar, though, because the acidity can erode the grout. Because it is porous, grout can easily grow mold-causing bacteria — which may be contributing to that mildewy smell.
Simple Tips to Keep Your Bathroom Clean
Your bathroom likely gets a little dirty in between cleanings, even if you’re diligently scrubbing every surface weekly. Making a daily effort to maintain a tidy bathroom will prevent it from becoming overwhelmingly dirty — and unsanitary. Doing so will not only save you from the embarrassment of unexpected guests using a filthy bathroom but it will also make your weekly cleanup much more manageable.
1. Let Your Towels Air Out
Always hang up towels after use so they won’t litter the floor and become mildewy. If possible, lay towels on a rod, rather than on a hook, because mold can grow in the folds of the wet fabric. Make a habit to toss your clothes into a hamper rather than on the floor because it also just makes the bathroom look messy.
2. Immediately Wipe Up Accidental Splashes and Spills
Don’t leave that spilled toothpaste to harden in the sink. Rinse out the sink every time you wash your hands or brush your teeth, to clear away dirt, hair, and toothpaste. Keep a tub of Clorox wipes underneath the sink to scrub away at any stains in between weekly cleanings.
3. Squeegee Water in Your Shower
Hard water deposits and streaks will form on your shower walls and glass if left to dry. Keep a small squeegee in your shower and wipe away the water before you get out. This will also deter mold growth, which will prevent the bathroom from smelling stale and mildewy.
4. Control Clutter with Organized Drawers and Cabinets
It just needs to be said: Your entire collection of luxury lotions and perfumes make the bathroom counter look cluttered. One wrong move when washing your hands and a whole line of specialty soaps go flying onto the floor. Your bathroom would look ten times better if it just had a bottle of hand soap, lotion, and a small plant sitting on the counter. Corral your various hygiene products using small baskets and concealing them underneath the sink. These drawers from Amazon are a great choice because you can clearly see the contents and pull them towards you for easy access.
Follow these simple ideas and you will never be embarrassed to have a guest unexpectedly visit and use your dirty restroom. Now, they will start asking you “How did you get your tile grout to look so clean?” and “Wow! Your bathroom smells like a lavender meadow!” With this comprehensive guide, you now have the tools, tips, and (hopefully) the motivation to not only give your bathroom the proper cleaning that it needs but to also keep your bathroom sparkling clean forever.