Bathrooms, in all their damp and humid glory, are germy places in general. They are also one of the least enjoyable rooms to clean in your home—there is no official study to confirm that, but it’s unlikely to be disputed. The good news is that cleaning it once a week will go a long way toward keeping those germs and bacteria at bay and ensuring a hygienic space for you and your family. Follow these steps to tackle your bathroom from top to bottom.
Assemble the cleaning products and tools you’ll need. There are a lot of options when it comes to cleaners, so choose what works best for you. You will want white vinegar, along with some type of disinfectant, toilet bowl cleaner, and glass cleaner. Make sure you have other supplies on hand like a toilet brush, tub scrubber, sponges or rags, a bucket, paper towels, and rubber gloves (optional but nice).
Start by gathering loose items and clearing space, which both makes it easier to clean and help you avoid the inefficient game of chasing all your toiletries around the countertop. Move them into a cabinet or container that you can stow out of the way and do the same for your shower items. Throw any dirty towels or washcloths into the laundry hamper to be washed later.
Bathrooms tend to attract a lot of hair and dirt. To save yourself from an overly grimy sponge, do a first pass on all surfaces using a paper towel and basic cleaner. Vacuum or sweep up any hair or dirt on the floor as well.
Did you know that the germiest place in your bathroom is not the toilet? It’s actually your shower curtain and shower floor. And your sink isn’t that great either. Be thorough as you clean, making sure to hit all the following key areas.
First squirt towel bowl cleaner into the bowl, making sure to get up underneath the rim as well, and let it sit for a few minutes. In the meantime, use cleaner on a sponge or rag to clean around the hinges, the tank, the lid, and the base of the toilet where it meets the floor. Use a paper towel and disinfectant to wipe the seat as the final step; don’t forget to clean the underside of the lid too. As the final step, use your toilet brush to scrub the entire bowl and under the rim.
Before you start on the rest of the shower, take a plastic bag filled with white vinegar and attach it to your showerhead with a rubber band. Let it sit for an hour (but not more than a half hour if it’s made of brass). Alternatively, you can unscrew the showerhead and place it in a bowl of vinegar.
As your showerhead soaks, spray your shower walls and bathtub with disinfectant and clean with a sponge or tub brush. If you have grouted tile, dip a grout brush (or spare toothbrush) in bleach and scrub in between the tiles.
Examine your shower curtain for any signs of mold or mildew. (To help prevent this, fully close your curtain after each shower so it can dry fully between uses.) You should aim to replace your shower liner every six months, but you can make it last longer by spraying it each cleaning session with a solution of one part vinegar to four parts water and rinsing it with warm water. Alternatively, shower curtains can also be thrown in the washing machine.
Spray your mirror with glass cleaner and wipe with a paper towel or lint-free cloth. Then clean the countertops, sink bowl, faucet, and handles with disinfectant. To keep your drain in good shape, carefully spoon a half cup of baking soda into the drain and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, pour a half cup of white vinegar and let it fizz for ten or fifteen minutes before flushing it with hot water.
Your floors should be clear now of hair and loose dirt. Choose a cleaning solution according to the type of flooring you have or opt for a mild, all-purpose cleaner. Cover and scrub the whole floor using a mop, making sure to get into corners and along floor edges. Use a paper towel to clean the top of your moldings as well. If your cleaning solution requires it, rinse the floor before drying it with a towel, or simply let it air dry.
Throw all towels and washcloths into the washing machine and dry them on hot too to fully sanitize them. If your bathmats are machine washable, put those in a separate load as they are likely to be dirtier.
Fold your dry towels, and store them outside of the bathroom or in a cabinet that closes to keep them out of the path of aerosolized germs from your toilet.
By incorporating these steps into a regular cleaning routine, your bathroom will be the sparkling oasis that you deserve.