FORT WORTH, Texas: It’s easy to hide some rooms from guests. In contrast, the kitchen and bathroom are open to all. Last week we covered deep cleaning your kitchen. Equally important is the bathroom. The old axiom to clean “top to bottom, side to side” is the best way to accomplish your cleaning goals for any room including the restroom.
You’ll need the following:
• bathroom cleaner
• spray bleach cleaner
• window cleaner (name brands seem to work best)
• toilet bowl cleaner
• toilet brush
• scrub sponge
• Magic Eraser®
• big cup
• several drying cloths,
• paper towels
• trash bags
• mop and bucket
• floor cleaner
Note: Products and brands listed here have performed the best for me. I receive no compensation for mentioning them.
Keep supplies in each bathroom or put them in a small bucket you can take with you throughout the house.
Mop Water: Use hot water and one of the following:
- ½ cup of Simple Green® per gallon of water works really well if you don’t want to use harsh chemicals
- 1 cup ammonia per gallon of water
- ½ cup vinegar in a gallon of water
- Small squirt of dish soap in a gallon of water. This works best on travertine and marble.
If you have more than one bathroom start with the first, removing rugs, vacuuming, and spraying down with cleaners. Then let them work while you repeat with next bathroom. This gives the cleaners in the original bathroom time to work and makes your job much easier.
Step-by-Step Bathroom Cleaning
Trash cans, scale, laundry baskets, rugs and anything else and put them out of the room. Shake excess dirt from rugs onto the floor. Vacuum master closet if there is one.
Use Swiffer Extendable® on baseboards and a small canister vacuum such as Bissell Zing®. This works much better than a broom especially if dust bunnies are stuck in corners and around toilet. Vacuum the floors, then take the head off the end of the hose and suck out the corners, baseboards and behind the toilet. If the bathtub and shower are dry, vacuum any hair off the walls or bottom. Do not vacuum anything that is wet!! You can also use it to extract hairs from the sink (if dry) and countertops as well. It’s so much faster than chasing after them with a cloth.
Counters and sink:
Put away combs, brushes, lotions, toothpaste, curling iron, blow dryer, etc. Scrub sink and faucet with scrub sponge, making sure you get the faucet, around faucet base and in between knobs. An old toothbrush works wonders in small crevices for use a cloth.
Rinse with the big cup; wipe away excess water with drying cloth. Use sponge on counters and wipe dry. If counters are granite, travertine or other natural stone, fill sink with soapy water using dish soap and clean with that using a cloth. Wipe dry.
If area is dry, vacuum hair and dust from counters and sink
Next, turn the light off (use hall light or other indirect light) – clean the mirror using microfiber cloth made for glass or paper towels. The lights heat the mirror when turned on, causing serious streaks.
If necessary, wipe away any lingering dust or fibers with a paper towel or coffee filter.
Wipe area around windowsill if applicable. Removable bathmat should be sprayed with bleach solution on both sides. Clean tub with scrub sponge. For soap, body oil and dirt build on tub sides and bottom up use a magic sponge. The store brands usually work as well as the name brands. Rinse the tub and mat using the big cup. Wipe tub and walls with drying cloth.
Don’t forget the shower curtain and liner. If they can be washed in washing machine, do so. Otherwise generously spray the inside of the shower curtain with a bleach based cleaner and let sit for a bit. Scrub and rinse.
NEVER MIX BLEACH AND AMMONIA TOGETHER OR WITH ANY OTHER CLEANER!
Throw away empty and almost empty bottles. Scrub glass, tiles or fiberglass using scrub sponge. Use magic sponge if necessary. Pick up hair stuck in drain, on edges and in corners using a paper towel. Use old toothbrush in corners and crevices. Rinse with big cup or shower hose using hot water. Squeegee if you have one. If not, get one. It will make the job much almost effortless. Dry with cloth.
Go over any glass with window cleaner and microfiber cloth and/or paper towel. Replace shampoo bottles and cleansing puffs in the shower.
*Note: hard water stains, soap, shampoo, conditioner, body oil and dirt build up over time in showers. CLR® cleaner is great for rust and calcium buildup.
**Note 2: Remember, when using bleach, ammonia or other cleaners in the bathroom, make sure you have adequate ventilation.
Make sure to get all the way around the toilet if possible, baseboards if necessary, and under cabinets as far as you can go. Use old towels to dry the floor. Make sure it’s completely dry before putting rugs back down and other items in their places.
Replace trash bag:
If you don’t, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of lining wastebaskets with bags made for them or even discarded plastic grocery bags. It helps keep the inside of the trashcan clean and, if you put new bags under the present bag it will save you a lot of steps. All you’ll have to do is remove the filled bag and put a clean one in its place.
If dirt has built up for a long time, it may take several cleaning sessions to get it all off
*If you have seasonal bathroom rugs, towels, or other textiles, get them out of storage and wash and dry if applicable then set out once room is clean.
Read more of Claire’s work at Feed the Mind, Nourish the Soul in the Communities Digital News Join her on Twitter and Facebook.