Cleaning the bathroom shouldn’t feel like punishment. It is, after all, one of the smallest rooms in your home. If you stop grime from building up on grout and other time-consuming clean ups, it shouldn’t take long to make your bathroom sparkle, say experts.
You can prevent mold and mildew from forming on damp, dark surfaces by opening a window or using a fan to reduce moisture. Also, leave the shower door or curtain open after a shower.
There’s also no need for lots of specialized products. Many housecleaning tips involve simple dishwashing liquid and a soft cloth. Baking soda is a natural cleaner. Mix it with water to make a mildly abrasive paste that’s safe to use on most fixtures and surfaces.
Before you start scrubbing, toss away empty or old bottles of hair and skincare products hidden in drawers and cabinets, says Toni Hammersley, founder of A Bowl Full of Lemons, an online community offering cleaning, organizing, and budgeting advice.
Becky Rapinchuk of the popular Clean Mama blog makes an all-purpose bathroom scrub with two cups of baking soda and 10 drops each of lemon and clove essential oils.
She keeps the mixture in a mason jar (or a container with a lid or a shaker top ). She wets the area, sprinkles the powder and adds a squirt of dish soap or castile soap. She scrubs with a sponge or sink-safe scrubber, rinses with water, then dries with a soft cleaning cloth.
Counter tops to toilets
Here are easy cleaning ideas, for counter tops to toilets, from experts, including the editors of Consumer Reports’ “How to Clean Practically Anything” publication:
Spray mildew with a one part bleach and four parts water (after opening the window for ventilation and putting on a mask and eye protection if you’re sensitive to the fumes). Leave the solution on for half an hour, then scrub it off and rinse with water.
Faucet: Wipe with a soft cloth or sponge dipped in warm water and dishwashing detergent. Dry with a soft, clean cloth to restore the shine. Lime deposits on chrome can be dissolved by wrapping the area with a cloth soaked in white vinegar or a commercial descaler such as CLR.
Medicine cabinet: Remove contents and wipe down the interior with a sponge dipped in warm water and a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid. Wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth.
Sink, tub and shower: Wipe down surfaces with a soft cloth after every use to prevent dirt and soap deposits. Use a sponge to clean surfaces with hot water and liquid detergent. Don’t use abrasive cleaners, such as scouring powders or steel wool on acrylic, fiberglass, stainless steel or sealed-marble tubs or sinks, says Consumer Reports.
Shower curtains and liners: Clean using the washing machine’s gentle cycle and remove before the spin cycle. Hang it on the shower rod to air dry. Add three-fourths of a cup of chlorine bleach to the laundry detergent if there’s mold or mildew.
Keep soap scum off the bottom of a plastic shower liner by putting baby oil on a soft cloth and applying it on the liner.
Shower doors: Rain-X glass treatment will repel water on clean shower doors. Wipe down doors with a squeegee, sponge or dry cloth after every shower. Make a paste of baking soda and water to clean the doors with a nonabrasive sponge. Rinse with white vinegar.
Shower head: Clean a metal shower head in a pot with one part vinegar to eight parts boiling water. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Soak a plastic shower head in a solution of equal parts vinegar and hot water.
Toilet bowl: Clean and disinfect with a toilet bowl cleaner and brush to remove stains and hard-water deposits. Clean the brush by running it through the soapy water, then rinsing it during a flush.
Windows and mirrors: Spray on a mix of one part ammonia and eight parts water, or use an ammonia-based window cleaner. Wipe with a damp, lint-free cloth, then dry with a streak-free microfiber cloth or a squeegee. To prevent mirrors from fogging up, use an anti-mist windshield cleaner.