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easy bathroom cleaning tips

Bathrooms are where cleaning challenges can get tough.

With so many different surfaces - chrome, glass, porcelain, and fiberglass - it's difficult to know where to begin or what to use. 

But you don't need to buy baskets full of bathroom cleaners to have a clean bathroom. With just four essential bathroom cleaners and these bathroom cleaning tips, you can get the job done right:

  • An all purpose cleaner

  • Tub, tile, and  sink cleaner
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Glass cleaner

You'll also need the correct tools: a long-handled toilet brush, an antibacterial scrubber sponge, a squeegee like this one from OXO that is just $15, and lots of paper towels.

The bathroom cleaning tips below will have you in and out - and the bathroom buffed - in minutes rather than hours. 

Bathroom Basics

Microscopic life thrives in the bathroom. Without the proper cleaning strategies in place, even your toothbrush isn't safe from cold viruses, rotavirus, salmonella, Escherichia coli bacteria, and mold and mildew.

These pathogens and allergens flourish in and on toilets, on faucets, on the floor and walls, and in damp towels and washcloths.

Your best defense against all these disease-causing organisms is to close the lid of the toilet before you flush to prevent stirred-up germs from escaping into the air and settling on the room's surfaces.

After using towels, fold or hang them loosely to dry; this helps prevent germs and mold from getting a toehold.

Use a toothbrush cover to prevent airborne germs, yeast, and fungi from colonizing on the bristles and getting into your mouth; or consider a toothbrush sanitizer. 

The following seven-step cleaning routine has you treating the prime surfaces that need weekly attention while letting the specialized cleaners do much of the dirty work for you. 

  1   Bathroom Cleaning Tips for the Toilet

Sanitize the bowl. Squeeze some of the toilet bowl cleaner around the inside of the bowl and under the rim. Use the toilet brush to swish the cleaner around the bowl, under the rim, and as far into the trap as possible.

Let the solution stand a few minutes as you clean the seat, lid, and outside of the bowl with an all-purpose cleaner and a sponge, cloth, or paper towels.

Using paper towels is the simplest - no rinsing is needed, and there's no chance of spreading germs around in the process, as you'll toss out the towels immediately after use. 

2   Tame the Scum for a Clean Bathtub

Soapy buildup makes for unsightly baths. Spray the shower or tub and sink with tub, tile and sink cleaner. Let it sit while you complete the remaining steps.

  3   Wipe the Deck Clean

Clear the countertop of personal items and spray the surface with multi-surface cleaner like this one from Greenworks ($12). Wipe clean with a sponge or paper towels. Replace your toiletries.

  4   Shine It

Spray the glass cleaner lightly on a cloth and wash the mirror's surface; using horizontal strokes to prevent dripping. Squeegee dry. Use glass cleaner to make the faucet sparkle, too.

For extra sparkle, polish the surface when it's nearly dry with a piece of newspaper. The ink used in some papers may smudge the glass when it's wet, so try this first in a small area before attempting to buff the entire surface. 

  5   Dust and Smudge Duty

Clear shelves and dust. Spot-clean wall smudges with an all-purpose cleaner and sponge. Give full attention to areas around light switches and doorknobs.

  6   Surface Scrubbing

Use a scrubber sponge to loosen and remove soap scum and buildup in the tub and shower. Rinse clean, thus completing step 2.

To make your job easier in the future: keep a squeegee in the shower or a sponge in the tub for quick wipe-downs of the shower walls and door or the sides of the tub after use to help prevent soap-scum buildup.

To keep mildew in check, open the shower door or curtain after use to let it air-dry.

If mildew already has a toehold, scrub the surface with 3/4 cup (180ml) of bleach in 1 gallon (4L)  of  water; rinse clean.

  7   Finish With the Floor

Vacuum or sweep the floor. Then mop the floor clean. Empty the trash can and take the bag with you as you go.

› Easy Bathroom Cleaning Tips