Bathrooms need to be hygienic, because of kids and in spite of them.
If you know the essential bathroom cleaning tips, daily touch ups will take less time than brushing your teeth.
In general, every surface in your bathroom, with the exception of the mirror(s), can be cleaned with a single disinfect cleaner.
Let's get started by gathering the tools we'll need for the quick-and-dirty jobs ahead.
Before you start cleaning, gather your arsenal of cleaning products:
To keep your sink area cleaner and reduce soap slime, choose liquid soap in a pump instead of bar soap. Wipe the sink down each day, several times a day. In fact, if you use the sink, wipe it clean before leaving. Every time.
Kids who always wipe away the toothpaste blobs and stray counter hairs after using the bathroom are the kids who get invited back to friends' homes. Make this one rules that sticks in your home.
Similarly, after applying makeup or brushing your teeth, use a tissue or your hand and running water to remove any traces of your having been there. This includes hair, girls.
For quick bathroom cleanups that even the youngest family member can help with when time is short, grab a baby wipe from the kids's room down the hall.
Give the shower, tub, and sink fixtures the once over, and then toss. Your bathroom will sparkle, and so will you.
Each week, disinfect the sink, counter, light switches, and doorknob with a disinfectant cleaner; wipe clean and shine mirrors and chrome fixtures with a glass cleaner; and empty and wipe wastebaskets clean with a disinfecting wipe.
Give your bathroom floor a good mopping.
To keep your tub clean, rinse it out after each bath. You know the drill, Mom. After the bath water drains, swish around some fresh water to loosen and remove any soil or soap residue.
Toddlers can help, and school-age kids can learn to do this cleaning trick by themselves in no time. Grimy tub rings? Not in your house.
After kids' baths, air-dry tub toys. Group toys in a tub net to allow them to drain and keep mold and mildew in check. Or, shake water from the toys and place them on the tub edge to dry. Better still, store bath toys in a dishpan under the vanity. Take a minute to squeeze water out of the washcloth and hang it on the tub spout or a bathroom hook.
Each week, get the kids to help clean the bathroom. They'll love to make fizz fun by cleaning the sink and tub with baking soda and vinegar. Kids love the fizzing, and it gets the sink and tub sparkling clean. Older kids can scour the tub each week to keep it spotless.
Get the full list of bathroom chores for kids by age here.
Squeegee shower surfaces before toweling off. It takes just 30 seconds or so to wipe away any soap or shampoo.
Any kid old enough to shower alone is old enough to wage war against the dreaded Shower Scum Monster.
The added benefit to in-shower cleaning is that any soap scum left over from a kid still learning the clean rules is steamed loose during the shower, which makes it a cinch to send soapy residue down the drain.
Don't forget to clean your shower curtain. Send washable curtains and liner for a spin in the machine with bleach to remove mold and mildew.
Before rehanging, soak in a salt-water solution to prevent mildew. Clean plastic with a laundry pre-wash spray.
Simply spray along the top, letting it run down to cover the curtain. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then rinse.
To keep your bowl clean, pour a half-cup or so of bleach into the potty each morning or evening and let it sit. This will help keep harmful germs in check.
Each day, also wipe the toilet seat and rim with a disposable disinfecting wipe.
I keep the bleach-containing disposable wipes near the kids' potty for quick spot-cleaning during the potty-training process. These wipes are a godsend when a child gets the stomach flu and things get messy there.
Teach our kids to flush. Period. This is one rule you'll want your kids to follow, especially when they're visiting at friends' homes. This rule can only be broken during seven-year droughts.
A well-mannered boy always puts the seat down after using the toilet. And a clean-minded child, regardless of gender, always puts down the toilet lid prior to flushing.
Besides being much more pleasant to look at, a closed potty when flushed doesn't send stirred-up, ahem, unpleasantries spiraling into the air where they can land on your sink, counter, or toothbrush. Ugh.