Before you start bathroom cleaning with kids, gather your arsenal of cleaning supplies. (These products should all be stored out of reach of little hands, naturally.)
Now, we'll cover cleaning each area of the bathroom in detail. Grab the kids!
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.
If you use the sink, wipe it clean before leaving — every time.
Kids who always wipe away toothpaste blobs and stray counter hairs after using the bathroom are the kids who get invited back to friends' homes.
Make this one rule that sticks in your home.
Similarly, after applying your 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.
I swipe it with a sink-side tissue. Then into the trash, it goes — ditto for counter surfaces.
For quick bathroom cleanups that even the youngest family member can help with when time is short, grab a baby wipe from the kid'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, clean the bathroom by disinfecting the sink, counter, light switches, and doorknobs 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.
Clean the bathroom floors and keep them hair- and dirt-free with a disposable wet mop cloth. Several include disinfectants, which is an excellent choice for this room.
Keep the package under the sink, and at day's end, wipe up tracked-in-dirt, so tomorrow's shower will have you emerging on an (almost) squeaky clean floor.
Each week, clean your bathroom floor with a good mopping.
To keep your tub clean, rinse it out after each bath. You know the drill, Mom. And when bathroom cleaning with kids, make sure they know the drill, too.
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 simple 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 the 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 an 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.
Weekly bathroom cleaning with kids must-dos include disinfecting the toilet, tub, shower, sinks, and drains. One trick I used to make toilet disinfecting more frequent but much less cumbersome chores is to use an enclosed toilet-brush caddy that I fill with water and a half-cup of bleach and place beside our toilet.
That way, I can swoosh the bowl with a disinfected brush daily.
I choose cleaners based on how well - and quickly - they work. Which means for me bleach is an absolute must-have for weekly potty-room disinfecting. Bleach-containing toilet and tub/shower cleaners are my top choice.
Here's the easiest way to keep your shower area clean. 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.
Each week, scour the tiles and grout around your shower to keep mold and mildew at bay. Don't forget to clean your shower curtain. Send washable curtains and liner for a sping 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. Spray it along the top, letting it run down to cover the curtain. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then rinse.
Teach your kids to hang up their towels after showering or bathing. Everyone. No towels are allowed to be wadded on the floor. Younger children can fold towels in half and sling them over the towel rack.
If even that's too much of a struggle, consider replacing racks with hooks or pegs in the kids' bathroom. Even toddlers can hang up towels then.
This is essential because, as you know, a wadded-up towel gets mildew-smelling much quicker than one allowed to air-dry quickly on a towel rack or peg. And whether they smell or not, bring in fresh replacement towels every three days.
To clean the toilet, and 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. (Never combine bleach with a toilet bowl cleaner! The two combined release dangerous fumes.)
Each day, also wipe the toilet seat and rim with a disposable disinfecting wipe.
Teach your kids to flush. Period. This is the one rule you'll want your kids to follow, especially when they're visiting at friends' homes.
This rule can be broken only 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 before 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.