Bathrooms are where cleaning challenges can get tough.
With so many different surfaces - chrome, brass, glass, porcelain, and fiberglass - it's difficult to know where to begin or what to use.
You don't need to buy baskets full of specialty cleaners to keep everything looking good. With four basic products you can get the dirty jobs done.
The simple seven-step bathroom cleaning method that follows will have you in and out - and your bathroom buffed - in minutes rather than hours.
With just four bathroom cleaning products, you can get the job done: an all-purpose cleaner; tub, tile, and sink cleaner; a toilet-bowl cleaner; and a glass cleaner.
You'll also need the right tools for the jobs ahead: a long-handled toilet brush, a scrubber sponge, a dust cloth, and paper towels.
You can save time by spraying cleaners on areas that will benefit from some extra soaking time - such as the toilet and tub or the shower - and tackling other surfaces while the cleaners do their stuff. The simple seven-step method that follows will have you in and out in minutes rather than hours.
Instead of endless scrubbing, let the cleaners penetrate so that all you have to do on most surfaces is wipe them clean.
Begin where the bulk of bathroom germs lurk - the toilet bowl - and surface-clean your way around the room.
Sanitize the bowl. Squeeze some of the toilet-bowl cleaner around the inside of the bowl and under the rim. Use a long-handled 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 the toilet 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, as you'll toss out the towels immediately after use.
Soapy buildup makes for unsightly baths. Spray the shower or tub and sink with a tub, tile, and sink cleaner. Let it sit while you complete the remaining steps.
Clear the bathroom countertop of personal items and spray the surface with an all-purpose cleaner. Wipe clean with a sponge or paper towels. Replace your toiletries.
Spray glass cleaner on a cloth and wash the mirror's surface. Squeegee dry. Use glass cleaner to make the faucet sparkle, too.
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.
Use a scrubber sponge to loosen and remove soap scum and buildup on the tub or shower. Rinse clean, thus completing step two.
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 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 one gallon (4L) of water; rinse clean.
Vaccum or sweep, then mop the floor clean. Empty the trash can and take the bag with you as you go.
Finally, remember that this room needs to be hygienic, because of kids and in spite of them. So let the little dirt devils help with these bathroom chores for kids by age.