It’s Spring Cleaning time, and what better time of year than now to talk about all of your specific cleaning needs. While spring cleaning is known for being a more thorough cleaning, the tips and tricks below will help you with your more basic cleaning, as well. If you haven’t checked out the previous topics on spring cleaning, click on these links to learn more: WHY YOU SHOULD SPRING CLEAN YOUR SPACE; CLEANING SUPPLIES AND TOOLS; WHICH CLEANING PRODUCT SHOULD I USE?; and HOW TO KEEP YOUR CLEANING TOOLS CLEAN.
If you read WHY YOU SHOULD SPRING CLEAN YOUR SPACE, you know that I make my spring cleaning easier and more efficient by creating a list of zones and all the spaces within each zone that will need to be cleaned or organized. Today, let’s delve into the most hated room to clean: the bathroom.
Next to the kitchen, the bathroom is probably the dirtiest room in our house. I don’t need to explain why this is so, but beyond the obvious goings-on in a bathroom, the steamy and wet conditions in a bathroom foster a whole host of germs, mold, mildew, and stubborn soap scum. Even if you are the type to do daily and weekly maintenance to keep your bathroom clean (more on that later), it can still be really hard to keep your bathroom as clean as it should be.
HOW TO START SPRING CLEANING THE BATHROOM
The first thing I like to do is create different areas in my head based on specific cleaning needs. Fixtures that need certain cleaning products that need to sit a little while, counters that needs tidied up and wiped down, the glass, the floors, under the sink, the closet, etc. After I create a game plan in my head, I start my cleaning process:
- LAUNDRY: Remove any rugs, mats, shower curtain, and the shower curtain liner. I like to throw my shower curtain and my bath rug (and washable curtains, if you have any) into the washer now so that they will have time to finish drying by the time the bathroom is clean. You can also wash you shower curtain liner and bat mat on gentle with a little soap and vinegar to deodorize and remove stains. DO NOT put them in the dryer! Hang them to dry somewhere, they will drip a lot! Also, be careful about putting bath rugs in the dryer if they have a rubber backing. Read cleaning instructions on all laundered items beforehand.
- WALLS AND CEILING: Using a broom or standing on a ladder and using a cloth, wipe down the walls, clean off the light switches, dust the light fixtures, and clean out your fan.
- TOILET CLEANER: I like to start with spraying the inside of the toilet with my toilet bowl cleaner so that it has time to sit for awhile and do it’s magic. This allows the toilet bowl cleaner to drip down the sides, loosening any dirt or build up, and also start to disinfect.
- TUB AND SHOWER CLEANER: Just like with the toilet bowl cleaner, I like to spray the inside of the tub and shower with whatever cleaner I am using (see CLEANING PRODUCTS for more info on homemade versions). This allows the cleaner to start working away at soap scum and stains.
- VACUUM: Yes, I like to do a quick vacuum of the floors to pick up all the loose hair lying around. Once these hairs get wet, and they will while we are cleaning, it will be a lot harder to clean up. So just grab your vacuum hose and do a quick sweep of the area to get rid of the unbelievable amount of hair hiding in your corners!
- TIDY UP: Next, I like to clean off all the counters and take everything off the sink. Start putting things away where they belong, and if they do not have a home yet, put it aside and start thinking of a storage solution for that item. Can you put it in another room? Can you repurpose a basket from somewhere else? Will there be room in the medicine cabinet once you organize it? Find a home for everything.
- COUNTERS AND SINK: I use my all purpose cleaner to spray and wipe down the counter and the sink. Using an old toothbrush, scrub the areas around the faucet and the seams of the sink. Scrub thoroughly and make sure you rinse well. With a dry microfiber cloth, dry the whole area and buff the fixtures to a nice shine. (Sometimes I wait til the end to finish the sink in case I need to use it again.)
- MIRRORS AND WINDOWS: Using a glass cleaner and a dry microfiber cloth, clean your mirrors and windows to a streak free finish. If you haven’t cleaned your window in a while, you may notice a lot of dust and dirt, take this time to thoroughly clean the area with your all purpose cleaner.
- TOILET: The first thing I do is scrub the inside of the toilet bowl with a toilet brush, making sure to get up around the top and deep into the drain area. Next (rubber gloves are nice for this whole process), I spray my all purpose or bleach cleaner onto the rim of the toilet with the seat up and spray the whole base of the toilet. Using paper towels (because you can throw them away!), wipe down the whole area you just sprayed. Make sure to get the base of the toilet and where the toilet meets the floor. You may need a toothbrush to clean this out. If it is really bad, you can use a steamer to help loosen all the nastiness hiding out there. Next, close the seat and spray and wipe this area down. Then, I close the lid, spray the whole top area of the toilet, and wipe down thoroughly. Make sure you get the bolts where the toilet lid connects, as well. Then, just life the seat up do allow it all to dry.
- TUB AND SHOWER: Using a damp sponge or microfiber cloth, start on one side at the top and work your way around, top to bottom. Make sure you have removed everything from the area ahead of time so you can get those hard to reach areas. Once the entire shower and tub are cleaned, rinse thoroughly and dry with a microfiber cloth or an old towel. For tough stains, use a Magic Eraser or a solution of Dawn dish detergent and vinegar (this will stink, open a window!). For hard water stains on your glass shower walls, use a solution of vinegar and water and allow it to soak. Scrub off and dry completely.
- ORGANIZATION: At this point, I will usually clean out my medicine cabinet, closet, under the sink, etc. and see what I can get rid of and what needs to be reorganized. Maybe if I fold the towels differently, I can put more in the closet, maybe I can see that a few hooks under the sink can help me organize my cleaners better. This is when I get creative and make sure EVERYTHING is put away.
- FLOORS: Once everything else is all done, fixtures are sparkly clean, and I know things are disinfected, give you floors another good sweep with your vacuum or broom and then mop with your choice of floor cleaner. Start at the back of your bathroom and work your way out the door, leaving the fan running to help dry it faster and keep mildew from growing back.
- PUT EVERYTHING AWAY: Hang up your curtains and replace your bath mat and rug once they are completely dry. Step back and enjoy your perfectly clean bathroom (for now!).
WEEKLY AND DAILY MAINTENANCE
This seems like a lot of cleaning, but if you maintain the cleanliness of your bathroom over time, it really won’t take that long to get this all done. A few things you can do more often to make spring cleaning easier (and create a healthier bathroom):
- Run the fan. During baths and showers and for 20 minutes after you are done, run the fan and open a window if possible to help pull all the moisture out of the bathroom. The more moisture you have lying around, the more mold and mildew will grow.
- Use a squeegee. You can buy a cheap rubber squeegee at the Dollar Tree and keep it hanging in your shower. After every use, remove the water from the walls and floor to help keep soap scum from building, to lessen hard water stains, and to prevent mold and mildew. Using a towel after every use is another way to keep the moisture at bay.
- Clean the toilet. At least once a week, more if needed, clean the toilet bowl and wipe down the seat and handle. This will keep smells from accumulating and stains from setting in.
- Wipe out the sink. I keep a container of cleaning wipes handy just to wipe out the sink and the faucet as needed. Toothpaste, hair from shaving, and other germs gather in this area, so it is best to clean as often as possible (not just when you see a mess).
- Sweep and mop floors. Once a week, do a quick sweep and mop to keep hair and dust from accumulating and getting wet.
- Wash rugs, mats, and curtains every couple months.
As you can see, if you use a few minutes every day and an hour a week to maintain your bathroom to begin with, your spring cleaning will go a lot quicker and be more efficient. Our bathrooms are the most used and dirtiest rooms of our homes and need the most care and attention to combat germs, mold, and dirt.
Make sure to follow Being Grown Up on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook and check out my podcasts on Anchor.fm/kim-stamler. Click the follow button down below and make sure to rate my post and leave me a comment to let me know what you think about cleaning the bathroom. Thanks, as always, for your support! XOXO