I used to say that if you wanted to know how clean someone was, just look at their bathroom. That was in my smugger days, when I didn’t have a bunch of kids, including three little boys. (I’ll leave it at that, you’re welcome.) But while I’m humbler, and hopefully less judge-y (sheesh!) about it now, I still feel like the cleanliness of a bathroom has a lot to do with how clean a house feels and is. Isn’t it, after all, the first cleaning priority when guests are coming?
Since you rely on your bathroom to keep your body clean, it’s fair to say that it should be the cleanest room in your house. Due to water, steam, and added grime, your space can easily become home to bacteria, fungus, and unwanted odours (gross but true). That’s why we asked Carolyn Forte, the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, about how to clean your bathroom from top to bottom.
When the time comes that you need to give your entire bathroom – whether it’s a powder room or master bath — a big refresh, follow these tips and tricks on how to clean a bathroom.
1. Scrub tile and grout
- Plan to scrub tile every month or so and grout maybe three to four times a year, depending on the conditions of your bathroom. You can clean your grout with Bar Keeper’s Friendand a scrub brush. Especially if you have a tile-lined shower, keep grout from becoming dingy and yellow by giving it a good scrub weekly. When you notice grout haze (if you know, you know), follow this tried-and-tested guide:
- Mix 3/4 cup household chlorine bleachwith 1 gallon water. Or for a ready-made option, try CLR Fresh Scent Bath and Kitchen Cleaner.
- Wearing rubber gloves, use a stiff brushto apply the formula to one small area at a time. Be careful not to let the liquid splatter on you or surrounding surfaces.
- Let sit for several minutes, then scrub and rinse.
2. Clean the Toilet
Cover all the bases with this easy step-by-step guide:
- For good measure, give the toilet one dry wipe-down. Then spritz the outside with cleaner and wipe down, from top to bottom. You’re going to work your way from the least dirty to the dirtiest parts of the toilet. Generously apply a toilet bowl cleaner from brands like Lysol, and let sit for up to five minutes before scrubbing with a stiff-bristled toilet brush. Then flush.
- Wipe down the toilet seat and handle with disinfectant wipes, including Cloroxor Lysol.
- Remember: Toilet brushes need cleaning, too. After use, let the toilet brush dry out of the caddy and spray with disinfectant.
3. Clean Floors
- Start with the baseboards. Give them a quick wipe down. Then wipe the floors. If the space is small, using a rag and all-purpose cleaner may be the easiest way to get clean floors. Start with the baseboards. Give them a quick wipe down. Then wipe the floors. If the space is small, using a rag and all-purpose cleaner may be the easiest way to get clean floors.
- Spray floors with CLR Bath and Kitchen Cleaner, if it’s safe for your surface. If fumes are bothersome, be sure to open bathroom windows and door, and turn on the fan if you have one, to bring in fresh air and hurry the drying process.
- For dirty grout that doesn’t improve with the multi-purpose cleaner, put a bleach-containing cleanser such as Soft Scrub Gel Cleanser with Bleach on a brush and scrub. Rinse and wipe dry.
4. Scrub Tubs/Showers
- Sprinkle baking soda or Bar Keeper’s Friend into your sink and tub, if applicable. Use a moistened non-abrasive scrubber to scour the sink and tub, including the rims.
- Spray tub and shower areas with CLR Bath and Kitchen Cleaner, as long as it’s safe for your type of surface. To make fumes less bothersome, open bathroom windows and door, and turn on the bathroom fan for ventilation if you have one.
- For a tough scrub, use Clean Magic Eraser Bath, which contain micro scrubbers and foaming cleansers that dissolve, and wipe away soap scum. Just wet the sponge, squeeze to activate the foam, and clean.
5. Clean Glass and Mirrors
- Mirrors and glasses are a very common thing we keep at out bathroom wall. So, we have to clear the mirrors and glasses as much as possible. Lightly mist your mirror and glass shower enclosure if you have one. Wipe down with a microfiber cloth or other lint-free material like an old t-shirt or coffee filter. Then switch sides on your cloth and buff to a dry shine. You can also use a squeegee to keep things streak-free.
6. Clean Soap Dispensers and Other Countertop Items
- These should have already been dusted. Now it’s time to “wet” clean them. Use all-purpose cleaner and a rag to wipe down your soap dispensers and any other items you have on the counter, such as a dish for jewellery or a vase.
7. Wash The Sink
- Not only is your bathroom sink one of the first places to show gunk and grime – think: hair strands and toothpaste build-up – but it also harbours tons of germs. Here’s the best way to clean your bathroom sink:
- Spray a disinfectant bathroom cleaner, like Clorox or Lysol, all around the bathroom sink and wipe with a cloth or sponge.
- Spray or wipe faucet handles with a disinfectant spray or wipe, allowing them to remain wet for the required time on the package to kill germs.
8. Vacuum and Remove Bathmats and Towels
- Vacuum any bathmats or rugs you have in the bathroom to remove excess dust and dirt. Then take your mats and towels to the laundry room to be washed and dried. You’ll want to put fresh and fluffy linens back into your newly cleaned bathroom, and you’ll want the floors bare for optimal cleaning.
9. Shine Faucets and Fixtures
- Next, shine your faucets. You can use your glass-cleaning rag and more glass cleaner to wipe down sink and shower/tub fixtures. Or you can use an all-purpose cleaner. Use a small scrub brush to clean dirt from the seams of fixtures and wipe these areas clean as well.