Hours of scrubbing, harsh chemical fumes, and a sore back — all to have the mess show up again within hours. Does this sound like your typical experience cleaning the bathroom? The bathroom is one of the hardest locations to keep clean. It’s also one of the most miserable chores to do, not to mention that all of the products required to clean the bathroom effectively get quite expensive. What if it didn’t have to be this way? Wait, it doesn’t? Here is how.
First of all, expect to do cleaning maintenance at least once a week, with the bigger cleans being once every two to four weeks (as needed).
Second, you will need a number of supplies to properly clean your bathroom:
- A squirt bottle filled with rubbing alcohol.
- A white or clear squirt bottle filled with half bleach and half water. The color specification is due to the bleach leaching color from the plastic and then dispersing that color when the squirt bottle is used. Save yourself the hassle and get a white or clear squirt bottle. Also, be sure to wipe off the rim of the bottle before screwing on the squirting top, as bleach causes corrosion and can damage the closure.
- A toilet bowl brush.
- Denture cleaner tablets (ideally the 5-minute type) and/or a toilet bowl cleanser.
- A box of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (or generic equivalent, they work just as well).
- Rags or paper towels.
- Broom with dust pan.
- The simple Swiffer Wet Mop (or a generic dust cloth mop). You can use any mop you prefer, but the one suggested is recommended due to the inexpensive cost and the time-saving effects of this product type.
On your first big clean expect to tackle the entire bathroom. You may want to start with the worst project first, the toilet. Take a denture cleaner tablet and drop it into the water. Let it fizz and dissolve into the water. Denture cleaner tablets are designed to clean, polish, and whiten porcelain, so this is indeed a good choice for your toilet.
As the denture cleaner dissolves, take a paper towel and the squirt bottle of rubbing alcohol and wipe down the handle, lid, seat, and sides of the toilet. This will not only clean off the visible filth but will also sanitize the surface via the isopropyl alcohol. By the time you have the outer portion of the toilet cleaned, the denture cleaner in the bowl should be dissolved. Now take the toilet bowl brush and dip it into the water full of cleaner and then scrub the inside of the bowl, including under the rim. Flush the dirty water away and put in another denture cleaner if needed. Then let it sit for quite some time to really work on stains beneath the water. Then simply flush away when done.
It is true that for some bathrooms this may not be enough to truly clean the commode. If this is the case, you will need to add in a heavy duty toilet bowl cleanser to this routine. But for those that have less bathroom traffic, the above method should suffice.
A tip about the toilet bowl brush: after use it is wise to spray it with either the watered-down bleach solution or the rubbing alcohol. This will kill germs and reduce any smell the brush would produce due to those germs. Another alternative is to use a disposable brush.
Cleaning the sink is a simple task thanks to the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (or generic version, it’s wise to save money). You can use it on the counters, the sink, and even the faucet. It cleans quickly and effectively. It’s also affordable (around $1 each, even less for generics).
The mirror can be cleaned using the squirt bottle of rubbing alcohol and a paper towel or rag. Why spend money on fancy glass cleaners? You can clean just as well with cheap isopropyl alcohol (usually less than $1 per bottle).
Now time for the tub; start by scrubbing the entire tub with a Magic Eraser, which has the cleaner inside the eraser. Simply wet, then scrub. These are great at cleaning textured surfaces and are more effective than a rag or scrub brush. If your tub has built up grime, expect to really put some muscle into it. If you do, you’ll be surprised at how much this cleaning item will pick up. Once you have scrubbed the entire tub (time will vary depending on dirtiness of the tub) rinse the surfaces.
Then spritz the tub and shower curtain with the bleach and water solution. (Not recommended for certain tub surfaces or some shower curtains, but most tubs and shower curtains will not have adverse effects to this watered-down bleach. If you are unsure, test a small spot first and wait 24 hours to see how the surface reacts.) This will kill any mold or mildew and prevent more from growing.
Sweeping the floor gets all the lint and random hairs off the floor before mopping. Using a Swiffer Mop with a wet cloth is the fastest way to mop the floors and be done with it. Simply wipe across the floors, throw away the dirty cloth, and let the floor dry. This product is so popular that generic versions can easily be found at dollar stores, which will save you money.
You’ve accomplished the big clean, but how about saving time in the future? The biggest trick is quick maintenance cleaning. At least once a week be sure to:
- Spritz the shower with the bleach and water solution to kill and prevent mold and mildew.
- Wipe down the sink area with either a magic eraser or with a rag using rubbing alcohol.
- Wipe off the mirror when it’s fogged up after a shower as an easy way to quickly remove smudges.
- Use the squirt bottle with rubbing alcohol as needed to sanitize areas such as the toilet or the door handle by spritzing the surface.
- Quickly clean any spills on the floor using a paper towel and rubbing alcohol.
- Drop a denture tablet in the toilet as needed to keep it clean.
At least once a month be sure to:
- Scrub the tub with a magic eraser.
- Thoroughly scrub the toilet with a brush using either a denture cleaner tablet or a toilet bowl cleanser.
- Mop the floor.
Using these quick tips and cheap cleaning supplies will save you both time and money, though the biggest advantage will be constantly having a clean bathroom that you don’t have to slave over to keep clean!