Bathroom Cleaning Tips
American Housewife Sherry Morris
The first thing you need to realize is there are no magic cleaning products. Nothing you shake or spray or foam on is going to automatically remove your built up grime. Face it. You’ve neglected one of the most important rooms in your home, because it’s so hard to clean and it’s a dirty job. Don’t go out and buy the latest hyped cleaning product. Instead, dig around in your cabinets throughout the house and see what you come up with. Open the window or turn on the exhaust fan before you begin cleaning. Never mix amonia and bleach together. The fumes are deadly!
You will need some sort of ammonia to clean your mirrors. I use Windex or the store brand or whatever glass cleaner is cheapest when I shop. I keep it under the sinks, along with a roll of paper towels, which are perforated at the half-sheet. In my normal cleaning mode, I spray the mirror where it has splash marks and wipe it clean. I only spray and wipe the entire mirror once a month on the designated day in my deep cleaning cycle. Two reasons: Why clean what isn’t dirty? and I’m short. I need a step stool to clean the top of the mirror.
Take a paper towel or a few plies of toilet paper and wipe all the hair out of the sink and off the vanity. Throw it away.
Soap is soap, as the FlyLady says. Use up what you have. Comet, Softscrub, Fantastik, Mr. Clean, Pine Sol, old shampoo or bubble bath you don’t like. Almost anything will do the job. Apply a small amount and scour with a damp sponge/scrubber. Lather it all up, then rinse with warm water. Stuck on black goo around the drain ? Use an old tooth brush. Spray the chrome fixtures with your ammonia product and wipe clean. Take your hand towel off the rack and dry everything. Replace with a fresh towel and toss the old one in the laundry hamper.
If you’ve really let the bowl get disgusting, pour in approximately two cups of bleach. Let it do it’s thing for half an hour. If you have generic bleach, you might need to use more. It’s sometimes diluted with water.
Spray the seat with disinfectant. I like Lysol, but again, soap is soap, so use what you have, like Windex or Fantastik. Wipe with a paper towel. Then do the inside of the lid. Close the lid, do the outside of the entire toilet. Open the lid and raise the seat. You’ll probably need to use extra disinfectant here and to scrub more.
If you can’t get all of the stains out, don’t fret. You did your best. The problem is likely you have a porous wooden seat that absorbs the urine, feces and mold. If you can budget for it, replace your toilet seat with plastic ones. Much easier to keep clean.
Swish a toilet brush around in the bowl, making sure to get under the rim. The water holes get clogged with sediment in the water supply and if you keep the holes open, you’ll have more flushing power. If the bleach did not take care of your problem, you’ll have to try something like a rust or lime removal product or pumice stone. If you’ve done all you can and it’s not clean enough, consider purchasing a new toilet. At the low end of the spectrum, you can get a new one for around $100. If you have any males in your family, they might appreciate an elongated commode. (’nuff said.)
Once your toilet is appropriately cleaned, don’t use bleach on a weekly basis. Just pour a little soap of some sort in and swish. Sometimes cleaning the toilet with old shampoo makes the room smell lovely.
Do not use the bleach tablets in the tank. Over the years, they will corrode the bolts inside and the tank will leak. I learned that lesson the hard way.
Shower and Bathtub
Use whatever cleaning product you have on hand. If it’s really bad, the only thing that will get it clean is elbow grease. Soap scum and hard water deposits are my Kryptonite. If I let the kids’ tub get bad, I know that scrubbing half an hour still won’t have it clean enough. So I defer to my hunky darling husband. He can get it whistle clean in a wink. Don’t have a hunky darling husband? If it’s really bad, hire a cleaning service. One time. Then keep it clean!
Secrets to Avoiding a Dirty Tub or Shower:
Don’t use soap. Soap, which contains talc, causes soap scum. Zest, Ivory and Dove are talc free. I switched over to them from Irish Spring and it was so liberating.
Dry the shower and tub surround from walls to floor after each use. Use the same towel you dried yourself off with. It only takes one minute, you get a modest workout, your shower is ALWAYS clean, you will never have a dirty little secret hiding behind the curtain again, and you have an accomplishment to be proud of. If you get nothing else done that day, smile, and know you cleaned your shower.
Remove your glass shower doors. Hang a tension rod and use an inexpensive shower curtain liner. I get mine from the dollar store. You can have a lovely shower curtain on the outside showing, but when the liner starts looking bad, throw it out and replace it with a new one. Much easier than laundering an expensive shower curtain.
If you have carpet, consider taking it out. A hard surface floor is much healthier in a damp environment.
Every day, after you dry yourself off and then use the towel to dry the shower, drop the towel on the floor and move it around the room with your feet. You’ll workout your leg muscles and keep the floor dry and clean.
Miscellaneous Bathroom Cleaning
Once a month, declutter under the sink and in the cabinets. Make sure you don’t have junk leaning against the pipes, this could cause them to come loose!
Don’t forget to use the paper towel you cleaned the mirror with to wipe the dust off the towel rack, door knob, flush handle and toilet paper holder.
Clean the shower head once a month. Use a lime or rust remover product if necessary. This will keep the holes open and your shower pressure will be at it’s prime.