Has the thought, “Maybe I should be wearing a bio-hazard suit,” ever occurred to you when you step into your bathroom?
If so, don’t worry. It’s nature’s way of telling you it’s time to clean up. Here are bathroom cleaning tips and the best solutions to use on fixtures, faucets and walls.
Sink & Counter Top
Do you find dried dribbles of toothpaste on your sink along with rings or over-spray from hair products? The workhorse of the bathroom, the sink, endures a daily barrage of dirt and grime. Keep it sparkling with regular cleaning.
Start by using an all-purpose bathroom cleaner to remove light soil and film. For the more hardened or oily deposits, abrasive or soft-scrub cleaners may be used, as they will be easy to rinse from ceramic surfaces. Cleaners formulated with bleach will remove toothpaste dribbles and sanitize surfaces, too.
For green cleaning, use homemade cleaners. They’ll make your bathroom sparkle and shine without harsh chemicals — or a harsh price tag. One of my favorites to use is baking soda with a few drops of Tea Tree Oil. Just mix 2 Tablespoons of baking soda with 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil, sprinkle it on, scrub it in with a wet sponge, let sit for 5 minutes and rinse clean.
Another great solution for quick clean ups is a spray bottle mix of 1/3 rubbing alcohol, 1/3 white vinegar and 1/3 plain water. Just spritz and wipe clean. This works great for cleaning the rim, counter and fixtures. Buff fixtures shiny and dry with a fresh cleaning cloth.
Keeping disinfectant cleaning wipes for quick clean ups is always a good idea for heavy use bathrooms.
Shower and Tub
Eeeewww! Can you believe how that horrible soap scum, bath oil, hair products and body soil combine to make the shining surface of the shower and tub dull and hard to clean? It takes some elbow grease to get these clean while tub rims, fixtures and faucets provide hiding places for moisture, mold and mildew. If you procrastinate, deposits harden so mildew and mold can take up residence in dark corners. It’s a task we all dread so combine cleaning power to make short work of cleaning the shower and tub.
Spray and Stand
Before cleaning the rest of the bathroom, spray the tub area with a generous layer of all-purpose bathroom cleaner, and allow the product to stand while you clean elsewhere. The standing time helps the cleanser to dissolve oils and soap scum, so you’ll need less elbow grease to remove it.
If you have tough build-up you are going to have to get scrubbing. Use abrasive scrubbing pads to remove bathtub rings or deposits on shower floors. Sometimes you have to use a gel spray that contains bleach to get the caulking clean of mold and mildew. The baking soda and Tea Tree Oil mentioned above work really well on tough tub build up.
Tile brushes scrub tile grout and reach into cracks and corners, while the handle protects knuckles from accidental contact with the tub. Using an old toothbrush around tub fixtures is a great way to remove buildup deposits.
Rinse It Clean
Detachable shower heads allow you to rinse off the cleaner quickly and cleanly. If you don’t have one, stock your cleaning tote with a removable rubber showerhead that attaches to the bathtub tap. Commonly used for shampooing hair or bathing pets, they’re inexpensive and make it easier to rinse tub and shower walls after you clean.
Fiberglass Showers and Glass Doors
If you have hard water or sulfur in your well water you know how hard these are to clean, and it builds up fast. These surfaces need special treatment. Clean them with a nonabrasive cleaner such as an all-purpose bathroom cleaner, pine oil or the baking soda/Tea Tree Oil combo. Avoid abrasive cleansers or scrubbing pads because they may scratch or dull the finish.
Something I find that works really well on glass doors is a used dryer sheet! I’m serious, it works and you are recycling something you would normally throw away. My favorite, the Magic eraser, cuts through pretty much anything your fiberglass shower will throw at you with ease.
Double eeewwww!!!! Don’t we all just love cleaning the toilet?
It isn’t most people’s idea of a good time, but where would we be without it? I’ll tell you: back in the outhouse… can you say triple eeewww!?!? Try these ideas to keep it clean and inviting:
Take your time. Place granulated or liquid toilet bowl cleaner into the bowl, and let the cleaner go to work. Standing time is necessary to dissolve deposits and kill germs, so don’t cut the time short. There are tablets you can put in your tank to keep build up at a minimum between cleans that I find work really well.
Replace your flattened or mashed, toilet bowl brushes, you need those bristles bristling to do a good job. Curved bowl brushes reach up and under the toilet rim to scour away hidden deposits.
Time to bring on the pumice stone. If the toilet develops a stubborn ring that regular cleaning won’t cure, bring on the pumice stone! This natural stone is porous and crumbles. Rub the stone directly on the ring to remove the deposit but don’t forget to put on your cleaning gloves!
Antibacterial Cleaning Products
Use a disinfecting spray cleaner or all-purpose bathroom cleaner to spray toilet rims, seat and lid, tank and bowl exterior. Be sure to check the label for the recommended standing time; antibacterial cleaning products require a certain amount of wet exposure to kill germs. Wipe clean and dry with fresh cleaning cloths.
Dreaded Drips and Dribbles
These are a predictable hazard in a home containing boys… of any age. They can cause odor problems, and urine can cause floor damage if it is allowed to stand at the base of the toilet. Use disinfecting cleaner and the cleaning toothbrush to scour out stray dribbles. You can set disinfectant wipes next to the toilet for the offenders to use, just make sure they throw them in the trash can and not the toilet, you don’t want clogged pipes!
So there you go, now get past the eeewww and get down to cleaning!