Bathroom Cleaning 101: What you Need, What to Use and How to Use It


Take a deep breath (always a good idea BEFORE going into the bathroom), load up your playlist—I swear I’m going to get the Home-Ec 101 Cleaning Playlist done one of these days until then, make a fun list on Spotify. I like Glee to an embarrassing degree, we all have our dirty little secrets.

Now open the bathroom door all the way and then open the window or turn on the exhaust fan.

I clean a lot of bathrooms—three at home and six at work. Thankfully my kids generally aren’t as nasty as drunken men, but sometimes. . .

Clear the room. Put all of the items on the vanity or counter somewhere else. Take any rugs that need to be washed straight to the laundry, unless you tend to clean down the rabbit trail and in that case, just ditch them outside the door. Do the same for any hanging towels. Don’t forget to clear out the “library materials,” too.

Start at the top.

Put the pillow case over the broom straw and knock down any cobwebs. Grab your foxtail or the vacuum with the soft bristle attachment and vacuum the exhaust fan.

Wipe the light fixtures with a rag, if they are particularly gross, run them through the dishwasher or use glass cleaner applied to the towel, not sprayed onto the fixture to clean the globes and all purpose cleaner to clean the fixture itself. Accidentally break a light bulb off in the socket? We can help. Replace any burnt out bulbs while you’re in there unless that would make your ADD go into high gear.

Sweep off any dry dust and hair debris from counters and ledges. Then thoroughly sweep the floor. If you knocked a lot of dust bunnies into the shower pan or tub and it is COMPLETELY dry, go ahead and use the vacuum to suck up that fun mess. Just in case I’m not clear, I mean the vacuum tools, not picking up the entire appliance and putting it into the tub. Got it?

We now conclude the dry portion of your bathroom cleaning project.

Put your toilet cleaner into the bowl. If it’s the kind with the angled neck you can just squirt up under the rim and call it good for the moment. If not, add the cleaner to the water and the give a quick scrub with the toilet brush to make sure there is cleaner all over the INSIDE of the bowl, especially up under the rim. You are not done cleaning the toilet, but close the lid anyway and move on. Chemicals need time to work and the more you let your cleaner work on its own, the less physical scrubbing you’ll have to do.

If it has been a very long time since you have cleaned your toilet, check out: How to clean a very dirty toilet for some very thorough directions.

Do your painted walls need to be cleaned? Dilute white vinegar should do the trick, always test in an inconspicuous area, especially with flat or matte finish paints.

Spray your cleaner of choice onto the sink and counter or vanity and, like the toilet, give it a moment to work, unless you like scrubbing at toothpaste deposits.

Next up the shower and tub on page 3 of Bathroom Cleaning 101

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  1. Roberta on February 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    As a person with 17 dogs, more or less, in my home at one time (!), I have learned to only use stainless steel dog food and water bowls; they wash up quickly (I’m the dishwasher) and easily, plus there’s less chance for them to be mistaken for a toy.

  2. MichaelCarnell on September 20, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I thought bathrooms were self-cleaning. Like ovens and dog bowls.

    • HeatherSolos on September 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      MichaelCarnell dog bowls huh? My dog’s bowl gets naaaasty.

      • Bobbi on October 9, 2012 at 2:51 pm

        Dog bowls should be cleaned daily. They can get sick from dirty things, just like humans!

      • Bobbi on October 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm

        I bought several dog bowls from the 99 cent store. I change them daily. I just wipe them out and put into the dishwasher. I use them for my dogs water, also for his food.

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