1. Declutter and Pickup
Take a few minutes to gather up all the laundry or trash around the bathroom. Empty the trash and replace your trash can with another clean liner. I like to use our plastic shopping bags because it is a way to repurpose them. Put away all toiletries and return all items to their homes (the place where they belong and where you can find them later). If your drawers are in disorder, take everything out, wipe clean and reorganize them.
2. Clean off the Countertop and Mirror.
Using a damp cloth, wipe all the items off and set them aside so you can spray down the entire surface. Things to know...there are different cleaners safe for different materials that our countertops are made out of. If you have marble or granite, NEVER use vinegar or other harsh chemicals. I have marble and I sprayed it with vinegar once. It etched the surface and now I will have to buy a marble fixing kit to repair it. Yikes! After doing a bunch of research, I found that isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) has a neutral pH which is safe for these surfaces.
I made a spray cleaner with...
1 cup water + 1 cup + a few drops of essential oil = Neutral Cleaner
It works amazingly well and it also non toxic. Rubbing alcohol is very inexpensive so you can make this and not break your bank account. ***Be careful, rubbing alcohol can damage latex paint, so do not use on the walls or cabinets if they are painted with latex paint.
•Formica or acrylic countertops:
You may still you this cleaner, but you can also use...
1 cup vinegar + 1 cup water + a few drops of essential oil = Acidic Cleaner
Both vinegar and rubbing alcohol kill bacteria and leave a streak free shine. They are both inexpensive and non toxic.
Spray generously and wipe down the entire surface. Get into the sink and using a toothbrush, get into the small areas of the sink especially by the drain. A lot of scum will cake in around the drain. Remove the drain stopper and use a baby bottle brush (using it only for this purpose-not for ever cleaning baby bottles again) to work the dirt out of the drain. You may want to use a crochet hook to pull any hair or debris that is lodged in your drain. After it is clean, return the stopper and your water will run down the drain with ease.
Spray the faucet heavily with your cleaner and use a toothbrush to get into all the cracks and crevices. If the faucet nozzle is able to be removed, soak the screen in vinegar to remove all mineral build up. Use a toothbrush to scrub it. Return the nozzle and wipe down the entire faucet with a damp cloth. Finally, using a dry dish towel, buff the fixture until is shines.
If you have my issue, you have tons of water spots all over the mirror because people splash water when they wash their hands. Spray the mirror generously with either the neutral cleaner or the acidic cleaner. If you have marble, you will want to stick with the neutral cleaner because it will spray on the countertop as well. I like the neutral cleaner for glass because it dries quickly due to the rubbing alcohol. I was amazed at how nice it works. Totally streak free.
3. Bathtubs or Tub Surrounds:
Most bathtubs nowadays are acrylic, a coated type of fiberglass. This type of surface will scratch easily. I recommend using a bath puff and designate it for this purpose. You can squirt dish soap into the puff and wash the sides of the shower and tub. If you have a considerable amount of buildup or a ring of grime, you will want to fill the tub with water, stop up the drain, and dump an entire gallon of vinegar into the water to break up the mineral and soap scum. If you have little ones, do not leave the tub water unsupervised. A child can fall into the tub and drown in a small amount of water. Scrub and rinse. If you can not leave the water sit, use baking soda and spray with vinegar to scrub. Anything is doable. It may take several applications if you have neglected the tub for a long time.
I have a tile shower, so I use my neutral spray cleaner and a scrub brush to work off the deposits. I spray, scrub, and then wipe clean with a damp cloth. If you have acrylic, use bath puff and dish soap. Scrub and rinse down. Wipe dry with dish towel until it shines. If you have a shower curtain. Remove the shower curtain and put it into your washing machine. A little borax and vinegar added to your soap will go a long way to getting your curtain clean. If it is really nasty, just buy a new curtain (I buy them for less then $5-a clear plastic one) every 6-12 months. Not a huge investment but it will give a fresh feel to your shower. A little makeover for your shower!
Place a plastic bag filled with vinegar over the shower head to remove mineral buildup. It will work so much better if you do this from time to time. Leave it soak while you are scrubbing. Listen ladies, if you detail your shower once, you will not have to detail for another year or more. There is a product call Clean Shower, a daily shower spray by Tilex. If you spray your shower down after you use it, it will keep it spotless. But, if you fear chemicals, just make your own daily spritzer. Add some vinegar and water and spritz after each use. If you have tile, use a neutral spritzer made with rubbing alcohol and water. It pays to stay on top of thing. Spraying takes about 20 seconds. That is easy. We can do this! If you have glass doors, same rules apply. This time, if you want to make a small investment to keep your shower door clear, buy a squeegee to remove the water from the doors after each use. This is also quick and easy and will save a ton of scrubbing for your future.
When we began renting this home, I kid you not, there was green and purple colored grime in the toilet. It was so thick and gross that I had to spend 4 hours cleaning one toilet to remove it. When you have a serious issue, I recommend the BIG GUNS. I bought some CLR and dumped some in there to loosen this 1/4 inch thick mineral buildup that was at the bottom of my toilet. I left it do its work over night. For those of you that do not want to use harsh chemicals, dump a gallon of vinegar into the pot and close the lid. Leave it overnight and see if it has been effective. The acid in vinegar should be enough to break up most problem toilets. Mine was really bad. When you start scrubbing, make sure to get under the lip, a lot of deposit gets built up under there as well as other unmentionable matter. I like to use rubber gloves, a pumice stone, and a plastic scraper. Once you have all the build up removed, you will have an easy time just keeping it gleaming white.
In case you have forgotten to flush-flush first, please. It is no picnic if you are working in a toilet that is full of paper and who knows what all else. Just saying! It does not even matter what kind of water you have, whether it is full of rust or lime, if you swish a dash of vinegar in your toilet bowl with a scrub brush, you will not have build up ever again. We swish out toilets almost every day. It is a 5 second job. Junior loves swishing those toilets. Upkeep is key.
After the bowl is shining, spray either your acid cleaner or your neutral cleaner. Wipe down the entire pot, around the lip, top and bottom sides of seat, behind the seat, up the back, on down the entire outer side of the toilet, focussing on the area where the toilet meets the floor. That is a place where you will have nasty build up. Don't forget the flushing handle. Hate to mention it, but usually people flush BEFORE they wash their hands--Need I say more? Flush. You now have a sparkling commode!
Last, but surely not least, we need to get the floors done. You can use a broom or a vacuum that has a hose attachment. I like using the vacuum hose because I can reach it into the ceiling corners for cob webs while I am at it. I suck up all the hair and dust bunnies that hide under all my cabinets and around the back of my tub and toilet. If you have a broom, be sure to sweep everything in toward the middle of the room, getting into each corner and under everything. Fill the debris into your dust pan and you are all set and ready to mop.
If you have a mop, make up a pail of cleaning solution. Of course you will use the right solution for the type of flooring you have. Neutral cleaners for your tile or marble flooring (1 gal water + 1 cup rubbing alcohol). If you have laminate or wood you can use acidic (1 gal warm water + 1 cup vinegar + essential oils for scent). If you have grout, you may need to get down to the floor to scrub with a scrubbing brush. This would only be necessary once or twice a year. Normally, you can get by with just a mop for weekly cleanings.
The bathroom is complete! Now it is your turn to clean yours. Happy cleaning.
Join me next week as I show you how to deeply clean your living room.