How to Clean Your Bathroom

Trinette Reed

Since you rely on your bathroom to keep your body clean, it’s fair to say that it should be the cleanest room in your home. Due to the added water, steam and grime, your space can easily become the home of bacteria, fungi and unwanted odors (coarse but true). That’s why we asked Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s cleaning lab, how to clean your bathroom from top to bottom.

Forte says that to avoid mold and other build-up, it’s best to thoroughly clean your space at least every one to two weeks, depending on how often you wipe your shower, sweep the floor, or sanitize the faucets. That said, toilets, sinks and other high traffic areas should be cleaned weekly. In an effort to lighten the load (after all, you have to do laundry and groceries), there are few things you can do everyday to create a cleaner space: wipe up any spills or splashes on the mirror, keep the sink and worktops dry and wipe the toilet seat and faucet handles every two to three days.

When the time is right to give your entire bathroom – whether it’s a powder room or a master bathroom – a great refresh, follow these tips and tricks for cleaning a bathroom.

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Tile grout

Especially if you have a shower lined with tiles, prevent the grout from becoming dull and yellow by giving it a good weekly scrub. When you notice a veil of grout (if you know, you know), follow this proven guide:

• Mix 3/4 cup of household bleach with 1 gallon of water. Or for a ready-made option, try CLR Fresh Scent bathroom and kitchen cleaner.

• Wearing rubber gloves, use a stiff brush to apply the formula to a small area at a time. Be careful not to let the liquid splash on you or the surrounding surfaces.

• Leave to stand for several minutes, then rub and rinse.

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Sink

Not only is your bathroom sink one of the first places to show off grime and grime – think: strands of hair and toothpaste buildup – but it’s also home to tons of germs. Here’s the best way to clean your sink:

• Spray a disinfectant bathroom cleaner, such as Clorox or Lysol, all around the bathroom sink and wipe with a cloth or sponge.

• Spray or wipe the faucet handles with a spray bottle or disinfectant cloth, allowing them to stay moist for the time required on the package to kill germs.

Toilet

Not only do you want your toilet bowl to stay bright white, but you also want to make sure the seat and handle are germ-free. Cover all the bases with this easy step-by-step guide:

• Apply a generous amount of bowl cleaner from brands like Lysol and let sit for up to five minutes before scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush. Then rinse.

• Wipe the toilet seat and handle with disinfectant wipes, including Clorox or Lysol.

• Remember: toilet brushes should also be cleaned. After use, allow the toilet brush to dry out of the cart and spray with disinfectant.

RELATED: The best toilet bowl cleaners to buy

Bathroom floor

You shouldn’t wait to see dirt and grime to clean your bathroom floor. Since the floor covering can easily be removed from its shine, Forte recommends using low-foam cleaners to avoid leaving residue that would tarnish the shine and attract future soil.

• Spray floors with CLR bathroom and kitchen cleaner, if it is safe for your surface. If the smoke is annoying, make sure to open the windows and the bathroom door, and turn on the fan if you have one, to provide fresh air and speed up the drying process.

• For dirty grouts that do not improve with the multi-purpose cleaner, apply a cleaner containing bleach such as Mild Scrub Cleanser with Bleach on a brush and scrub. Rinse and wipe.

• If you don’t want to get dirty, choose an adjustable steam mop. Choose “high or scrub” for difficult jobs, or “mop or medium” for daily cleaning.

Bathtub

There is no room for mold and mildew – especially where you count for clean hygiene. Get a head start on dirt by cleaning your tub regularly with this step-by-step guide:

• Spray bathtubs and showers with CLR bathroom and kitchen cleaner, provided it is safe for your surface type. To make the smoke less annoying, open the windows and the bathroom door and turn on the bathroom fan if you have one.

• For a stubborn scrub, use the Mr. Clean Magic gum bath, which contains micro-scrubbers and foaming cleansers that dissolve and wipe off soap residue. Just wet the sponge, press to activate the foam and clean.

Bathroom fan

Don’t forget to look up: Vacuum the dust from the bathroom fan grill and clean the rest with a solution of soap and water, taking care not to wet the internal parts. If the grill is removable, soak it in soapy water for cleaning, then rinse and dry.

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