When I head into the bathroom to clean it, I’m usually expecting to have the job done within 10 to 15 minutes. And I do. After all, how long does it take to clean a room that’s 8′ x 12‘? Not long if you’ve been keeping it up week after week.
But if your bathroom has been neglected for sometime, you might want to consider going in for a deep-clean, and getting into those dirty little corners that you’d rather ignore.
I remember when I came home from the hospital with my youngest child. My sister Betty came over to do some housekeeping for me, while I recouped from a c-section.
After spending about an hour in the bathroom, she emerged saying, “I haven’t gotten to that wall vent yet, I’ll do that tomorrow.”
That’s the day I realized that I had never come close to really cleaning my bathroom. There are so many areas that I tend to neglect on a daily basis, but having a deep-cleaning schedule that I can pull out every six months or so helps to ensure that those areas get the attention they need.
In the daily housekeeping schedule, I give you some tips on cleaning the bathroom and keeping it up week after week, but in this schedule we are digging a little bit deeper. I’m going to empower you with 53 steps that will get your bathroom in tiptop shape!
Don’t think there could possibly be 53 steps in so small of a room? Well roll up your sleeves and let’s get started!
- The night or the morning before deep cleaning the bathroom, consider whether you require a new shower liner, and if you can afford it, pick up new toothbrushes as well. If you can’t afford to buy new put your toothbrushes into the dishwasher where they will be well cleaned. For good oral hygiene it is recommended that we buy new ones at least every three months. Don’t tell your dentist, but I tend to go longer.
- When you are ready to get started, gather up any towels laying around and throw them in the laundry hamper basket.
- Pull up your bathmats and either put them in my laundry or shake them outside.
- Remove the shower curtain and the lining, and bring all of the dirty laundry into the washing machine. If you have window curtains in the bathroom, take them down too.
- Today you are going to wash towels, the shower curtain, the liner, and the bathmats. Put a load in, and set the timer so you don’t forget it’s there. If you are using a plastic liner they cannot be put into a washing machine, set it aside to be hand washed, or replace it with a new one.
- Bring a laundry basket Into the bathroom that can be used to store shampoo bottles and toiletries while you work.
- Remove all toiletries from the shower area, the windowsill, and the vanity countertop, and place them in the laundry basket. Ensure that all surfaces are clear.
- Place the laundry basket to the hallway while you work.
- Spray bathroom cleaner on the walls of your shower, or apply cleaner to a damp cloth. I’ll refer to it in this article as a vegetable brush. Note: powdered laundry soap works well as a cleaning agent in the bathroom and it’s less expensive than many bathroom cleaners.
- Put on a pair of soft-sole shoes, and step into the tub.
- Using a vegetable brush, scrub down the walls of the shower.
- Using the same brush, scrub the shower head.
- Use an old toothbrush to clean around the smaller areas that the brush can’t reach, like around the tap handles and at the shower-head joints.
- If you have mold growing on your tiles, you can mix water with a bit of bleach (about a tablespoon) in a spray bottle. However – do not mix cleaning solutions EVER. I once used two different cleaning solutions on the bathtub and it turned rust red. The entire bathtub looked like it was rusted out. I called the chemical company and found a solution, but it was stressful and annoying to fix. Avoid it.
- Ensure that you clean all areas like built-in soap dishes or toiletry shelves.
- Once the entire shower area has been scrubbed down, it’s time to rinse. If your shower head is flexible, this will be easy, but if not, use a wet cloth to rinse all cleaning solution away.
- Time to step out of the shower, and clean the tub itself. If you haven’t already opened a window or turned on the fan, do so if possible. I don’t want you passing out from the fumes.
- Spray the tub itself with cleaning solution, or apply cleaning powder to a damp cloth. Use the vegetable brush to scrub away the bathtub ring and the standing surface. Even if you don’t see dirt, it’s there, so clean this area well. Also give attention to the surface top of top of the tub, scrub away any rings that shampoo bottles have left behind.
- Pull any hair that you see in the drain and dispose of it in a bathroom tissue.
- Use the toothbrush to polish the drain area.
- Rinse the bathtub while using a jug of warm water and a damp cloth.
- Grab a few paper towels and polish the shiny surfaces.
- Spray the cleaning solution into the toilet and around the interior of the bowl. Lift the seat and spray the underside as well. Using a toilet brush, scrub all areas of the toilet including the interior, just under the inside rim, and the underside of the seat.
- Flush the toilet and lower the seat. With a wet cloth or paper towels, wipe down the top of the seat and both sides of the lid. Lower the lid so you can also get behind there. Rinse your cloth out in the sink, and continue washing the toilet with a bit of cleaning solution (there may be enough on your cloth already.) Wipe down the exterior of the toilet including the top of the tank and the base.
- For hard to reach places such as the base of the toilet, use a long handled vegetable brush designated for bathroom cleaning. (I use these long handled brush is for cleaning everything!) Scrub the floor surrounding the toilet with a bit of cleaning solution, or if you are worried about your flooring, use the vinegar and water solution. This is where paper towels are a must for me. After scrubbing that hard to reach base, I wipe the area with paper towels and discard them. If you can’t afford paper towels, not a problem — hang on to odd socks that you can use as rags and discard when you need to!
- Pull a stepping stool or a small ladder into the room. Wipe down the light fixture and any wall vents with a damp cloth. While you’re up there wipe down the top of the vanity cabinet, as that’s an area that’s usually forgotten! Be very careful while you’re up there as I don’t want you to hurt yourself.
- Moving onto the sink. Spray the base and then the taps with the cleaning solution, or again use a damp cloth with powder.
- Scrub the area with the same vegetable brush you used for the shower. Use the old toothbrush to get into the small areas around the taps. Use the vegetable brush to give the counter a quick scrub down. Note: ensure that you label the toothbrush with masking tape for safety.
- Rinse out the sink, and use a wet cloth to wipe down the counter and the taps.
- Polish the taps with a paper towel. And if you really want to make them shine, use a bit of window cleaner.
- Speaking of windows, let’s give the windows and mirrors a good cleaning using the window solution and paper towels. I’ve loved hearing the windows squeak for as long as I can remember.
- If your load of laundry is ready, put the second load in.
- Pull the laundry basket in from the hallway and decide which items will go back onto your surface areas. If you have empty shampoo bottles, this is the time to throw them out. Wipe dusty and sticky bottles down if necessary and put them back in their place.
- Looking at the bathroom at this point, one might assume the job is done, but that’s not so. The surface is clean but we still have the medicine cabinet and the cupboard under the sink to get to! Use the empty laundry basket to store items from your medicine cabinet. Put everything in there.
- With a damp cloth, wipe down the interior shelves.
- If you have old prescriptions that need to be discarded, do not flush them down the toilet or throw them in the garbage. You can return them to a pharmacy or ask your pharmacist how to properly dispose of them. Check expiry dates and discard items that need to go. You’ll feel so much better with less “stuff.”
- Go through your make up at this time too and decide which cosmetics and which facial products you should keep. Mascara should be replaced after three months. It might be time to part with the old lipstick, concealer, and eyeliner too, but if you’re not sure whether you’ve had it too long, Google the shelf life of cosmetics in your spare time.
- Restock the vanity shelves with necessary items.
- Consider using a cup on your vanity top to hold make up brushes. I have a big red mug that I’m using for make up brushes, lip liners and eyeliners. It’s like a pencil cup for my bathroom. Also consider picking up a toothbrush holder if you don’t have one already. Anything you can display nicely on the counter gives you some extra vanity space. A soap dish is also handy to keep the bar of soap from sticking to the enamel. I’ve been using soft soap at the sink for years now. I buy the refillable containers. When my kids were young, I noticed that they would take more than they needed, so I would often dilute it to save us some money.
- Once all of the items have been returned to the vanity or discarded, move to the cupboard under the sink. Pull all of the items out, and place them in the laundry basket.
- Wipe down the inside of the cabinet well, and wipe it dry.
- Decide which items you’ll return to the cupboard, and which ones you’ll discard.
- As you’re putting the items away, consider ways that you can organize this spot. This is a great place to use small baskets or plastic pails. Hairdryers and straightening irons can be placed in a small plastic pail for storage. Use a small basket to store hand lotion and body products. Use a separate one to store cleaning solutions. Use another one to store your cosmetics. Use another for hair products. Having small baskets under the sink are like having a bank of drawers. Plastic containers can be found at many dollar stores.
- Once all of the items have been returned to the cupboard, wipe the laundry basket out with a damp cloth and head to the laundry room.
- Fold the towels that you washed and keep your favourite one to hang up in the bathroom.
- If you have a plastic shower liner to scrub down, you can place it in a sink of hot water with a little bleach for about 20 minutes. If you don’t want to use bleach, then use dish soap and vinegar I’ve been buying a type of linen that almost feels like plastic. I throw it into the washing machine when it’s soiled, and it comes out looking fantastic. I find that buying a liner that costs a bit more saves me money and time in the long run.
- Take the shower curtain and the window curtains into the bathroom and hang them up.
- Using a damp cloth, wipe down the outside of the vanity cabinet, the towel rack and the toilet paper holder. Also wipe down the light switch, the door handle, and the door frame.
- Get a mop and a pail of hot water and wipe down the floor. If you want to use a pine cleaner for the smell, only use a bit to preserve the life of your flooring. (Note: Since I don’t know what kind of flooring you have I’m speaking in general, please don’t use anything that could damage it.)
- Return to the kitchen sink and scrub the shower curtain that’s been soaking. Rinse in a sink of warm water and squeeze out excess water.
- return to the bathroom with a clean towel and bathmats. Put them in place.
- Hang up the shower liner.
- Turn off the lights, and you’re done!