Of all the household tasks I do as a stay at home mom, cleaning the bathroom is up there with the worse. Not only is there the “ick” factor of cleaning up after mis-fires, there’s the endless cycle of picking up dropped towels and clothes and dealing with things like soap scum and hair. When you live in an old house like do, there’s also the added problem of chronic dust and lint buildup which means that cleaning the bathroom is easily a half day job.
Cleaning and organizing a bathroom doesn’t have to be a nightmare however. With a few simple cleaning supplies, some clothes and bathroom organizers, and a cleaning schedule, keeping the bathroom clean will be a whole lot easier.
1. Assemble a cleaning tote for the bathroom. The cleaning supplies used for a bathroom are quite different that supplies used elsewhere in the house. To keep my bathroom cleaning supplies organized and easy to find, I store my bathroom cleansers & tools in a specially designated bucket. In addition to cleaning supplies, the tote holds gloves, pumice stones, scrub brushes, old toothbrushes, rags, spray bottle and a toilet scrub brush. With an organized cleaning bucket, it’s very easy to just grab the bucket and go, instead of wasting time searching for the things you need.
2. Use a few good products instead of a bunch of specialty ones. While there’s all sorts of great products for cleaning a bathroom, it’s really not necessary to have a huge assortment. What you do need are the following types of cleaners:
* Ammonia ~ which can be mixed up in the spray bottle, and used to wipe down countertops, disinfect the outside of toilet, wash the mirrors, and shine up the plumbing fixtures. It can also be mixed up in the bucket to wipe down walls, painted doors and cabinet fronts, and the floor.
* A mild abrasive ~ used to remove a build up of soap scum or water spots. If you clean daily, plain baking soda will work. For heavy buildups, something stronger will be needed.
* Toilet bowl cleaner ~ Since I have old vintage toilets, I use a cleaner than can be sprayed under the rim to catch rust and hard water buildups.
* Lime or scale remover ~ in areas with hard water, some sort of lime remover will be necessary to clean shower doors.
* Metal polish ~ for old timey brass fixtures, metal polish is the only way to keep the plumbing hardware shiny.
3. Vacuum before cleaning. Since our family is a bunch of long hairs, vacuuming the bathroom before cleaning catches hair, lint, dust and tracked in dirt which is a huge time saver. I use a round upholstery attachment on the baseboards, light fixtures, toilet base, the floor, and even the counter tops. Don’t want to use your household vac for this? Try a shop vac instead or purchase second upholstery brush specifically for the bathroom.
4. Work from the top down. When it comes to cleaning a bathroom, working from the top down is an easy way to avoid contaminating the areas to be disinfected with the dirty rags used on the floors and toilet. In my bathroom, the drill is to wipe down the cupboard, shelves, mirror and towel bars first then to move on to the sink, counter, top of the toilet tank, and then the tub. The bowl, pedestals, and floor are the last to be cleaned.
5. Explore innovative ways to organize your bathroom. The biggest problem most of us face when it comes to cleaning a bathroom is the clutter that must be picked up before we can even get to the cleaning.
Cluttered bathrooms are usually caused by a lack of space. Creating some extra storage space can help keep the bathroom organized and easy to clean:
* Install hooks on the back of the bathroom door for robes
* Hang an extra towel bar
* Move in a small dresser for extra storage
* Install towel storage racks on the wall
* Put small dollar store baskets in the cupboards to organize first aid supplies, make up, personal care products, and hair supplies
* Install hanging wire baskets over the side of the tub or shower head for storing shampoo, soaps, and other supplies
* Place a small laundry hamper inside the bathroom
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for cleaning a bathroom that doesn’t involve a certain amount of elbow grease and hard work. But by organizing both your bathroom and your cleaning supplies, the job of cleaning will certainly be simpler.
For more bathroom organizational ideas, check out these other articles by C. Jeanne Heida
Tips for Organizing a Tiny Bathroom
How to Create Bathroom Storage Space