The bathroom is a particularly funky place to clean. There are so many little spots you have to get to in order to ensure a job well done. You can’t be squeamish about it and stick to the shallows. You truly have to wade right into the deep end and take the plunge.
The shower is a place we all know needs to be cleaned frequently. We think of the walls and tub area, and sometimes the faucets and handles. One thing we almost never think of is the actual shower head.
In keeping with the general top-down theory everyone should take when cleaning their homes, the showerhead literally is at the top of the list. Plus, something called “mycobacteritum avium” grows in damp, dark places like a showerhead. That’s a pathogen that has been connected to pulmonary disease. So how do you clean it to prevent millions of moist germs floating straight into your lungs?
Climb that small mountain of plastic grocery bags you keep shoved in a stocking or kitchen drawer. Grab two of them (provided they have handles) and pour enough vinegar inside to fully surround the showerhead nozzle in liquid. Use the handles to tie the bags in place and allow them to hang there overnight. Make sure to warn your family first, of course. No one wants his or her sleepy head covered in vinegar as a wake-up call. In the morning, barring no accidents of course, take down the bags and run hot water for a minute or so to fully rinse out the showerhead.
Your plastic shower curtains can be washed in hot water on a gentle cycle in your machine. Use your regular laundry detergent but make sure to throw a few old towels into the mix. The towels act similar to the rotating swirling cloths in a carwash bay and help scrub the curtain free of dirt, grime, and mildew. There’s no need to dry them in any way other than to simply hang them back up after the washing cycle ends.
Baking soda and white vinegar have a safe, fizzing reaction when combined. If you use just a few drops of vinegar with a much larger amount of baking soda (try a cup and see how that works for you) you can make a homemade cleaning paste that can be smeared on your shower doors and left to sit for an hour or so. The fizzing action will break up dirt, mold, and mildew while simultaneously lifting it off your doors. Wipe off the paste with a microfiber cloth then rinse and dry with new, clean, microfiber cloths for a buffed finish.
For your tub, you know the main drill. Comet or other commercial cleaners are sprinkled or sprayed on either wet or dry tub (depending on your cleaning solution’s instructions) then rinsed away. If you want an extra clean tub, however, fill it with scalding hot water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Drain and then apply your usual cleaning routine.
In general, when it comes to your shower, make sure to wipe down all surfaces after use, leave the fan on or open a window to assure the least amount of mildew buildup.
No Grout About It
Grout is not a sexy topic even for cleaning articles. But without the grout, your shower walls fall apart. Just use a grout brush dipped in bleach and scrub all grout regularly. This stuff is highly bacteria-friendly because of its porous makeup so you want to make sure you stay on top of this task. It’s also a good idea to reseal your shower’s grout twice a year.
The Rest of The Cast
The bathroom has so many surfaces that require your attention. Tiles, countertops a, d walls are three big ones to consider.
Use an all-purpose cleaner and spray down all appropriate areas. Turn the shower water on hot and allow steam to build. Of course you want to leave the bathroom and close the door while this happens. Dip back into the room and turn off the water. Leave again and allow the steam to help the cleaning solution pull the dirt off all surfaces for about 20 minutes. Go back in after the air clears and wipe everything down with a clean cloth.
You do this because using soap alone can build up residue over time. The steam really helps prevent that from happening.
For higher areas use an extension and appropriate mop/Swiffer device. Obviously, do your floors last.
If you really want your bathroom tiles to shine you can apply some car wax and follow instructions.
The Troubling Toilet and Tips On Being Germ Free
Baking soda is a wonderful product. Pour a cup of it your bowl then do the ol’ brush & flush. Pumice stones work wonders as well for getting out tough stains while still being gentle enough to not cause scratches or damage.
The toilet brush is its own, special item to clean. First of all, it should be cleaned and sterilized after each use without fail. If you don’t want to hold it over your toilet bowl, you can wedge it between the base and the seat allowing the brush bristles to hover over the center of the bowl. Be sure to have some ventilation and then pour bleach over the brush until you’re satisfied it’s clean. Use almost-bowling water to rinse it off. You can soak the brush container in a bucket of hot, soapy water (if the brush is stored on the outside) or just fill the container with the same hot, soapy water (if the brush is stored on the inside). Honestly, I would use a bucket either way to prevent leaks or spills, so you might as well just soak the whole container.
For serious situations, you can use a small light-duty power washer to blast away germs in harder to reach or smaller areas.
And, in general, flush the toilet with the lid closed and the fan on to prevent germs from spreading and keep toothbrushes and makeup applicators in medicine cabinets.
Cleaning Your Bathroom Is Starting To Sink In
There are mixed opinions out there about what you can and cannot pour down your drains. I don’t see a problem with using the fizzy concoction of baking soda and vinegar to break up mold, mildew and partial clogs, to be honest. I do strongly suggest following that up by pouring nearly boiling water down the drain after you give the fizz time to do its work. Baking soda is great for cleaning but after awhile it can create a buildup. In your drains that could lead to clogs over time so, again, rinse thoroughly.
Disinfecting wipes that are disposable are great for a quick wipe-down of your bathroom handles, faucets, nd doorknobs. I like using disposable “everything” for cleaning the bathroom. Cloths can carry bacteria even after washing sometimes and no one wants toilet material in their kitchen sinks. Also, bathroom faucets are some of the worst offenders when it comes to carrying germs. Think about it – they’re one of the first things you touch after using your toilet and actually can have more germs than the actual toilet if not properly cleaned and sterilized on a regular basis.
For the prevention of soap scum in your trays, squirt a tiny amount of baby oil in the tray/dish. This will create a thin, slick surface the soap can’t stick to and make cleaning easier.
All Hands On Deck
This one isn’t sexy either. It’s utilitarian but that’s ok. Your hand towels carry germs, especially if you don’t always wash your hands completely. And if you have children, a large family or even roommates, you have no idea who’s done what and when to that towel.
They also contain moisture that doesn’t ever fully dry which can lead to more bacteria than you bargained for.
Make sure your hand towels are spread out and not folded so they get as much air as possible. Wash them on hot, alone, with bleach or color-safe disinfectant. And, wipe down that towel bar with a disposable disinfecting wipe every time you change out your towels.
You can also think of cleaning the hallway outside your bathroom with a vacuum as you will be moving in and out all your way to your bathroom. For more details, you can check this link: https://www.vacuumjudge.com/top-vacuum-cleaners-vacuum-cleaners-market/
I’m a Fan of Ventilation
First, flip the circuit breaker. This is something that often gets overlooked, but in the bathroom should be a focal point. The grill of your vent in the bathroom gets bombarded with moisture and germs. So do its fan blades. Go to your circuit breaker and power down. Take the grill off the vent and remove the fan blades (follow instructions carefully). Vacuum to get off any dust then wipe down with a disposable, disinfecting wipe. You can use a stiff, clean paintbrush to get the dust loose from the motor as well. Obviously, you’ll need to clean your floors and sink counters after this but trust me – it’s better than mists of mold floating down on your head.
Always use your bathroom fan while using your toilet or taking a shower, and leave it running for 15-30 minutes after you leave the room for the best ventilation and removal of moisture.