Modern*Simplicity

Creating a Life Free From Chaos

Clean That Bathroom! 8 Weeks at Home Series

Thanks for joining me for the 8 Weeks at Home Series! We’re spending eight weeks decluttering, simplifying and cleaning up room by room in preparation for a super sweet summer. Last time, we started our series by decluttering the bathroom to get it all streamlined and prep it for some deep cleaning. Why did we start in the bathroom? I like to start here because it’s usually the smallest room in the house, full of items that are generally not sentimental or overly expensive.

In this series, I’ll do two posts per week for each room. In the first post, we’ll talk about decluttering and simplifying. In the second post, we’ll clean it all up and get it looking nice and shiny. While you’re working in each space, keep some paper and a pen handy and make note of any repairs that need to be made, any supplies that need to be restocked, or any decorating changes you’d like to make. As you decide to get rid of stuff, remove it from the space right away and get it out of the house ASAP so that it doesn’t worm its way back into the space. Take out bags of trash and recycling daily so they don’t pile up in your workspace.

Photo by Logan Ripley on Unsplash

 

Let’s Deep Clean the Bathroom (and Keep It Clean)!

Now that the bathroom has been dejunkified, let’s give it a good deep cleaning and learn some tricks for keeping it clean easily. Got more than one bathroom? We started in the one you use the most OR the one that bothers you the most. We have three bathrooms in our house — I started in the boys’ bathroom (EWW!), then attacked the guest bathroom (small and quick to finish), and then I finished up in the master bathroom (biggest and the most stuff to deal with).

My Supplies

Here’s a list of supplies I use to clean the bathroom — gather up your gear before you get started.

  • Blue Soap (see recipe here)
  • Bleach bathroom cleaner for toilets
  • All-purpose cleaner and rags
  • Glass cleaner
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Cleaning scrubbie or brush
  • Dish wand (the kind you can fill with dish soap)
  • Squeegee
  • Trash can with liner

First Things First: Presoaking the Shower, Tub and Toilet

Before you get started with the scrubbing, save yourself some elbow grease. Mix up a batch of the awesome Blue Soap, and spray it all over the shower/tub walls and floor to loosen up hard water stains, soap scum and other nastiness. It helps to mix the Blue Soap up a bit thicker so it’ll stick to the walls. Let the Blue Soap soak for at least an hour, longer is better.

Now grab some toilet cleaner. Toilet cleaning is the one place I go non-green and head straight for the bleach bathroom cleaner. I have one bottle and it’s only used on toilets. Here’s why: once you scrub the inside of your toilet and get it nice and clean, all you have to do is spritz bleach bathroom cleaner in there once or twice a week, let it soak for about 10 minutes, and flush. It keeps all the grunge from building up. I rarely have to scrub the inside of the toilet anymore (the outside… well, I have sons…!) Go ahead and spray it well, close the lid, and let it soak.

Grab all the towels and start them in the washer. Wash all the towels and put them in the dryer promptly — you might want a shower by the time we finish cleaning the bathroom!

The Toilet

I find it best to start with the yuckiest task first: the toilet. Once the toilet has soaked for a bit, grab that toilet brush and get to scrubbing. Start with inside the bowl and work your way out. Get under the rim. Use a pumice stone if there’s hard water or stains you need to scrub away. Once the inside is clean, flush, then grab those cleaning wipes and wipe from top to bottom, with special attention around the base of the toilet (boys…!) When you’re finished, check the toilet paper supplies and restock from your stash if necessary. Almost out? Write it on the shopping list!

The Sink, Countertops and Mirror

Once that toilet is clean, wash your hands and move on to the sinks and counters. All the clutter is gone, right? That makes it much easier and faster to clean. Before you clean the counter, use a step stool to wipe the dust off the above-mirror light fixture. Spritz the counter down with a non-toxic all-purpose cleaner, and use rags to scrub it clean. Wipe off dusty bottles from the counter, the speckles on the faucet, that little space behind the faucet that collects all that gunk. Use a fresh rag and some all-purpose cleaner to wipe off the exterior of the outlets, the light switch and the door knobs. Use glass cleaner and a fresh rag to clean the mirror.

The Tub and Shower

If you’ve got a separate tub, start there. If the shower and tub are combined, read on to my shower instructions. Using a damp scrubbie or brush, work the Blue Soap around the tub, concentrating on any spots that were especially dirty, corners and crevices. If the Blue Soap has been soaking for a long time, the gunk should come right up. Rinse well.

Now it’s time to clean the shower. Same drill, but for the shower. I generally like to actually get in there to do the scrubbing (which, yes, means I have to shower afterward!) Using a damp scrubbie or brush, work the Blue Soap around the shower, concentrating on any spots that were especially dirty, corners and crevices. If the Blue Soap has been soaking for a long time, the gunk should come right up. Rinse well. Use a squeegee to wipe water off glass shower doors. If you have a shower curtain, remove it and give it a ride in the washing machine, then hang it to dry.

Side note: I have handheld shower heads in every shower in our house — they make cleaning so much easier! Instead of tossing cups of water at a soapy shower wall or at the suds in the back corner, you can just aim the handheld shower at it and rinse everything in seconds.

Finishing Up: Clean Towels and Clean Floors

OK, toilet, sink, counters, tub/shower…what’s left? The floor! Grab a broom or vacuum, and clean up all that dust and hair, particularly the stuff that congregates in the corners. If you have rugs that are vacuum-able, vacuum them too — otherwise, shake them out outside and toss them in the laundry. Grab a mop and give the floor a good once-over. Or, do what I do: pay the kids a couple of bucks to handwash it!

Grab those clean, fresh towels and hang them back up. Stand back and admire your hard work!

It’s Clean…How Do I Keep It That Way?

Here’s some quick tips for how to keep that bathroom sparkling clean with very little effort throughout the week!

  • Keep a canister of disposable cleaning wipes in each bathroom for quick touch-ups. These will come in especially handy for cleaning up the toilet!
  • A couple of times a week (or as needed), wipe the toilet seat, rim and outside of the toilet (including the base) with disposable cleaning wipes and toss them. It only takes about 30 seconds, and I’ve even taught my 8-year-old how to do this. Spray the inside with bleach bathroom cleaner, close the lid. Let sit for 10 minutes, then flush.
  • Keep a dish wand filled with equal parts dish soap and vinegar in the shower. Once or twice a week when you’re in there, use the dish wand to wipe down walls and shower doors, then rinse well before you get out.
  • Eco-tip: got half used bottles of shampoo or body wash from your decluttering? Combine them, then use them to clean the shower while you’re in it. You can even fill your dish wand with it.
  • If you have glass shower doors, get in the habit of using a squeegee after every shower to wipe down the door. Trust me. It’ll keep the bathroom looking nicer between cleanings and it will prevent scum from building up on the glass door.
  • Use a tray to corral bottles on the counter — it’ll make it easier to maintain the cleanliness. After you brush your teeth each time, use a disposable wipe or a damp washcloth/rag to wipe off the counters, faucet and inside the sink. If spots appear on the mirror, use a damp towel corner to wipe it away.

Coming up next: we’ll start decluttering the living room so we can entertain at a moment’s notice.

Looking for the rest of the 8 Weeks at Home series? Post links will be added here as they’re published!

 

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