20+ Bathroom Cleaning Hacks Using Surprising Ingredients

Squash your soap scum stains using convenient household items you already own.

There are countless products and tools for cleaning your bathroom. You likely even own a few.

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But when it comes to making your bathroom sparkle, there are all sorts of everyday household items that are probably sitting in your pantry — or your fruit basket! — that you can use, saving you money, and boosting the convenience factor big time.

Check out our 20+ bathroom cleaning hacks using miscellaneous items that you probably already own, with several simple yet ingenious tricks to streamline your chores.

  1. Keep a soap dispensing dish brush in the shower for on the go cleaning. Yes, like the one you wash your dishes with. Fill it with some multi-purpose cleaner and give your shower walls and faucets a once over while you’re letting your conditioner sit or to coax pesky hair shavings down the drain. Bonus: Your roommate will probably appreciate this, too.

  2. Squeegee shower doors and walls. Not only is it fun and ridiculously satisfying, but it will prevent future soap scum and limestone deposits from building up in all that leftover condensation.

  3. A little citrus goes a long way.

  • Use lemon to get rid of water spots on chrome faucets and on shower doors. You can spray lemon juice onto the surface or literally just cut the fruit in half and rub it directly onto the hardware.
  • Additionally, a DIY lemon juice + baking soda paste will get rid of that gnarly urine smell coming from your toilet. Scrub the mix all over the toilet (like, all over) and let it sit for fifteen minutes then rinse by flushing and/or wiping it off with a clean, wet rag.
  • Use a halved grapefruit to clean and exfoliate your tub. Sprinkle cut half of the fruit and bottom of the tub with coarse salt then use grapefruit (fruit side down, obviously) to scrub the tub and around the drain. Rinse with warm water. Spoiler: Your next shower is going to smell delicious.
  1. Let the hot shower run for a few minutes before cleaning to steam up the bathroom. Lots of cleaning products work more effectively at warmer temperatures, plus it might jostle loose some persistent grit and grime and also allow dust to clump together for easier removal.
  1. Cola is not only delicious but an excellent toilet bowl cleaner. The phosphoric acid in soda makes it a great bathroom cleaner. (Just try not to think too much about what it’s doing to your insides.) Lift the lid, pour some around the bowl like you would with your regular toilet bowl cleaner, and let it sit for an hour — or overnight if your toilet is especially gross — and then scrub and flush.

  2. Keep a salt shaker of baking soda in the bathroom. Sprinkle some into the toilet bowl before using and you’ll find that you can go longer between bowl cleanings. But not, like, too long.

  3. Vinegar is so much more than your favorite potato chip flavor. Always use white distilled vinegar, to avoid discoloration. Vinegar is a natural acid which acts as a solvent to help dissolve hard water mineral deposits that may cause stains and build-up.

  • For really tough toilet stains, scrub the bowl with vinegar. Pour about ½ cup vinegar into the bowl and let it sit for anywhere from ten minutes to an hour. Then simply scrub and flush.
  • Soak your showerhead in vinegar to break up mineral deposits and unclog its holes. You can do this by either removing the showerhead and soaking it in a bucket, or if that’s too complicated, fill a bag with vinegar and rubber band it around your showerhead at the hose, so it doesn’t leak out the bottom. You can soak it for about an hour or leave it overnight for really persistent gunk. If that’s still not working, here are some other tips for cleaning a gunky showerhead.
  • Make DIY glass cleaner with 1 cup white vinegar, ½ cup rubbing alcohol, and 2 cups water to use on windows or shower doors. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray onto the surface, wiping with a paper towel in a circular motion. Then buff with a microfiber cloth afterward for a squeaky clean finish.
  1. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Power Wipes work miracles. Thess lil’ cleaning sheets are tough on dirt all around the house, from walls and bathtubs to soap scum stains. We recommend keeping them near your shower so you can spot clean while you simultaneously condition.

  2. Dry and disinfect your toilet brush. After using it, let your toilet brush drip dry by closing its handle firmly between the toilet seat and bowl. Once it’s dry, spray it with disinfectant. You can also pour some bleach or white vinegar into the toilet brush caddy to eliminate germs, but be sure to let it dry or pour it out before replacing the brush.

  3. Use a bleach pen on discolored grout in the shower or on walls. Yes, this is a tedious task, but hey... Your grout is worth it.

  4. Use baby oil to polish fingerprints and grime off of chrome fixtures. Apply with a damp cloth or cotton ball and buff until you can see your reflection.

  1. Make a DIY air freshener with rice and essential oils in a mason jar with a fabric lid. Use about 1-2 cups of rice to 10-20 drops of oil. We recommend rosemary, lavender, or eucalyptus — but if you’re more of a cinnamon spice or citrus blend type, you do you. Shake occasionally to generate yummy smells.

  2. Black tea’s tannic acid cuts the grime off glass surfaces. Wipe tea onto shower doors with paper towels and wipe off with a clean rag to prevent limescale build-up.

  3. Stash silica gel packets in your bathroom drawers and medicine cabinets to reduce moisture and humidity. You were just going to throw them straight in the trash anyway! These little guys will prevent mildew build up and stop razors from rusting.

  4. Use your Swiffer Dusters Heavy Duty Super Extender to dust hard to reach places. With its extendable handle, you’ll be able to hit those ceiling fans and vents. The Swiffer’s specially coated fibers trap and lock dirt and dust so it won’t all rain down into your eyes and hair.

  5. Chopsticks and toothbrushes make perfect tools for those hard to reach nooks and crannies. Those narrow crevices around the faucets, skinny grout lines, and tricky vents are always so annoying to reach with a rag or sponge. Try wrapping a paper towel or rag around the outside of the chopstick to really get in there. You can also boil and bend toothbrush heads (just like you used to do with your field hockey mouthguards!) to achieve ideal corner cleaners that can be reused over and over.

  6. Aspirin’s salicylic acid can help to remove soap scum from the bath and shower. If you’re at a total loss for cleaning supplies, tap into your aspirin stash, crush up a few, and add to water to make a DIY bathroom cleaner.

  7. Dampened dryer sheets are perfect for wiping soap scum spots off of your bathtub, tiles, and fixtures. If they’re scented, it’s a bonus.

  8. Nonstick cooking spray or cooking oil breaks down lime deposits. You can wipe or spray it onto shower doors, then wipe off with a wet soapy rag and rinse with warm water. You can also use an oil spray to shine the faucets and chrome or stainless steel fixtures, then wipe off with water. PSA: Oil is slippery! So mind your step while lubing up your shower doors, and be sure to wash it off as best you can so your next shower doesn’t end with a bang.

  9. Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner sanitizes hard, non-porous surfaces against bacteria for up to 24 hours* – just spray and walk away.

  10. Shaving cream contains glycerin, which creates a protective coating on mirrors. Cleaning your mirrors with shaving cream will actually prevent them from getting steamy and fogging up during your shower. Simply spray on shaving cream and wipe it off with paper towels. Shaving cream works well for polishing chrome and stainless steel, too. Its emulsifiers work as gentle cleaning agents. Fun fact: You can also use shaving cream to get makeup stains out of clothes or to clean your jewelry.

  11. Baking soda does all the things.

  • Unclog your drain by pouring boiling water down it, adding 1 cup of baking soda followed by a warm water/vinegar mixture and then more boiling water.
  • Spray a vinegar and baking soda solution onto your shower curtain, rod, and rings. Let it sit for an hour then rinse it off with warm water. This should get rid of any mildew, mold, or grime. Alternatively, you can throw your shower curtain into the washing machine with a ½ cup baking soda, adding a ½ cup vinegar to the rinse cycle to finish it off.
  • Sprinkle some baking soda into the bottom of your bathroom’s wastebasket to prevent it from getting stinky.
  1. Effervescent antacid tablets combined with a cup of distilled vinegar will also unclog a drain. Let the mixture sit in there for about ten minutes then dump boiling water down the drain to clear it. Cure both your drain’s clogs and heartburn with this simple solution.

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of this colossal list of hacks. You’re, like, twenty-three hacks smarter than you were at the beginning of this article. That’s a lot of hacks. Next time you run out of cleaning products, you no longer have an excuse for postponing your bathroom cleaning duties ‘til tomorrow. (Sorry, not sorry.) Whether it’s vinegar and baking soda, cola, and baby oil or lemons and black tea, you’re bound to have some household solution on hand.

*When used as directed, effective for 24 hours against Staphylococcus aureus & Enterobacter aerogenes bacteria. Microban 24 does not provide 24-hour residual virus protection.

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