6 Effective Bathroom Cleaning Rituals
A bathroom cleaning plan that feels more like second nature and less like chores.
The bathroom is arguably the most important room in your house. Think about this: The average person will allegedly spend over a year of their life in the bathroom.
And that survey certainly wasn’t factoring in the countless additional days you’ll have spent doom scrolling on the toilet. Where else does one spend such quality, intimate time with oneself? All of those vulnerable hours spent primping and pruning, and tweezing and toweling.
We know that cleaning the bathroom isn’t anyone’s favorite chore. It’s not glamorous. But if you approach it ceremoniously, giving your bathroom the royal treatment that it deserves, you might just find the practice to be rewarding. This holy grail of the house ought to shine - or at least be reasonably grime-free.
In this Choose Your Own Adventure-style cleaning schedule, you can either use all six of our bathroom cleaning steps on one designated cleaning day each week to reach supreme cleanliness OR you can take one step each day, taking the slow and steady approach to a clean bathroom. If you choose the second route, you can dust on Mondays, wipe down on Tuesdays, scrub on Wednesdays, shine on Thursdays, vacuum and mop on Fridays - and then take the weekends off to make a new mess that you’ll continue to mitigate the following week. Whichever method works for you, your bathroom will undoubtedly end up cleaner than it was before.
So, bid that toothpaste splatter art on the mirror farewell and send those hairball tumbleweeds behind the toilet off to greener pastures. Using our bathroom cleaning rituals, you can treat yo’self to a powder room that sparkles because it’s clean - not because you never bothered to mop up all that loose glitter you spilled getting ready for last year’s Pride parade.
Toilet brush + toilet bowl cleaner
Swiffer Sweeper + Swiffer Wetjet
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Clean rags, paper towel or sponge
Stiff bristled brush
Multi-purpose cleaning spray (or mix baking soda + water to DIY cleaning solution)
Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner
Rubber gloves (optional, but will definitely earn you style points)
Chore hack: Keep all of your cleaning supplies in a lil’ caddy or a bucket so when you go to perform your duties, everything’s all there together and eager to assist.
Step 1: prep + de-clutter
Unless you’re one of those Marie Kondo-type minimalist Instagram influencers, your bathroom countertop is likely covered in stuff. And that’s okay! But be sure to relocate all of these items before getting into cleaning. Everything from your toothbrush caddy to all those bottles of product (that you never use) and all that loose jewelry has to make way. All ledges and shelves should be cleared off — we’re looking at you, windowsill plants! — as well as the miscellaneous items on the floor. Shake out the bathmats, move your wastebasket (take out the trash, while you’re at it) and throw all those rogue socks in the hamper.
Step 2: dust
Using a dry rag or Swiffer Duster, first dust off the ceiling fan and vents. Best to work from the top down. Also dust all ledges and shelves. And hey, dust off the plants! (Maybe water them, while you’re at it.) You’ll be back for any dust that may have fallen to the ground a little later. Using a detachable vacuum hose to remove dust from the interior of any fans or vents is also a good solution to rid the bathroom of loose debris before you really get to cleaning. If you want to get really crazy with it, use a compressed air duster to really shake the stuff out of the vents.
Step 3: wipe
Now, you’ve got some more options here. You can fill your sink with hot, soapy water and plug up the drain to serve as a sort of bucket. Soak your rag in the water, wring it out well and run it over everything to clear away any remaining loose dust or grime. Alternatively, you can use your multi-purpose cleaning spray to spray surfaces and then wipe clean with a wet cloth. If you’re using a sort of spray cleaner, be sure to follow instructions which often means leaving the solution to sit for several minutes before wiping off with warm water.
Either way, when we say “wipe off everything,” we mean: Fan blades and vents (careful not to get interior of vents wet) Walls and light switches Countertops (don’t forget to get under those overhanging ledges!) Faucets and handles Shelves (that you’ve presumably cleared off already) Back of the toilet (you know, where you keep the matches) Toilet flusher handle and any random attachments (because bidets are trendy now, haven’t ya heard?) Toilet seat and underneath/exterior of toilet bowl
Step 4: scrub
While you’re letting your cleaning solution sit, move onto the shower. If you’ve got tile and grout shower walls, you can use a bleach/water (about ¾ cup bleach to a gallon of water) solution or your favorite cleaning spray (or that DIY baking soda/water scrub that you made) combined with a stiff bristled scrub brush to really get in there. Grout should be cleaned weekly to avoid any sort of mold or bacteria build up, which will often become visibly noticeable. If you’ve got a porcelain tub, wipe it out with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Durable and be awed how soap scum disappears beneath its curious texture. You can also use your Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to wipe down the walls. If you’ve got a shower curtain on a rod, you can use your wet rag to wipe dust and grime from the rod and individually wipe off the rings.
Using your toilet bowl cleaner, brush and some serious elbow grease, scrub the toilet bowl and beneath the seat thoroughly. Nothing is more embarrassing than an obviously dirty toilet, especially if you’re having your parents over to visit. Oh, the shame!
And when you’re done using your sink as a bucket, drain it and give it a thorough scrub, especially around the drain, faucet and handles.
Step 5: shine
With your glass or window cleaner, spray and wipe off all mirrors, windows and glass surfaces or doors. Some people like to use fancy microfiber towels, while others can’t stand their texture. Paper towels or crumpled newspapers work great for cleaning glass, and you can just toss them in the trash when you’re done. If you’ve got shower doors, spray down both the inside and outside with your glass cleaner then wipe clean. If your mirror is really dirty, you can give it a preliminary wipe with some hot water and Dawn Dish Soap, but be sure to rinse off soap residue with a clean rag before finishing it off with glass cleaner.
Step 6: vacuum + mop
Use either a vacuum or Swiffer Sweeper to trap and lock the hair, dust and dirt from the floor. Next, do a thorough once over with your Swiffer Wetjet mop so that your bathroom floors shine, making sure to get behind the toilet. Where’d you put those bath mats we made you toss out of the way earlier? Vacuum them, as well.
**Step Always: sanitize + disinfect**
Feel free to liberally spray Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner on all hard, non-porous surfaces to sanitize against bacterial for up to 24 hours*. This includes the countertops, shower stalls, bathtubs, toilet exteriors and sink basins. Just spray and walk away, allowing the product to air dry.
Extra credit (monthly) bathroom chores
Tend to clogged drains. Use a drain cleaner to dissolve all those gross hair clumps you know are lurking down there preventing the tub from draining. Consider using one of those hair catcher devices to avoid future clogs, because no one likes standing in an inch of backed up dirty water while showering.
Throw your soggy bath mats in the washing machine. Use the hot cycle, some yummy smelling detergent and a few drops of bleach for extreme cleanliness.
Empty and wipe out your medicine cabinet. Toss expired medicines, makeup and that cucumber-melon scented body spray your inlaws gifted you three years ago.
Run your toothbrush caddy and soap dish through the dishwasher. Also, remove heads from electric toothbrushes and scrub all that weird gunk out with some baking soda on a cotton ball or swab. You want to be cleaning your mouth with a clean toothbrush, afterall.
Sanitize your toilet brush. Let it dry completely after using it and then spray it with disinfectant.
Soak your showerhead overnight in 50/50 vinegar/hot water solution. This will remove mineral deposits and prevent clogging so you can enjoy that feel-good water pressure. If that doesn’t do the trick, you’ve got other options for cleaning your showerhead.
Refill/restock hand soap. Now that you’re done cleaning, wash your dang hands.
Do a load of towels. Run all hand and shower towels through the washing machine, using hot water and dry on a heavy setting.
Once you make bathroom chores a regular habit, it’ll feel natural to wipe off the mirrors real quick as you take your vitamins in the morning. Just like you remember to wash your hands after using the bathroom, it’ll quickly become second nature to run a toilet brush through the bowl once a week or wipe out the sink after you brush your teeth. You’ll begin to hardly acknowledge these chores as an inconvenience. They will just become a part of your routine. And if you’re still struggling to get a hang of it, try using our helpful bathroom cleaning checklist slash cheat sheet.
*When used as directed, effective for 24 hours against Staphylococcus aureus & Enterobacter aerogenes bacteria. Microban 24 does not provide 24-hour residual virus protection.