Although apparently your kitchen sink is dirtier than your toilet, nothing feels like a dirtier job than cleaning the bathroom. All the more reason to clean it as thoroughly as you can. Taking a look at these often overlooked ways to tidy the bathroom could very well make your bathroom cleaner than it’s ever been.
Next time “bathroom cleaning” shows up on your chore checklist, consider adding one or more of these tasks that might be missing from your routine. Or, add some of them to a deeper bathroom cleaning rotation you tackle at least once a season or so.
1. Not cleaning the toilet thoroughly enough
Dust the toilet first to avoid dragging a line of dust and hair along the outside of your toilet when you clean it. Undoing the seat or using a screwdriver to help get in crevices that a rag won’t fit into will give a deep clean that eradicates any lingering odors.
2. Not drying the toilet brush
Use this handy trick from Clean Mama to dry the toilet brush after each use: Sandwich the brush between the toilet and the seat, with the business end hovering over the bowl. Then give it a quick spray with hydrogen peroxide to disinfect before leaving it to drip dry. Do it this way and you won’t have that icky pool of dirty toilet water lurking in the brush stand. (Just don’t forget to put the brush back before guests use the bathroom.)
3. Not scrubbing the “seams”
Cleaning the seams means addressing the places where faucets meet the counter, the counter meets the wall, the drain plug sits in the sink, the tub meets the wall, and any other part where vertical and horizontal surfaces meet. Grime collects in these spots if you don’t hit them with a spritz of cleaner and a cleaning brush regularly.
4. Forgetting to replace your toothbrushes
Due to bacterial growth and wear and tear, the American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months or when bristles are frayed, whichever comes first.
5. Never cleaning your hair tools and accessories
You may periodically comb the collection of hair from your brushes. (Anyone else’s mother teach them to throw it into the yard for the birds to find for their nests? Just mine?) But over time, body oils and hair product can leave a film of residue on brushes, hair clips, and other accessories. Scrub them with a few drops of shampoo on a small cleaning brush (like your detail brush or an old toothbrush regulated to cleaning duty) before rinsing in warm water.
6. Not washing your shower curtain and liner
This obviously doesn’t need to happen every time you clean the bathroom, but if you never do it, you could be hosting mold and bacteria. I prefer a fabric shower curtain liner that I can toss in the washing machine without much thought, but you can also wash plastic shower curtains with bleach or vinegar.
7. Not maintaining your counter properly
If you have granite (or other stone) counters in your bathrooms, don’t forget to polish and seal them whenever you do your kitchen’s counters. Stone counters are naturally porous and without proper maintenance, water and bacteria can seep in and mar the surface.
8. Forgetting to flip the fan switch on
Because they’re regularly inundated with hot, moist air, bathrooms are highly prone to mold and mildew growth. Using the fan every single time you take a shower, and running it for a while after you leave the room, can drastically reduce this risk.
If you don’t have an exhaust fan in your bathroom (lots of older apartments don’t), you can open a window after your shower instead. If you don’t have a window (lots of bathrooms don’t), get a small portable humidifier you can keep a safe distance from your wet spaces (electronics and water don’t mix). Turn it on before you get in the shower, and leave it running for 20 minutes after you get out, then you can drain the water reservoir right into your shower or sink.
9. Not cleaning your cleaning tools often enough
Maybe you toss the rags you use when cleaning the bathroom into the wash after every use, but what about your scrubbing pads, sponges, or cleaning brushes? If you don’t clean and disinfect these, you run the cross-contamination risk of actually making things dirty when you think you’re cleaning them. Some of your cleaning tools can go through a spin in the dishwasher, or you can clean them by hand every so often with a disinfectant of your choice (an oxygen bleach bath works great).
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