Bathroom Cleaning 101

(See the before pic!)

Bathroom cleaning is never a particularly enjoyable task; for most people, it suggests a lot of scrubbing, a lot of touching of gross things, and heavy duty chemicals. If commercials are anything to go by, (and they most certainly are), most people approach bathroom cleaning with a “KILL IT WITH FIRE!” attitude.

But bathroom cleaning can be a kinder and gentler experience for everyone involved. Indeed, if your bathroom is new or newly grouted / caulked and sealed, nuking it from space will only hurt your pretty bathroom. However, if your bathroom (like mine) was a lie when you moved in, and you later realized that someone had covered up mildewy caulk with a layer of hastily and messily applied caulk, then the rampant mildew problem overtaking your bathroom is not your fault. 

None of this is going to get you particularly far if your bathroom needs to be repaired or your caulk needs to be replaced. However, this is good stuff for maintaining and maximizing the lifespan of those things.

Tub & Shower

1. Stop using soap

Oh yes, part of keeping your shower clean means you have to change how you clean yourself. Zen, right? I know. But as gross as this sounds at first, replacing your bar soap with body wash will save you so much effort in the long run. Bar soap leaves tons of residue all over your shower and surrounds, and it’s a nightmare to scrub off. So don’t. Switch to body wash and never deal with soap scum again. Yay!

2. Stop cleaning your surround

These titles are really click-bait. But the truth is you really shouldn’t be cleaning your surround, at least not with sprays or soaps or chemicals. You’ll just degrade and stain your grout and caulk. There’s really no need to clean it either, so long as you wipe down your tile with a clean wash cloth after showers. It takes no more than a minute, and it means you’ll literally never have to clean your tile surround ever again.

3. Stop scrubbing your tub

Your tub doesn’t need a lot of heavy duty cleaning, but it will get grody after a week or two, even if you’re doing all the things above. Assuming you aren’t wiping down your tub, too, which is a bit much, even by my standards. You don’t need to nuke it from space or scrub like crazy to get that lovely caked on patina of dried soap suds and dead skin off your tub. No, instead, just mix up a batch of what I call “Magic in a Bottle.”

Magic in a Bottle Recipe

1 part Dawn dish detergent
1 part Finish rinse aid (optional, but helps this rinse quick)
2 parts white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Heat vinegar in a microwave safe container for 1-2 minutes, or on the stove until real fuckin’ fragrant and steaming, but not boiling.
  2. Using a funnel, fill a clean spray bottle with the rinse aid and dawn
  3. Carefully add the hot vinegar and mix gently

To use:

  1. Spray over tub sides and bottom and let sit for a minute or more, as needed – not too long, though, or that shit will dry, and then that’s more to clean
  2. Rinse thoroughly with warm water – if you have a hand held shower head, this is super easy to do, but a large cup will get ya there, too

This also works really well on shower stall doors / glass surrounds. It just stinks to holy heaven because vinegar. Hot vinegar reeks, but it doesn’t give me headaches or nausea – which is crucial, because my bathroom is tiny and poorly ventilated. I don’t need to gas myself once a week trying to clean my fucking house.

Once the tub is clean, and the surround is wiped down, I’ll give the faucet and fixtures a quick polish with a clean wash cloth, and then I’m done. There you go. Clean and sparkling bath tub in three simple steps that involve doing less, not more!

Everything else

Vanity

You see that beautiful vanity up there? Yeah, that’s a marble top. You wanna know how I keep it beautifully clean? With water. I literally just wipe it down after I use it to get up all the water drops. That’s it. I’ll wipe down the faucet now and then to clean off water marks. Once a week, I’ll grab some hand soap and wash out the sink itself. That’s it.

Toilet

This is where I will nuke things from orbit.

There are two kinds of toilet bowl cleaners in this world. The ones that work, and the ones that don’t. The ones that work are a rare breed, and before I paid much attention to cleaning products, I’d just pick up whatever was available or on sale without really keeping track of what worked.

Boy, I sure noticed the ones that didn’t work, though. I finally found my true blue love again, though, and it’s Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with a name like “Lysol POWER” but this stuff is the real deal. It just fucking works. And it’s viscous enough to stick to the toilet bowl and really get all in there. It also smells minty fresh, and will leave a tingling / burning sensation if you are stupid enough to let it touch any part of your exposed flesh. That’s how you know it’s working.

As Amazon reviewer Norman Davis wrote:

The best stuff out there. So good they’ll probably forbid it’s sale soon, so get some.
That’s how I clean the inside of the toilet. The outside of the toilet is trickier, because it has all those little nooks and crannies that are just annoying to clean. So here’s the deal.
Get a toilet seat with the easy-clean clips. This means you can pop the entire seat off without having to go through the cumbersome process of screwing and unscrewing the nuts / bolts that attach it to your toilet. You just pop it off and on for cleaning, easy peasy. From there, I just swish a Clorox wipe over everything, toilet seat included, and make sure there’s no dust. Done.

Mirror

I mean, it’s a mirror. There’s windex. This is very simple, even for this blog’s standards.

Floors

Bathroom floors get grody over time. Dust, steam, moistures – none of it lends itself well to anything, so you’re gonna have to get in there and clean it. Grab a hand vac, suck up all the crumbs and dust out of the corners, then give it a quick mop. I like the O Cedar mop in conjunction with Method squirt and mop floor cleaner. I’m a fancy lass.

But you can mix up just about anything you want and go to town. Gentler is invariably better, though. Remember what I said about grout? Regular gentle cleaning will help ensure your grout doesn’t stain and lasts a good long time. If you’ve inherited funky lookin’ tile, consider getting it professionally cleaned and sealed. A lot of places also offer tinting / dying, which means you may be able to change the color of your grout as well. Things you never knew you needed until now.

Dust

My bathroom is mostly tile, and an over-the-toilet organizer. I’ll wipe everything down with a damp wash cloth or a paper towel and that does it. Not too bad, huh? 1,255 words. Fuck, well, whatever, I’m verbose. It’s actually a pretty quick and simple process.

What’s all this about?

Have you ever stressed about how to get - and keep - your bathroom clean without spending hours scrubbing each week? Does the phrase "meal planning" make you fall into the fetal position while clutching a takeout menu? Do you think Pinterest is made up of insane sadistic people who have too much time and craft glue? Do you want to learn how to cook, but don't know where to start? Are you trying to lose weight, but find "guilt free brownies" a disgusting and sad waste of perfectly good chocolate?

I've spent years of my life, years figuring this shit out, and in an effort to earn fame and fabulous fortune, I'm giving you lots of tips and ideas and funny commentary out of the kindness and goodness of my heart. So y'all fucking come back now, hear?

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