How to Clean Your Bathroom


When I once moved into a forty-year-old apartment building, along with its forty-year-old bathroom, I learned the horrors of cleaning a truly nasty bathroom.

I spent many hours trying to clean the bathroom with every commercial cleaner under the sun. I spent tons of money, returning time after time to the grocery store buying yet another lime remover, scum buster and odor controller.

I figured eventually I would find the magic product. The magic product existed the whole time but I was looking in the wrong place – it was sitting on my kitchen counter.

That gallon of white vinegar would have taken care of most of my issues if I had known then what I know now.

Now, there is no way that a forty-year-old bathroom is going to look perfectly new, but we can get you close!

White vinegar at about $2 a gallon will take care of most of the issues in your bathroom, throw in a few other inexpensive products and you are good to go.

Mold and Mildew Removal

The first defense against mold and mildew is to prevent it so you never have to go to battle with it in the first place. One way to prevent it is to spray a layer of hydrogen peroxide and water in a 50/50 mix on the walls and don’t forget the ceiling. When spraying the ceiling always make sure you wear goggles.

This mixture acts as a non-toxic bleach and keeps the mold and mildew from depositing. The ceiling is especially important because the steam from the showers stays on the ceiling and is a wonderful warm breeding ground for all of those germs.

If you already have some growth, you can spray again in a couple of hours. If the mildew hasn’t disappeared with the second spray, you can spray a third time the next day.

If you are getting mildew growth on your shower curtain, one of the best ideas is to cut off the seam along the bottom so the mildew doesn’t have those little crevices to grow in. When the shower curtain gets dirty, throw it in the wash along with your rags, and wash it in hot water. Toss in a cup of vinegar to get rid of the soap scum.

Cleaning Bathtubs and Toilets

Citrus cleaners are great for cutting through the grime and grease that kids leave behind.

For grimy toilets, a cup of bleach is a good, cheap and highly effective disinfectant to put in the tank. This is cost effective considering how much we pay for other cleaners. Weekly should do it, unless it is a highly used bathroom.

Be sure you are not using other cleaners that might conflict with the bleach. Also, don’t put bleach in the toilet if you have kids or pets that might touch, or even worse, drink the water.

One trick for removing the lime ring around the toilet is a packet of citrus drink. Use something like Tang ™ Breakfast Drink or lemon/lime Kool Aid ™ unsweetened drink and sprinkle it around the dry toilet. Leave it for an hour, then brush it and flush. Be sure you turn off the water and let the toilet bowl dry before treating it.

Bathroom Odors

The bathroom can be especially difficult to keep free of odors. Of course, you can use the typical remedies like candles and room spray but there are a few other things you might want to try.

Keeping a bottle of vinegar and water mix in equal parts around to spray when you leave the bathroom will also help keep the odors under control.

The vinegar spray will help keep the bathroom clean and the actual smell of vinegar only lasts a few seconds.

Some people prefer a lingering scent. Using vanilla extract or essential oils on a porous decorative dish or trinket in the bathroom will leave a warm, sweet smell.

Putting baking soda in the bottom of the trashcans in the bathroom will help absorb odors and also in the bottom of the kitty litter pan if you happen to keep that in the bathroom as well. If you keep your towels in the bathroom, try placing a dryer sheet between each towel and the warm steam from the bathroom will set off the scent from the dryer sheets.

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