Hi friends, welcome back to the Spring Cleaning Series! This week we are heading into my absolute least favorite room in the house to clean; the bathroom. If you are like me, living in a house of boys, you may share my feelings on this one. Let’s be honest; bathrooms go through some serious wear and tear. But it’s also super important that your bathrooms are clean and sanitized!
If you are cleaning your bathrooms on a regular basis, this week shouldn’t require too much extra work.
Shower and Tub
Walls and Ceiling
A lot of foot traffic visits the bathroom on a daily basis, so it is important the flooring get a deep cleaning from time to time. Give your flooring a thorough mopping. Since bathrooms are relatively small spaces, I typically forgo the mop and just clean on my hands and knees. This ensures that you won’t miss any spots, and results in a much deeper clean.
Linoleum: Linoleum flooring requires a mixture of water and dish soap. You can use a mop or dish towel, depending on which method you choose. With linoleum, it is important not to leave any standing water on the floor, which could cause warping. For this reason, it is necessary to work in small sections, drying as you go.
Wood: Wood flooring requires a mixture of Murphy Oil Soap and water, using a mop or dish towel. Again, work in small sections and dry as you go.
Tile: The best method for cleaning tile is a water and dish soap mixture. The tedious part of cleaning tile floor, however, is the grout portion. If you followed along for the Spring Cleaning Series Kitchen Edition, then you know my thoughts on grout!
Grout: There are multiple options for cleaning your grout. You can use a cleaner specifically designed to clean grout. I have also used toilet bowl cleaner with bleach. If you are looking for a more natural option, you can also use equal parts vinegar and water or baking soda and water. Whichever method you decide to use, you will need to apply it to your grout lines and let sit for approximately five minutes.
I usually work in small sections so the cleaner doesn’t dry out before I make it that far. Then you will need a brush to scrub. There are brushes specifically designed for grout cleaning, but I find a cheap toothbrush works just as well. Once the whole floor is clean, wipe it down with soap and water or your usual steam cleaning routine.
If you cannot achieve the look you were hoping for with a simple cleaning, there is another option for you! Last spring, I discovered an amazing product at Lowe’s designed for re-staining your grout. It works amazing and makes your grout look fresh and new! I love it so much that I will be writing an entire piece on it soon!
This is a good time to get yourself organized. Empty your entire vanity. Discard anything past it’s expiration date, or anything you no longer use. Anything worth saving can be donated. Not sure what’s staying and what’s going? Check out Organizing 101 for tips on where to begin.
Once the entire vanity is empty, now is the time to thoroughly clean it, inside and out. You can use a soap and water mixture to give everything a good scrubbing and then let it air dry. Depending on the condition of your vanity interior, you may also want to add some fresh shelf paper at this time. In the meantime, head to the dollar store and buy yourself some plastic bins to organize the contents returning to your cabinets. Now you can get everything put back in its place!
Shower and Tub
Ahhhh… officially my absolute least favorite place to clean in the entire house. Soap scum is not my friend. And if you have a separate tub and shower unit, then unfortunately you get double the work.
There are a few different areas to prioritize here. The best place to start is your faucets; tub faucet and shower head. Over time, soap scum, residue and debris can accumulate on the faucets, and since this is the source of water ‘cleaning’ you, you need to ensure they are sparkling clean! The easiest way to clean your faucets is to fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and attach it using a rubber band, twist tie, or just tie the actual bag. Leave the vinegar to soak for a couple of hours, and then let the water run to rinse clean for a minute. Just like that, clean, sanitized faucets!
The next thing you will need to check for is any caulking you may have around your tub, shower, or tub surround. Over time, caulking tends to accumulate soap scum, or even start to chip away. Now is the time to repair this. The easiest way is to use a utility knife to cut out the old caulking, and then reapply a fresh layer to all of your seams.
The last area for your shower and tub is to refresh any grout you may have. For this step, you can use the same grout cleaning technique described above in the flooring section.
For your linen closet, the best option is to totally gut it and start from scratch. Just like bedroom closets, linen closets, when left unattended, can turn into a giant dumping ground. Refer to Organizing 101 for the steps to take to get your closet organized!
Ok I included the toilet because it’s in the bathroom, and of course it needs cleaned! However, most of us clean the toilet on a regular basis; especially those of us in a house full of boys. Our toilets get extra cleaning love! Anyhow, it needed to go on the list, but there’s really nothing special about ‘spring cleaning’ a toilet. Sorry to disappoint. The only extra step you may want to take if you don’t usually do so is remove the entire toilet seat to get a good cleaning underneath all of the attachments.
First, you will need to wipe all of the dust off of the boards with a dry dust cloth. I also find that a dry Swiffer pad works well too. Then you will need to make a soap and water mixture for white baseboards, and a Murphy oil soap and water mixture for wood baseboards. Give the baseboards a wipe down and scrub out any spots or stains. Follow behind with a drying cloth. Last, give the entire perimeter of baseboards a wipe down with dryer sheets to help prevent additional dust buildup.
If you find any damage along the way, be sure to repair it now too. For white baseboards, you may need to touch up the paint or apply an entirely new coat of paint. For wood, fill in any cracks or gauges with wood filler and scratches with a wood pen.
Walls and Ceiling
The first step to cleaning your ceilings and walls is to attack the dust bunnies. Using a dry Swiffer to reach up high, you can wipe everything down, paying special attention to corners. You may also need a vacuum for this. If you have an exhaust fan, remove the dome… and duck your head. Chances are, you may see some falling dust bunnies and even a stray bug or too. Wipe out the inside of the exhaust, clean the dome, and replace it.
Next, it’s time to wash your walls. This used to be such a dreaded, tedious project for me. It seems that if you only spot clean your walls, then you can always see what was cleaned and what wasn’t. But washing your entire walls would take forever! I discovered a new solution! Use a Swiffer to tackle your walls. This is simply the quickest, most efficient method I have found. I put a Swiffer pad on the stick, and then apply my cleaning solution of choice to the pad. Then just work up and down the walls, similar to rolling paint. This will leave you with fresh and clean walls with a uniform look.
Hooray! The dreaded bathroom deep cleaning is finally finished… or if you live in a house of boys like me, until the next pee dribbles find their way to the bathroom floor. In any case, give yourselves a pat on the back and enjoy the fresh, bleachy-clean scent of a spring cleaned bathroom.
Be sure to check back next week for Week 5 of the Spring Cleaning Series… we are in the home stretch!