For a room used to achieve personal hygieneFor a room used to achieve personal hygiene, the bathroom can be, ironically very unhygienic. Unfortunately, every time you shower, you leave germs, dirt and bacteria lying around your wet rooms. Bathrooms are also the perfect environment for fungi to grow. Consequently, bathrooms need to be cleaned regularly and thoroughly to avoid a build-up of germs and parasites that can cause health hazards. Keeping a clean bathroom also aids in preserving its features, considering that renovation is neither cheap nor easy.
Most importantly, showering in a dirty bathroom has never felt right. You will always end up feeling dirty even after a good scrub if the bathroom is covered in scum and mould. Cleaning the bathroom may sound like an easy kind of task, but it actually requires more effort than most other rooms. In this article, we give you a detailed step by step guide on how to clean your bathroom and give it a new lease of life;
Where do you begin with a complete clean?
Unlike cleaning a living room or a bedroom where a vacuum cleaner and feather dusters dominate the process, cleaning a bathroom entails a lot of scrubbing. Most of the work is manual, and you need a lot of cleaning supplies to complete the process. Moreover, different parts of the bathroom are made of different materials which require different approaches. Here are some step-by-step tips to cleaning your bathroom;
- Assess the bathroom to establish what kind of dirt you’re dealing with and the parts that need to be cleaned
- Create a checklist of elements to clean
- Collect your cleaning supplies, which include, detergents/cleaners, gloves, sponges, brushes, scrubbers, bucket and mops or cleaning cloths
- Go through the labels on cleaners to ensure no ingredients are toxic or too harsh on bathroom materials such as tiles, sinks, tubs, etc.
- Clear the bathroom by removing anything that you do not intend to wash, such as buckets, clothes, basins, toiletries and personal care products
- Dust the walls and windows and clear cobwebs
- tart the cleaning process by following the guidelines below
BATHROOM CLEANING TIPS TO CONSIDER
1) Start from top to bottom
There are a lot of areas to clean in a bathroom, from the shower drains to the tub and walls. Often, dirt from the walls, shower heads and sinks ends up trickling down to the floor or bathtub. This is why you need to start cleaning the upper elements to avoid doing double work. Start with the uppermost parts such as the windows, walls, shower heads and sinks and finish off with the floor.
2) Use hot, hot water on drainage areas
Sinks, tubs, toilet bowls and drainage systems tend to experience scum build up inside their drainage systems. Such build-up may cause blockages, and fouls smell if left unattended for long periods. To get rid of such, pour hot water into these areas before or after cleaning the entire bathroom.
3) Invest in the right cleaning supplies for each element
You may be tempted to use your cheap powder soap because it seems efficient and it smells good. However, cheap can often mean ineffective. Bathrooms don’t harbour ordinary dirt such as dust particles, they provide a cosy home for slime, fungi (mould), bacteria and many parasites. Remember, bacteria thrives in wet areas.
This is why you need to use designated cleaners and cleaning materials. Each part of the bathroom requires substances with the right combination of chemicals. For example, mould infested areas require acid-based solutions while the toilet bowl and bathtub might need anti-bacterial materials to ensure total germ elimination.
4) Create a bathroom cleaning checklist beforehand
With so many areas to clean in a bathroom, it’s easy to forget the shower curtain or the medicine cabinet. Therefore, work with a checklist to ensure you cover everything. Below is a sample checklist;
- Toilet bowl
- Shower curtain
- Sink and taps
- Drainage systems
- Medicine cabinet
5) Change the towels and mats
Mats and towels carry germs too. Therefore, cleaning a bathroom and leaving these two untouched will only allow bacteria to crawl back into your clean bathroom. Ensure you clean the mats and towels as well and replace them with fresh ones.
CLEANING DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE BATHROOM
How to clean bathroom tiles?
Bathroom wall tiles are notorious for retaining soap scum and dust particles. They can lose their sparkle, primarily if you use oily soaps and beauty products to clean them. To restore their oomph effectively, you need a sponge or scrubber, tile cleaner/detergent, a spray bottle and a dry towel (that you do not use yourself). Start by applying the softener on the tiles and leave it for a while. This will help loosen up scum and dirt, making it easy to scrub.
You may then scrub the tiles gently with your sponge or scrubber from top to bottom. Try to work on each tile by scrubbing and spraying with water before moving on to the next tile. This will prevent the detergent and dirt from drying up before you can rinse it off. Once you’re done cleaning all the tiles, rinse thoroughly with clean water and wipe with a dry towel.
An easy alternative to bathroom tiles, which are easier to clean and require less elbow grease are shower panels, these are easily installed and require minimum upkeep.
How to clean mould off bathroom sealant?
Mould is not only unhealthy but also unappealing and gross when it covers your bathroom sealant. Unfortunately, mildew is not your regular dirt that can be scrubbed off in a second, it is a fungus that grows and even spreads to other areas if not handled carefully. To get rid of this unhealthy fungus, use a mould remover, water and a scrubber or brush. Apply the remover and leave it for a few minutes to allow it to work on the mould. You may then scrub it off and rinse with water.
Tip; Mould grows in wet areas with poor ventilation and sunlight. Therefore, open the windows to allow air and light into the bathroom if you want to prevent further mould growth.
Hack; it is essential to note that mould can be resistant to designated detergents and removers, especially if it’s stuck on porous sealants. If this is the case in your bathroom, try out favourite hacks such as applying white vinegar, baking soda or a little of both in water.
How to clean bathroom tile grout?
Tile grout is the thin strip of sealant in-between tiles. Grout absorbs all kinds of dirt, and it can turn brown or black if left unwashed for long. Cleaning the tiles will not get rid of dirt build-up in the grout. You will, therefore, need a small brush and detergent to clean it. All you need to do is apply cleanser, scrub and rinse with water.
Tip; use an old toothbrush to scrub the grout as it works better than bigger brushes with large bristles. Also, make sure you clean the grout before working on tile surfaces to avoid spreading dirt from the grout to clean tiles.
How to clean the bathroom floor?
The bathroom floor should be the last part you clean. The method you use will depend highly on the floor’s material. There are multiple different bathroom flooring options from Marble and ceramic tiles require different cleaning approaches and detergents;
How to clean bathroom marble floor tiles; marble is a sensitive natural stone which needs to be protected from scratches and harsh cleaners. Avoid acidic detergents, including homemade solutions. When cleaning marble tiles use mild cleaners or commercial marble soap. Start by wiping the floor with a soft piece of cloth or sweeping it with a soft brush to remove any dirt that might scratch the floor.
Proceed to apply the marble cleaner and scrub gently with a delicate piece of cloth or sponge. Once you’re done washing the floor, rinse with clean water and wipe with a dry piece of cloth or mop.
How to clean ceramic floor tiles; Ceramic tiles do not require much caution like marble. You may use ordinary detergents alongside a brush, but first, sweep the floor with a brush before applying your cleaner. When scrubbing ceramic floor tiles, you don’t need to be gentle; you may also use a scrubber but remember to wear gloves to avoid picking germs and parasites with your fingertips. When you’re done scrubbing the floor, rinse with a lot of water and ensure you dry it off to prevent mould from growing.
How to clean your bathroom sink?
Makeup spills and toothpaste splatters can be disgusting if they build-up on the pan. Luckily, cleaning the bathroom sink is quite easy. First, clear the counter and wipe the area with a wet cloth. Second, fill up the sink with warm water and pour a mild detergent into the water. Dip a sponge into the water and use it to clean the counter and the sink.
If your medicine cabinet is located above the sink. You may also use this water and sponge to clean it up. Clear the enclosure, wipe it with a dry cloth and then scrub it with the soapy sponge. When you’re done washing both the sink and the cabinet, allow the water to drain and fill the pan with clean water. Dip a fresh piece of cloth into the water and use it to wipe the sink and the cabinet.
How to clean bathroom taps?
Taps are like jewellery in a bathroom. They add a unique sparkle but not when they’re greasy and dull. It’s easy to ignore the taps after you’ve cleaned everything, but they too pick up their fair share of germs every time you touch them. Cleaning them, however, doesn’t require much besides a good scrub with regular detergents. You can use warm water to get rid of all the grease. To restore the shimmer, soak a ball of cotton wool in vinegar and wrap it around the taps, especially in areas covered in limescale. Leave the cotton balls overnight and allow them to do their magic. Then remove and wipe with a warm cloth.
POPULAR BATHROOM CLEANING HACKS
If you’re short on cash or you don’t like using filters made with harmful chemicals, then you’re in luck. As you may have noticed, vinegar has been mentioned above. This kitchen product seems to be magical when it comes to cleaning bathrooms. It is used alongside bicarbonate soda to remove grease, mould, mildew and limescale (from taps). Its acidic properties work on tough bathroom germs thoroughly. Just pour it into a spray bottle and apply it on tiles, windows and taps when cleaning.
Shaving foam works too
Are you wondering what to do with your mirrors? Some homeowners can attest to the power of shaving foam. It gives bathroom mirrors (which are prone to mist) an impeccable shimmer that lasts up to three weeks, even when you’re using your hot shower regularly. Apply it on the mirror and wipe with a piece of cloth. Rub it in circular motions until you get your mirror’s new look back.
Have you tried grapefruit?
Do you want a beautiful smelling bathroom without investing in expensive cleaners? Grapefruit can help you achieve that. If you squeeze the grapefruit juice into the tab when washing, it not only boosts other detergents’ cleaning power but it also leaves your bathroom smelling of…? You’ve guessed it, grapefruit!
Baby oil instead of chrome polish
Why invest in expensive chrome polish for your taps and wall trims when you can use baby oil. If your baby doesn’t use much oil, put it to good use by polishing different chrome accessories in your bathroom. Just pour a little amount on a towel and rub it around the desired area.
Cleaning a bathroom is not an easy task, it needs to be done often, especially in areas we have a lot of contact with e.g. toilets, or cleaning shower heads. It requires a systematic approach if you want to cover all the crucial areas. Remember that leaving certain parts unattended to can lead to the spread of germs immediately after the clean-up exercise. This is why you need to work with a checklist. Besides, developing a cleaning routine to prevent a build-up of bacteria and fungus.
Another essential point to note is the need to keep your bathroom dry and well ventilated, even though it is a wet area. Dampness and lack of air provide the perfect environment for bacteria and fungus to breed and grow. Therefore, develop a habit of wiping your bathroom regularly to get rid of wetness.
How often should you clean your bathroom?
Now you have a step-by-step guide to cleaning your bathroom along with some helpful tips and tricks, how often should you be cleaning your bathroom? How often you go through this process completely depends on your household activities and schedule. However, to keep you space looking and smelling fresh we recommend a minimum of once a week. Particularly if you are using bathroom panels in your home, a quick and smooth wipe down once a week is enough maintenance to keep them looking shiny and show room ready.
Buzzfeed recently posted an article stating that each person that uses your bathroom leaves behind a germ passport. Which means they leave behind their very own “microbe goody bag” that can spread throughout your washing and cleaning space. After speaking to microbiologists, Philip M. Tierno PHD and Charles Gerba PHD said that “your body has a natural immunity and normal flora that will compete with any intrusive orgasm”. So these germs that build up in your bathroom will not cause any direct harm, however practicing good personal hygiene and regular cleaning within these spaces is a must to keep germs at bay and stop mould developing.