Sanitize It: Bathroom Edition

How to Properly Clean And Sanitize A Bathroom

If I told you you’d be spending two weeks living in your bathroom, would you reconsider your current sanitation routine? While this might seem laughable, according to an ABC News report, Americans spend up to two weeks in the bathroom each year – and possibly more for those of you browsing on smartphones during precarious human moments. That being said, we might as well make all that bathroom time a more pleasant experience by cleaning and sanitizing it the right way!

The Throne

Your toilet is the hot seat of your home and not just because it’s busy – it’s also a hotbed for grime and germs! And giving the toilet bowl and occasional swish, well, just doesn’t cut it. There’s actually a proper way to clean your toilet and a proper “order of operations” so to speak. 

Step One: And I am guilty of forgetting this myself – is actually to clear away anything that might be hanging around in your potty’s peripheral. You are cleaning up messes, yes, but reality is, the job can be quite messy and you’ll want to avoid any splish-splashes or drips from contaminating a neighboring magazine rack or area rug. Also, remember to remove anything on top of the tank you wouldn’t want falling in as you scrub the bowl!

Step Two: Flush the toilet with the lid down to overspray and then pour in the cleaner of your choice. 

Step Three: Work from the top/outside down and inside, meaning wipe the outer surfaces, starting at the tank and flusher handle and work your way down to the outer seat cover, then the seat, and finally the bowl where you’ll clean from the top down as well. 

Start cleaning the exterior by grabbing a disinfecting spray and spritz the entire toilet, including the back of the base and the underside of the seat. Also spray the walls behind and beside the toilet. 

Allow the cleaner to sit for at least five minutes or as directed by the product label.

Once enough time has elapsed, wipe away grime and debris from the exterior surfaces working  top down. 

Begin cleaning the bowl from the top down. Start by scrubbing under the rim and actually look under the rim to get all the stains and grime off. Next, scrub the bowl and finish scrubbing the drain hole opening at the bottom of the toilet bowl. Flush the toilet with the lid down.

Wash the floor around the toilet, but first be sure to wipe away any drips – especially the notorious “drippy” part of the toilet – located down the front of the outer bowl and along the sides of the toilet’s base. 

As you clean the floor (I prefer to hand wash the floor around the toilet) Double check that you have cleaned all those nooks and crannies around the base and wipe around back where dust and debris collect. 

Cleaning Your Shower 

Continuing with the top to bottom cleaning theme, you’ll want to start with sanitizing your shower head if time allows. 

*One simple trick – pour a healthy helping of white vinegar into a plastic grocery bag and completely submerge the shower head nozzle then tie it in place. All to soak overnight if your can. 

Plastic shower curtains and liners can be machine washed with regular detergent and a few old towels to remove soap scum and mildew, then hang them to dry.

One simple trick for shower doors is to make a simple paste of a cup of baking soda with a few drops of white vinegar that can be applied directly to the door. You can let it sit for an hour while you clean the rest of the bathroom then wipe with a microfiber cloth. Finish by rinsing with water and polish them up with a dry cloth. Otherwise, clean your shower doors with the preferred cleaner of your choice, as with the tub, which can go about a week before needing a good scrub. 

To help prevent mildew and mold from condensation, it is important to wipe any moisture from all surfaces after showering and leave the window open for an hour a day if possible to get rid of excess humidity. 

The Sink 

Clean away any grime using a general purpose cleaner or soap and water, then spray a disinfectant bathroom cleaner all around the bathroom sink. 

Allow the disinfectant spray to sit for the amount of time recommended by the product label before wiping with a cloth or sponge.

Be sure to spray or wipe faucet handles with a disinfectant spray or wipe, also allowing them to remain wet for the required time to disinfect these high touch surfaces.

The Floor Finisher 

If you have grout, plan to give it a scrub once a week using a multipurpose cleaner or a bleach-based cleaner like Softscrub gel, if that doesn’t work. Rinse and wipe dry. 

Clean your bathroom floor to your preference with a multipurpose cleaner or plain old vinegar and water. Hand-washing works well to get into all the little cracks and crevices around the toilet and tub especially. 

Seal The Sanitizing Deal

You do this by taking the time to clean your cleaning tools!

Prop the wet toilet brush under the seat cover and pour bleach or cleaning solution over the bristled end into the toilet bowl. Allow it to sit for a minute, then rinse.

 To clean the brush canister, simply fill it with warm, soapy water and dump into the toilet to flush. Allow the brush to air out completely before putting it away to prevent bacteria growth.

And finally, if you are using reusable gloves, be sure to clean and sanitize them as well before peeling them off and stashing them. 

Wash any cleaning rags separately from other laundry in hot water.