Our expert tips make cleaning this highly-trafficked (and therefore highly dirty) part of the house fast and easy.

By Megan Boettcher
January 10, 2020

Cleaning the bathroom gets a bad rap. It's often damp, mildew-y, and stinky. Plus, the majority of the bathroom needs to be cleaned by hand—while you can push a vacuum around the living room and a mop around the kitchen, your shower, tub, sink, and toilet all require a manual cleansing, which makes tidying up this space feel like such a big chore. Though there's no denying that cleaning the bathroom requires work, it's not a task that should take you all day. According to Melissa Maker of cleanmyspace.com, there are things you can do to ensure that your once-weekly sanitization eats up as little of your time as possible. "The bathroom can be surprisingly easy to clean if you stay on top of maintaining two things: the counter and the shower," she explains. Here, her top tips for deep cleaning the bathroom, including how often it needs to be done and what you can do to make that task a little bit more manageable.

Annie Schlechter

Related: The Dirtiest Parts of the Bathroom…Cleaned!

Get Into a Weekly Routine

Maker says it's a good idea to schedule a once-weekly sanitization of the bathroom, so choose a day that's convenient for you and make a plan to tackle the space. With that being said, if you stay on top of the counters and keep the shower dry throughout the rest of the week, you shouldn't have to devote a great deal of time to the cleaning—all you'll really need to do is tackle the toilet, sink, and floor—in addition to giving the other spots a quick once-over—on your scheduled cleaning day. Once a week, Maker recommends removing everything from the countertops and cleansing the counters, sink, and faucet; rinse and dry them before moving on to the next task. To clean the toilet, Maker says to use a toilet bowl brush and specialty cleaner. A regular surface cleaner and a microfiber cloth are all you need to cleanse the base and outside of the toilet. Sweep or the floor, and you're done.

Start a Daily Counter Attack

The secret to making a weekly deep clean easy is keeping your bathroom as tidy as possible at all times. At the end of the day, Maker suggests wiping down the counter to catch any recent toothpaste spills, stray hairs, or small puddles. "If you keep a microfiber cloth under the sink and take it out once a day to wipe down the counters you prevent buildup that can get quickly out of hand," Maker says. "Toothpaste, especially, feels like you need a jackhammer to remove if it's allowed to dry out for a day or two. But wiping it up while it's still damp is a cinch." If you hang up the microfiber cloth and allow it to dry properly, you can use the same cloth for your evening wipe down for several days before it needs to be laundered.

Remember That a Dry Shower Is a Clean Shower

The shower is the other area that Maker suggests giving a little attention to each day. The key to a clean shower is a dry shower. "It's crucial to keep the shower dry. Soap scum and mildew can't attach to the surfaces of the bath or shower if there's no water to work with. Take 30 seconds after each shower to squeegee the walls and floor," Maker says. You could also use an absorbent microfiber cloth to dry off shower walls and doors. It doesn't matter if you have glass, tile, or acrylic surfaces in the shower, it will all stay clean if they are dried after each use. Caulk lines where the tile meets the tub is a common area that's tough to clean, but if you take a moment to dry that area after each use, mold and mildew will never be an issue. To keep the bathroom as dry as possible, it's also important to run a ventilation fan—Maker suggests keeping it in for the duration of your shower and for 30 minutes after.

Cleaning Shower Curtains and Rugs

Rugs and towels can start to smell like mildew if they aren't dried out daily. Maker suggests hanging towels to dry after bathing and laundering them after two or three uses. Bathroom rugs should also be laundered regularly to keep the bathroom smelling fresh. If you're keeping the shower dry, you won't have to clean the shower curtain as often as the rugs and towels. Laundering it once every two to three months will be enough.

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