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10 Ways You’re Cleaning Your Bathroom All Wrong

Avoid these cleaning mistakes for a sparkling, healthy bathroom.

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sprayFlashon Studio/Shutterstock

You Use Paper Towels

Haven’t you noticed you can go through a whole roll of paper towels before you’ve finished cleaning the bathroom? Not only are paper towels wasteful, but they’re not nearly as effective as a microfiber towel. Microfiber cloths are made of ultra-fine synthetic fibers that pick up dirt and dust, allowing you to avoid using so many sprays. And because you can wash and reuse them, they’re environmentally friendly too!

“You can use a microfiber towel that will be reused over and over again and save you going through many, many paper towels and less cleaning solvent — so it can be really effective in reducing overall materials used,” explains Shelie Miller, an associate professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan.

As for washing them, Miller suggests only doing so when necessary. “Limiting the amount of times you put it in a washer cycle will limit how much you abrade some of these fibers.”

Cleaning the wrong way can waste time, and it can potentially make your home dirtier!

Microfiber cleaning cloths can be tossed in the laundry or thoroughly washed after each use to remove gunk or grime.

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vacuumFotoDuets/Shutterstock

You Don’t Vacuum


While you’re likely to find less mess on the bathroom floor than in the kitchen and other heavily frequented living spaces, the bathroom could use some TLC from the vacuum too! Just because it’s not carpet doesn’t mean you should go right to mopping. Vacuuming (or sweeping) prior to mopping ensures loose dirt and debris are removed, and allows for a more efficient floor wash. Here are 13 things you should never, ever vacuum.

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cleanDiego Cervo/Shutterstock

You Don’t Allow Time for Cleaning Products to Do Their Job


To get the job done in record time, you might be tempted to spray and wipe away immediately, but don’t! By doing so, you fail to give the cleaning products enough time to kill bacteria. Your best bet is to read the directions on the products you use. Let your product sit for the recommended time to ensure they have time to disinfect the way they’re intended to. Check out these homemade cleaners that can be made with simple ingredients.

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wipegoir/Shutterstock

You Use the Wrong Products on Chrome


Because chrome is a soft metal, cleaning chrome should be done carefully. If you use any type of harsh scrubber, like a scouring pad, the chrome can get scratched. To properly clean chrome, simply dip a soft cloth into a solution of warm water and dish soap, then scrub the grime off the chrome. Over the course of a week these cleaning ideas will make the whole house shine. Spend one day on each room, so nothing is overlooked.

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ladyAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

You Scrub Bathroom Tiles Too Hard


Dirty shower tiles can be infuriating, causing you to put all your elbow grease into making them sparkle. However, you shouldn’t have to break a sweat. The right cleaning combination — of scrubber and solution — should get the job done quickly and relatively easily, especially if you clean your tiles regularly. If you’re working hard, swap out the scrubber, the solution, or both! You’ll want to know these secret cleaning tips from the pros.

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scrubkurhan/Shutterstock

You Don’t Let the Toilet Brush Dry Out All the Way


The last thing you want to do is hang out with your toilet brush longer than you have to, but if you set it and forget it immediately after cleaning the bowl, you’re doing it wrong! Not allowing your toilet brush to dry out all the way, you’re creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Keep your toilet brush fresh with this clever tip.

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drain cleaner going into drainDmitry Galaganov/Shutterstock

You Use Caustic Drain Cleaners


Caustic drain cleaners are extremely corrosive to organic materials and many metals. And while they may clear out a clog, they can also damage everything else they come in contact with. If you have drain lines made of PVC or another type of plastic, you should never use a liquid drain cleaner, since it can eat through the plastic. If you have old metal pipes, the caustic drain cleaner could settle in the corrosion and pits found in the metal, which will eat away at your pipes. How to unclog a shower drain without chemicals.

How to unclog a bathroom sink drain without chemicals.

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tub y.kuma.guys/Shutterstock

You’re Using Water That’s Not Hot Enough


To clean your tub, sink or tiles, you should be using water 10 degrees above normal air temperature. Fill your tub or sink with the hottest water from the tap, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub away with cleaner. By doing so, you can double the effectiveness of alkaline cleaners. Soak in style and comfort with these luxurious products for your tub.

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Curtain Fiona Yanyi Tsang/Shutterstock

You Scrub Your Shower Curtain Liner


It may seem like a quick solution, but scrubbing your shower curtain liner is more work than it is worth. Your best bet is to take it down, toss it in the washing machine with a couple of towels and a cup of vinegar. Run for about five minutes, then allow the liner and towels to soak in the solution for about an hour before turning the machine back on to finish the cycle. Hang the liner to dry. If you think of the unpretentious tension rod as something that does little more than hold up curtains, think again.

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You Don’t Clean Behind Your Toilet


You clean the important parts of your bathroom, especially the toilet, but have you considered cleaning behind your toilet? If not, you absolutely should! Buildup of urine and fecal matter can be found behind there. This is the time to use a paper towel. Roll up a few, dip them in an antibacterial cleaner and use a floss-like movement to reach behind the toilet. Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes, floss again and then wipe dry with a clean paper towel. Waiting to close the toilet lid until mid-flush may not seem like a big deal…until you learn about the harm that it’s causing your health.

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: livingbylex.com