10 Overlooked Tips for Cleaning Your Bathroom

Updated: May 21, 2024

Avoid these cleaning mistakes for a sparkling, healthy bathroom.

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Don’t Use Paper Towels to Clean the Bathroom

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.”

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Don’t Skip the 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 the bathroom floor prior to mopping ensures loose dirt and debris are removed, and allows for a more efficient floor wash.

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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.

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Clean Bathroom Chrome Correctly

Because chrome is a soft metal, cleaning bathroom 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.

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Don’t 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!

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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.

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drain cleaner going into drain
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Don’t 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. There are ways to unclog a drain without harsh chemicals.

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Use Hot Water

To clean your bathtub, 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.

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Don’t 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.

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Always Clean Behind Your Toilet

You always clean 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.