Cleaning your bathroom is unlikely to be a chore you relish. After all, who’s ever claimed to love scrubbing toilets or tackling mildew stains? However, that doesn’t mean it needs to be a completely thankless task—or a particularly time-consuming one.
We’ve rounded up tips from top cleaning experts on how to clean a bathroom with products you already have at home, making the process easier and saving you time along the way. And for more ways to spiff up your space, check out these 20 Things in Your Home You Didn’t Realize You Should Be Cleaning.
The key to sparkling shower tiles is already in your pantry: white vinegar.
“Heat the vinegar up in the microwave and spray it on while it’s hot,” suggests Brad Roberson, president of Glass Doctor, a Neighborly Company. Roberson suggests adding a tablespoon of dish soap to the mixture if the smell bothers you, noting that this can also help cut through tough grime. And if you’re preparing your cleaning arsenal, start with these 20 Genius Products That Make Cleaning So Much Easier.
If you’ve got mildew or surface mold in your bathroom, a clean dish brush is the tool you need to combat it. Roberson suggests combining six cups of warm water and a quarter cup of bleach to create a mold-busting cleaner.
“Use this solution to scrub down the walls [and] rinse well with the bucket or a handheld shower head sprayer,” says Roberson. And for more genius ways to spruce up your space, check out these 50 Easy Home Hacks That Will Instantly Improve Your Life.
For those stubborn mold and mildew stains that your dish brush and bleach solution won’t touch, try applying a paste of baking soda and water. “Cover the stain with the paste and allow it to stay on the stain for three to four hours,” following up with a thorough rinse, suggests Roberson.
If your drain is emitting some unpleasant odors, a simple mixture of baking soda and vinegar can fix that in no time.
“The combination of vinegar and baking soda begins to fizz and can help break up any congealed grease in your drain,” explains to Joshua Miller, VP of Technical Training at Rainbow International Restoration. Miller recommends pouring one cup of baking soda and two cups of white vinegar down the drain, then flushing it with hot water after half an hour. And for more helpful information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Some parts of your sink are simply too small for the average cleaning tool to reach.
Luckily, there’s a solution right inside your medicine cabinet: “Dental floss is a great way to remove buildup in the nooks and crannies of the faucet and handles,” says Kim Burckhardt, owner of Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services of Westminster-Eldersburg. And for more surprisingly effective solutions to your household woes, check out these 33 Mind-Blowing Old-Fashioned Cleaning Tips That Actually Work.
Can’t seem to get rid of that soap scum on your shower or tub? Instead of a sponge, reach for a dryer sheet.
“Add a few drops of water to a dryer sheet and gently rub the area. Rinse the residue off and the majority of the scum should be gone,” suggests James Conner, VP of operations at Molly Maid.
If your faucets are looking worse for wear, a dryer sheet can help. “Use dryer sheets to restore the shine to your chrome fixtures,” says Conner.
Not in the mood to scrub your toilet? Then let a denture tablet do the hard work for you. “Drop one in, let it do its job and then flush to get rid of toilet bowl stains and rust,” suggests Conner.
Finding that your usual glass cleaner isn’t cutting it when it comes to getting your bathroom window clean? Using a squeegee instead can help keep those panes clear and free of water spots.
“Use snake-like sweeping motions,” suggests David Flax, VP of Operations at Window Genie, who notes that pulling the squeegee in straight motions vertically or horizontally can cause streaking. And if you want to avoid a costly error, nix these 23 Common Cleaning Mistakes That Experts Say Actually Ruin Your Home.
Though water spots are unavoidable in places where water is constantly running (like the shower and the sink), it’s surprisingly simple—and cheap—to get rid of them. All you have to do is rub lemon over your stained chrome fixtures and the pesky spots should disappear instantly. Plus, using this citrus-as-cleanser will mask any unpleasant smells.
Your toilet is easily one of the dirtiest things in the house—but unfortunately, it’s also one of the most difficult to clean. The next time you clean, you’ll be able to get those hard-to-reach spots under the tank and around the screws, all with the little help of your toolbox. Just remove the seat and lid on your toilet, then use a screwdriver with the end covered in a disinfectant wipe to reach those difficult nooks and crannies.
You want your bathroom mirror to be spotless so that you know what you actually look like before leaving the house—but all too often, it’s fogged up with water stains, dust, and other debris. The solution? Black tea! All you have to do is combine a cup of boiling water with a few bags of black tea, let it cool, and use the resulting solution to clean your cloudy mirror. The tannic acid in the tea will dissolve any dirt, leaving you with a spotless surface that tells no lies.
It’s easy to let your toothbrush holders become disgustingly dirty. But washing the accessory is barely a chore: all you have to do is throw it in the dishwasher. Really, that’s it!
There’s no need to waste time scrubbing your entire bathtub with a sponge. Instead, cover it in soap, then sweep and scrub with a clean broom and rinse until all of the suds are gone. The broom will clean as effectively as a sponge would, but using the large long-handled brush will require half as much effort.
Metal containers of shaving cream or soap that sit inside your shower or on your sink have a tendency to rust, leaving behind hard-to-clean marks. But if you’d prefer not to spend precious time scrubbing away stains, then all you have to do is paint a coat or two of clear nail polish around the rims of any items that have the potential to rust, and voila: those stains are now nonexistent.
Dealing with a dirty shower head? Clean it up with a nice vinegar soak. While you tidy up the rest of the bathroom, just remove your shower head and let sit in a secured plastic bag full of vinegar. By the time you’re ready to tackle it, the vinegar will have broken down all the grime, making your job a breeze.
Though Rain-X’s intended purpose is to keep car windshields clear during storms, the spray also works surprisingly well on glass shower doors. Naturally, a shower door is going to be exposed to a lot of water in its time—but with a shield of Rain-X, you’ll never have to worry about cleaning droplet smudges off of it.
The corners of the tub are always the hardest to clean. Luckily, there’s a simple solution for this, and it’s probably already sitting in your medicine cabinet. Just soak some cotton balls in the tub cleaner of your choice and let them sit on the edges of your tub overnight. By morning, those tub edges will be clean as a whistle!
Grout—the stuff used to fill the gaps between tiles—looks good when it’s clean, but dirt easily sneaks into those small crevices, making the walls look dirty in an otherwise spotless bathroom. To restore your tiles (and the spaces between them) to their original color, apply a paste made out of 3/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup bleach to the grout, let it sit for 30 minutes, and remove with a scrub brush or cloth to reveal sparkling clean walls.
If any surfaces in your bathroom are made of marble, bleach is an easy way to eliminate stains on them. Overnight, just place a paper towel soaked with bleach with a cup covering it on the stained area, and the blemish should be gone by morning. Just make sure to test this first in an unnoticeable area, in case the bleach does damage your marble. And for more ways to get your home spotless, check out these 30 Amazing Cleaning Tips You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner.