TIPical Mary Ellen shares tips on effectively cleaning a bathroom.

  • There are a lot of shower-cleaning products on the market these days that are to be used as daily shower and tub cleaners. Save yourself some money with this tip: Mix one part bleach with three parts water, add a few squirts of lemon juice, then put it in a spray bottle. This will make your own shower cleaner that is just as effective as the name-brand products.
  • Start by removing any rugs from the bathroom.
  • If it is a rug without a backing on it, you can just throw it in the wash with like colors and tumble dry it. However, if there is a backing on the rug, you must wash it by itself in warm water, then air fluff in the dryer, as heat will damage the backing.
  • Using the hose attachment, vacuum the floors, counters, ledges and sinks. This way you won’t have to clean the hair off a sponge.
  • Go around the room with a soapy rag and a damp rag, quickly wiping down towel racks, doors and corners.
  • Spray the shower, tub, and shower doors or curtain with an all-purpose cleaner.
  • If you need to do a little heavier tub cleaning, a great cleaner is a splash of liquid laundry detergent in a gallon of water. Not only does it do a good job of cleaning off the grime, it also takes out some of the discoloration that can be caused by hard water.
  • While you let that sit, clean the fixtures in the shower or tub. For brass, use a commercial brass cleaner, lemon dipped in salt, or a paste of equal parts vinegar, flour, and salt. Buff with mineral oil. Be careful when using harsh but effective cleaners on chrome or brass-plated hardware. Read labels, and test the cleaner out in a hidden area.
  • When grime and mildew don’t respond to regular household cleaners, try this bleach solution. Combine equal parts water to equal parts household bleach. Bleach kills mildew and removes many stains. Scrub the solution into the filthy tile with a grout brush or a stiff-bristled toothbrush. Leave the bleach solution on for a few minutes after scrubbing, then rinse away with clean water, or pour it into a spray bottle and spray after showering each day. For tougher mildew stains on grout, use a toothbrush. Apply a tile-cleaning solution with the brush, and scrub the problem area. Let it sit for a couple minutes, then scrub clean, taking care not to loosen any grout.
  • A good way to combat mildew from forming is to keep a small squeegee nearby and squeegee the shower walls down after each use.
  • Spray the sink and counter with an all-purpose cleaner, then wipe everything dry, including the tub and shower. Don’t use steel wool or any really abrasive scrub pad to wipe these parts down because they might damage the surfaces. Use a soft sponge, or if you’re in a pinch, ball up some nylon pantyhose, and use those to scrub.
  • Clean the toilet from the outside in, starting with the handle, then moving on to the seat and the outside of the bowl. The last step is to clean the bowl.
  • Finally, Mary Ellen’s mother’s tip for keeping the toilet clean: Pour 1/2 cup of iron remover granules in the tank. A clean tank means a clean bowl.

HGTV. Bathroom Cleaning, [Online]. Web address: http://www.hgtv.com/organizing/bathroom-cleaning/index.html (Page consulted on July 05 2011)