Bathroom Cleaning Tips

Even basic house cleaning can take all day, you run around from one end of the house to the other mopping here, folding there, and it never seems to be the way you want it. Here are a few cleaning tips for making the more time consuming area of the bathroom more manageable:

Bathrooms are one of the worst areas of the house to keep clean. The bathtub is an especially cumbersome task, and getting that seeming ever present ring around the bath tub off can be back breaking. Here's a cleaning tip I learned as a custodian-if the spigot of the tub facet is small enough, cut a length of garden hose and fit it over the end. This will help you rinse the bathtub better than pouring cups of hot water down the sides. If the spout is large and the sink is close, fit the length of hose over that. You can spray the water all the way up the side of the shower to remove scrubbed mildew. If both are large, you can purchase different widths of hose from a home improvement store for any length or width you desire-be sure to get the length long enough to fit over the entire faucet or else the back pressure will cause it to fall off and you'll end up cleaning much more of the walls than you intended! Another cleaning tip for the tub is to get another toilet brush. It's the perfect length to reach the back of the tub.

Mildew is the number one cleaning problem for the bathroom. It grows in the moisture, so keep the lights on at least ten minutes after a shower, and if you can, install fans to help keep the room dry. Make sure towels are hung up after use. Clean the walls with a mixture of bleach and warm water (open the windows first!) to keep mildew and other bacteria from growing. And here's a new cleaning tip: You may also choose to repaint with mildew retardant paint; it is available at home improvement stores.

Your shower curtain retains body oil and collects soap scum and mildew, especially if it is made from a plastic material. Cloth shower curtains can be taken down and thrown in with the laundry, but the liner is typically plastic, and here is where the scummy problem lies. But most people don't know that you can throw your vinyl liner in with a load of delicates, just don't put it in the dryer! Hang it back up in the shower and you're done cleaning the liner.

If you are still skeptical about using the washing machine, soaking your liner in the tub with some warm bleach water and powdered laundry detergent will get it clean. Swoosh it around with your hands and scrub the mildew with a soft brush. Be sure to wear gloves when working with bleach, and powdered detergent seems to work better than liquid for the plastic.

The old stand by of pine cleaner is one of the best cleaning supplies you can keep on hand for the bathroom, pour two capfuls full strength in the toilet bowl and let it stand while you scrub down the tank, bowl, and behind the seat. Chemical bathroom cleaners with antibacterial and antifungal fighters are a better choice for the bathroom than homemade cleaners, due to the high level of bacteria which is so easily grown in the dampness, although this is the only area of the house that chemicals are recommended over homemade-you can't go wrong with bleach in this room. If you can train your family to wipe down the surfaces when they are done using the bathroom you will stay on top of bathroom cleaning, but good luck with that!