Spring Cleaning: Bathrooms

Continuing my blog series on spring cleaning, here is the plan I’ve devised for spring cleaning the bathrooms in our house, complete with tips and tricks for getting rid of those funny smells that may accompany them.  😉

Linens and Curtains

Open the windows (if possible, fresh air will mask a surprising number of funny smells in addition to its health benefits).

Launder all the curtains and air dry in the sun (if possible, the sun is an amazing all natural stain remover as well as sterilizer).

Launder the towels and wash cloths and dry thoroughly.  I dry towels and washcloths in the dryer because I don’t like the drying my skin with hard, crunchy texture they get from air drying, even though this does abate with time.  An alternative is to line dry them and then place them in the dryer for a few minutes to soften them up.

Clean the curtain rods, towel rods, and toilet paper holders with all purpose cleaner.

Vanities and Cabinets

Remove everything from the top of the vanities/cabinets.

Clean the top of the vanities/cabinets with wood or all purpose cleaner.

Perhaps you have a drawer that looks something like mine below.  Remove everything from the inside of the vanities/cabinets, one drawer at a time for simplicity’s sake if you like.

Before Cleaning

Clean the vanities/cabinets inside and out with wood or all purpose cleaner.

As you prepare to return things to each cabinet, make piles of things to keep, throw away, store, and/or donate.

ONLY replace the things on and in the table you’ve decided to keep.

  • Do not keep things like bottles of lotion you haven’t used in a few months with a tablespoon of lotion inside.  You’re cleaning, let’s use this time to get rid of those things.
  • Also, consider how many things you need to keep in a prime location like an upper drawer or eye level cabinet.  Did you buy a few different shampoos or toothpastes and decide you didn’t like some?  Go ahead and toss them (or, if you’re me, force yourself to use them now until they’re gone)?
  • Think about when the last time you used the items you’re going through.  If it was a long time ago, get rid of them.  In the case of baby items, consider what to store, donate, or throw away.  Again, don’t allow things you’re not actively using to be stored or to clutter prime locations.
  • Lastly, this is a great time to take inventory of what you have and don’t need any more of as well as what is worn out and needs to be replaced.

After Cleaning

Place the things to store in a labeled box.

Place the things to donate in another labeled box.

Take out your trash (lest your children invade it and bring things back in the house like mine sometimes do).

Toilet

Clean the exterior of your toilet with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water.  I know the smell of the vinegar can be overpowering, but it’s the only cleaner, homemade or commercial, that I’ve found effectively removes the smell of urine from my bathroom.  Be sure to clean the entire toilet, every square inch.  I’ve also found that there are parts of the toilet near the floor that often get missed in my general cleaning.  Since this is a deep clean, be intentional about scrubbing the entire exterior surface.  Scrub with an old toothbrush or cleaning brush if needed.

Clean the interior of your toilet with baking soda and 1:1 vinegar:water.  Begin by sprinkling the interior of the toilet with baking soda.  Spray with the vinegar mixture.  Then, scrub with a toilet brush.  If you have hard water stains in the bottom of your toilet, scrub them gently with a pumice stone.  Be sure the surface of the stain is submerged in water when you do this so that you do not scratch your toilet bowl.  You may have to work at these stains over the course of time, so don’t be discouraged if you have to come back to it again.

Flush away the dirty toilet water.

Bathtub/Shower

Remove all soaps, shampoos, razors and other body products as well as towels, washcloths, toys, etc. from the bathtub/shower.

Spray the entire surface with all purpose cleaner or stain remover and scrub with a brush.

For hard to remove stains, try a paste of baking soda, lemon essential oil, and a small amount of water.

Rinse then dry with a towel.

Consider cleaning shower head with 1:1 vinegar:water to remove hard water buildup.

Consider re-caulking if needed.

General

Vacuum the entire room.  Then, mop the entire room.

If your bathroom floor is tiled and (like mine) has an uncanny ability to harbor funny smells, consider re-sealing grout to keep the funny smells at bay (or consider hosting a don’t pee on my floor boot camp).

Clean the base moulding with wood or all purpose cleaner.

Clean the windows with window cleaner.

Clean any step stools with wood or all purpose cleaner.

Dust and clean clocks, picture frames, and other decor with all purpose cleaner.

Carefully clean the light switches with all purpose cleaner or soap/water.

And, if you’re really ambitious, clean the walls with soap/water.

Optionally, diffuse some lovely essential oils in the amazingly clean room; my favorites area a mix of lavender/lemon or the purification blend.

Last, but not least, enjoy your hard work!

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