Bathrooms can be the toughest areas of our homes to clean — a 2018 study by the American Cleaning Institute found that 52 percent of respondents dreaded bathrooms more than any other area when it comes to tidying up. The study also found that the average American spends about six hours a week cleaning, and a third of those still feel like it isn’t enough. Breaking bathroom chores up into manageable chunks can make better use of that time —and reduce the urge to put things off until they’re really dire. Making a regular checklist of easy clean-up tasks will make your bathroom an enjoyable sanctuary, and save you time and effort down the road. Try these touchups every few days and spend your days off doing something — literally anything — else.
Touch Up the Toilet
It’s everyone’s least favorite task, but keeping your toilet clean and sanitary is necessary — not just to keep the bathroom looking sparkling, but also for your health. In a famous 1975 study led by Dr. Charles P. Gerba, research showed that germs can not only be carried out of your toilet in droplets, but also live on the porcelain itself.
While a thorough disinfecting of every surface on and around your toilet should be done weekly, you can make that task quite a bit easier by cleaning the bowl regularly, which will keep hard stains and yucky residue at bay, and reduce germs at the source. A quick pass with a wand-style cleaner like the Scotch-Brite® Disposable Toilet Scrubber takes just a minute, and this one works as a triple threat — the scrubby texture and angled head make quick work of grime and residue even in crevices, a built-in bleach alternative disinfects, and pumice takes care of hard water buildup. The disposable brush heads also eliminate another common germ culprit in your bathroom — the reusable toilet brush, which experts say often harbors bacteria.
Do a Load of Bathroom Laundry
You probably wash your personal towels regularly, but hand towels and fabric bath mats usually get tossed in the laundry less often — and can be hotbeds for germs and funky smells. Experts recommend you wash towels every three-to-four uses to keep them at their freshest, which probably amounts to once a week. To make your life easier, consider getting a backup set, so you can easily swap in a clean mat when you need one.
But wait! Fabrics are not the only thing you can throw in the spin cycle. Did you know you can launder your shower curtains and liners as well? They are built to stand up to hot water, and the natural agitation of your washing machine with regular detergent is an ideal way to dislodge mildew and mold. You can even toss them in with your towels.
Take Soap Scum and Mildew to Task
Regular scrubbing will prevent showers and tubs from building up grime, which means a low-effort wipe down with a non-scratch sponge is all you need. Even more good news: liquid tile and grout cleaners often benefit from being left alone to work their magic for a few minutes.
A few times a week, take a moment to spray down your bath or shower with one of our recommended cleaners, then dislodge any leftover buildup and leave everything sparkling using the Scotch-Brite® Advanced Scrub Dots Non-Scratch Scrubbers. Not just for the kitchen, these hexagonal sponges have a unique texture that can scrub without scratching, with a thick texture that’s great shower walls and tubs.
Maintain Your Mirrors
A major mirror can make even a small bathroom feel more open. But nothing ruins that effect like a spray of errant toothpaste buildup, loose hairs, and fingerprints. Pro tip: Every 10 days or so, after you get out of the shower, spray with glass cleaner and wipe with a soft cloth. The warmth and steam will soften gunk and make your job even easier.
If you want to go the extra mile, here’s an easy tip to prevent your mirror from fogging up after a shower, which means no wiping and swiping with your hands to be able to see your reflection — a key source of smears and fingerprints. Buff a droplet of full-strength dish soap into a clean, dry mirror with a paper towel. It might feel weird, but just keep at it until it disappears. This will create an invisible barrier that will keep your mirror clear for about two weeks, no additional effort required.