Usually the bathroom is the smallest room of the house but the most loathed to clean. I always hated to clean my bathroom because of the strong smells of harsh chemicals I thought I had to use. Although there are times that chemicals such as bleach are needed (like in the instance of mold or bacteria problems) there are other options that will not leave you gasping for a breath of fresh air during your typical bathroom cleaning. This will especially help if you are currently pregnant. Here is what you need:
- Floor cleaner
- Toilet brush
- Glass/mirror cleaner
- White distilled vinegar
- Baking soda
- Bleach (possibly)
(Note: White distilled vinegar works as a “green” disinfectant killing many germs, bacteria and mold and you don’t have to wear gloves while using it! Do not use on granite since it will etch the surface thus ruining it!)
Mirror: Let’s start out slow and simple. Clean the mirror with a glass cleaner. News paper is the best thing to use to wipe it clean because it won’t leave behind lint.
Sink: Hard water spots build up here fast and may seem impossible to get clean without harsh chemicals, but try this: sprinkle baking soda over the sink and faucet then apply white vinegar with a spray bottle and watch it suds up! It’s amazing the reaction those two ingredients have together! After letting the suds do their magic for a few moments, start scrubbing with a rag. The baking soda and vinegar will form a paste as you scrub and those hard water spots will disappear. Your sink surface will be smooth and your chrome will sparkle! Other stains such as rust also came out when I first used this method in my bathroom. Make sure you rinse very well with warm water so you are not left with a cloudy baking soda residue. Wipe dry… and it was as simple as that!
Shower/Tub: Soap scum can build up here fast. To reduce the amount of buildup, make sure to rinse out the tub after a shower and especially after the kids have their baths. You can use the same method as I mentioned above with the vinegar and baking soda or I have also used Dawn dish soap to easily remove the dirt and scum on a more regular basis with good results.
Have you ever wondered what that pink stuff is that grows in your tub? It’s a bacteria called Serratia marcescens. It loves to grow in damp places and can cause infections in the urinary and respiratory tract, wounds, and in your eyes. Less commonly it can also cause pneumonia, and meningitis. We would not want our little ones getting any of these infections from simply taking a bath! So how do you get rid of it? Once it starts growing it’s difficult to completely eradicate but can be accomplished by cleaning the entire area with a bleach-based disinfectant. Spray and let it sit for a couple minutes before rinsing off and scrubbing with a brush. Make sure to wear gloves and have the bathroom well ventilated while you do this by turning on the exhaust fan and opening a window if there is one. Don’t forget to wash the shower curtain as well. Just toss in the washer machine with bleach added to the cycle. If you do have bacteria or mold growing it is a good idea to wash down the walls and ALL other surfaces as well with a bleach-based disinfect. (otherwise wipe down surfaces, walls and baseboards with a mix of half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle. This mix makes a great all-purpose cleaner to use almost anywhere in the house.) To help prevent another outbreak, rinse and dry the shower and tub after each use and turn on the exhaust fan every time you shower or give the kids a bath.
Toilet: The throne has to be cleaned too. I just hope the men of the house know how to aim to make this job a little easier for you. But guess what?! You can use the same baking soda and vinegar mixture here too!! Can you believe it? Let it foam for a few minutes then scrub with a brush. Spray the whole toilet down with vinegar and wipe clean and you’re good to go! If you would rather use a traditional toilet cleaner there are “green” cleaners that are better to put into our water systems but the ones I have tried still have a strong smell.
Floors: Finally Sweep and mop the floor with the appropriate floor cleaner and your done!
–Now go treat yourself to a nice bubble bath tonight after you put the kids to bed. But when you are done rinse out the tub and turn on the exhaust fan to make your job easier the next time!
NOTE: Since the humidity in your bathroom is high and there is an increased risk of bacteria and mold to grow here, it is not recommended that you keep medicine or first aid kits in this room. Those need to be stored in dry places, not in the “medicine” cabinet in the bathroom.
—Read other articles in this series: