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The best way to deep-clean your bathroom

BY Jeff Bredenberg

27th Feb 2024 Home & Garden

4 min read

The best way to deep-clean your bathroom
Tackle all the fiddly bits of deep-cleaning your bathroom with this expert guide, from scrubbing mildew off grout to getting into those nooks and crannies

My bathroom grout is grungy with mildew

Spray it with vinegar

Mildew on grout is no match for that miracle household cleaning dynamo called vinegar.
Just pour some white vinegar into a container, dip in an old toothbrush, and scrub away at the mildew. Or pour the vinegar into a spray bottle, squirt it on the mildew, and let it sit for ten minutes.
Rinse with water and apply the old toothbrush if necessary.

Spray it with a bleach solution

Bleach is also effective in removing mildew from tile grout. Fill a spray bottle with equal parts of household chloride bleach and water. Spray the grout, let it sit a few minutes, and then wipe with a clean white cotton cloth.
You can also use commercial-quality paste grout cleaners, but avoid pumice stones—using them takes far too much time and removes far too little mildew from the grout.
If you find it impossible to remove the stains in grout, you might want to consider staining the seam a dark colour. 

The mirror fogs up when I shower

woman wiping glycerin onto bathroom mirror

Coat the mirror with glycerin

After a warm shower, you wipe off the bathroom mirror with a towel, but it just fogs up again within seconds.
Try this quick solution: when you clean your bathroom, wipe a little glycerin (available at drugstores and some hardware stores) on the bathroom mirror. Buff it lightly with a soft cloth.
The thin coating of glycerin will prevent the glass from fogging and will last about a week; less, if you have a lot of people taking showers.

Hair spray has hazed my mirror

Wipe it off with alcohol

You probably have a fast, easy solution for hair spray haze right there in your medicine cabinet.
Rubbing alcohol will cut right through the stubborn spray that’s mucking up your bathroom mirror. Pour a little alcohol on a cleaning cloth or paper towel and give the mirror a rubdown.

My shower curtain is crawling with mildew

Wash it off with a bleach solution

Shower curtains can be tricky to clean because they are big and cumbersome. Getting rid of mildew, especially during damp weather, can be especially challenging.
Here’s a solution that’s quick, easy, and low-cost:
Pour one gallon (3.7 litres) of warm water and ½ cup of household bleach into a plastic bucket. With plastic gloves on, soak a sponge in this cleaning solution, give it a squeeze to avoid drips, and wipe. The mildew will vanish.
Rinse using the shower head.

I’m ready to toss this filthy shower curtain liner

Toss it in the washer

Don’t throw away your liner just because of mildew and dirt buildup. Extend its life by cleaning it in your washing machine.
Set the machine on the gentle cycle with warm water and one cup of regular laundry detergent or ½ cup of vinegar. Afterward, whirl it in your drier, set on Low Heat or Fluff, for about 20 minutes. Your liner will come out clean and wrinkle-free. Rehang it immediately.

My glass shower doors are filmy

man cleaning glass shower door with white vinegar

Clean them with vinegar, baking soda and salt

Stubborn mineral buildup on glass shower doors is no competition for a few common household ingredients—white vinegar, baking soda, and salt.
Spray vinegar on the door and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, create a paste with equal amounts of baking soda and salt. Use a damp sponge to rub this paste over the door; then rinse well.

My laundry hamper stinks

Put a fabric softener sheet in the hamper

The solution is simple: Place a sheet of fabric softener in the bottom of your laundry hamper and change it every week. Or sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom of the basket.

Those nonslip bathtub stickers won’t peel off

Loosen them with a laundry pre-soak

You know the ones: they’re shaped like flowers and fish and are stuck on with industrial-strength adhesive. Instead of ruining the smooth surface of your tub trying to scrape them off, follow these simple steps for removing them:
  1. Carefully lift corners on each sticker using your fingernail or a plastic scraper (metal will scratch most tubs).
  2. Spray the stickers with a good dose of laundry pretreatment product, such as Shout or Spray ’n Wash. Let the stickers soak in the spray for a few hours. This should loosen the stickers and allow you to peel them off.
  3. Wipe up any adhesive residue and the laundry spray. Clean and rinse the tub thoroughly.

My brass fixtures look dull

person cleaning bathroom brass fixtures with sponge

Polish them with baking soda and lemon juice

Don’t rush out to buy an expensive brass cleaner. Save time and money by making a paste with equal amounts of baking soda and lemon juice. Dip an old toothbrush in the mix and lightly scrub the fixtures.
Let the solution dry a few minutes and then buff the fixtures with a clean cloth. They’ll look brand new.

The nooks and crannies in my bathroom are hard to clean

Use an old toothbrush

An old toothbrush is the perfect time-saving bathroom-cleaning tool. For example, you can use it to clean the tracks of your bathtub’s sliding glass doors.
Simply spray bathroom cleaner on a paper towel and wrap the towel around the bristle end of the toothbrush. Then scoot the brush along the tracks to dislodge dirt. Or put the little bristles to work on the grime that collects around the rim of a bathroom sink.
Once the bristles have loosened the dirt, just mop it up with a damp sponge.

I hate those mineral deposits on my bathroom faucet

Use an overnight vinegar wrap

No one likes crusty white deposits on a faucet. Try this easy solution:
Before you go to bed one night, head to your kitchen for a bottle of white vinegar and three paper towels. Saturate the towels in the white vinegar and wrap them around the faucet like a cocoon.
In the morning, remove the towels. Fill the basin with warm water, plus a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Dip an old toothbrush in the solution and scrub the faucet to remove the final bits of mineral deposit.
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