Did you know that Thomas Jefferson did not allow anyone but himself to clean his outhouse? He found the act both therapeutic and humbling.
Wait. Nevermind. I made that up. He definitely had someone else do it.
Assuming that you are not a rich slave-owner like Thomas Jefferson, the task of cleaning your gross bathroom falls on you. Maybe you can pawn it off on your roommates or wait for your mom to visit in three months, but we’re adults, so we’re not going to do that. We’re going to clean our gross bathroom.
Through some research (and consulting my mother), I have found some cheap, effective, and relatively low-energy ways to deal with your terrors in the toilet room.
Let’s get started.
Sweeping and Scrubbing
Let’s start with the biggest, grossest area of the bathroom: the floor. Yes, the floor. Thanks to gravity, the floor is the final destination for all of the airborne particulates sloshing around in your bathroom air. It may not be the most noticeably disgusting area in your home, but if you meditate on the grossness of a bathroom floor for a minute, I’m sure you’ll be more than motivated to grab a mop.
So, dear adult, here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to grab a broom and sweep your floor. After that, fill a bucket with warm water, dish soap, and vinegar (the proportions probably matter, but who cares). If you don’t own a bucket, use a small, plastic trashcan. If you don’t own a small, plastic trashcan, go to the store and buy a freaking bucket.
Next, scrub the floor. If you don’t own a mop, you can improvise with an old dishrag, sponge, or your roommate’s least favorite t-shirt. Remember, the point of mopping is to scrub the floor, not to slosh water everywhere. Put your elbow into it.
Sinks and Mirrors
There are all sorts of tricks that involve water and vinegar or ammonia and rubbing alcohol. But honestly, those are a little too complicated. Since I’m a single, twentysomething male, Windex (for the mirror) and 409 (for the sink) will work just fine.
Where 409 doesn’t work, soak a paper towel in vinegar and wrap it around the questionable area. After 30-ish minutes, clean the area with hot water and dish soap. This works especially well on surfaces that are meant to be shiny. So if you like shiny things, this is your trick.
Ah, The Great Satan.
Depending on your average fiber intake, this could be more or less miserable.
Start by applying toilet bowl cleaner to the inside of the bowl. Make sure to get under the rim. That’s where death lives. Let it sit for 10 minutes. If you don’t have legit toilet bowl cleaner, use bleach or a can of Coca-Cola.
Clean the rest of the toilet with a mix of hot water, vinegar, and dish soap. Use your roommate’s 2nd least favorite t-shirt.
If it’s been a long time since you’ve cleaned the toilet and there are still stains, you may need to literally rub off those stains with a pumice stone. You can find one in the foot care aisle at places big enough to have whole aisles devoted to foot care.
This is the one I do least often, and that I struggle with the most. For a “quick clean,” spray down your tub with a mixture of half water, half vinegar. Let it sit for fifteen minutes and then wipe away with a sponge. Tougher stuff requires more complicated work. Sprinkle the tub with baking soda, spray it with your vinegar water, scrub until a paste forms, let sit for fifteen minutes, then rinse it away. Lime stains require being soaked in lemon juice (but I use Lime-A-Way because I’m an environmental hypocrite).
To clean the shower head, fill a Ziploc bag with vinegar and attach it with rubber bands. After an hour, remove the bag and discover the magic of a shower that doesn’t assault you. To clean shower doors, use lemon juice and scrub away. The hard-to-reach edges can be cleaned with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.
Also, if you have living organisms growing on your plastic shower curtain, consider throwing it away and buying a new one. They’re super-cheap. And that’s super-gross.
OK, you’re done. But if you want to put some distance between now and the next time you have to clean your bathroom, here are a few things you can do to keep it clean for longer.
- Keep disinfecting wipes nearby to clean the toilet bowl rim and sink (not in that order).
- Add bleach tablets to your toilet tank (the ones that turn the water blue).
- Use liquid (not bar) soap at the sink. It’s less messy.
- For ladies: keep dryer sheets in the cabinet to easily pick up stray hairs and dust bunnies
- For guys: aim
Reward Yourself And The Environment
You may have noticed that most of the supplies listed have been common things like vinegar and baking soda. Not only are they way cheaper than commercial cleaners, they are also kinder to the environment and you. Most importantly, they allow you to make a volcano afterward. Since you’re an adult, you can make a volcano whenever you want. Making a baking soda/vinegar volcano is the best way to reward yourself for cleaning a bathroom.