Keeping your bathroom clean is an ongoing chore, but it needn't be time-consuming, nor stressful. Here is our guide to blitzing those bathroom germs efficiently yet effortlessly.
1. How to clean and whiten discoloured grout
Grout is porous and highly susceptible to bacteria growth so it can be a hotbed for germs. Before you know it, your lovely white grout will be an unsightly brown colour.
What to do:
Dip a grout brush or an old toothbrush into a mix of 1 part bleach to 3 parts bicarbonate of soda, then apply it to any discoloured areas. Leave for an hour to settle, the paste should be nice and thick so it won’t slide down the tiles. Be sure to keep the room well ventilated.
Take a sponge from your cleaning kit and gently scrub away the paste and rinse with the showerhead. For really stubborn areas of discolouration, repeat the process and leave the paste on for longer.
TOP TIP: You should reseal your grout every 6 months to reduce the amount of moisture and grime getting in.
2. How to cleanse your shower curtain
Shower curtains harbour a lot of germs, especially as it's damp most of the time. From lingering bacteria, to mould and mildew and soap scum, it can all be lurking even if yours is made from a strong wipe clean plastic.
What to do:
Depending on the material, pop the shower curtain into either your washing machine or dishwasher for an intense clean with your normal detergent or cleaner. If you’re using the washing machine, the secret is to add a few old towels in with the load as they act as scrubbers to remove any scum and mildew.
To maintain a clean shower curtain, wipe down with a cloth after use and keep the room well ventilated to lower the humidity level of the bathroom.
3. How to deep-clean your shower head
Showerheads can get clogged up with years of limescale build-up. Not only can it look unsightly and block the flow of water, but it can also harbour Mycobacterium avium, a pathogen (a biological agent) that has been linked to pulmonary disease. To maintain a healthy showerhead, and prevent millions of germs from entering your lungs, you’ll need to clean it every few months. Don’t reach for the chemicals though as they may damage your shower head, and also be harmful to your health.
What to do:
Use vinegar! It’s a powerful, yet natural, cleaning solution and can break down scum and mineral build-up with ease. Pour an ample amount of white vinegar into a plastic sandwich or freezer bag (enough to fully submerge the head) and tie it in place using a rubber band. Leave it overnight to soak and by morning the debris should be floating in the bag. Remove the bag and run the water through to rinse the showerhead out.
TOP TIP: The vinegar sandwich bag trick works on taps too - bag up and leave the vinegar to tackle mineral build-up overnight.
4. How to make your bathtub sparkle
Your bath doesn't have many grooves where bacteria and grime can secretly build like the other fixtures and fittings in your bathroom. You can get away with just regularly scrubbing, but diligence is key. If you don't regularly clean your bathtub, it'll get discoloured very quickly.
What to do:
After bathing, sponge off any dirty ring marks and give the bath a quick rinse with warm water. Wipe off any excess moisture with a squeegee, microfibre cloth or sponge. For a deeper clean, mix a half-and-half solution of water and white vinegar and spray onto your bath using a spray bottle. Leave it to dissolve any grime for 15 minutes then wipe with a sponge. Rinse clean to reveal a whiter bathtub.
5. How to clean and sanitise your toilet
Your toilet has an abundance of lurking germs, so it's good to get clued up on cleaning tricks that really work. Germs linger even after you've flushed, but it's always best to keep the toilet seat down when you flush to prevent bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella from dispersing into the air and landing on the toilet seat and surrounding surfaces.
What to do:
Chemicals can wear away at the surfaces so keep it natural with baking soda. This less abrasive cleaning solution will attack bacteria and keep stains at bay. Make a paste, combining 1/2 cup of baking soda with 3 tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of liquid detergent then use a clean toilet brush to scrub away at the inside of the bowl. Leave it to settle for 30 minutes then scrub again and flush through. You may also wish to pour boiling water carefully around the bowl to blitz any remaining germs.
6. How to clean your tiles, walls and ceiling in one go
Your soaps, shower gels and hair care products along with dead skin cells and dirt all leave a microscopic film behind. It's tough to remove this unless you 'extract' it from the surface.
What to do:
Get steaming. Steam will extract the dirt and grime from your tiles so you can quickly clean it away. Spray your tiles, countertops, walls and ceiling with a multi-purpose cleaner. Turn on the shower, and run until steam builds inside your bathroom. Keep the windows and the door shut and leave for 20 minutes.
Wipe the surface with a clean cloth and get to those hard to reach areas with a clean mop. The dirt should lift-off, allowing you to clean your entire bathroom in next to no time.
What's your no. 1 bathroom cleaning tip? Let us know in the comments below!
Don't throw away old toothbrushes! They are ideal for cleaning around taps and hard to reach places - I use them in the kitchen, too - I run them through the dishwasher to keep them clean.
yes i use old tooth brushes too theyre great for those little places you carnt reach with a cloth or scourer
Hi Anushka, any tips for cleaning a glass shower screen? We live in a hard water area and I struggle to clean this :-(
Hi Anne, I too live in a hard water area. I personally use white vinegar to clean the glass, then I use a squeegee to dry off the shower screen after cleaning, and finish by drying with paper towels. I have heard excellent things about the Bissell steam cleaner though - http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/home-appliances/floorcare/steam-cleaners/bissell-2635-steam-shot-steam-cleaner-white-20078210-pdt.html
Steam cleaners are ok but if the screen is curved squegee part of it can be a problem but i bought one from Home Bargains for £19.99 and its the best thing I bought for my Extreme cleaning OCD LOL Great for cleaning under the rim of the toilet. Best idea for shower screen is fairy liquid mixed with baking powder and vinegar and those sponge/green scrubber pads from Poundland - 24 for a quid - they wont scratch the screen - great for cleaning all manner of things.
That's interesting Gary, thanks for sharing. I will try the fairy liquid mixture next time! I have also grabbed some of those sponges for a pound - great value!
how do i clean a badly burnt pot x
Hi Anne, I usually fill the pan with boiling water and a cup of baking soda. I let it sit for a few house and then I take a scourer and buff the burnt pot. If that doesn't do it, I get out the white vinegar and leave it to soak overnight. Then scrub with warm water.
My builder/plumber advises against your"steam" tip for cleaning the shower, tiles and ceilings in one go - especially with windows shut as excessive steam in the bathroom encourages condensation and therefore even more bacteria - something I unfortunately know from experience, before I had moisture "sensitive" extraction installed in my bathroom.
Hi there, I too have had problems with excessive condensation and mould before. The steam clean idea is not best if you have an extreme mould issue, but if you ventilate the bathroom and leave the windows open after it should be fine.
Hi anushka.ive got a big mirror with wooden sticks all around it,I cant get the smears off it ive tried newspaper a dry cloth + other things.hve u any ideas of what i cud try plse as ive ocd as well lol its drivein me mad,thanku.
Hi Anita how annoying! I found this article to be very useful - http://cleanmyspace.com/the-secret-to-a-streak-free-mirror/ check it out and see how you get on.
Hi Anushka I also keep old tooth brushes to clean around the taps also to clean in the corners of the windows.
Hi Anushka Do you have any hints on what cleaning products to use to clean a plastic venetian blind in my kitchen that's a bit grimy!!. Also I am not able to take it down to clean.
Hi Jacqui, how about taping a fluffy sports sock to the end of a broom handle and using that to clean between the blinds?
A glass cleaner spray is great for getting a shine on any metal surface, and on shower screens rinsed off with a hot shower got rid of any and all residue
Fab! That's a great tip :)
Hi How do you clean the limescale around the basin taps?
Hi Paula :) You can either use a product - Viakal is great - or go for a natural option. Lemon rubbed over your taps and left for an hour is a great, natural method!
To scrub bathroom tiles effortlessly after bath or show er pop on an old pair of exfoliating gloves spray with cleaner and off you go...your fingers are more nimble than a bulky cloth or sponge..you can get in all nooks and crannies and if you have lovely nails pop on a pair of latex gloves underneath
Hi Joanna. I've never thought about using exfoliating gloves for cleaning - what a great tip! Thanks for sharing with us :)
I have a clear plastic strip on the bottom of my curved shower screen. I have found that I have to renew it fairly regularly because after a while the strip gets pink mould stains. Does anyone know of any remedy to either prevent the pink mould from appearing, or to get rid of it? I have looked online, but haven't yet found an answer. Thanks in anticipation. Carol B
Hi Carol. I get this on grout between some of my bathroom tiles. For me, bleach & a toothbrush normally does the trick - have you tried that? I hope this helps :)
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