I’ve decided this year that tackling spring cleaning one room at a time may make more sense for my family than ripping the whole house apart.
The reason cleaning one room at a time is a better idea for our family is it should make living in the house a bit more sane as we clean. What doesn’t work so well for us is disrupting every room in the house at the same time.
How about you? Would you rather tackle one job at a time, say all the floors, or one room at a time? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.
I’ve divided the house into five areas – bedrooms, dining room, living room, bathrooms, and kitchen - for spring cleaning. As I plan my strategy, I’ll be covering one area each week on Tidy Tuesday.
The last three weeks we tackled cleaning the bedrooms, cleaning the dining room and cleaning the living room. You can see what each area involved by clicking the links above. Then come back and see how we’re going to get the bathrooms clean and shiny.
Depending on how many bathrooms you have, this project could take all day or even several days. Here is where I take some tips from the pros. Cleaning bathrooms can be back-breaking work, so I appreciate all the help I can get in time saving and effort saving tips.
For our discussion here, we’ll just assume we’re cleaning one full bath; that is a bathroom that has a tub with shower. Then just reapply all the cleaning strategies to any other, smaller bathrooms and powder rooms.
Trick of the pros: choose only two cleaning solutions for entire bathroom. It makes the job go faster and easier.
Choose one cleaner for scrubbing and one for shining. In other words, you’ll want one cleaner to scrub the tub, tile and countertops. You’ll want another cleaner for the mirror and faucets. (Note: NEVER mix bleach, even products that contain bleach, with ammonia or products that contain ammonia. The fumes are toxic, even deadly.)
Following a professional’s guidelines, we start with the toilet. Use a good cleanser. That doesn’t mean you have to use a “toilet bowl cleaner.” You can use any good disinfectant scrubbing cleanser. Fill the toilet bowl, close the lid and let it stand while you continue. Some folks prefer just using plain bleach for this job. You may want to start your exhaust fan if you choose to use bleach as the fumes can get a bit obnoxious. Close the lid and move on for now. You’ll come back to finish the toilet later.
(Note: Again… NEVER mix bleach, even products that contain bleach, with ammonia or products that contain ammonia. The fumes are toxic, even deadly.)
Remove your shower curtain, liner, and any rugs, etc. Launder or replace as necessary. If you have a window, remove those curtains, shades, or blinds (if possible) and wash accordingly. Using a mixture of vinegar and water, wash the inside of the bathroom window and the surrounding woodworking with soft rags.
Grab your scrubbing cleanser and sprinkle (wet shower surround and tub first) or spray on the bathtub-shower walls continuing down into the tub. Start scrubbing with a good stiff brush or scrubbing pad, top to bottom, all the way into the tub.
Trick of the pros: it’s much easier on the back to climb into the tub to scrub it. Put rags in the bottom of the tub to prevent slipping and climb in barefoot.
You’ll want to have a large bucket and large sponge on hand for rinsing if you don’t have a detachable shower head. Once you’ve scrubbed the entire surface, begin rinsing until you hear the surfaces squeak when you rub it.
Trick of the pros: install a detachable shower head and use it like the spray attachment on your kitchen sink to rinse your shower. For around $20 you will solve the back-breaking chore of rinsing your shower, bending and dipping a sponge in a bucket of water over and over again.
This is a good time to get yourself a cold drink and do a slightly different chore. Grab a couple boxes or bins and empty your medicine cabinet and under the sink area into them. Take the boxes out to a comfortable area where you can sit and sort.
You’ll want to start with your medicines. Check expiration dates and put any medicines (prescription or over-the-counter) that have expired into one box. Add to that box any medicines that you simply no longer use. Anything you haven’t taken in over a year is suspect. That box of medicines should go to a medicine disposal place – call your doctor’s office for information about these safe disposal sites. Most clinics and hospitals allow people to bring their drugs and medicines there for collection and proper disposal.
Continue sorting out all the items from your medicine cabinet and under the sink area. If you have items like broken or unused curling irons, brushes, combs, clips, etc. dispose of those items or put in a separate box for donation. Spring cleaning time is a great time to dig out from under the stuff that keeps accumulating in our bathroom cabinets. Be brutal with your clutter! Still have soup can size hair rollers you haven’t used in more than a decade? Wash them up and give them away!
Okay, now that you’ve handled the clutter, it’s time to wipe out the shelves. Use a mild cleaner and a sponge or rag and get the interior of your cabinet and cupboards wiped out. I like vinegar and water for this chore as it freshens as it cleans. Leave the cabinet doors open and let the interior dry completely. Then neatly restock with your bathroom items.
Now you’re ready to clean the mirror, countertop, and sink. Using your tub cleanser, sprinkle or spray your sink, faucet, and countertop. Take your scrubber pad, brush, or sponge and scrub up your surfaces. Rinse well.
Next, spray the mirror, countertop, and sink with a glass cleaner. My preference is a vinegar and water mixture because it’s safe to use and it removes soap residue. That is the reason you spray down the countertop and sink after you scrub it. Plus, you’ll get extra shine on the faucet. Wipe the mirror, countertop, and sink with clean rags until they are dry and shining. Take your glass cleaner over to your tub faucet as well and give that the same shiny treatment.
Trick of the pros: always follow up your sink and tub scrubbing with a spray and wipe with glass cleaner on the faucets and handles. That’s where the shine comes from.
You are ready now to scrub the toilet. Use a good solid brush, scrub up and around the rim, and flush. Spray the entire toilet down with your glass cleaner (vinegar and water works well) and wipe down with clean rags.
Your floor is the final step. Using a mixture of vinegar and water, start with a bucket and mop or a sprayer and rags, and work your way out the door.
Speaking of the door, now is the time to wipe down the door, door frame, and door knob. Using a mixture of vinegar and water (which makes a good, safe disinfecting spray) spray down the entire door and wipe dry. Pay close attention to the handle.
Once the floor is dry you can go back in and hang the shower curtains, window curtains, and any rugs.
Now your bathroom is shiny and clean, just like if you had the pros come in!
See you next week when we tackle the kitchen.
p.s. Would you like to get all the rooms in your house spic-and-span? Click on and get even more Spring Cleaning Tips for Mom to get your whole house clean – one room at a time.