How To Clean a Bathroom


Bathrooms are such a hot topic with our community.

I don’t know many people that love cleaning bathrooms, and I’d have to say I don’t really like the job myself (although it’s vacuuming I dislike doing the most).  So, because of this, I have devised a strategy that helps me complete this task (to freakin’ perfection might I add) with the minimal amount of effort and wasted time (because I’m efficient like that).

If you liked our Bedroom Cleaning Tutorial, you are going to seriously love this one.

I don’t know what it is that makes us so squeamish around cleaning the bathroom; is it the moisture content in the room, the strong products, the confined space, the hard work requires that it signifies, or the fact that we defecate in there.  It could be a combination of all of these factors, but it’s not popular.  Commercials completely victimize the poor bathroom, making it seem so undesirable and challenging to clean.
I don’t know about you, but I really love a clean bathroom.  I like doing everything in a clean bathroom, and I don’t feel the same when getting ready/showering in a dirty bathroom as I do in a clean one.  It makes for a much more enjoyable experience.  Plus, I think when guests come over a clean (actually, immaculate) bathroom is paramount.

A lot of the ‘challenges’ around bathroom cleaning can be eliminated with the proper products and tools, knowing what you are doing and a strategy to get at it.  I promise, once you learn the ways of the cleaning expert, your bathroom cleaning will become notably easier.  I remember the first time I cared about cleaning was when I was getting my business started.  I had no clue how to clean a bathroom and the time had come.  My mom had a very sheepish grin on her face, that’s all I have to say, she couldn’t wait to see my performance (and is she ever picky).  Anywho, I timed myself and it took me 45 minutes to clean a bathroom.  It wasn’t a big bathroom and it wasn’t a pretty bathroom.  It was a 1980’s bathroom and had really basic requirements.  I just hated the job through and through because I was clueless as to how to get the job done and it frustrated me.  Needless to say, the results were mediocre.  So, once that painful experience passed, I decided to strategize my cleanings.  Here’s what I’ve learned.

Let’s get to it!

My 3 rules for cleaning any room

Rule 1 – Get in the right headspace

Especially for the lou, you need to be in the right headspace.  I don’t know what you need to do to get there (maybe watch one of our videos :D ), but if I am not in the mood for cleaning, I literally waste time doing everything else but clean.  If you haven’t cleaned your bathroom in a while, set aside 30-45 minutes.  For a well-maintained bathroom, commit 20 minutes to the task.  To make it easier on yourself, pick your music ahead of time, get a drink, and then get cleaning.

Rule 2: Use the right tools and products, and have them all with you

Don’t waste your time using inadequate tools and products, get the good stuff that isn’t going to waste your time because of quality issues.  Select items that you need; nothing more and nothing less, just enough to be efficient.  My recommended product and tool list is below.  Then, gather the items up and take them to the bathroom, don’t leave one item out.  If you have it all with you, you won’t need to leave and that will keep you focused.

Rule 3: Have a Method

Have a plan, and that’s why I am going to share my list with you, so that you know what to do and the order to do it in.  Also, work clockwise and stay on course, that way you won’t need to remember what you have and have not cleaned.  You save so much time by not backtracking.  You’re also going to focus on soaking areas that need it while you clean areas that don’t require soaking.  That way, you let the products work for you on the really grubby areas, which reduces scrub time.  Trust me, it’s brilliant.

Tools and Products

Let’s assume that watching the video and reading the post gets you in the most amazing cleaning headspace (which takes care of rule #1), you are ready to get your tools and products prepped.  I am going to give you a general list here.  But, if you have any specialty finish in your bathroom, I encourage to check out the post on cleaning high-end finishes so that you know exactly how to clean these areas without ruining anything.  Here’s what you’ll need to clean your bathroom:

  • Microfiber cloths for dusting, cleaning and polishing. I’d say to have 5.
  • Glass cleaning cloth, for mirrors and windows (if you feel like cleaning your windows), have 1
  • Vacuum (mop if you have hardwood floors)
  • All purpose cleaner (you may choose one with a disinfectant if you wish)
  • Glass cleaner, but I prefer vinegar, and full-strength vinegar if you can find it
  • Tub and tile cleaner (which can be used for toilets as well)
  • Garbage bag, bag for recyclables, replacement garbage bag
  • Mop pole, hair elastic
  • Squeegee (optional, but helpful)
  • Toilet bowl brush
  • Double-sided sponge (ideally non-scratching)
  • Cleaning toothbrush

Now, you might have items and/or finishes in your room that I don’t have in mine, so if you have something that requires special attention, get the right product for it.  Otherwise, this list will suffice.


The method we’re going to use for this is the same one we used in our bedroom cleaning tutorial.  The two key differences here, are that we are going to add an extra step to the first wave (spraying) and we are going to use the sink as our starting point rather than the door.  This is because we’ll need to use the sink a number of times, and this way when we clean it last, we won’t need to repeat any work.  We will also be spending time soaking more stubborn areas to allow the product to work to our advantage and save us lots of scrubbing time.  You’ll see what I mean shortly.

I will refer to the method as I have before, as ’3 Waves’.  Essentially, you’re going to do 3 circles (waves sounds sexier and less kindergarden-y) around your bathroom to cover off all the areas.  The three waves are exactly the same: tidying, cleaning, and floors.  That way, you tidy and deal with garbage and laundry first, scrub and clean second, and clean floors last.  You can’t go wrong.  You’ll always work clockwise and I pick the sink as my ’12 O’Clock’ so that I always have a consistent start and finish point.

First Wave:

Spray and Soak

The first wave involves two parts; tidying and spraying all stubborn areas like tiles, toilets and glass doors.  Work clockwise when doing this so that you don’t forget where you started.  The reason we spray and soak at the beginning is to allow for heavy build-up to be easily broken down, and secondly to allow any bacteria to be killed (a disinfectant requires between 5-10 minutes of dwell time to do this).  Let the product do the heavy lifting for you.  So, the way you make this happen is as follows; before you do think about tidying, remove items that may be in the way of the tough areas (such as a plunger shower caddy) to allow for maximum coverage with the product.  Then, spray all of these surfaces (don’t spray the tub yet, only the shower tiles and door, we’ll do the tub later).  Be generous, because you don’t want the product to dry.  If you are using anything harsh (which I sincerely hope you are not), please open a window or turn on a fan, and keep your door open.  Ventilation is key.  Ok, now that you’ve quickly soaked the tough areas, you can start tidying.


Now that the spraying is done, we can proceed with the tidying part of the first wave.  So here, we’ll circle around the bathroom and pick up garbage and recycling, put things where they belong (tidying) and some quick organization.  For this wave, you don’t need cleaning products, you just need your garbage bag/recycling bag and perhaps a laundry basket for items that don’t belong in your bathroom, which you can leave just outside the door to save space.

As I go around the bathroom, I am scanning from top to bottom, left to right for any item that needs to be ‘dealt with’.  For example, any magazines and empty toiletries can get recycled, garbage gets tossed, etc.  Any items I don’t need in the bathroom go into the laundry basket which I’ll leave outside my door and deal with after the clean is over.

For the items that I pass which are in their right homes (because each item has a home you know), I tidy and organize them.  I position them neatly and attractively on the surface (which we clean in the second wave).  For example, my toothbrush, soap, facewash, etc. will be lined up neatly.  I’ll remind you of my secret tidying tip which is to line my items up parallel or perpendicular to the edges of the furniture.  That way, things always look straight.  At this time, if you feel certain parts of your bathroom need a bit of reorganizing as you go along, this is the time to do it.  For example, if you see you have 20 nail polishes and 8 of them are dried out or old, you can get rid of them now.

Finish this wave up by folding your towels neatly and making sure the space looks neat and organized.  You’re all done and ready to move on to the second wave!

Second Wave

Cleaning, dusting and scrubbing

Now that the bathroom is neat and tidy and the grimy areas have had a chance to soak, it’s time to actually clean it.  For the second wave, we’re going to tackle the scrubbing, dusting, cleaning and polishing.  To prepare for the second wave, I keep a dry microfiber cloth over my shoulder so that I can ‘buff’ surfaces and items dry (and access it quickly), a clean microfiber cloth in the other hand and a bottle of all-purpose cleaner close by.

High and low dusting is the first thing you’re going to do.  The important thing to know about dusting is that  dust falls from the top to the bottom, so you want to start at the top and work your way down.  That’s why we start with the high dusting.   Prepare your high and low dusting tool now, by placing a dampened microfiber cloth over the end of a mop pole and securing it with the hair elastic. Start at your 12 O’Clock point and raise the tool up to the seam where the ceiling meets the wall.  Walk it from corner to corner around the room (moving clockwise) dragging it along the corners and edges along the seam (cobweb central).  While you’re at it, you can also clean any door frames, vents or light fixtures (which should be off if you are cleaning them).  When this is done, you can either move on to cleaning, or back track your steps and clean the baseboards using the same tool.

Now that your high and low dusting is done, take 2 microfiber cloths and your bottle of all-purpose cleaner and glass cleaner.  Leave the glass cleaner by your mirror so you don’t need to drag it  around with you.  Spray your cloth so that it’s damp and head to your 12 O’Clock area to start.  Start scanning (top to bottom) and seek out any fingerprints or marks on the wall, points of contact, or horizontal surfaces that need dusting and polishing.  You are literally going to scan, moving your head in an ‘yes’ position (up and down) looking for things that NEED cleaning.  Include furniture and room decor in this scan, and clean items as necessary.  As you get to countertops, remove all items on the surface, clean the area by spraying it and wiping clean in an ‘S’ pattern, and then replacing all items back on the counter where you found them, neatly.  Wipe the items as you replace them.  When you reach the mirror, clean that as well.  I cheat a little bit and only clean as far as I can reach (because it really doesn’t get messy higher than that).

Now, you’ll hit the toilet.  Assuming you’ve sprayed the whole toilet (learn how to do it here), put some gloves on and take your paper towel and wipe the tank, flusher, lid, top and bottom of the rim, base and area behind the toilet with paper towel.  Discard the paper towel, we’ll do the bowl now.  Take your toilet bowl brush and scrub; start with under the rim (stand back!) and then swirl your way into the bowl until you get to the chute, which also needs to be scrubbed.  Then, flush, and close the lid with the toilet brush dangling above the toilet bowl; this way it drip-dries.  You can also clean out the bowl brush container at this time (using paper towel).

Moving right along, we’ll get to the tub and shower area.  We created a comprehensive video and post on cleaning a shower, which can be found here.  Since you have sprayed

If you wish to disinfect your points of contact, use a disinfectant for this (unless your all-purpose cleaner does this too).  When it comes to cleaning furniture, here’s what to do.  Remove all items, and place safely on the floor, spray the furniture surface if you can, or just use a damp cloth to wipe if not.  Wipe in an ‘S’ pattern (starting at one end and moving to the other, and zig-zag back and forth until you are done).  Grab your buffing cloth if necessary to dry the surface before replacing items and then replace items, one by one, quickly wiping each one as you replace it in the right spot.   Since you’ve already organized and tidied, you have less things to do during this wave, and you can strictly focus on cleaning.  Check to see if your furniture’s vertical surfaces have  fingerprints on them and spot clean as required (vertical surfaces get less dirty than horizontal ones, so they don’t need as much cleaning).

For your mirror, spray it with glass cleaner, then take a clean microfiber cloth and wipe using an “s’ pattern from top to bottom, and buff out any streaks as needed.  Move along to your window sill, use a cloth to wipe the frame and sill of the window, and you can spot clean any fingerprints if you wish.  I use the same method for picture frames, which you can see in the video.  I also support any item by holding part of it secure with my left hand while I clean with my right hand.  That prevents it from falling!  I don’t clean my window coverings in this video, but you can certainly do this if you wish.  See, with focused effort, this was easy and effective.

Third Wave

Points of Contact, Empty Garbage & Wipe Floors

Congrats! You made it to the third wave, and this wave won’t take long at all – simply clean your points of contact – empty your garbage and clean the floors, using a microfibre cloth – and NOT a mop! See the video the full details on this wave.

Thinking about tackling your bathroom? Be sure to take before and after pictures and send them to us! You never know, we just might send you a prize 🙂



  1. can I ask what gloves do you use when I’m cleaning the bathroom I like to wear gloves but can’t find a good pair what gloves did you use in this video
    Thanks Daniel

  2. I had some terrible housemates move out and leave me with the cleaning of their ensuite bathroom and oh goodness! I nearly cried. Hard water stains, mouldy floor mat, brown toilet the works ek! It took me 4 hours. My saviour was vinegar and bicard. I made it into a paste and cleaned and cleaned rinsed and repeated many times and was super frustrated. So I looked it up. I came across a tip I love love love!!! I sprayed the entire bathroom, every surface with vinegar, closed all the windows and turned off the vent, put the shower on purely hot water and closed the door. 10 minutes later I came back in, turned on the vent and opened the windows and wiped everything down. Pretty much everything came off with one wipe. To be safe I cleaned everything again with my bicarb paste and vinegar and it sparkled.

  3. Extraordinary work by Melissa Maker, a debt of gratitude is in order for sharing tips for cleaning our lavatory. It has truly helped me a ton. Presently my restroom will be spotless constantly.

  4. Rog 3 is amazing !! I have been trying to clean my slip resistant bathtub forever I tried everything from home remedies to bar keepers friend nothing worked I was at my wits end and about to pay 1000 + dollars just to have the bathtub replaced cause it was embarrassing i didnt want my guest to see it. One day i saw a before and after shot on pinterest i was skeptical but i ordered it. Once it came i just followed the instructions and was amazed my 15 year old tjb looks like new again. It was well worth it trust me try it youll be happy you did

  5. Cleaning Bathrooms takes a day off my weekend. I have my own DIY cleaning product which works like magic.But it takes more time arrange my products and clean the corner shelf. I am going to get rid these shelves and install shampoo dispenser bottles. I thinkHope that will help me to clean and arrange my bathroom faster.

  6. These are great tips on cleaning bathrooms. Having a plan and a method in mind makes the process much smoother. Thanks for posting.

  7. “Bathrooms are such a hot topic with our community”..True to say this and thanks for sharing such a valuable content with users.

  8. Great tips. Unfortunately, my bathroom is carpeted. It looks UGH!!! around the toilet. It is now getting discolored from the cleaning solutions used through the years. Can’t afford to take it up and replace with flooring. Can you help me? Thanks.

  9. Hi Melissa,
    Hard water residue is there in my bathroom tiles,Pls suggest me how to clean it…. and how often i should clean the tile …..daily or weekly once…

  10. Hi Melissa,
    FYI, I just learned of a product made by Norwex, they have micro fiber cleaning clothes that have silver woven into them. Silver is a natural antibacterial, hence you only need to use water as your cleaning solution. They have been tested and areas cleaned were found to be cleaner than when using sanitizing solutions.

  11. Hi Melissa.
    We just moved out to the country and have well water. Well, the bathtub is yellow from previous renters or owners not cleaning it properly, I suppose. I have tried bleaching it but that only went so far. Any tips on how I can get the bathtub back to white?

  12. Hi melissa, is dettol a good option to use for cleaning and disinfecting household?
    Where i live it is hard to find vinegar apart from ones that are used for cooking.



  13. Hi Melissa,

    I love the way you organize your cleaning strategy for a bathroom. I use to clean my own bathroom before and yes your right doing things in clockwise saves time and energy.

  14. Hello, I have been trying to clean the inside glass on my wall oven for the last hour. I tried dish soap, vinegar, and two different times baking soda for 25 minutes each. It is better but not sufficiently clean. What do you recommend?

    Debbie in Oregon

  15. Found your website on YouTube while searching for an easy, step by step, method to teach my boys how to clean the bathroom. I have tried and tried to teach them but they always forget something. I’m also their mom so what do I know, right? They loved your video. (It probably doesn’t hurt that you’re cute and their boys.) What would make your site even better is to have a printable with all the steps, probably with a way to laminate and check off each step as they go. Thank you for this wonderful blog!

  16. Melissa,

    I am at my wits end trying to clean my glass shower (2 sides and door) – I have tried lime away and just about every bathroom product out there & the cloudiness and hardwater stains are there; I used to Mr. Clean Disinfecting Bath Cleaner – it worked great and it has now been discontinued. Please help!!

  17. I use to clean h oases I found the best way to control soap scum is to use furniture polish like liquid gold or old English if u have plastic shower doors after cleaning everything wipe done the door with a little oil on a cloth it’s also good for tile and fixtures its the best

  18. Hi Melissa,
    How should u clean a shower curtain that has mold spots on it? soak it in vinegar? I do not have a way to soak it in the washing machine (laundromat).

  19. Hi Melissa!
    I’m a very big fan of you as all your tips actually work really well, but I’m having a problem and can’t find a solution. Perhaps you could help?
    Point is that I’ve moved to a new apartment and blindex in the shower are so dirty that I don’t know what else to use to take the glass into life again! I’ve tried to take a photo with my mobile but quality is not good and you couldn’t notice, but blindex look dull, brightless…
    I’ve tried with products to remove fat (because I thought in the fat of the soap), with glass cleaners, with vinegar, with lime removers and none of them have work properly.
    Glasses are clean, but they still look dull, don’t shine… any idea?? SOS please!
    Thanks a lot and congrats for the excellent work and help you are always doing!

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