Let's face it: Cleaning your bathroom is never going to be a fun task. Get the job done efficiently and effectively by avoiding these common blunders and following advice from Carolyn Forte, the Good Housekeeping Research Institute's resident cleaning expert.
1. Not using your exhaust fan enough
Be sure to flip the switch on for your exhaust fan before you get in the shower, and leave it running for 15 to 20 minutes afterward to remove moisture and help cut down on mildew. Don't have a fan? Opening a window works as well. You can also use a squeegee after each shower to remove lingering moisture.
2. Using one product as a catch-all
If you think using a disinfecting wipe on every surface is sufficient, think again. Each area of the bathroom deserves its own product. Use your favorite tub-and-tile spray cleaner on the shower tiles, sink basin, and tub, but save the spray glass cleaner for mirrors.
3. Only cleaning the obviously dirty parts of the toilet
Sure, we all know to clean the seat and the bowl, but what about the base? The exterior of your toilet can get just as germy and dusty as the interior. Be sure to clean the base, tank, and the lid. And don't forget to disinfect the handle.
4. Putting the toilet brush right back in the holder
When you plunk a still-wet toilet brush into its holder, it creates a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria. After cleaning the bowl, set the toilet brush across the seat, allowing it to drip into the bowl. Make sure the brush is completely dry before putting it back. To freshen up your current toilet bowl brush and holder, soak them in or spray them with an antibacterial cleaner, rinse, and wipe dry.
5. Not washing your shower curtain liner
When you start to notice a cloudy residue buildup on your liner, you don't have to toss it. Simply run it through your washing machine. Launder the liner, along with some old towels and a bit of bleach, with hot water on a delicate cycle. Tumble dry on low for a few minutes -- just enough so you don't leave a trail of water from the laundry room to the bathroom. To extend the shelf life of your liner, pull the curtain closed after you shower. A bunched up liner will quickly attract mold and mildew.
6. Forgetting the little things
Think about all of the "touch points" in your bathroom -- your racks and shelves, faucets, and handles need cleaned regularly. You can run bathroom accessories such as toothbrush holders and small shower racks through the dishwasher, but just replace loofas and kids bath toys over time rather than try to clean them.
- By Chelsea Schlecht
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