The Best Bathroom Cleaners for Every Surface
Get your entire bathroom sparkling, spotless, and sanitary with these consumer favorites.
If there’s one room in the house you can’t “forget” to clean, it’s the bathroom. Showers, tubs, and countertops collect soap scum; toilets gather grime and bacteria; tiled surfaces can fall prey to mildew and mold; and mirrors collect toothpaste, makeup, and streaks. Fortunately, today’s commercial cleaners work hard so you don’t have to. Still, there are a few criteria to consider to find the best bathroom cleaner for your various fixtures and surfaces.
Ahead, the key factors to look for—and how they helped us narrow the crowded market to eight top picks:
- BEST FOR TOILETS: Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- BEST BLEACH-FREE ALTERNATIVE FOR TOILETS: Method Antibacterial Toilet Bowl Cleaner.
- BEST FOR MIRRORS: Windex Original Glass Cleaner
- BEST AMMONIA-FREE CLEANER FOR MIRRORS: Better Life Natural Streak Free Glass Cleaner
- BEST FOR SINKS, SHOWERS, AND TUBS: Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner
- BEST GREEN CLEANER FOR SINKS, SHOWERS, AND TUBS: Bio Clean Eco-Friendly Hard Water Stain Remover
- BEST FOR TILE AND COUNTERTOPS: Clorox Gel Cleaner
- BEST ECO-FRIENDLY OPTION FOR TILE AND COUNTERTOPS: Puracy Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
Top Considerations for Choosing a Bathroom Cleaner
You’ll find bathroom cleaners in two varieties:
- Multipurpose cleaners can be applied to a wide range of bathroom surfaces from showers and tubs to mirrors because they’re formulated for use on multiple materials. They’re the most versatile and budget-friendly option because you need only buy one cleaner for the whole bathroom.
- Dedicated cleaners are formulated (and labeled) for use only on specific surfaces, such as toilet bowls or showers; using them elsewhere could tarnish or corrode other materials. They’re a good option for deep-cleaning a targeted area.
Perhaps more important to select a product labeled for use on the specific material you’ll be cleaning.
- For toilets, bathroom cleaners should be labeled as safe for use on porcelain.
- For mirrors, choose products for use on glass.
- For countertops, cleaners should specify that they’re safe on laminate, natural stone (e.g., granite or marble), engineered stone (e.g., quartz), or ceramic tile.
- For sinks, cleaners should be compatible with sink basin materials (e.g., porcelain or acrylic) and faucet materials (e.g., chrome or brass).
- For tubs and showers, select cleaners meant for use on porcelain, ceramic tile, vinyl, or natural stone.
Each bathroom cleaner gets its cleaning power from different ingredients. Choose from the three compositions below based on your budget, the ingredients you’re comfortable with, and your cleaning needs:
- Traditional cleaners usually contain potent grime- and stain-lifting chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, or ammonium chloride. Although the most inexpensive option (one-third of the price of green variants), they emit fumes that can irritate eyes or skin and reduce bathroom air quality. Plus, they often contain artificial fragrances and dyes containing phthalates, alkylphenols, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like terpenes that can aggravate allergies or respiratory ailments.
- Green cleaners are made with ingredients sourced from nature, such as corn-sugar-derived glucoside, lactic acid, and essential oils, which pack powerful dirt-lifting, descaling, and deodorizing properties but are non-toxic, fume-free, and non-corrosive so won’t irritate your senses or reduce bathroom air quality.
- Germ-killing cleaners, available in both traditional and green varieties, contain antibacterial ingredients that kill germs in the bathroom that can make you sick. For best results, choose a bathroom cleaner labeled to kill up to 95 percent or more of germs. If going with a germ-killing traditional cleaner, avoid the antibacterial chemical triclosan, which may give rise to drug-resistant bacteria. If going green, choose biodegradable antimicrobial agents such as citric acid. Lastly, unless you’re immunocompromised, try to restrict antibacterial cleaners to the most germ-laden surfaces, such as the toilet, as they can kill good bacteria along with the bad.
The Best Bathroom Cleaners
Our top picks for bathroom cleaners satisfied both the above criteria and real customers who use them.
1. BEST FOR TOILETS: Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Make that dreaded bowl ring disappear in seconds with this dedicated cleaner for porcelain commodes. Squeeze four ounces into the bowl, let sit for 10 minutes, scrub bowl and rim with a toilet brush, then flush. Or apply under the seat and use a cloth to wipe the surface clean. Formulated with bleach, this antibacterial option eliminates 99.9 percent of germs.
2. BEST GREEN PICK FOR TOILETS: Method Antibacterial Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Another antibacterial toilet cleaner, this one from innovative Method relies on citric acid and essential oils to banish germs, which it does just as effectively as bleach. Added ingredients lactic acid and glucoside help dissolve and prevent soap scum, and they impart a pleasant spearmint smell too. No heavy-duty scrubbing required. Simply squirt inside the bowl and flush. You can even apply the Method Toilet Bowl Cleaner to the lid and/ or seat—without risking damage to the material, be it plastic or porcelain or other.
3. BEST FOR MIRRORS: Windex Original Glass Cleaner
Say sayonara to makeup smudges and fingerprints with a spritz of this ammonia-based cleaner for mirrors, window glass, and other glass surfaces. A staple of American households for nearly a century, Windex Original remains the leading favorite today for its spray-on, wipe-away ease and sparkling, blemish-free results.
4. BEST GREEN CLEANER FOR MIRRORS: Better Life Natural Streak Free Glass Cleaner
Fingerprints, makeup, and hard water stains are no match for this dedicated spray cleaner for glass mirrors and showers. Made with glucoside—which means it’s free of VOCs and alkylphenols—sprays on and wipes down with a soft cloth for a streak-free shine. Not for bathrooms only, of course. It works great on windows, car dashboards… whatever you’ve got that’s glass.
5. BEST FOR SINKS, SHOWERS, AND TUBS: Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner
If your home has “hard water” (i.e., high mineral content), your sinks, showers, and tubs no doubt suffer from white or yellow buildup as a result. If this multipurpose cleaner with ammonium chloride works swiftly to remove even those stubborn mineral stains, you can imagine what it can do on mere soap scum and germs. To use, spray, wait a few minutes, then wipe with a sponge or cloth.
6. BEST GREEN CLEANER FOR SINKS, SHOWERS, AND TUBS: Bio Clean Eco-Friendly Hard Water Stain Remover
Bust rust, mildew, mold, and hard water stains with a single application of this multipurpose bathroom cleaner that’s also a surface sealant. The biodegradable, odor-free formula of non-chemical surfactants and silica flour is safe for use on sink basins, faucets, showers, tubs, tile (natural stone or porcelain), chrome, brass, steel and glass.
7. BEST FOR TILE AND COUNTERS: Clorox Gel Cleaner
This multipurpose Clorox Gel Cleaner harnesses the cleaning power of bleach to de-gunk, disinfect, and deodorize tile, countertops, and virtually any other hard, non-porous bathroom surface made of ceramic, porcelain, stainless steel, natural stone or laminate. Apply the gel formula (without worrying about splashes), then wipe the gel away after just a minute of dwell time.
8. BEST GREEN CLEANER FOR TILE AND COUNTERS: Puracy Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
This versatile multipurpose cleaner containing glucoside and citric acid leaves surfaces spotless and streak-free by tackling tile and countertop offenders like dirt, makeup, and soap scum. One 25-ounce spray bottle delivers 250 applications, and the formula can be used on a wide range of materials—porcelain, ceramic, natural stone, laminate, engineered stone, and more. Just spray the non-toxic, plant-based cleaner once per two-by-two-foot area, then wipe with a microfiber cloth in fast, overlapping motions. A little goes a long, long way.