Racing Against the Clock
Your bathroom may be the smallest room in your house, but it’s probably also the grimiest. To keep this essential space sparkling and tidy with minimal drudgery, set a timer for 20 minutes then launch into this fast (and maybe even fun?) deep-clean regime.
00:00 Gather Supplies
To make this step happen in no time flat, keep a cleaning caddy in the under-sink cabinet or in a closet near the bathroom. Stock it with rubber gloves, at least five microfiber cleaning cloths, a scrub brush, an old toothbrush, and your favorite brands of glass cleaner, bathtub cleaning spray, and toilet cleaner. If your bathroom has granite or marble surfaces, be sure to stock a special cleaner for those. You’ll also need a broom, dustpan, and a mop or floor rag.
01:00 Clear the Way
Return toiletries, makeup, and grooming tools to their designated homes in the medicine cabinet or drawers. (If these items don’t have a place to live, make a note to yourself to hang some shelves for storage bins or to find a slim wheeled cart.) Throw dirty towels and bath mats into the washing machine, then open a window or turn on the bathroom fan to keep the cleaning fumes to a minimum.
04:00 Spritz Surfaces
Don your rubber gloves and get ready to spray! Apply a good coating of cleaner to counter, backsplash, and the outer surfaces of the toilet, paying special attention to corners where grotty stuff likes to hang out. Squirt toilet cleaner into the bowl, aiming it all around, including under the rim. Let everything sit.
06:00 Soak the Shower and Tub
07:00 Tackle the Toilet
With the toilet brush that you (we hope!) keep tucked in a holder nearby, scrub the inside of the toilet bowl, cleaning both the rim and seat areas. Use a wet rag to wipe down the toilet’s exterior surfaces, dry it with a wad of toilet paper, then toss the used paper in the bowl and flush away. Rinse the toilet brush with one more flush, then spray it with cleaner before returning it to its holder.
Related: The Toilets of Tomorrow
10:00 Clean the Shower and Tub
Drain the tub. Wipe all the surfaces and scrub away any remaining spots or scum, hitting grout lines or corners with the toothbrush if needed. Rinse all surfaces well with a clean wet rag (or use the shower head, if yours has a flexible handheld attachment). If you have a glass door, do a quick wipe with cleaner and cloth.
13:00 Hit the Floor
Sweep the bathroom floor with the broom and dustpan (or a vacuum cleaner, if one is handy) to give it a quick clean. Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water and cleaner, then dunk and wring out a mop or floor rag and run it over your vinyl or tile flooring. Leave the floor to air-dry (your feet might get a little wet!), or dry it off with a cloth. Don't forget to drain the water from the sink.
17:00 Wipe It All Down
Saturate a clean cloth with warm water, wring it out, then wipe down the countertops and backsplash you sprayed earlier. If necessary, use the old toothbrush and a little elbow grease to remove stubborn soil from the grout or around the faucet base or handles, then wipe again with a wet cloth. Finally, spray and wipe down the sink interior.
17:30 Disinfect High-Touch Surfaces
With a disinfecting spray or disinfectant wipe, give high-touch surfaces—the door knob, light switches, toothbrush holder, flush handle, faucet handles, and soap dispenser or soap dish—a quick rub. If you notice any fingerprints or spots on walls or doors, tackle them with a second wipe.
18:00 Do the Mirror
Apply a generous coating of glass cleaner to the mirror, then wipe it with cloth. (Microfiber is brilliant for this job, as it leaves no streaks.) For extra sparkle elsewhere in the space, use the still-damp cloth to shine up your toilet handle and your sink and tub faucets.
Related: 3 Fixes for a Streaky Mirror
19:00 The One-Minute Finish
If You Have a Few Seconds to Spare…
Take care of the finishing touches: Put out a new roll of toilet paper, spritz a fancy air freshener to get rid of unpleasant smells (and leave the spritz out for your guests to use), and lay a fresh bath rug underfoot before the doorbell rings.
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