An immaculate bathroom is hard to find. Considering how much time you spend in your bathroom everyday, keeping it clean and fresh can have a real impact on how you feel. Unfortunately, even after you spend hours cleaning, bathrooms have a tendency to get grimy fast. However, once you look past all the dusty makeup drawers and toothpaste-soiled sinks, it's clear the real problem isn't just your messy toiletries; it's the unsightly buildup that's embedded in your grout, bathtub, and fixtures.
So to help you score an ultraclean bathroom, we've broken down the three areas you really need to focus to keep it clean and sparkling. And while scrubbing these won't excuse you from your regular wipe-downs, it does ensure a more perfect-looking bathroom. Read ahead for the three things you need to keep clean so your bathroom can really shine.
1. Dirty grout
Anyone with shower tiles knows exactly what dirty grout lines look like. It's that gross buildup between your tiles that you probably assumed was rust or mold. However, believe it or not, that grout stain is actually bacteria—scientifically known as Serratia marcescens—and it's making your bathroom appear way dirtier than it actually is. Although generally harmless to humans, grout bacteria grows in moist locations where there's oily substances to feed on (aka soap residue). And while it's nearly impossible to get rid of completely, there are plenty of ways to reduce and control these unsightly stains. For a store-bought option consider trying a grout pen or Goo Gone Grout Clean and Restore—a foam that breaks down mold, mildew, soap scum, and other bacteria-triggers. And if all-natural, DIY cleaners are your weapon of choice, you can mix water, vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide (and scour with a grout scrubber or toothbrush) for a thoroughly green clean. When you're all done be sure to coat your shower walls and doors with a water repellant spray (such as Rain-X) to keep the buildup from coming back.
2. A gross bathtub
Bathtubs are breeding grounds for mold, mildew, and other water-inducing buildup. So it's no surprise they often keep your bathroom from looking perfectly clean. Luckily, there are several ways you can tackle a grimy bathtub and even prevent future stains from spreading. If you're dealing with a porcelain tub, try using an eco-friendly blend of liquid dishwashing soap, ammonia, baking soda, lemon oil, table salt, and lemon along with a soft scrub or sponge. However, if you're in possession of an acrylic or enamel tub, it's best to avoid anything that's overly acidic. Instead, go for a cream cleanser or homemade paste and let it sit for a solid hour; it'll help break down the buildup without damaging your bathtub. Of course you can always pick up a heavy-duty cleaner at the store—like X-14 or Ajax—just remember to use sparingly because they can be super abrasive.
3. Faucet and mirror spots
Last, but certainly not least on our list of things keeping you from a squeaky-clean bathroom are hard water stains—specifically those pesky spots on your mirrors and faucets. Caused by large amounts of minerals (including limestone, calcium, and magnesium) in your H2O, moisture-filled rooms such as bathrooms are prime targets for these eyesores. Still, there are lots of easy ways to combat water spots. For mirror stains, you can buy a premade cleaner like Meguiar's Water Spot Remover and Ettore's Water Spot Remover Paste, or make your own mix of vinegar, Epsom salt (for scrubbing), and all-natural dish soap. For chrome fixture stains, try a slightly stronger cleaner (such as Lime-A-Way) or simply wipe down your faucet with lemon juice or vinegar (and then scrub with a toothbrush) for a greener clean.