Only Have One Minute to Spring Clean the Bathroom? One Hour? Try These Tricks

published Apr 12, 2018
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A bathroom vanity with round weave laundry baskets placed underneath and a bathtub beside it
(Image credit: Federico Paul)

This year, we’re on a mission to help you tackle spring cleaning on your time. Each weekday until April 13, we’ll guide you through a plan to clean and organize different areas of your home, but you’ll have the flexibility to choose exactly what to work on and how long you have to dedicate to the job.

Nobody really likes cleaning, do they? I’m a home editor and I don’t even like cleaning. I enjoy having a clean home, of course. And once the task is behind me, I love the good vibes of having tackled a difficult task. But the actual on-your-knees scrubbing and back breaking work? It’s for the birds.

I know that no cleaning task is loathed as much as the bathroom. But I cannot, in good conscience, skip over it while we’re spring cleaning. It’s important that the washroom gets scrubbed within an inch of its life at least a few times a year. And once we’re done, you can relax with a hot shower or bubble bath — in your sparkling clean bathroom of course.

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

Today’s Task: The Bathroom

Decide how much time you can dedicate to cleaning your bathroom today, then choose your micro-mission:

If you have 1 day…

Tackle your grout. Take a look at the grout in your bathroom and decide for yourself on the right plan of action. If your grout is mildly stained and grimy, a simple scrub clean will do — start with vinegar, then move on to a baking soda paste if you need a little more muscle. The time consuming part of this is just systematically working your way across each inch of grout in every direction — that’s what might take all day.

If you find that a regular scrub isn’t enough and your grout is classic white, you can try bleaching your grout with a bleach pen designed for the task. If you’re worried that the bleach might harm your tile, test in a small spot first, and try to minimize contact with your tile.

And of course, if your grout is beyond help, you can consider a total re-grout. It’s not nearly as scary as it sounds, but it does require some time, tools and technique. Check out these instructions from Family Handyman:

If you have 1 hour…

Scrub the tub and shower. Good. Like really good. Spring cleaning is your chance to work a little harder than you usually do — getting up close and personal with all of the surfaces and corners in your shower and tub to give the area a really detailed and thorough clean. It’s up to you to choose the best cleaner and method, but the secret just might be Dawn dish soap and a cheap broom.

When you’re done cleaning, dry the tub and shower thoroughly — a squeegee is ace here. And consider car wax as a finishing touch — it’ll help repel water and reduce soap scum and mold down the line.

If you have 10 minutes…

Wipe down the mirror, sink and cabinet fronts. Using your usual tools and favorite cleaners, start at the mirror and work your way down and across the bathroom to give these spots a little love. You can use a toothbrush to get detailed cabinet hardware clean.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

If you have 1 minute…

Clean your showerhead with the baggie method. It should take just a minute to set it up, but your baggie will work hard for you while you’re gone.

If you’ve never done this before, it’s simple: Fill a watertight plastic bag halfway with equal parts white vinegar and water, then submerge your shower head into the bag so it’s covered with the solution. Secure it with a rubber band or zip tie and let the contraption sit for several hours or — even better — overnight. Come back the next day, remove the baggie and run hot water through the shower head for a minute or so.

Let’s check in: How is spring cleaning going? Only one more day to go!