10 Quick Steps to a Cleaner Bathroom, Both Inside and Out

published Jan 20, 2021
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Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a free 20-day program all about loving on your home and preparing yourself and your space for the new year. Sign up now to get daily lessons sent straight to your inbox!

It’s always challenging to write cleaning content for a wide audience. I never know if I’m writing to someone who never misses a beat on a well-documented cleaning routine that leaves no surface un-scrubbed for more than a week; or if I’m writing to someone who, for whatever reason, has more relaxed standards for their home or can’t keep up with their cleaning as much as they’d like to.

Any housekeeping situation is valid — whether pristine, relaxed, or unattended; or anywhere in between. But I’m assuming you’re here to make some improvements.

Taryn's Tips

Everyone has a different standard of cleanliness, and that’s OK. What matters most when it comes to housekeeping is that your routine (and its results) fit your lifestyle.

Today, in the course of the January Cure, our focus is on the bathroom. And I have a 10-step plan to sprucing up the bathroom that can work for anyone. If you’re a regular cleaner, then check the bathroom off your list this week and enjoy a bit of decluttering, too. If your cleaning schedule is more forgiving lately, this routine will bring you back into shape quickly.

Here’s the plan…

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Day 13: Clean up around the bathroom.

Give your bathroom a quick little spruce-up, both inside and out.

If you have a bathroom on the larger side, you may want to set a timer or some other hard limit so this project doesn’t get too unwieldy; the goal is to focus on a few high-impact projects that’ll make the bathroom figuratively and literally shine.

First, clear out: Start by clearing out your storage areas. You can either choose one messy drawer, for example, or try to tackle the whole thing, if your bathroom storage feels doable in one swoop. Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Take everything out.
  2. Clean the drawer or shelf while it’s empty.
  3. Sort through your items. Dispose of anything expired, or opened items that you aren’t going to use. Be careful about how you dispose of medication and sharp objects—there are ways to do so safely.
  4. Replace the items in your drawer or on your shelf. If anything looks dirty or dusty, wipe it before you set it back into place.
  5. Repeat the process for each storage area.

Then, clean up: Once you feel like you’ve made some progress on your storage areas, give the “outside” of your bathroom a little shine. You might have a routine you like, but here are some spots I always make sure to handle:

  1. Wipe the mirror.
  2. Wipe down the sink faucet and handles.
  3. Clear and clean the counter.
  4. Clean the toilet.
  5. Scrub the shower and tub, if there’s time.

Don’t stress if you can’t get your entire bathroom spotless and clutter-free in one day. If, after today’s assignment, you’d like to revisit some other cleaning or decluttering projects in here (or in a second bathroom, if you have one), add that to your to-do list for 2021.

More Ways to Participate in the January Cure: