This “12-Step Cleaning Plan” Will Make Your Bathroom Sparkle

published Jan 23, 2024
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Credit: Lana Kenney

Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a free 18-day program that’ll help you reset your home for the year ahead. Sign up here and get all assignments delivered to your inbox.

Just like the kitchen, the bathroom is another area that needs constant tidying. Along with keeping a regular cleaning routine, you should make it a habit to have a deep-cleaning plan.

Today we’ve gathered a list of all the things to tackle in this VIP (very important place), which you can do at your own pace.

Day 15: Get the bathroom tidy.

For this assignment, we’ll be getting the bathroom as clean as possible. We’ve divided it into two parts: inside and outside, so that you can focus your energy on cleaning things you see and don’t see.

Carve out as much time as you’d like to get this task done, and you can certainly divvy it up so that you have something to do over the weekend, too.


  • Take everything out of your drawers, medicine cabinet, and other storage areas in your bathroom. 
  • Clean inside those spaces while they’re empty.
  • Sort through your things. If you haven’t tackled the expired items in this space yet, do so now, along with any other items you know you won’t be using.
  • Wipe those things down before putting them back to where they belong.


  • Move everything out of the way, like your shampoo bottles in the shower; items on top of your vanity, shelves, and toilet; and the trash can, bath mats, and plunger/toilet brush on the floor.
  • Dust from top to bottom, including the light fixtures, on top of the medicine cabinet, shelves, surfaces, etc. 
  • Do a quick vacuum to catch all the debris that’s fallen and hidden behind your toilet.
  • Clean the shower or tub. Start with the shower head and remove it if you can to clean it. You might want to try soaking it in vinegar. Wipe down any ledges or niches. Then work on your shower floors or the tub. Use a detailed brush to address any grout issues or to get into any of the smaller places that need cleaning. 
  • Clean the vanity and mirrors.
  • Clean the toilet. Use a toilet bowl cleaner, scrub the inside of the toilet, then let it sit. Remove the toilet seat if you can to clean that in the shower or tub. Spray down the toilet with cleaner and make sure to get all sides. Wipe it down. Put back the toilet seat if you removed it. Flush.
  • Clean the floors. Use whatever you prefer, such as a regular mop and bucket, a flat mop, or wet-dry vacuum.
  • Finally, wipe down all the items you took out before returning them. 

PRO TIP: An extendable electric scrubber can be such a useful tool in getting to any hard-to-reach spaces and allowing you to not bend down too much.

How did your bathroom cleaning go? Tell us in the comments below.

More ways to participate in the January Cure:

The Cure Program is a tradition here at Apartment Therapy — it happens every January, April, and September. Click here to learn more about the year-round program and when to sign up.