Cleaning the bathroom: It’s the chore that nobody wants to do, but everyone eventually does anyway. And while tidying up the bathroom is simply unavoidable—whether you’re living with roommates, your partner, or alone—what can be helped is how long it takes to get the task done, and by what means.
To be clear, we’re not talking about hiring a cleaning person; we’re talking about implementing simple tips and tricks to check this chore off your list in half the time, with half the effort. With the help of everyday items around the house—like lemons, bleach, and a broom—you can restore your bathroom to its former germ-free glory, with plenty of time left to wrap up a Netflix marathon. Don’t believe us? Try them for yourself.
Use mouthwash to clean the toilet bowl.
Your teeth aren’t the only thing that mouthwash can clean. According to experts, using the breath freshener as a toilet bowl cleaner can also return your toilet to its former porcelain white color. Just pour a quarter cup of the breath freshener into the toilet, let it sit for 30 to 45 minutes, and scrub away.
Rub lemon over chrome to wipe off water spots.
Though water spots are unavoidable in places where water is constantly running (like the shower and the sink), it’s surprisingly simple—and cheap—to get rid of them. All you have to do is rub lemon over your stained chrome fixtures and the pesky spots should disappear instantly. Plus, using this citrus-as-cleanser will mask any unpleasant smells in your bathroom (which there are likely a ton of).
Give the toilet a deep-clean with the help of a screwdriver.
Your toilet is easily one of the dirtiest things in the house—but unfortunately, it’s also one of the most difficult to clean. The next time you clean, you’ll be able to get those hard-to-reach spots under the tank and around the screws, all with the little help of your toolbox. Just remove the seat and lid on your toilet, then use a screwdriver with the end covered in a disinfectant wipe to reach those difficult nooks and crannies.
Restore your mirror’s shine with black tea.
You want your bathroom mirror to be spotless so that you know what you actually look like before leaving the house—but all too often, it’s fogged up with water stains, dust, and other debris. The solution? Black tea! All you have to do is combine a cup of boiling water with a few bags of black tea, let it cool, and use the resulting solution to clean your cloudy mirror. The tannic acid in the tea will dissolve any dirt, leaving you with a spotless surface that tells no lies.
Put your toothbrush holder in the dishwasher.
It’s easy to let your toothbrush holders become disgustingly dirty with grime and guck. But washing the accessory is barely a chore: all you have to do is throw it in the dishwasher. Really, that’s it, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be washing the holder regularly.
Sweep your bathtub clean.
There’s no need to waste time scrubbing your entire bathtub with a lame old sponge. Instead, cover it in soap, then sweet and scrub with a clean broom and rinse until all of the suds are gone. The broom will achieve the same cleanliness that a sponge would, but using the large long-handled brush will require half as much effort.
Use nail polish to prevent rust.
Metal cans that sit inside your shower getting pelted by water all day have a tendency to rust, leaving behind hard-to-clean marks. But if you’d prefer not to spend precious time scrubbing away stains, then all you have to do is paint a coat or two of clear nail polish around the rims of any items that have the potential to rust, and voila: those stains are now nonexistent.
Soak your shower head in vinegar.
Dealing with a dirty shower head? Clean it up with a nice vinegar soak. While you tidy up the rest of the bathroom, just remove your shower head and let sit in a secured plastic bag full of vinegar. By the time you’re ready to tackle it, the vinegar will have broken down all the grime, making your job a breeze.
Stop messes before they start with Rain-X.
Though Rain-X’s intended purpose is to keep car windshields clear during storms, the spray also works surprisingly well on glass shower doors. Naturally, a shower door is going to be exposed to a lot of water in its time—but with a shield of Rain-X, you’ll never have to worry about cleaning droplet smudges off of it.
Use cotton balls to clean pesky bathtub corners.
The corners of the tub are always the hardest to clean. Luckily, there’s a simple solution for this, and it’s probably already sitting in your medicine cabinet. Just soak some cotton balls in the tub cleaner of your choice and let them sit overnight. By morning, the edges will be as clean as the first day the tub was installed.
Combine baking soda and bleach to banish grout.
Grout—the stuff used to fill the gaps between tiles—looks good when it’s clean, but dirt easily sneaks into those small crevices, making the walls look dirty in an otherwise spotless bathroom. To restore your tiles (and the spaces between them) to their original color, apply a paste made out of 3/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup bleach to the grout, let it sit for 30 minutes, and remove with a scrubbing brush or cloth to reveal your newly whitened walls.
Bleach away marble stains.
Don’t put that bleach away just yet! If any surfaces in your bathroom are made of marble, then you can also use the cleaning supply to eliminate stains. Overnight, just place a paper towel soaked with bleach with a cup covering it on the stained area, and the blemish should be gone by morning. Just make sure to test this first in an unnoticeable area, in case the bleach does damage your marble.
De-fog your mirror with soap.
Behold, a preventative cleaning tip using an item that you definitely already have in your bathroom: To prevent your mirror from fogging up post-shower, simply rub a bar of soap on it, then use a cloth to gently rub it in. So simple. So brilliant.
Restore your bathtub’s shine with a DIY cleaner.
Combine 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup rubbing alcohol, and 1/4 cup water. Fill your tub with four quarts of water, add the mixture, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Though this trick requires minimal effort, it will make your bathtub look like it’s been scrubbed down by a professional.
Clean your shower curtains with bleach and soap.
In a spray bottle, combine 16 ounces of bleach and two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid, and use it to clean your dirty shower curtains (making sure to let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing). Once the result come in, you’ll see that dishwashing liquid works just as well in the bathroom as it does in the kitchen.
Unclog the drain with Alka-Seltzer tablets.
When your drain gets clogged, don’t bother wasting money on an expensive product that might not even work. Instead, try dropping a few Alka-Seltzer tablets down there, followed by one cup of distilled vinegar. After about ten minutes, wash it all down with boiling water, and the blockage should disappear just like that.
Throw your bathmats in the washing machine.
When you wash your hand and bath towels, don’t forget to also include your bathmats. Though they often go ignored, these bathroom accessories are easily cleaned with just one trip through the washing machine!
Make your sink shine with baby oil.
Our faucets and shower heads are supposed to shine—and they can, with the help of baby oil. Just dab a small amount of the oil onto a cloth and use it to clean the chrome fixtures in your bathroom. It’s easy, effortless, and doesn’t require a trip to the store!
Dry out a damp bathroom with salt water.
Anyone who’s ever lived in a house or apartment with a particularly damp bathroom understands the struggle of trying to air it out. Luckily, there is a simple way for you to prevent that mildew-like odor that always tends to build up: Before hanging up your shower curtain, let it soak in salt water for a few hours. The salt particles on the curtain will help absorb some of that moisture so you’re not left with an odorous washroom.
Don’t forget to disinfect bath toys.
Many people don’t even think that they need to wash their kids’ bath toys—after all, the only place they ever go is in the water—but these things can actually accumulate quite a bit of bacteria. Thankfully, though, all it takes to clean these toys is a soak in some water and a bit of white vinegar (half-cup for every gallon of water, to be precise). The acetic acid of the vinegar will destroy any bacteria and buildup, leaving your children safe and squeaky clean come bath time.