Make the dirtiest room in the house truly sparkle

Need a rainy-day project? Or maybe need to vent some frustration? Give your bathroom a deep clean. Sure, de-griming the ickiest room in the house takes lots of effort, but it also brings a deep sense of satisfaction.

Everyone’s bathroom needs this kind of extreme cleaning at least once a year. After all, it’s the room that typically gets a panicky 5-minute clean-up for unexpected guests.

Schedule a day to focus on deep-cleaning your bathroom from top to bottom. You’ll need rubber gloves, good ventilation, and tenacity—but the payoff is worth the work!

1. The Walls

Your bathroom walls and ceiling get neglected! Wipe them down with an all-purpose cleaner and paper towels. Don’t forget to disinfect switch plates and anything hanging on the walls.

2. Shower

Pop the shower curtain and liner in the washing machine. Or, if they’re in really sad shape, replace them. Try a strong bathroom cleanser that uses bleach or oxygenation. Then, scrub away soap scum and mildew with a narrow brush (such as an old toothbrush). 

3. Caulking

If small patches of mold are springing up around the caulking in your shower or bathtub, soak some rolls of cotton in bleach. Wedge them against the caulking for several hours (overnight is best), because mold spores lurk deep down. Rinse thoroughly. Voilà, no more mold!

4. Bathtub

Remove built-up soap scum with a nonabrasive cleanser. And don’t forget the drain! Remove any gunk, and then sprinkle an enzyme treatment down the drain to prevent clogs.

5. Toilet

Sterilize the bowl with a germ-zapping, bleach-based cleaner. Remove the toilet lid and do a deep-clean on all crevices. Cotton balls and swabs work well for small spaces. Wipe down the outside of the tank, too—including the pedestal.

6. Sink

Clean the entire sink surface with a nonabrasive cleanser. This includes the neglected underside of a pedestal sink. Clean the faucet, its handles and sink stopper with glass cleaner. (Don’t forget the mirror!)

7. Floor Tile

You’re almost done! Mop the entire floor and steam-clean or scrub the grout. There you go. Everything’s sparkling now!

8. Towels

Drab towels simply won’t do for a bathroom as clean as yours. Wash white towels on hot with an oxygenating detergent; use color-safe bleach on colors or if they’re too old, replace them.

Now, enjoy a long, luxurious bubble bath in your clean tub—you certainly deserve it!