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Regular routine helps keep bathroom clean

It's a dirty job — but someone's got to clean the bathroom. And when it's you, what's the most efficient way? Since most materials used in bathrooms are easy to clean, give it a quick wipe daily, experts advise. Tackle a full clean once a week. "Frequent cleanings mean less work because there will not be weeks of crud to clean," says Cathy Faulcon Bowen, a professor with Pennsylvania State University's department of agricultural and extension education.

Degree of difficulty: Easy. Less elbow grease than hand-washing your car.

Time: 5 minutes daily; 30 minutes once a week

Tools: Cloth or sponge, rubber gloves, all-purpose cleaner, baking soda, glass cleaner, long-handled toilet bowl brush, bucket


• Rinse out sink, bathtub and shower stall after each use.

• Remove excess hair from sink or tub.

• Flush toilet after each use.

• Hang up towels and washcloths.

• Remove dirty clothes.


Step 1: Everything but the toilet

• Swab sink/tub/shower stall. Wash these areas with a soapy cloth or sponge and all-purpose cleaner; rinse with clear water.

• Clean the space behind water faucet controls and backsplash: Soap scum can accumulate at fixtures' edges. "To clean this tight area well, you usually have to use an old toothbrush," Bowen says.

• Use baking soda and wet sponge to clean scum or stubborn marks; rinse with clear water.

• Most plastic shower curtains can be machine-washed with a load of towels (check the tag). Hang wet shower curtain in the bathroom to air dry.

• Shine mirror with glass cleaner.

Step 2: Take on the toilet

• Wash tank, outside of bowl, seat and lid with soapy cloth; rinse.

• Scrub inside toilet bowl with toilet-bowl brush. Any all-purpose cleaner will work if the toilet bowl is cleaned weekly.

• Check toilet bowl base where it attaches to the floor, Bowen says. "It usually has little nooks and crannies that dust likes to call home."

Step 3: The finishing touch

• Wipe or mop the floor.

• Final advice: "Any household member who uses the bathroom should have a turn to clean it regularly," Bowen says. "Kids may be taught to handle a single task, then take on the entire job as they get older. If kids see Mom and Dad cleaning the bathroom they will put up less of a fight when their turn arrives. If everyone has 'a turn' to clean, it will do wonders for the amount of mess users who have to clean will make!"

Regular routine helps keep bathroom clean 08/15/11 [Last modified: Monday, August 15, 2011 5:38pm]
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