Squeaky Clean: How to Deep Clean a Bathroom From Top to Bottom

deep clean bathroom

We all know germs lurk in every nook and cranny of our bathrooms. These germs wreak havoc on our stomachs and lower digestive organs. You also find plenty of the more sinister germs like A Streptococcus (group A strep), also called flesh-eating bacteria.

Maybe you’re not too concerned about all the beasties living in your bathroom.

What you do aspire to is a bathroom where you can soak in the tub on a whim. Not one where you need an hour of scouring soap scum and grime left behind by the kids before you run your bath.

You dream of a bathroom where the smells make guests think of fields of sweet-smelling flowers (or clean laundry) rather than a country outhouse.

Sound like a dream? We have good news for you. A squeaky-clean bathroom can be your reality.

Whether you want a cleaner bathroom in your home, or you’re in charge of the restroom at the office, we have the answers. Read our top-down guide to deep clean a bathroom.

Clean the Ceiling

Most people assume when cleaning from the top down, you start with the shower. If your goal is a squeaky clean bathroom, start at the true top of the room. The ceiling.

Most people rarely look up at the bathroom ceiling. If they did, they’d notice stray hairs clinging to the area where the walls meet the ceiling. They might even see the beginnings of mold growth.

It’s all that humid air and poor ventilation!

Are you ready for a shock? You can find more than 10,000 species of mold indoors!

If the appearance of mold doesn’t bother you, the smell should make you cringe. Mold smells like you’ve forgotten something moist in the room—maybe wet socks or rotting wood. Mold doesn’t only smell bad, it can make you sick.

Dust first, scrub mold, then disinfect. And don’t forget the vents, fans, and light fixtures.

Wash the Walls

Walls are often overlooked during a bathroom cleaning. It doesn’t matter whether you have tile, natural stone, or painted walls, they all need regular cleaning.

Walls fall victim to dust, water spots, and all kinds of stains.

If you’ve included wall art in the bathroom décor, dust and clean those as well. Take care that you don’t spray cleaner on the frames. A damp cloth used on the frame and glass prevents liquid from seeping behind the glass where it can cause damage.

While you’re washing walls, give curtains and blinds a good cleaning too. If you’re on a deep clean mission, dust and wash windowsills. Hint: Mold loves the corners of your windows and sills.

The Dreaded Toilet

We know we said this would be a top-to-bottom guide to deep clean a bathroom but we thought we’d diverge for a minute.

Unless you’re one of the few people who enjoy cleaning the toilet, it’s probably the one part of the bathroom you save for last. Why not get the worst out of the way first?

The problem most people have with the toilet is the odor. Of course, no one enjoys the accumulation of dirt and stains inside the bowl, under the rim, and on the seat and lid.

If you have small children who haven’t learned about the art of aiming, then you know the floor around the toilet can also look and smell quite nasty.

What about the office restroom? One of the biggest complaints of people at work is the lack of cleanliness in the restroom. Okay, maybe it’s not the biggest complaint, but it’s up there on the list.

The key to a clean toilet is allowing the cleaning solution to sit in the bowl for at least a few minutes. Then give the entire fixture a good scrub with a sturdy brush. No, it’s not fun, but consider the alternative.

For the curious, learn more about bathroom odors and how you can best get rid of them.

Now we can get back to the more pleasant parts of the bathroom.

Spruce Up the Shower and Tub

Start with the shower curtain and liner. The plastic or vinyl curtains and liners can go right in the washing machine. If you have a fabric curtain, read the cleaning instructions on the label before washing. Makes sense, right?

The challenge with showers is twofold. First, the shower head can get downright cruddy due to hard water deposits. The easy fix for that is an overnight soak—submerge the shower head in a plastic bag filled with vinegar.

Next, deal with the buildup of soap scum, water deposits, and your old friend, mold, on the tile and grout. Whether you use bleach or a natural cleaning solution like vinegar and baking soda, scrubbing away the buildup rejuvenates your shower enclosure. If you’re looking for an easier way to clean your shower, consider looking at solid surface shower stalls. They are inexpensive, look good, are simpler to clean, and are more environmentally friendly than many other styles.

Get up close and personal with the caulking around the shower and tub. If you find small patches of mold, consider applying a bleach solution. Bleach soaked cotton rolls wedged up against caulk and left overnight works wonders on mold.

Always use a nonabrasive cleaner on your tub, especially if it’s acrylic. Deep cleaning isn’t complete if you forget the drain. Get rid of the gunk in the drain and then use an enzyme treatment so that you prevent future clogs.

At the Sink

It doesn’t matter if it’s at home or at the office, there’s nothing like a shiny clean sink to motivate people to wash their hands.

Sinks are magnets for hard water stains. They’re also the place where people shed hair, drop toothpaste debris (yes, even at work), and put on makeup.

Use the same nonabrasive cleaner on sinks that you use on your tub. If you have a pedestal sink, thoroughly clean the underside. Finally, polish the faucet and handles with glass cleaner.

This is an excellent time to clean and polish the mirrors over the sink!

The Bathroom Floor

At the bottom of the chore list is the bathroom floor. If you’ve always cleaned the floor first, why?

Leaving it until the end ensures you pick up all the hair, dust, and other debris.

First, sweep or vacuum up surface dust. Then, tackle the tiles with a mop, bucket, and whatever cleaning solution you prefer. Make sure it’s one that targets bacteria.

Even though you’ve likely cleaned the tiles or flooring around the toilet earlier, it doesn’t hurt if you give it another go with mop and disinfectant.

End by making sure you dry the floor. It not only prevents slip and fall accidents, but drying also discourages the mold you just spent time scrubbing from returning.

Ready to Deep Clean a Bathroom?

We’ve taken you from the top, a quick detour to the porcelain throne, and all the way down to the floor.

See, cleaning a bathroom isn’t so difficult, is it? All you need is a few hours and some good cleaning tools.

We hope we’ve inspired you with our guide on how to deep clean a bathroom. For more posts on tidying up, check out our archives.

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