How to Clean Your Bathroom, Step by Step

This is the only bathroom cleaning guide you'll ever need! Find out exactly what to put in your cleaning caddy and the most efficient system for a spotless bathroom.

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It’s bathroom cleaning time! OK, we know it’s not the most exciting job—but we’ve got a guide to help you clean your bathroom in the most efficient way possible. Discover the right tools, our recommended cleaning products, a smart plan of attack (including a printable checklist!), deep cleaning tricks and maybe even a few hacks.

Ready to make your bathroom sparkle?

Bathroom Cleaning Tips

Before you tackle the actual cleaning, get ready for success. Take out all the towels and place them in the washing machine for laundering. (Bathroom mats shouldn’t go in the washer. You may need to bring them to the laundry mat or wash them outside.) Then bring in the cleaning supplies. We recommend a cleaning caddy to keep all cleaning products handy and easy to transport.

Next, give your entire bathroom a once over with the vacuum. It may seem odd to vacuum your bathroom, but it makes a world of difference! Vacuuming every nook and cranny (a horse hair attachment works great for this), as well as the countertops, floor and even the toilet helps remove dirt, hair and dust. That way, when you start wiping and scrubbing, you’ll actually be cleaning every surface without all that debris slowing you down.

When you’re ready to bring out the cloths and sponges, it’s a good idea to clean from top to bottom, leaving the floor for last. Remember to open windows and turn on the fan!

Bathroom Cleaning Tools

Ready for the ultimate bathroom cleaning tool kit? These dependable, hard-working products are all you need for a spotless and disinfected bathroom.

  • Glass Cleaner: A classic must-have for mirrors and polishing fixtures
  • Bleach: Not everyone likes cleaning with bleach, but for a germ-free bathroom, bleach is the standard when used correctly
  • Vinegar: This bleach alternative is great for hard water stains
  • Dish Soap: Good for more than dishes!
  • Soft Cleanser: Bar Keepers Friend is an absolute cleaning superstar; every bathroom caddy needs this
  • Bathroom Cleaner: This is great for general cleaning, as well as spraying and letting it sit on tough stains, mold or mildew
  • Small Scrub Brushes: To help clean tricky areas like the base of the toilet and shower tracks
  • Scouring Stick: This gets rid of that hard water line in your toilet bowl
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Bleach: Look for a clinging gel that kills 99.9% of bacteria
  • Microfiber Cloths: Gentle on surfaces, can be used dry or wet, and lint-free

Weekly Bathroom-Cleaning Routine

Clean the Shower

  • Fill a zip-top bag with about a cup of vinegar, place it over your shower head and secure with a rubber band. The vinegar will dissolve any hard water buildup while you work on the rest of the shower.
  • Fill a bucket with hot water (about a gallon), then add 1/2 cup of bleach.
  • Dip a scrub brush in the mixture and scrub your shower floor, shower wall tracks and walls. This works on both tile and fiberglass showers. (You can also sprinkle on some baking soda for extra scrubbing power.)
  • Let the bleach and water mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes before scrubbing if you have stubborn stains or mold and mildew to deal with.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Remove vinegar bag from shower head and wipe clean. (Remember to never mix vinegar and bleach.)
  • If you have a shower curtain and liner, take them down to wash in the washing machine.
  • For glass shower doors: In a spray bottle, combine 2 cups of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of Dawn Dish soap. Spray mixture on the shower glass and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Scrub the glass with a sponge, then rinse thoroughly. Use a squeegee to dry and get a crystal clear finish. Do a final polish with Windex if needed.

Clean the Bathtub

  • Squirt Barkeepers Friend Soft Cleanser in bathtub, and use a microfiber cloth to spread the cleanser all over the interior of the tub.
  • Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. (You can move on to the bathroom sink while you wait.)
  • Use a damp, soft sponge or microfiber cloth to scrub the tub, faucet and drain (don’t forget to wipe the outside of the tub too), then rinse thoroughly.
  • Wipe down the outside of the tub with a dry cloth to avoid any drip marks.
  • Polish the faucet and drain with Windex.

Clean the Sink

  • Fill your sink with hot water (about a gallon), then add 1/2 cup of bleach (you can also add 1 teaspoon of Powdered Tide if you want to follow the crazy-popular Go Clean Co recipe).
  • Dip a microfiber cloth in the bleach and water mixture and squeeze out excess.
  • Use the cloth to wipe down your counters, faucets and vanity cabinets.
  • Then use a clean damp cloth to wipe the surfaces again to remove any bleach residue and make everything shine.
  • Drain the sink and give the interior of the sink a final wipe.
  • Clean the mirror last with Windex and a dry microfiber cloth.

Clean the Toilet

  • Squirt toilet bowl cleaner inside the toilet bowl and let it sit.
  • Fill your sink with hot water (about a gallon), then add 1/2 cup of bleach.
  • Dip a microfiber cloth in the bleach and water mixture and squeeze out excess.
  • Use the damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of the toilet from top to bottom, cleaning the seat and lid last.
  • Spray Clorox Bathroom Cleaner wherever you see extra buildup, like at the bottom of the toilet or on the seat bolts (many toilets have covers that pop off so you can thoroughly clean the attachments). Let the product sit, then wipe or scrub as needed.
  • Go back to the interior of the toilet bowl where you left cleaner to sit and work its magic, scrub with a toilet brush, and flush.
  • If you still see a stubborn hard water line, scrub it away with a Scouring Stick, then flush again.

Clean the Bathroom Floor

  • Fill your sink or a bucket with hot water (about a gallon), then add 1/2 cup of bleach or vinegar.
  • For small bathrooms, wipe up the floor with a microfiber cloth; for larger bathrooms, feel free to use a mop.
  • Wipe down the bathroom floor, and use a small scrub brush where needed, like where the floor meets the toilet or bath tub—places you might find trapped grime.

Daily Bathroom-Cleaning Routine

To make your weekly bathroom cleaning a little easier, keep up on these daily tasks.

  • Squeegee the shower. Use a squeegee to dry your shower walls and glass after each time you shower.
  • Wipe down counters. After using the bathroom each morning, quickly wipe down the counter with disinfectant wipes that you can keep stored in the vanity.
  • Dust the toilet. Keep dryer sheets near your toilet and give it a quick dust with this toilet cleaning hack.

Bathroom Deep-Cleaning Routine

These tasks don’t need to be tackled every week, but keep an eye on them and clean as needed.

  • Dust light fixtures. Vacuum away dust or wipe with a dry cloth, then polish with Windex.
  • Clean fan cover. Remove fan cover (most will pop off by gently pulling it down, then squeezing wire clips), then scrub in sink with soap and water.
  • Wipe down walls and ceiling. Use a damp microfiber cloth dipped in soapy water. Use a Magic Eraser for stubborn scuff marks.
  • Clean the toothbrush holder. Run it through the dishwasher.

Follow these steps for a squeaky-clean bathroom in no time.

Bathroom-Cleaning Checklist

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist Graphic 02

Erica Young
Erica is a cleaning and home décor expert. She knows exactly how to tidy a filthy kitchen and straighten out a mixed-up pantry! When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, buying more bins she doesn't need or bingeing her latest TV show obsession.