7 Ways You’re Probably Cleaning Your Bathroom Wrong

Updated: Feb. 23, 2023

Sure, we all clean our bathrooms, but how good of a job do we do? Here are some of the biggest cleaning mistakes you can make, plus the easy tweaks you can make to your bathroom-cleaning routine.

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Cleaning faucet with microfiber cloth
Shutterstock / Cunaplus

You Use Paper Towels

Meet your new best friend, the microfiber cloth. These cloths are composed of ultrafine synthetic fibers woven together to create a static charge that attracts dirt and dust, so you can tackle dusting without using sprays. Even better clean bathroom—you can wash and reuse them so the environment will thank you, too. Don’t miss this definitive guide on things you probably have never cleaned (but really should).

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Running tap
Greentellect Studio/Shutterstock

You Clean Surfaces at Room Temperature

Heating your tub, sink, and tiles just 10 degrees above normal air temperature can double the effectiveness of alkaline cleansers. Fill your tub or sink with the hottest water you can run from the tap and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing and cleaning bathroom areas.

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Plastic Shower Curtains
Shutterstock / ESB Basic

You Scrub Your Plastic Shower Curtains

Don’t waste any energy scrubbing a shower curtain liner when cleaning bathroom areas. Throw it into the washing machine with a couple of towels, a cup of vinegar, and run for about five minutes. Let the towels and curtain soak in the water for an hour before turning the machine back on to finish the cycle. Hang to dry. Make sure you know these clever house cleaning hacks.

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Cleaning toothbrush
Shutterstock / Macro Lens

You Don’t Clean Your Toothbrush

A recent study from the University of Manchester found that the average toothbrush contained about 10 million germs, including E. coli. Rinse it well after each use and occasionally soak it in a cup of vinegar for about 30 minutes to take care of any leftover bacteria. Replace your toothbrush every three months—but save the old one; you can use it to clean hard-to-reach places around the house.

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Vacuuming hard floors

You Forget to Vacuum

Think your vacuum is only for carpet? Think again. Before cleaning your tile floors, vacuum or sweep to remove loose dirt and debris, then wash with a cleaning solution. It’ll save you time in the long run instead of scrubbing a filthy, dusty floor when cleaning your bathroom. Find out why you should always turn off your bathroom fan.

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Cleaning toliet
Shutterstock / Plantic

You Forget to Clean Behind Your Toilet

Gross alert: It’s way too easy for urine and fecal matter to build up back there, leaving an icky residue that’s hard to clean. For a clean bathroom, roll up a few paper towels (you’re better off with these for this dirty job than a reusable cloth), dip them in antibacterial cleaner, and, while facing the throne, “floss” the back of the toilet. Let it sit for a few minutes and then “floss” again with a dry paper towel to finish the job. You’ll want to steal these other house cleaning hacks from professional cleaners when cleaning bathroom spots, too.

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Close-up of hairbrush
Shutterstock / Oleksandr Rybitskiy

You Don’t Clean Your Hairbrush

Like sponges or carpets, hairbrushes trap unwanted dust, dirt, oils, and old hair product. Each time you brush with a dirty hairbrush, you re-deposit all the dust, dirt, and oils back into your mane! For a clean bathroom, remove all hair caught in the bristles. Mix a solution of 1 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of shampoo, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda, then apply to the bristles and base gently with an old toothbrush.

Don’t miss these secret cleaning tips professional housecleaners do in their homes every day.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman