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8 Bad Bathroom Cleaning Habits You Should Drop Today

Clean your bathroom better by ditching these bad cleaning habits and say hello to cleaner toilets, tubs, floors and sinks.

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Waiting Until Cleaning Day to Clean

“You don’t have to wait until you have an hour to clean your bathroom. You can clean it a little each day,” says The Cleaning Coach and author of The Joy of Green Cleaning, Leslie Reichert.

She suggests using a squeegee on your shower daily to prevent soap scum from building up. Wiping a fine-woven microfiber cloth over your mirror and chrome surfaces daily and doing a quick sweep with a small vacuum cleaner once a week will help maintain a cleaner bathroom.

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bathroom-Gettyimages 929055720via Lightguard/getty images

Not Making Organization Part of Your Routine

Skipping decluttering when you clean means your surfaces may sparkle, but the visual mess is still there. Neat Little Nest founder and chief organizer Michele Vig recommends a purge session to clean out what you don’t need and any expired products.

“Then, organize the space so that everything has a home,” Vig says. “That way you can find what you need quickly and also put it back easily, making it a breeze to clean when it’s cleaning time.”

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Bathroom Exhaust Fanmssy/Shutterstock

Overlooking Surfaces

Sink, toilet, tub, floors — check. Bathroom cleaning seems straightforward, but overlooking surfaces like baseboards, cabinet fronts and light fixtures leads to a not-quite-clean bathroom.

While low-touch surfaces don’t need to be cleaned as frequently, they still need occasional attention. Often a quick swipe with a damp cloth will do the trick. Exhaust fans are another item that shouldn’t be overlooked. They take a little extra work, but the effort results in a better working fan and a cleaner bathroom.

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Discounting the Power of Steam

Think spraying and wiping is the only bathroom cleaning technique around? Think again.

“You can also use a steam machine to clean around the toilet, the shower and the floors,” says Reichert. “The steam kills bacteria and melts soap scum, all without chemicals.” She recommends the Ewbank Dynamo Multi-Tool Steam Cleaner, which can be used on many surfaces and comes with different attachments.

While steam is ideal for a lot of surfaces and scenarios, there are a few places to avoid using a steam cleaner.

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Ignoring What You Can’t See

We’re talking about drains. Some regular maintenance can curb slow drainage and prevent major clogging problems.

Skin cells, grooming products and hair all lead to build-up, says Aaron Mulder, co-owner and operations manager of Mr. Rooter Plumbing of San Antonio, a Neighborly company. Remove the drain stopper and physically clean out what you can reach. To clean what you can’t see, Mulder recommends a homemade solution.

“Boil a large pot of water and pour it slowly down the tub drain,” he says, “The goal is to dissolve the soap scum and dislodge the hair buildup. Pouring a cup of baking soda followed by one cup vinegar can also loosen things up.”

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spongesShutterstock/Potapenko Ivan

Using the Same Sponge for Everything

“If you’re using the same tool — whether it be a sponge, rag, broom or mop — to clean your whole house, you may experience cross-contamination,” says Lee Sheridan, franchisee and owner of Two Maids & A Mop of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. He recommends a color-coding system, creating a set of sponges and rags for different areas of your home and washing them regularly in hot soapy water.

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Wiping a toilet handleRichard Drury/Getty Images

Sticking to the Same Order Every Time You Clean

Working from top to bottom is an efficient way to clean. Why scrub underfoot first only to have dust from shelves and light fixtures fall on your spic-and-span floor?

Maintain the top to bottom flow, but switch around where you start so every part of your bathroom gets prime attention from time to time. Start with cleaning the tub one week, cleaning the toilet the next, and so on.

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tub sirtravelalot/Shutterstock

Not Letting Product Sit

Don’t ignore the recommended soak time on your favorite cleaner. Give it time to do its job and save your elbow grease for a more enjoyable project.

Bathtubs with soap scum build-up especially benefit from soaking. The Cleaning Authority Chief Operating Officer Leanne Stapf recommends spraying a mixture of half white vinegar and half warm water on the tub and letting it sit for 15 minutes, followed by a wipe down and rinse with clean water.

Alicia Chilton
Alicia Chilton is an experienced writer and editor, based in Des Moines, Iowa. After spending several years as a digital editor for Better Homes and Gardens, covering all manner of topics related to home, Alicia took her writing and editorial skills into the marketing and communications world, where she has tapped into the power of storytelling to connect audiences to brands in the gardening and nonprofit spheres.