Bathroom Scrubdown: The Deep Clean Challenge Week 4

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Rubber ducky, you’re the one

Hello there, and welcome to Week 4 of The Deep Clean Challenge.

To date, we have tamed our bedroom, the kitchen and cleaned up some clutter. By the end of this round, you may be noticing quite a difference in your home. Especially if you are using the weekly chore schedule to keep a cleaning routine in place.

Remember last week when we talked about behavioral activation?

That tip works really well with the weekly chore schedule. You can make a half-hearted attempt at it most of the time and end up with a much more functional home than if you only do the Deep Clean Challenge. Some consistent effort is usually more effective than occasional extreme effort.

Ready to get that bathroom clean?

Me, too. My counter has gotten a little bit cluttered lately, and I need to take care of that.

Speaking of cluttered counters. . . did you know that it’s in our bedrooms and bathrooms where our routines first tend to slip when stress, depression, anxiety, or burnout are starting to take hold?

I’m not one hundred percent sure of the reason, but I believe it’s because they are our safe, typically very private spaces.

When the field where we grow our… spoons… yeah, spoons, I meant spoons is barren, this is where we tend to stop spending them first.

By the way, if you are in a silly mood and want to always have a few “spoons” to have on hand, you can support our friend Lizz Porter who just happens to sell little jars of the salty version. (If you haven’t caught my wink wink, nudge nudge, hint, this is the adult language variation.) Lizz’s family lost their home in the CA wildfires last year, but she has her business back up and running.

Why are we cleaning the bathroom this week?

Like the kitchen and bedroom, the bathroom is one of those rooms we simply can’t avoid in our homes.

Since it is also a high-use room, it tends to get dirty quite quickly, and it is a room that can affect our overall mood and self-confidence. It’s not fun to be disgusted every time we need to do our self-care tasks.

This week let’s set ourselves up for some better days by making the bathroom a little more pleasant. Then the regular maintenance provided by the weekly chore schedule will keep it nice.

What is our goal in cleaning the bathroom?

We’re going to clean the bathroom well enough that it is a pleasant place to perform our necessary hygiene tasks. Our other goal is to do so in a safe manner, and that means using cleaning agents with care.

Do you have your Home-Ec101.com motto handy? No? Good thing I’ve got it right here for you.

We solemnly swear to always read the label, never mix chemicals without research, fight the man, test in an inconspicuous area, and hide the evidence.

What tools and cleaning supplies do we need to clean the bathroom?

This list is thorough. You likely won’t need all of them, as some of them are based on preferences and others are based on surface types. Not everyone has marble, not everyone has linoleum.

If you do not have an exhaust fan or window in the room, you must leave the door open while you are cleaning. Additionally, bringing a box or oscillating fan into the room is a good idea. (Switch the fan on, please and thank you).

How long should cleaning the bathroom take?

Unlike the other rooms we’re tackling, bathrooms are generally (if you aren’t of the economic class that can hire full-time help) finite in space so they shouldn’t take nearly as long as some of our other Deep Clean Challenge Projects. That said, if you’ve got some sentient science projects in the shower, it could still take a while.

Your mileage may vary, exclusions apply.

What will be cleaned in the bathroom?

  • Light fixture/exhaust fan
  • Cobwebs in the corners
  • Mirror(s)
  • Window(s)
  • Walls/Trim/Switchplates
  • Shower/Tub
  • Shower door or curtain
  • Sink
  • Counter
  • Drawers/Cabinet
  • Toilet – inside and out
  • Flooring
  • Mats

We’re going for all of it today.

How do we clean the bathroom?

Clear the room of every loose object. If you have a box or large piece of plasticware, use that for your toothbrushes and other items you don’t want to just set down on a random surface. Everything needs to go.

Take any rugs that need to be washed straight to the laundry, unless you tend to clean down the rabbit trail and in that case, just ditch them outside the door. Do the same for any hanging towels. Don’t forget to clear out the “library materials,” too. Are the magazines old? Recycle ’em or send them to the craft box.

By the way, I’ve found if there are things I want my teens to read, This is a great place to leave them

Start at the top.

Put the pillowcase over the broom straw and knock down any cobwebs. Grab your foxtail or the vacuum with the soft bristle attachment and vacuum the exhaust fan.

Wipe the light fixtures with a rag and glass cleaner. If they are particularly gross, run them through the dishwasher.

Accidentally break a light bulb off in the socket? We can help.

Replace any burnt-out bulbs while you’re at it.

Sweep off any dry dust and hair debris from counters and ledges. Then thoroughly sweep the floor. If you knocked a lot of dust bunnies into the shower pan or tub and it is COMPLETELY dry, go ahead and use the vacuum to suck up that fun mess. Just in case I’m not clear, I mean the vacuum tools, not picking up the entire appliance and putting it into the tub. Got it?

We now conclude the dry portion of your bathroom cleaning project.

Put your toilet cleaner into the bowl. If it’s the kind with the angled neck, you can just squirt up under the rim and call it good for the moment. If not, add the cleaner to the water and give a quick scrub with the toilet brush to make sure there is cleaner all over the bowl’s INSIDE, especially up under the rim. You are not done cleaning the toilet, but close the lid anyway and move on. Chemicals need time to work, and the more you let your cleaner work on its own, the less physical scrubbing you’ll have to do.

If it has been a very long time since you have cleaned your toilet, check out: How to clean a very dirty toilet for some in-depth directions.

Do your painted walls need to be cleaned? Dilute white vinegar should do the trick as bathrooms are usually painted in semi-gloss paints. However, as we stated above, always test in an inconspicuous area, especially with flat or matte finish paints.

Spray your cleaner of choice onto the sink and counter or vanity and, like the toilet, give it a moment to work, unless you like scrubbing at toothpaste deposits.

Next Up Clean the shower and tub.

Here’s a handy list of tub and shower cleaning related articles

And back to the sink vanity and mirror. Again left to right, top to bottom.

Spray and wipe the mirror, and then use paper towels or rags to finish cleaning the sink and surrounding area. While you’re at it, give the cabinet -if you have one—a good cleaning. cotton swabs can come in handy for getting into those tiny corners if you have decorative ridges in your cabinets. A little bit of cleaner on the end of the swab helps get it out.

Don’t forget behind the faucet and the holes designed to keep your sink from overflowing, as those areas can get pretty dirty. If you are having trouble getting some gunk out from under hardware, you can try using dental floss or an old toothbrush.

Is your sink not draining properly or is there an odor coming from the drain? It may be time to clear out the trap, which is a pretty easy project and should take less than ten minutes.

And here we are, it’s time to clean the toilet.

And don’t forget that horrible area behind the bolts that attach the seat,

Now grab one of your rags, preferably NOT the one used on the toilet. Spray it with a little of your all-purpose cleaner or dilute white vinegar and wipe the grime off the toe boards/ molding. Grab your mop and give the floor a good going over, paying particular attention to the area around the toilet, ESPECIALLY if you have boys or men in the house.

Put all of your bathroom towels, rugs/mats after the floor is completely dry and call it a day

How do we get started with this week’s challenge to clean the bathroom?

If you have little kids, you’ll need to get them safely occupied. In the bathroom, it’s simply too easy for them to get into the chemicals you are using or into the toilet before you have cleaned it. It’s a struggle, I know.

No kids? No problem.

Got your music or podcasts loaded up?

Did you call or text your accountability friend?

Take stock, do you need anything like light bulbs? Get those so you don’t have to leave the area before starting.

Timer set?

Let’s go!

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