When you think of someplace really dirty, you probably don’t picture your home. But like it or not, there are plenty of germs inside your house—starting with your bathroom.
Along with the obvious spots to clean (hello, tiles and toilet), there are nooks and crannies you may overlook, including shower caddies and towel rings—the things you use to organize your space can get as dirty as the space itself. These tips will help you lose the dirt and add a little shine to your home bathroom.
Dirty duo: Toothbrush and holder
Clean it: Between the germs in your mouth and the ones floating around your bathroom, that toothbrush can get super dirty, especially if you leave it lying on the sink counter. A holder can help, but even then, bacteria from your brush can spread to the stand. Give your toothbrush holder a weekly run in your dishwasher (if it’s dishwasher safe, check first). Hot water and soap work as well.
Top tip: The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three to four months.
Dirty duo: Tiles and grout
Clean it: Every time you flush the toilet, droplets of bacteria-filled water and vapor escape the bowl and land on your floor. If you walk into your bathroom in dirty shoes from the street, you’re bringing in more germs. A traditional mop can be ungainly in small bathroom spaces. Instead, use a microfiber spray mop designed with both a pad and a spot scrubber to be sure you reach all the dirty spots. Bonus: You can fill this mop with whatever cleaning solution you prefer, and the pad can be washed and reused again and again.
Top tip: To really make your tile floor sparkle, go over the grout with a grout brush (use a bleach solution if the tiles are white).
Dirty duo: Faucet and handles
Top tip: The smaller deep cleaning brush is especially handy at getting into the crevices in the handles or around the faucet base. It also comes with a built-in wiper blade to clean around the drain.
Dirty duo: Razors and loofah
Clean it: Sitting in your shower, these personal grooming aids attract a build up of germs. The best way to reduce germs on your shower implements is to use a shower caddy that has built-in hooks to hang your loofahs and razor on after use, allowing them to air dry. As a rule, accessory organizers do a better job of keeping shower aids clean than leaving them on the shower floor or bathroom countertop.
Top tip: Consider putting the razor in oil to reduce germ growth. Switch out both the loofah and razor blades every three weeks.
Dirty duo: Bathtub and drain
Clean it: The moisture inside the tub makes this area a haven for breeding bacteria. Depending on the material of your tub, you’ll want a mild, but gently abrasive, cleaner with disinfectant to get rid of soap scum. Use it with a large, heavy-duty scrub brush to cover maximum territory with minimum effort. For the drain, use the blade on the small deep clean brush to detail around the edges, lifting gunk from the surface without damage to the tub.
Top tip: To make your drain sparkle, remove it and soak it in a mix of distilled vinegar and water overnight. Rinse with cold water in the morning.
Dirty duo: Medicine cabinet and mirror
Clean it: To clean the interior of your cabinet, remove items and spray a soft terry cloth with a 50/50 solution of water and isopropyl alcohol, then run it over the shelves and backboard. Use a mirror squeegee and warm water on the mirror—the windshield wiper blade guarantees a streak-free finish.
Top tip: Avoid ammonia or vinegar-based cleaners—they can be too harsh for the cabinet’s surface and might damage it.
King of Dirt: The toilet
Clean it: There’s no getting around this one. Your toilet is germ central. Along with a toilet bowl cleaner to keep the water fresh, you want to go over that bowl at least once a week with a toilet brush—look for one that includes angled bristles to clean the bowl rim as well.
Top tip: Behind the toilet is an especially grimy spot where dust loves to accumulate. After using a spot scrubber to remove the heavy gunk, work around the back with an extendable duster. The rotating head gets even the hardest to reach spots.