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How to Deep Clean Your Bathroom

Although it’s often the most daunting room in the house to clean, our ultimate bathroom cleaning checklist makes methodically scrubbing every part of the room—tub, sink, medicine cabinet and toilet—conquerable.

8 min read

When it comes to giving your bathroom the cleaning it deserves (and requires), sometimes it feels like a task better suited for Dirty Jobs. You’ve likely started spring cleaning: tackling the kitchen with aplomb and found cleaning the bedroom a comparative cinch—and perhaps you’ve even dabbled in organizing the bathroom. But a deep clean? Where do you even start?

Luckily, when broken down into the smaller tasks on our checklist, scouring the bathroom sink and taking on the tub seems much less daunting (and, with the right music, dare we say fun?).

Scrub the Tub (and Shower!)

Scrub a dub dub, time to tackle the tub! From drain to caddy to the tile and grout lines that hold it all together, here’s how to give your shower a scrub.

  • Start with a really good cleaning playlist (really)—whether you prefer getting things spring clean to Springsteen or scrubbing to No Scrubs, a few good songs may not make bathroom cleaning into the party of the century, but it’ll make the task at hand more enjoyable.
  • Remove everything from the tub area—toiletries, toys, etc. Get rid of anything that’s empty, never going to be used, or, arguably kind of gross.
  • Use a rag or paper towel to wipe down the items you plan on keeping to rid them of any soap scum that may have accumulated.
  • With a rag, wipe down your soap dish, any organizational baskets on your tiles, and the shelves in your shower caddy, then replace the keeper items.
  • Scrub the shower walls. This doesn’t have to be a back-breaking venture, as long as you have the right tools! We like to use an extendable brush like this one— it goes from 26” to 42” so you can scrub high and low, and the bristles make it easy to scrub grout lines (which you should definitely do).
  • If you have a porcelain tub, use a powder cleaner to remove stains. Scrub the tub with the powder and water (it should make a thick paste) and a heavy duty scrub brush. Once you’ve covered the surface of the tub with the paste, let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.
  • If you have an acrylic tub, we suggest using a baking soda and vinegar solution rather than an abrasive cleaner. Scrub stains with the solution and a heavy duty brush, then let it sit for 20 minutes and rinse.

Declutter the Bathroom Cabinets

Ah, the bathroom medicine cabinet: a treasure trove for everything from nail clippers to almost-empty toothpaste tubes to actual medicine. When was the last time you took a look at what’s in yours?

  • Pull everything out of your medicine cabinet. Yes, everything. Do the same with any additional cabinets or drawers.
  • Throw away anything that isn’t useful anymore—empty tubes of toothpaste? Triple antibiotic cream that’s past its prime (yes—those ointments expire)? Bathroom storage space is scarce—make sure you’re not filling your shelves with empty containers.
  • Wipe down shelves with a cleaner—if you don’t have a favorite from the store, we’ve broken down how to make your own DIY cleaning solutions.
  • Replace the items you’ve decided to keep in order of priority. We like to put toothpaste on the bottom, most accessible, shelf whereas things like the face mask we use every other week can go higher up.
Gg          B Gg          B
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  • For under the sink storage, a turntable isn’t just for your kitchen. In the bathroom, it makes things easily accessible without the worry of things getting lost in the back—this way you won’t forget what you already have!
  • Any miscellaneous items like hair ties, cotton balls and travel size shampoos can be corralled into POP Containers for extra tidiness. We recommend smaller sizes like this, this, or this to fit under the sink.
  • Wondering how to even begin cleaning your toilet? Start by cleaning the outside of the it. Using your favorite cleaning solution (store bought or homemade; it’s a matter of preference!), spray the toilet, then proceed to wipe it down with a rag. Remember to wipe down the tank, base, lid and seat!
  • Don’t forget behind the toilet! Using the slide-out scrubber feature on your spray mop, get gunk out from behind the toilet and its base.
  • Sprinkle the toilet cleaning solution of your choice into the toilet bowl and scrub with a toilet brush. We like this one for the angled bristles that let you clean the unseen areas).
  • Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the toilet, give it a flush to wash the cleaning solution down the drain (and then admire your handiwork).
  • Now we’re onto the sink! (i.e. halfway done with today’s cleaning) Wipe down the counter first using a squeegee.
  • Sprinkle your favorite cleaning solution into the sink, then using a damp scrub brush (not the one used for the toilet—that should remain a potty-only brush), work the powder into a paste, thoroughly scrubbing the inside of the sink. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse.
  • Using a household spray, spray the faucet and knobs, then wipe with a rag.

Scour the Sink + Toilet

Everyone’s favorite bathroom cleaning task… or not. But nothing makes you feel accomplished quite like a sparkling sink and a well-scrubbed throne.


Mop ‘til You Drop

You’re almost done with bathroom cleaning (whew!)—just a few finishing touches, and your bathroom will be scoured and scrubbed from top to bottom.

  • Spray the glass cleaner of your choice on the mirror, then use a mirror squeegee to wipe excess moisture from the surface and leave a streak-free shine.

Good Tip: Work from top to bottom, then side to side to remove the spray and avoid streaks.

  • Sweep the floor! Be sure to get under any cabinets, behind the toilet and into the corners.
  • Fill a spray mop with your favorite floor cleanser and, starting in the back corner, mop the floor in a horizontal pattern, backing up until you’re out of the room and the floor is pristine.

What else would you add to your bathroom cleaning checklist? Tell us in the comments! Share your cleaning progress on social media using #OXOBetter


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