Episode 8: January 30, 2013
By Amanda Thomas
What I’m about to say may shock you. Please prepare yourself. Sit down if you must.
Here it is: I never clean my bathroom.
“How can that be?!?” “She’s the Domestic CEO!” “How could she have a nasty bathroom?!?”
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Ok, did we get it all out? Let me first start by saying, it’s not what you think. My bathroom is not nasty. There’s no mold growing in it, no soap scum hardened on the shower walls, no ring in the toilet even. It’s not spotless, but it’s pretty darn clean. How can this be considering I just told you I never clean it? Simple: I don’t let it get dirty.
I can hear you scoffing now. But before you make any wild assumptions like, “She must just always shower at the gym,” consider this: What if there were 3 things you could do that would take less than 3 minutes a day but would keep your bathroom so clean that you’d never have to scrub it again? Would you want to know what those 3 things are? Would you do them on a regular basis to prevent ever having to get out the harsh chemicals and scrub brushes? If you are saying yes (or nodding), then this episode is for you.
If your bathroom is currently in less than ideal condition, you may need to do a deep clean on it before putting these 3 tips into practice. So what are you waiting for? Get out your rubber gloves, muster up some elbow grease, and celebrate that this will be the last time you’ll ever scrub that room!
1. Keep Things Put Away
The first step in keeping any area of your home permanently clean is to cut down on the clutter. This is especially true in the bathroom because of its small size and the amount of grime that can happen in there. Having surfaces covered in bottles, makeup, hair tools, and doodads will not only make it seem dirty, but it will actually make it harder for you to keep clean.
Strive to have near-empty surfaces in your bathroom. Have a home for everything behind closed doors in a vanity or cupboard. As a side note, shoving things into a drawer or into a cabinet is not considered a “home” for your items. Your goal is to have an actual space, preferably labeled, where each item is always kept. But that’s a whole different episode. For now, I’m just going to tell you to put everything away as it is the key to Steps 2 and 3 in your master plan for a continuously clean bathroom.
2. Keep “Tools” Where You Use Them
Having a tool to clean when you need it is half the battle. Win the war on bathroom grime by keeping some cleverly-disguised tools at hand. The first tool is obvious: a toilet brush. Keep one in each bathroom. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to make a toilet brush look like anything other than a toilet brush, but you can get ones that are hidden or small. If you get a smaller one, you can likely stash it behind your toilet where no one else can see it, but you know it’s there. Or, you can get a bigger one that comes in its own hiding container. Get whichever your prefer, just put one in each bathroom.
Next, keep a basket of rolled washcloths on your counter. You actually want these to be a little rough, so you can get cheap ones that match the colors of your bathroom. Because they look like they belong, no one will ever know that you use them for cleaning instead of to wash your face. I actually keep an additional set of these little towels and a plastic cup on the ledge of my soaking tub, too. I’ll tell you why in the next step.
Finally, keep flushable wipes on the back of each toilet. Not only can these help keep your backside clean, but they’re also the magic tool for cleaning your toilet. More about that in Tip #3.
3. Clean BEFORE it Gets Gross
Now that you have your surfaces clear and your tools where you need them, the rest is a snap! The toilet brush that’s in each bathroom is no longer used for scrubbing the toilet. You are actually just going to swish the water around, focusing on the water line. You won’t even need toilet bowl cleaner! Pick a morning each week to do this, and you will never have to scrub the toilet bowl again. Yes, there might be a few spots that need a little extra attention or a spritz of cleanser, but for the most part it’s just a few moments of swishing. Then, grab one of those conveniently-placed flushable wipes, and run it over the lid, seat, and base of the toilet bowl. In less than 90 seconds, your toilet is clean.
The rolled washcloths on your counter are used to quickly wipe down your mirrors and counters. No need for glass or surface cleaner, simply dribble a little water onto the cloth and wipe. For mirrors, use a very small amount of water to wash the glass, then use the dry part of the towel to buff it. Do this whenever the water spots or dust appear, and in less than 2 minutes, your sink area is all clean.
The towels on the edge of my soaking tub get used when anyone in my family takes a bath. If I see some dust on the ledges, or spots on the faucet, I wipe them down while I’m soaking. After each bath, we use a cup to rinse all the soapy residue down the drain. The towel can then also quickly wipe out the basin, but it’s not usually necessary if you rinse right away. About once a week one of us will grab one of those little towels and take it into the shower with us. A quick 30-second wipe down of all the ledges and corners, along with a quick spritz of a shower cleaner, and the shower is always sparkling.
So what do you think? Still doubt that you can have a perpetually clean bathroom in less than 3 minutes a day (and save a ton of cash on harsh cleaning chemicals)? Take the Domestic CEO Clean Bathroom Challenge and find out for yourself.
Have a question about anything in this episode? Or a suggestion for a future podcast? Send me an email at DomesticCEO@quickanddirtytips.com or post it on the Domestic CEO Facebook wall or on my Twitter feed.
I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.
Bathroom image courtesy of Shutterstock