Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning, Part II

Part I
Part III

The Bathroom

Spring Cleaning the bath is really not very different from cleaning any room, with just a few additions, and, of course, you don't have furniture in the bath. At least I don't. I can barely fit a person in my baths, much less furniture. If you have baths big enough for furniture you probably aren't cleaning your own. That's all I can say about that.

As with the bedroom, gather your supplies: ammonia or vinegar, a bucket, you might want some specific cleaning products for the sink and tub in your bath, a toilet brush, a broom with a t-shirt wrapped over the bristles (remember it here in Part I?), a sweeper with attachments, clean rags, a scrub brush, an old toothbrush (or if you're sore at your husband, just use his -- kidding...totally kidding), an empty box or laundry basket, a trash bag, a bottle of bleach or a bleach gel pen, if you possibly have mold in the bath.

If you have items sitting on your sink or toilet, or in the shower, first put away anything that should not be sitting out. Then remove the items that should sit out to an empty box or laundry basket for the time being.  Anything that does not belong in this room should be placed in a basket or box to be put away later. Don't leave the room to put things away or you'll lose focus.

If you use an iPod, plug in some good music. I don't have an iPod, but I'm on an Il Divo kick and I enjoy listening to them while I'm busy cleaning.

Start your cleaning at the window, if you are lucky enough to have a window in the bath -- I don't have one in any of my baths. Take down any window treatments and take them to the washer if they are washable. If they are dry clean only, shake them outdoors and then fold them and place them in the cargo hold of your car for the next trip to the dry cleaner. The window treatments in the bathroom definitely need to be cleaned more often than once a year (unlike the bedroom) -- at least twice, and more if your bath gets a lot of traffic (and showers). If you have blinds, read this, and do it. Clean the window inside and out. Clean the sill -- use the bleach and the scrub brush if necessary to remove any mold. If you have caulk around the sill (as with any caulk in the bathroom) determine if it needs to be replaced. If it's dry, cracked, or moldy, make a note to come back and replace it later (or give that task to your honey.) A bleach gel pen is handy for cleaning spots of mold on caulk, but if you have quite a bit of mold you absolutely should remove the caulk. Mold is very unhealthy and you should get rid of it (the mold) as soon as you notice it. If you are lucky enough to have a window, and it's nice outdoors, leave it open while you clean for some fresh air.

If you have bath rugs and/or toilet seat covers gather them up and wash (or replace) them as well. Use bleach in your wash water if those items can handle it.

a calendar page matted and framed (an old frame)

Next move onto the the ceiling and walls. Like you did with the bedroom walls, use your broom with the t-shirt to sweep the corners of the ceilings and walls to remove cobwebs and gathered dust. Take it all around the perimeter of the room. If you have an exhaust fan, take a good look (with a flashlight if necessary) to see if there is dust built up behind the cover. Have your dear, sweet husband remove it if it's dusty and clean it. It's not removing the air from the room very well if it's clogged with dust. And speaking of the exhaust, my dear TV friend Holmes says you should run your exhaust for 30 minutes during and after a shower. That may seem excessive, but if you have mold anywhere in your bath, you might want to listen to him.

Now, make a bucket of warm ammonia or white vinegar water and get a clean rag (I think both ammonia and vinegar are good for cleaning the bath, or you can use Mr. Clean or Lysol cleaner. Some people don't like the smell of ammonia, and if that's the case pick something else.). With a wrung-out rag, wash the surface of the door frame(s) and the door(s). If you have paneled doors, they likely have accumulated dust on the "ledges." Rinse your rag as necessary to keep it clean. Clean the door frame and door inside and out, and wipe the door knobs. If you have painted wood you won't need to dry the wood, but if you have stained wood, you should.

A simple peg for each little person is helpful for cutting back on dirty towels and towels on the floor.

The walls in the bathroom tend to get pretty yucky, especially if you use hairspray. Wash the walls from top to bottom, using a chair or step ladder, making your way around the perimeter of the room, changing your water as necessary to keep it fairly clean. No need to rinse the walls, but you might need to use a rough rag in spots -- especially if you have hairspray over spray. Wipe any wall hangings and clean the glass of any picture frames.

Now get on a ladder or chair and clean your light fixture with a wet rag. You may need to turn it off for five minutes to let it cool down. Wipe the bulbs as well -- they get dusty too.

Now tackle the medicine chest. Remove everything to either the trash bag or the empty box/laundry basket. Wipe the shelves out, the door, the handle. Replace those items that should be in the medicine chest. Prescription drugs should really be stored in a cool dry place, so the bathroom is less than ideal (nor should they be where children might get them). I keep a small basket up on a shelf in the master closet (adjacent to the bath) for prescription drugs. Thus, they are not where the children could reach them, nor are they in a warm, damp spot.

Move on to the vanity or sink. They are many configurations of sinks, some have vanities, some don't. Some are made from porcelain, some marble, some have tile tops, some have Formica. I can't possibly imagine every material and configuration, so do what you need to do for your sink top. Using the recommended cleaner (vinegar should be good on all materials), clean the sink top and the faucet. Clean around the faucet. If you have caulk here, make a note as to whether it should be replaced. Get the old toothbrush out and clean around the faucet thoroughly -- this is a good place for yucky germs to multiply. Also clean around the perimeter of the sink, cleaning any caulk thoroughly, wiping off any ledges.

If you have drawers, remove all the items in the drawer, throwing out anything the is old or unneeded, and place things in a box that you'll put back. Using the sweeper, suck out any debris and hair from the drawers one at a time. Then wipe them clean with a rag from your cleaning bucket. Do the cabinets in the same way. Replace the items that go in the drawers or cabinets. Wipe the outsides of the cabinets, getting the dust out of the corners of the door panels, or wiping off the plumbing underneath if it's exposed. If you have wood cabinets, use some furniture polish to shine them up and protect the wood.

Move on to the toilet. Using your toothbrush, clean around the fasteners on the seat and around the base of the toilet. Use the toothbrush around the base if it needs it. Changing your water as necessary, wipe the toilet and seat down, and clean the bowl (use a toilet brush). This is not much different than your weekly cleaning, maybe a little more thorough.

Clean the shower/tub like you would during the week, except take note if the caulk needs replaced, or touch up with bleach if you have a little bit of mold. Use the toothbrush on the faucet, getting around the edges, and the caulk. Scrub the walls of the shower/tub with a scrub brush and use something with bubbles if it helps to see where you have washed (like scrubbing bubbles cleaner). If you have doors on your shower/tub clean them with ammonia/vinegar water and scrub them extra hard. Clean the chrome around the doors, wiping it dry with a clean rag. Wipe the top of the frame as well. If you have a curtain, take it down and wash it. If you have a plastic liner, it probably could stand to be replaced -- you can pick one up at the grocery store for a few bucks.

A Christmas card matted and framed (new frame -- Target ) -- who says you need expensive art? It's a famous painting printed on a card.

When you are finished with the tub/shower, and if there is nothing else in the bathroom to clean (no furniture, or storage pieces) sweep the floor, first with the vacuum and then with the attachments all around the edges. Then make a clean bucket of cleaning water and, using a rag, wipe the baseboards and wash the floor, from one corner across the room, to the door.

“Do you know what you call those who use towels and never wash them, eat meals and never do the dishes, sit in rooms they never clean, and are entertained till they drop? If you have just answered, "A house guest," you're wrong because I have just described my kids.” ~~ Erma Bombeck


  1. Thank you. I printed both of these spring cleaning posts out and am putting them in my housekeeping folder.

  2. I don't know if this energizes me, gives me hope, tuckers me out, or just depresses me . . . LOL!!! I love love love these posts!!!

    I quite the gaming on FB and I have a lot more time on my hands! Thanks for giving me the very good (and healthy) idea to get busy around this homes nooks and crannies!!

  3. I thoroughly cleaned the 1/2 bath today . ... okay, all except the walls (which I'll do tomorrow). My blood sugar went wacky so I had to sit and drink water and eat something. I'm all better now, but uff da! ;) Thanks for the inspiration! Now I have two full baths to consider - ugh.

  4. Pace yourself, my darling (Sarah).

  5. Who doesn't love a clean bathroom? Wonderful post, Barbara :) A couple years ago, while cleaning thru homeschool papers/books I ran across Secondborn's 4th grade journal. One of his posts was entitled..."The Proper Way To Clean A Bathroom." I laughed until I cried. :)))

  6. Thanks for the inspiration and the great tips. I need a pegged board for towels for sure - we have three towel rods to hang but it still isn't enough, especially if we have visitors. Strangely, I do have a large upstairs bathroom complete with a dresser in it and a vanity chair and a full window, c. 1923 - cast iron original bathtub with a pedestal bottom. It's as big as a small bedroom and it's my least favorite room to clean - sigh :( Downstairs we have a small bathroom with shower - and it's tiny and carefree and easier to clean. Ok, keep inspiring me :) God bless!

  7. Oh, Cheryl, That's rich! If boys could just aim a little better cleaning the bathroom might not be half as disgusting!

    Wow, Denise! I can see that having a super huge bathroom would be a pain to clean. I always see ginormous baths on DIY shows with bathtubs set diagonally to the corner and think "I would hate cleaning behind that tub!"

  8. Always a few tips to glean from you in these posts Barbara. A suggestion? When you're all complete, make a little booklet to offer others on a pdf? Reason; Young married women, engaged women, hopechests, old moms, etc... would find them a treasure trove of wisdom. :) LOVE the blue on the walls, similar to my former bedroom color in the last house.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!