The Ultimate Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

person wiping down bathroom sink fixtures

The Spruce / Erica Lang  

Bathrooms are one of the most used rooms in a home and that means they need plenty of attention to keep them clean. Since the bathroom serves as the catch-all for cleaning our bodies and holding our soiled clothes in a warm, damp environment, it is the perfect environment for bacteria and fungi to thrive unless you clean it correctly.

Luckily, most of the surfaces are easy-to-clean and with a bit of attention daily and a more thorough cleaning weekly, the entire room can be kept sparkling clean and fresh.

What You Need

Supplies

  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • All-purpose bathroom cleaner
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Disinfecting wipes

Tools

  • Toilet brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Squeegee
  • Sponges, microfiber cloths or paper towels
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Broom and dustpan or vacuum
  • Mop
  • Bucket
items for cleaning the bathroom
The Spruce / Erica Lang 

Daily Cleaning

  1. Wipe Down Fixtures

    Use a disinfectant wipe or sponge to wipe the counters, faucets, and sinks after each use to remove spatters and spills. Always grab a second wipe to clean any drips on toilet seats or floors.

  2. Dry Shower Walls and Doors

    After each shower use a squeegee or towel to wipe down the walls of the shower stall and doors or the tub to help prevent soap scum build-up and water spotting. Close the shower curtain so it will dry more quickly.

  3. Hang Up Damp Towels and Bathmats

    Hang damp towels and bathmats so they will dry as quickly as possible to prevent mildew growth.

    wiping down shower doors with a squeegee
    The Spruce / Erica Lang 

    Tip

    Change handtowels daily since they are shared and become dirty quickly. This is especially important if someone in the household has a cold or virus.

Weekly Cleaning

To make the best use of your time, start at the top of the room and work your way down. Save the bathroom floor for last so you can capture any drips or messes you make while cleaning.

Tip

Read the directions on all bathroom cleaning products. You will have the best results if you give the products time to work. Spray them on and wait at least five minutes so they can begin to break apart the dirt making it easier to wipe away. Using a bit of patience means you'll have to do less scrubbing.

  1. Wash Towels and Bathmats

    Gather and wash all towels, washcloths, hand towels, and bath mats. If you have small throw rugs, take them outside to shake out hair and dust. Check the care label, but most are washable. Allow the rugs to air-dry to prevent damage to the rubber backing.

  2. Clean and Disinfect the Toilet

    Start by adding a commercial toilet bowl cleaner like 365 by Whole Foods Market to the bowl. Give it a quick swish and then close the lid to allow the cleaner time to work. Wipe down the exterior of the fixtures with a disinfectant wipe or with a sponge and multi-purpose bathroom cleaner.

    If you live in an area with hard water, tackle stains weekly for the easiest removal.

    Finish by scrubbing the interior of the bowl—don't forget to clean under the rim—and then flush.

  3. Clean the Shower or Tub

    Whether you have a ceramic tile, fiberglass, or stone shower stall, it should be thoroughly cleaned weekly to remove soap scum and any mildew problems on surfaces. The same products that clean the shower can be used on a tub.

    Take time to remove hair from drains and address any clogs before they become worse.

    If you have a shower curtain, use a damp cloth to wipe down the shower rod and curtain rings to remove dust and soap scum residue.

  4. Clean the Sink and Counter

    Remove everything from the top of the sink and counter. Use an all-purpose bathroom cleaner or a mixture of baking soda and a few drops of vinegar to remove dried-on cosmetics, toothpaste, and grime from every surface.

    Rinse well with plain water and dry with a soft cloth to prevent water spots. Pour one cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar down the drain to help keep water running cleanly.

    Tip

    To make cleaning easy, place toothbrush and soap holders on the top rack of the dishwasher.

  5. Wipe Down Light Switches, Cabinet Handles, and Door Handles

    Light switches and the wall around them get lots of smudges and grime. Cabinet hardware and door handles can be breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. Clean each area well with a disinfecting wipe or cleaner.

  6. Clean Mirrors

    Once the sink and countertop are clean, clean mirrors with a commercial glass cleaner or spray on some distilled white vinegar. Shine with a microfiber cloth to prevent streaks and dust residue. Don't forget small hand and shaving mirrors!

  7. Empty the Trash Can

    Empty the trash can. If you use trash bags, keep several extras in the trash can for easy replacement.

  8. Clean the Bathroom Floor

    Now that everything else is clean, sweep or vacuum the bathroom floor to remove hair, dirt, and dust. Clean the floor as recommended for ceramic, stone or vinyl tile, or laminate flooring.

    wiping the bathroom mirror
    The Spruce / Erica Lang 

Monthly Cleaning

Depending on how much use your bathroom gets, these tasks should be done monthly or seasonally. Take a bit of time to check these items and do a bit of deep cleaning.

  1. Dust Door Jambs, Window Ledges, and Baseboards

    Look up and down at spots that can catch dust. Grooming products like hairspray can cause surfaces to become sticky and attract more dust than in other rooms.

  2. Clean Ventilation Fan Cover and Light Fixtures

    Using a sturdy step ladder, use a screwdriver to remove the vent cover, if possible. Fill the sink with hot water and a bit of dishwashing liquid. Add the vent cover and allow it to soak for 10 minutes. Wipe away grime with a soft cloth or scrub brush. Dry completely and reassemble.

    If the vent cannot be removed, use the upholstery brush attachment of your vacuum or a microfiber duster to remove dust.

    Check light fixtures for dust, dead insects, and burned out bulbs. Clean as needed.

  3. Clean Out Drawers, Vanity Cabinets, and Medicine Storage

    Go through beauty, cleaning, and first aid supplies and toss any expired products. Dispose of unused medications properly. Clean makeup brushes and beauty tools well to kill bacteria.

    This is a good time to sort towels and other linens and make a list of what needs to be replaced.

  4. Clean a Clogged Showerhead

    If your showerhead is sputtering and water flow is weak, it should be cleaned. With just some distilled white vinegar, mineral deposits and soap scum can be easily removed.

  5. Clean the Trash Can

    If you don't use trash can liners, the bottom of the trash can be a petri dish. Use hot water, a multi-purpose cleaner, and a scrub brush to give it a good cleaning.

  6. Wash the Shower Curtain and Clean Window Treatments

    If you use a shower curtain, it and the plastic liner should be washed monthly. Curtains, shades, or blinds should also be cleaned to remove dust and any stains.

  7. Do a Quick Inspection

    Take time to look under the sink and around fixtures to catch any small leaks or drips. This will save you money and heartache later.

    Check each area (use a flashlight, if needed) for any mold and mildew growth and eradicate it immediately.

    clearing out toiletries
    The Spruce / Erica Lang