Of all the rooms in a home, bathrooms are arguably the dirtiest. Between the muggy shower stalls, water-soaked sinks, and of course, toilets, bathrooms are breeding grounds for gross fungi and bacteria. "Bathrooms are exposed to a lot of moisture, and they're usually small, too," says cleaning expert and Scotch-Brite ambassador Melissa Maker of Clean My Space. "Often times, they don't have great ventilation, which is a triple threat because mold, mildew and germs thrive in warm, damp environments."
No matter how frequently you clean your bathroom, if you aren't cleaning the right spots, you aren't doing it correctly. We asked Maker, along with cleaning pro Kadi Dulude of Wizard of Homes for help figuring out what areas of the bathroom we might be forgetting to clean, and here's what they had to say.
1. Shower Drain
Since your shower drain is home to a lot of mold-causing moisture, Dulude says it needs to be deep-cleaned at least once a month. "Take a small screwdriver (or butter knife) to unscrew the little screws and get access to the drain. With gloves on, remove any buildup that has been collecting there, and then pour some baking soda down the drain. Follow up with vinegar to take away any lingering odors."
Bacteria-filled grime can build up quickly in a bathroom garbage can, which is why Maker suggests cleaning it regularly. "Clean your garbage can by emptying it and spraying it down with an all-purpose cleaner. Then, sprinkle in some baking soda, which will help lift off any buildup. Let the mixture sit for five or so minutes and then wipe with a microfiber cloth, rinse clean and allow to dry."
3. Air Vents
When exposed to moisture, dusty air vents can begin to grow mold that circulates in the air of your bathroom. "Get into the habit of dry-dusting your vents every time you clean your bathroom," Dulude says. "However, if it's been a while since you cleaned your air vents, you'll need to take the covers off the wall or floor, soak them in hot soapy water, and then gently brush them clean. Just remember to let them dry out before replacing them."
4. Shower Mat, Curtain, and Liner
If you aren't cleaning your shower mat, fabric shower curtain, and fabric shower curtain liner regularly, Maker says you're doing it wrong. "Your shower liner, curtain, and mat will build up soap scum over time, which will lead to discoloration. Take these items down, add them to your washing machine, and add a cup of vinegar and 10 drops of tea tree oil to the load to help remove buildup. Add an old terry towel to the load to help scrub things clean (in cold water) and take everything out and hang to dry."
5. Door Knob
Don't let your freshly washed hands fool you, Dulude says your bathroom door knob can still get pretty grimy. "Door knobs get dirty over time. Clean yours with soap and water, or a magic eraser, every week and be sure to follow up with disinfectant."
6. Sink Drawers
The insides of your medicine cabinet and sink drawers are home to a lot of toiletries that leave debris and residue behind, which is why Maker suggests wiping yours down regularly. "Once a month, quickly parse through and get rid of anything you're not using. Take everything out, wipe down with a clean microfiber cloth, and replace items that you use regularly. You can also use a waterproof liner in your cabinet and drawers to avoid moisture damage."
7. Toilet Base
We all know it's important to clean the toilet bowl and seats, but Maker says the base is often forgotten because it's not easy to reach.