Cleaning tips for bathrooms that don't require you to make your own products to be "green," keeping clean while saving money, time, and the environment.
This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. All opinions and text, as always, are mine.
I don't talk a ton about cleaning here on AOC because, let's be honest - given the choice to write about makeovers, remodeling, gardening, or food & recipes, not many would choose cleaning, right? But we all need to do it (life is just better in a clean house) and through the years I've been asked by readers about how I clean a lot because of our as-natural-as-possible, organic mindset.
And while I've written about how our weekly family cleaning night saved my sanity, how to make DIY foaming soap, and my favorite toilet bowl cleaner, I've never shared a few of my favorite cleaning secrets - until now.
What made me think about sharing these now (other than thinking "I need to share this with my readers" when I'm actually cleaning...)? The Home Depot contacted me about the possibility of writing about their exclusive HDX line of cleaning products and when I looked at the list of products to see if it was a good fit (I'm serious about always being useful for you guys!), I could see right away that it would be the perfect time to spill my cleaning tips for bathrooms that are easy, green, and inexpensive.
Not only does the HDX cleaning line (which includes a LOT more than pictured here) carry the things I use all the time (microfiber cloths, brushes, etc.), it had a couple other supplies that have rounded out my out-of-the-box bathroom cleaning bucket, like the Easy Erasers and the microfiber duster, which you don't typically think of for bathroom cleaning. I was happily surprised to see the prices range between $1.00 to $9.98. See that super-useful hand-held duster above? That's only $2.98 - and it's become my new favorite tool!
Okay, so that's where you can find some quality, inexpensive cleaning supplies - now on to the tips!
1. The first thing I try to do in every aspect of our household cleaning, for both the environment and our pocketbook, is to limit disposable materials. My cleaning supplies never include paper towels, throw-away wipes, or one-use mops. Brushes, sponges, and cloths that can be used again and again make up the bulk of my supplies. And this is where I sing the praises of microfiber cloths - they soak up a ton of water, shine chrome, and leave surfaces streak-free, much more than cotton rags (though they have their place in my cleaning arsenal, too).
2. The clean(er) shower secret: keep a microfiber cloth in your shower and wipe down the walls and handle after every use. This is what finally kept our fiberglass, faux-tile (i.e., full of grooves, nooks & crannies) shower stall clean - seriously! I do a full cleaning during our weekly cleaning nights, but it would get so bad between cleanings that it took forever to clean on those nights. So I dreaded it.
A squeegee didn't work with all the 'tile' indentations, but when Brian and I committed to wiping down the walls after showering, it not only helped with soap scum and that 'pink' mildew in the crevices, it made the weekly deep cleaning go a lot faster, since there was less to scrub. If you were to do one thing from this list, this is the one I think will make the most difference!
Our other bath does have smooth faux marble walls (we're into the fake around here it seems...), and using a squeegee after showering really does help reduce the soap scum that needs to be cleaned weekly. If your shower stall isn't full of nooks and crannies like our master bath, this can take the place of a cloth. Now if I can just get the kids to do it regularly...
One question I get asked quite a bit by readers is about what cleaning solutions I use, specifically what I use on mirrors and interior windows. So here's my other secret - nothing but water:
3. Use only water & a microfiber cloth to clean mirrors, streak-free. I haven't bought or made glass cleaner in years - and that includes vinegar and anything other than plain old water! That saves both money and time. It's simple to do: lightly wet a corner of the towel and use that to clean the mirror of any spots, then use the rest of the dry towel to wipe it clean. It will be streak-free and perfect!
The microfiber cloth - with no other cleaning solutions - also shines up chrome and wipes surfaces clean.
4. Use a microfiber duster to keep bathroom woodwork clean. We've remodeled our bathrooms to include beadboard wainscoting, white window moldings and a French door, among other things. Using the duster weekly on these surfaces - and the light fixtures - keeps the dust and dirt at bay. It's not normally what you think of to include in your bathroom supplies, but a hand-held duster may just become your favorite new tool, too.
5. Use a sponge eraser for fingerprints and dirt. The other tool I keep in each bathroom is a foam eraser to clean door moldings, light switches, and our other white painted surfaces. It easily removes the fingerprints you find in these areas - simply wet part of the eraser and wipe down. Voila, clean!
As you can see, we have a lot of painted surfaces to keep clean! Microfiber cloths, dusters, and foam erasers - along with just water - are some of my bathroom cleaning 'secrets' that help me to reuse, limit disposables and save both time and money.
So tell me, how secret are these - do you regularly use any of these tips, too?
Disclosure: I received product and/or compensation for this post. As always, the opinions, thoughts, and projects are all mine and I will never promote something I don't love and think you will find helpful - promise! For more info, you can read our entire disclosure page here.