Could you be guilty of committing these common bathroom cleaning crimes?
A freshly cleaned bathroom is a sight to behold - all that gleaming porcelain and those sparkling tiles are a wondrous sight. But did you know that most of us either aren’t cleaning the right things or using the right products to do so? Jane Wilson from Fantastic Cleaners Melbourne reveals the five common cleaning mistakes you’re probably making right now (and how to fix them).
Mistake one: Using harsh detergents without ventilation
Many bathrooms don’t have windows, and the ventilation systems in them aren’t really efficient enough to deal with harsh chemical fumes. So, unless you have a big open window in there, Jane warns it’s not good for your health to use harsh cleaning products in the bathroom. “It’s also not healthy to step barefoot on a floor that has chemical residue," she adds.” Her solution? "Avoid bleach and any other smelly substances unless it’s a very critical situation, and aim for milder cleaners in everyday use.”
Mistake two: Underestimating the hidden surfaces
Jane suggests that these little suckers include the space behind the toilet, the space under or on top of cabinets (depending on how your cabinets are located) and various shelves for shampoos and other products. “They often get neglected during regular cleaning and the dirt gathers. In case of shelves, mould and limescale start growing on them,” she says. Want to keep the bathroom cleaner for longer? Jane suggests you clean under the cabinets too, as that dirt moves around every time you open the door and spreads onto the clean floor.
Mistake three: Using one product to clean everything
It’s easy to grab a multipurpose spray in the supermarket and it seems to make sense if you want to cut down on packaging, but it’s not going to give the bathroom the best clean. “The different bathroom surfaces require different care,” says Jane. “The tiles need a mild abrasive, which will take care of the slime, soap scum and mould. The sink and the bathtub need a mild non-abrasive cleaner because the enamel scratches easily and is difficult to repair. The toilet gathers the most germs, so it needs something highly antibacterial. And the mirror and any glass doors or surfaces could use a window cleaner for a streak-free finish.” Buy one of each and use them correctly for maximum effect and they’ll last long enough to prove their worth, too.
Mistake four: Not caring for the toilet brush
It’s often forgotten because, well, it’s kinda gross. But putting the toilet brush right back into the holder after using it is a big mistake, according to Jane. “The moisture and the fact that the brush has not been washed causes bacteria to grow very fast,” she says. Instead, rinse the used brush in the clean toilet water and let it air dry before putting it back in its holder.
Mistake five: Not cleaning toothbrushes and hairbrushes
You may be taking care of the bathroom itself but what about the things we use in them? Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months, for example, and cleaned well in between. “Every couple of weeks you can disinfect them by putting them in a glass of vinegar - it will kill all the bacteria,” says Jane. It’s also recommended to keep your toothbrushes out in the light and not in cabinets because the darkness is a breeding ground for bacteria.
And they're not the only things you should brush up on when it comes to cleaning either — hairbrushes gather all kinds of oils and skin cells from our heads, so you need to clean them regularly too. “You can easily clean them with some hard or dish soap and a regular brush. Get some soap and water on the brush, create a foam and brush all the dirt away. Then let it dry before using it again,” advises Jane.