Bathrooms are busy rooms and if they aren’t maintained daily, it doesn’t take long for them to get grunge-tastic.
Here are several tips to help you bring them to a shine (and keep them that way), along with some nice homemade peppermint cleaners you can make.
- Apply a thin layer of lemon oil to shower doors. This helps keep soap scum from building up by making the soapy water bead up on the glass and slide on down the drain. Pour 2 tsp of lemon oil on a cloth then wipe the doors. Do this every other week for best results. You can also try rubbing baby oil or shaving cream on your shower doors to keep them shiny and fog free. Shaving cream can also be used to remove built up soap scum on shower doors, walls and fixtures. More soap scum busters are on this page .
- After each shower spray shower walls with cleaner to prevent soap scum and grime from building up, this helps keeps your shower shiny. You’ll find a bunch of recipes on this page  along with tips for cleaning the shower door tracks.
- Remove rings inside the toilet bowl by applying a paste of borax and lemon juice to the stain (flush first to make the surface wet). Allow to set for 2 hours then scrub. For a ring preventative measure, try pouring about 2 cups of vinegar in the bowl and allow to sit for a few hours before flushing (do a quick brushing before flushing). Do this every 2 or 3 weeks. See a quick tutorial at the bottom of this page for more step-by-step instructions for washing toilets.
- Bring a sparkle back to those shower curtains by laundering them with a bath towel. Add 1 cup vinegar during the rinse cycle. You could also wash them by hand using a household sponge soaked in vinegar (will help remove mildew and soap scum).
- Is your bathtub dingy and seemingly beyond repair? Here’s a tried-and-true method to bring it back to a shine: oven cleaner (for porcelain tubs)! You can also try a laundry detergent soak (for both porcelain and acrylic tubs). You’ll find all the details here .
- Remove nasty hard water buildup around tap fixtures using paper towels soaked in vinegar. Wrap them around the base of the taps for several hours to break down the crud, then wash. See this page for easy ways  to remove limescale using basic pantry items.
- Remove hairspray and splatter buildup on mirrors by buffing with a lint-free cloth and a bit of rubbing alcohol. Two earth friendly DIY recipes for glass and mirrors: one cup cold strong black tea with 3 TBS of vinegar; or one part vinegar added to four parts water. Newspapers are great scrubbers to use for near-streak-free glass & mirrors. Also this old trick is handy to know: use shaving foam on mirrors to keep them from steaming up. See more recipes on this page .
- No need for harsh chemicals to loosen up gobs of dried toothpaste and heavy grime in the sink, try this homemade mix that’s gentle on porcelain and brings back a shine: DIY Softscrub .
- Use your favorite liquid dish detergent to brighten grout between tiles, just drizzle on a sponge or wet cloth and scrub. You can also use toothpaste. See more suggestions on this page .
- There are lots of little nooks and crannies that hide germs and hold grime, use old toothbrushes to get right in there and gently wipe caulking, around faucets, vanity design features, shower tracks, baseboards, etc.
- Things get pretty humid in this room, making it a perfect environment for mildew. Keep it at bay by spraying walls and ceilings with a 50/50 solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water, leave on (it will dry itself) and do this a couple times a year. Careful not to get this solution in your eyes when spraying. You can also use this on mildew spots (or try a straight dose of hydrogen peroxide for tough spots).
Easy Household Time Saver: Each day wipe down the sink, toilet and spray the inside of the shower with cleaner, empty the trash. Your bathroom will sparkle throughout the week!
Here are a few different recipes for homemade cleaners you might want to try (EO = peppermint essential oil)…
1 cup baking soda
1/4 tsp EO
- Mix the ingredients then store in a glass mason jar.
- To use: Sprinkle on a wet sponge and wipe bath and shower walls. Rinse off with water.
1 cup distilled water
1/2 cup household vinegar
1/2 tsp liquid castille soap
1/4 tsp EO
- Mix ingredients in a spray bottle and shake before use.
- To use: Spray on tiles and walls, wipe with a damp sponge.
1 gallon hot water
2 TBS liquid castille soap
1/4 tsp EO
- Mix ingredients in a large bucket.
- To use: Mop floor.
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup salt
1/2 tsp EO
- Mix ingredients in a spray bottle, shake well before use.
- To use: Spray mold then leave sit for a few minutes before wiping off mold.
For Toilet Bowls:
1 cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar
- To use: First drizzle baking soda into the bowl. Top with vinegar. Allow to fizz for 10 minutes then use a toilet brush to scrub. To finish things off, wipe underneath the seat and around the rim with a damp cloth that has a few drops of EO.
Here are a few hints and tips I’ve collected to wash down a toilet, meshed in with instructions on how to wash it from top, down and all around. This is NO ONE’S favorite job I’m sure. Yuck.
*For stain toughies, try one of the methods below:
- Plop a couple denture cleaning tablets in the bowl and soak overnight. Scrub in the morning then flush.
- Pour a tablespoon or two of orange Tang powder crystals in the bowl, swoosh around, soak for an hour or overnight, then flush.
- Pour a cup or so of bleach in the bowl, swish around and soak overnight.
For hard to remove water lines (mineral and hard water deposits) on the inside of the bowl, a few different tips:
- First empty the water enough so that the water level is well below the stained line.
- To lower the water level either dump a pail of water in the bowl or turn the water off (tap behind tank) and flush down what’s in the tank.
- Soak paper towels with vinegar, then firmly stick the wet vinegar towels around the inside of the bowl, covering the stain. Let it soak for several hours, remove paper towels then try scrubbing with cleaner.
- Make a paste of Borax and vinegar and apply generously to ring, let sit for a few hours then wash well.
- Try a nylon scrub pad with Barkeeper’s Friend or ZUD
- Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
- Wet the stain line well then rub gently with a wet pumice stone. Rubbing too hard or with a dry stone on a dry stain line will scratch the porcelain. Be careful.
Don’t forget to:
- Regularly remove all lid and tank covers as well as floor mats to launder.
- Scrub the bowl vigorously and scrub well right up under the rim.
- Take a small scrub brush (old toothbrush works perfectly) and scrub the lid hinges too. Slide your wash cloth underneath the hinges–gross!
- Wipe the top, underside and edges of lid & don’t forget to wipe down the handle.
- Wipe down the tank lid and the tank itself.
- Wipe the base of the toilet all around from back to front and from top to bottom, get right into the grooves of the porcelain. Wash the floor all around from back to front, pay close attention to the crevice where the toilet and floor meet.
- When finished, flush for fresh water. If you used a scrub brush, add some bleach to the bowl and let the brush sit and soak in it for awhile to clear out the grodies before putting it away.
Important: Wash the cloths and rags separately from the rest of your towels and laundry and only use those cloths for the toilet and surrounding area. Your family, and your visitors, will thank you.