Sanitizing the Bathroom from Top to Bottom
Did you know that 95 perfect of people do not wash their hands properly before leaving a bathroom? According to a study conducted by Michigan State University researchers, those are the stats.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that, to effectively kill germs, you have to wash your hands vigorously with soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds, but the Michigan State University study found that people wash their hands for an average of only six seconds. Worse? Only 50 perfect of men and 78 percent of women use soap!
Perhaps if we all knew what kind of germs were lurking around, we’d be more diligent about washing our hands. According to this article published on WebMD, gastrointestinal viruses such as the norovirus, enteric pathogens like salmonella and E. coli, skin and respiratory organisms like staph, dermatophitic fungi like athlete’s foot, and other residual fungi like mold are common in both public and private bathrooms and they’re easier to catch than you might think.
Aside from these nasty infections just waiting to get on board your body, there are nasty messes left behind by careless children, rushed teenagers, and tired parents. Are you cleaning your bathroom often enough? Is it really getting clean? Here are some tips to help you clean and sanitize your bathroom as well as the things that are in it.
First and foremost, clean up any clutter then vacuum and dust. Next, clean every surface with soapy water; this includes door handles, light switches, faucets, counter tops… all of it. Rinse thoroughly and then let it air dry.
Afterwards, sanitize one part of the bathroom at a time as follows:
The ventilation fan
Make sure that there is no power going to the ventilation fan, then remove the cover and soak it in warm, soapy water. While it soaks, use your vacuum hose tool to get any gunk or dust off of the fan blades, motor, and corners, then wipe clean. Clean the fan cover well and let it dry, then place it back over the fan system.
The walls and ceiling
Use an all-purpose cleaner to spray the walls and ceiling, then turn on the shower at a high heat and let the steam build. Once things have steamed up, leave the bathroom and shut the door. Let the steam mix with the cleaner for 15 to 20 minutes, then go ahead and wipe down the walls and ceiling with a clean, dry cloth.
Use your favorite granulated or liquid cleaner and pour it into the toilet bowl. Let it sit for five to ten minutes or until it has had the chance to kill germs and dissolve any difficult deposits. Scrub with a sturdy toilet brush until you’ve brushed everything you can away, then flush.
If there is a ring around the toilet, use a pumice stone to file it away.
Be sure to disinfect all toilet surfaces including under and on top of each seat, the top and sides of the tank, the handle, and don’t neglect the underside of the bowl and the base!
Also be sure to regularly disinfect your toilet cleaning brush by soaking it in a mixture of hot water and a few teaspoons of bleach for about an hour. Rinse the brush thoroughly and let it dry before placing it back in its holder.
Pour white vinegar, Calcium Lime Rust (CLR), or another similar cleaner into a baggy and secure it with a rubber band over the head of the shower. Let it soak and dissolve any hard deposits inside of the shower head. After it has soaked for a reasonable amount of time (typically over night) remove and discard the baggy, then run the shower to rinse the shower head.
Wash shower curtains and liners in the washing machine with regular detergent and a few towels to act as scrubbers.
Using an all-purpose cleaner, spray the entire tub/shower and allow the cleaner to sit and do its job. After it has had the chance to disinfect and dissolve deposits, scrub with a sturdy scrubbing brush or pad, then rinse thoroughly.
If your shower has fiberglass or glass doors, use a nonabrasive cleaner like all-purpose cleaner or baking soda to scrub them clean.
Pour baking soda and white vinegar down the drain, followed by hot (almost boiling) water. This will help with both smells and minor clogs.
On the faucet(s), you can use disinfecting wipes to help reduce the germs and brighten up the metal.
Use a soft-scrub cleaner with bleach to remove hardened deposits as well as toothpaste and hair product stains. If the stains won’t go away and your sink is ceramic, try using a pumice stone.
The counter top
Use either a diluted bleach solution or an all-purpose cleaner to scrub and disinfect the counter top.
Some washing machines have a “sanitizing” setting. If available, wash towels (specifically hand towels) on the sanitizing setting. If your washing machine doesn’t have that feature, use bleach in the wash to ensure that towels are fully sanitized.
Replacing hand towels once or twice a week can help prevent them becoming unsanitary.
Don’t forget about the little things! It’s important to clean things like your toothbrush and toothbrush holder. Rinse your toothbrush well after use and soak it in a cup of vinegar for 20 to 30 minutes every three to four months. Your toothbrush holder should be run through the dishwasher (if possible) on a regular basis as well.
Any loofahs should be cleaned in a 50/50 solution of vinegar and hot water. Submerge loofahs for an hour, then hang to drip dry.
Running a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol over razor blades will help to disinfect them and keep the blades sharp.
If your bathroom has tile, it’s important to clean the grout. Use a toothbrush and all-purpose cleaner to scrub the grout. If there are any discolored areas, dip the toothbrush in bleach, then scrub and rinse well.
Finally, using a diluted bleach solution, mop the floors and let them air dry.
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