Step 1: Start with a clean slate

Remove everything the bathroom that can be removed. Remove towels, washclothes, shampoo and conditioner bottles, soap, toothbrushes — everything that isn’t permanently affixed to the floor.

Remove the shower curtain and place in the washing machine according to manufacturer’s directions. If none exist, use warm water, detergent, and a large load setting to provide plenty of room for agitation. Remove the bathmat and place by the washing machine to be washed after the shower curtain. Add your preferred toilet cleanser to the inside of the toilet to allow it to work during the next few steps.

Step 2: Preliminary dry wipe down.

Using a soft, dry, dustcloth wipe down the surfaces of the room so that subsequent wet cleaning doesn’t leave behind snares of hair and lint. Run the cloth over the edges of the bathtub, the sink, and window sills. Using a slightly moist paper towel, wipe down the outside of the toilet, including any easily-missed small corners or crevices. Sweep the floor last — sweeping is less effective on wet floors, so it’s useful to get handle this prior to deeper cleaning with soap.

Step 3: Clean the bathtub

Using a strong, abrasive cleanser like Comet or Ajax (or another cleanser of your choice), vigorously scrub down the tub. Be sure to give detailed attention to areas of flaking grout where mildew can settle. These areas can usually be cleaned more efficiently with a toothbrush. Scrub the faucet and handles, then rinse thoroughly. Shine any chrome after the harsher cleaning with ammonia or vinegar, and, preferably, newspaper, which leaves less lint behind than any other paper product. Paper towels will do if newspaper is not at hand.

Step 4: Sink

As in Step 3, scrub the sink thoroughly, keeping an eye out for overlooked spots like the area behind the faucet and the grooves beneath the handles. Rinse thoroughly, and shine any chrome fixtures, as well as the bathroom mirror, as above.

Step 5: Toilet

Scrub the areas on the outside of the toilet, including the toilet tank, with cleanser, polish and a soft cloth. Use a sturdy brush to attack dirty or discolored surfaces in the toilet bowl itself. Flush twice. Swap the shower curtain for the bathmat in the washing machine.

Step 6: The floor

The room should now be in good shape, but take a look around for smaller, miscellaneous items–towel racks, shower organizers, etc. Then wash the floor in whatever manner is preferred.

Step 7: Reassemble

While the floor is drying, wash toothbrush holders, soap dishes, and other items in the kitchen. Dust or wipe clean any decorative pieces. Take a wash cloth to any soap-caked shampoo bottles. Bring everything back into the bathroom and rearrange. Re-hang the shower curtain. When the bathmat is finished drying, put it on the floor, along with clean towels and washcloths.

A small gathering of fresh flowers are a lovely addition to a bathroom and can enhance the sense of satisfaction a clean bathroom provides.

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