We all lead increasingly busy lives, and spare time is at a premium for most of us. When we get home after a busy day at work or finally get the kids into bed, the last thing we want to be doing is spending hours on the housework. But unfortunately, cleaning is a necessary evil. However, if you work smarter rather than harder, it is possible to power through a thorough clean of the bathroom in around 15 minutes, which leaves plenty of time for doing what you really enjoy with your spare time.
If you have a bathroom which is cluttered with numerous bottles, ornaments and other bits and pieces it is going to be a lot harder to clean and keep dust-free than a bathroom which has clear surfaces. Plus, a cluttered bathroom leads to a cluttered mind, and all that disorder doesn't contribute towards the bathroom minimalism that we should all be striving for.
If you find it difficult to keep your bathroom surfaces clear, think about investing in a cheap bathroom cupboard or storage chest to allow you to hide everything away out of sight. A new storage unit doesn't have to be expensive; think about painting an old chest of drawers which you have elsewhere in the loft, or repurposing a child's old toy chest. Just make sure that whatever you choose is large enough to store all of your bits and pieces.
If you spend hours with a toothbrush trying to clean mould and mildew off your tiles or grout, then save yourself hours by improving the ventilation in your bathroom. This could be something as simple as getting into the habit of leaving a window open after having a shower or maybe installing an extractor fan to keep the air circulating.
Think about swapping your shower curtains for a plastic or glass screen which is easier to wipe down. Do the same with window coverings; swap curtains which just attract dust for either a roller blind or Venetian blinds which can be wiped. Ditch the carpet and replace it with vinyl or tiles which are far easier to keep hygienically clean.
You should also try these tips for improving ventilation in the bathroom.
The supermarkets and cleaning spray manufacturers would have you believe that you're not properly equipped to clean your bathroom without a whole array of sprays and cream cleaners for every separate job. This isn't the case, and all you will really need is a bottle of bleach and one cleaning product.
Spray cleaners are probably the most efficient, but go for a soap based rather than a bleach based cleaner as bleach can attack enamel baths or tiles and discolour them over time. You'll also need a sponge or cloth to wipe around surfaces, while kitchen towel will help you dry the surfaces off. A plastic carrier bag is also useful for removing rubbish and used kitchen towel, and don't forget rubber gloves to protect the delicate skin of your hands.
If you want to ditch cleaning products altogether, try these natural cleaning solutions.
Start by hanging your plastic carrier bag on the inside of the bathroom door, so you have somewhere to easily chuck rubbish or used paper towels (and, of course, practice your basketball skills at the same time!). Before you start your clean, take a quick look around the bathroom to clean up any excess clutter you may have left lying around. It may be something as simple as an empty shampoo bottle you've forgotten to throw away. Whatever it is lying around, clear it out first.
The toilet is your first port of call on your cleaning round, as grim as that may sound, but it's best to get the worst part over and done with first. Squirt some bleach around the loo and under the rim, and leave it to get to work.
Next, attack the bath and sink with either your commercial cleaning product or simply a mixture of vinegar and water. Wipe over all over the surfaces and make sure that you remember to clean around the taps and plugs. These may require a good scrub to get the muck cleaned off, but if you're following this process regularly then it shouldn't have much of a chance to build up.
Remember to flush the loo once you have left the bleach to work, and wipe around and under the seat before moving on. You should be making great time at this point!
Kitchen towel paper is useful for cleaning in the bathroom as using paper which you then throw in the bin is more hygienic than using cloths or sponges which then spread the germs around the bathroom. The only issue is that very cheap paper towel can have a tendency to break up, so get some kitchen paper with a stronger absorbency for best results.
While you may not have to do it as regularly as some of the other surfaces, don't neglect areas such as mirrors, shower doors, and bath screens. A good way to clean these is to use a solution of white vinegar that's mixed with water, which can be poured straight into a spray bottle and applied directly to the glass.
Wipe the glass with a microfiber cloth, using a circular motion as you cover each spot. Next, wipe up the surface with vertical strokes, finally finishing it up with horizontal strikes.
Everyone has their own way of cleaning the bathroom, and the most efficient way will depend on the size of the bathroom and the way you prefer to work. One of the golden rules is to leave the floor to last, and clean towards the door so you don't have to walk over your newly cleaned tiles to get out.
If you get into the habit of doing a quick five or ten minute rinse round every day, the work won't pile up until you are landed with a huge weekend clean when you'd rather be doing something else.
Trying to build any habit takes time, but stick to it and you'll soon find yourself being able to clean your bathroom in a fraction of the time it took in the past.