Thought Tuesday

Adulting 101 – Cleaning the Bathroom

I just walked into my teenager’s bathroom…

There are a few Japanese folklore stories where a number of spirits are rumored to appear in bathrooms…

What lurks in your bathroom?image

As you may have noticed from the last Adulting 101 post, your bathroom is disgusting.

To my knowledge, there is NOT a self cleaning bathroom on the market.  You may think you cleaned it to look lovely and it may have a fresh aroma of cleaning chemicals, but it’s a bathroom.  Therefore, it is gross.  It is germ-ridden.  The only way to keep it germ free is to lock the door and loose the key so that no one is able to use the facilities.  However, there are a few things you need to do to keep yourself safe from what could be lurking in your bathroom and flush your worries down the… I think you get my drift.

Let’s start with the shower.

Once a month, pour white vinegar into a plastic grocery bag and submerge the shower head.  Tie it shut and let it soak over night.  In the morning, remove the bag and let the vinegar go down the drain.  Run water to rinse it.  You should also clean your shower curtain.  While the shower head soaks, put the shower curtain in the washing machine with regular detergent and a few old towels.  The towels act as a scrubbing agent to get rid of scum and mildew.  In the morning, hang the curtain back up to dry.  The tub/shower is fairly easy, but will require a little elbow grease.  I keep it simple.  I spray the walls and tub floor with white vinegar and let it sit for 15 minutes.  Then, I sprinkle baking soda in the tub and scrub.  I use a Scotch-brite stainless steel scrub and scrub the walls of the shower and the tub.  Then I rinse everything.

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You may be wondering why it’s important to scrub the shower.   It’s more than a soap-scum issue (even if that was gross enough).  Your shower head could be harboring Mycobacterium avium, a pathogen linked to pulmonary disease. Using an infected shower head could be sending millions of little germs into your lungs, not to mention germs left behind by the other people using your bathing facilities.

You can help yourself daily by taking a moment to wipe down surfaces after showering.  Leave the fan on and the door open to help lower the room’s humidity.

Ok… Let’s talk walls and ceilings.  I bet you think you don’t need to clean them. WRONG!  Soaps, dirt, and skin cells you are sloughing off leave behind a microscopic film.  Once a month, go through the process of cleaning the walls and the ceiling.  Spray the counter tops, walls, and the ceiling with white vinegar, water and essential oil solution.  Crank up the water and let the steam build up for about five minutes.  Turn off the water and shut the door.  The steam and the cleaning vinegar solution will work it’s magic for about 20 minutes.  Then, wipe down the surfaces with a clean microfiber cloth.

Next up… the toilet.  Everyone is afraid of the toilet.  Start by pouring 1 cup of baking soda into the toilet bowel.  Let it sit for a few minutes; brush and flush.  If it still looks dirty or stained, use damp pumice stone.  Don’t forget that you need to clean the toilet brush too.  I usually hold it over the toilet bowl and pour bleach over the brush.  Then, I rinse it very well.  Next, spray your vinegar solution on the surfaces of the toilet.  Remember to wipe down the seat, the lid and the handle.  Many people miss cleaning these areas.  Trust me, germs are lurking!

Think of a toilet as a slow motion fireworks display the showers toilet surfaces with the germs that live in the toilet bowl… germs like E. coli and salmonella can fly into the air and land on the seat, handle and other surfaces with every flush.  Gross.  … maybe even try closing the lid when you flush.  Just saying.

We can now move to cleaning the sink.

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Sprinkle the sink with baking soda.  Pour in a little white vinegar.  I use my stainless steel scrubber to remove stuck on toothpaste and such.  Then, flush the sink with hot water.  Finally, wipe the sink and the counters down to dry them.

Just remember, the sink drain has the highest bacteria count.

The handles?  Don’t forget that you touch them after using the toilet and BEFORE washing your hands.  EWWW!  It’s important to wipe down the sink and counters daily!

Replace your towels, hand towels and wash clothes every 2-3 days.  Wash them on a sanitary cycle on your washing machine or use bleach.  Why?  Towels are often shared by many and they are designed to trap moisture… a recipe for germ stew!

Finally, mop the floor!

Moaning Myrtle will thank you!

1 thought on “Adulting 101 – Cleaning the Bathroom”

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