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How to Clean 5 Things in Your Bathroom You Didn't Know You Had To

BY: Aimee Algas Alker | Apr 9, 2018

We let you know about the things you must clean in your kitchen—and no, the dishwasher doesn't clean itself. Now we're moving on to the bathroom, where we're going beyond the obvious (toilet and sink) to the items you must attend to in order for the bathroom to be really clean.

This is part of a series. We've already covered the kitchen. Stay tuned for how to clean things you didn't know you had to—in the bedroom, the laundry room, and the rest of the home.

Shower Head

Why you should clean it: Mineral deposits can clog the little holes; if water isn't coming out of all of the openings, it's time to clean the shower head.

How to do it:

  1. Use a sponge or old toothbrush to clean loose deposits

  2. Fill a plastic bag with a 1:1 solution of vinegar and warm water

  3. Put the showerhead in the bag, so the holes are submerged, and fasten it with a rubber band or twist tie

  4. Leave it to soak for 20 minutes or more

  5. Flush the debris away by running the shower on very hot water

  6. Use a toothbrush or paperclip to remove any lingering deposits

Bonus points: If your shower head is removable, do it; you'll get a deeper clean

How often: Every 6 months, or whenever you notice a change in water pressure

Bath Toys

Why you should clean them: One word: mold. Mold can build up inside and outside the toys, creating a toxic swill. But to clean bath toys can be difficult—but it's not as hard as it seems

How to do it: First, as far as a cleaning solution goes, you have two options: Bleach is super-effective, but if not rinsed away thoroughly, harmful to little bodies; experts say white vinegar can be just as effective and much safer—at most, it will not taste great when squirted into little mouths. Either way, a solution of 1/2 to 1 cup of bleach or vinegar in a gallon of water should suffice.

  1. Squeeze any remaining water out of the toy and allow it to dry.

  2. Soak the toy in the solution for at least an hour; overnight is best. Be sure to squeeze the solution into the toy and swish it around to be sure it gets all over the inside.

  3. Scrub the outside of the toy with a toothbrush soaked in your solution

  4. Rinse the toy thoroughly (until you no longer smell bleach when you squeeze water out of it), and allow to dry completely, preferably in the sun.

Bonus points: To prevent the need to clean the inside again, when the toy is dry, seal the hole with a glue gun or super glue.

How often: Once a week

Toothbrush Holder

Why you should clean it: Some say it's one of the germiest spots in the house, mostly because it's in the bathroom, but also because people don't often consider cleaning it. It's a hotbed for mold and germs.

How to do it:

  1. Rinse it with hot water

  2. Use an old toothbrush or pipe cleaner to scrub it inside and out

  3. Soak it in antibacterial mouthwash or a 1:1 vinegar-water solution for at least 5 minutes

  4. Rinse, scrub, and rinse it again

  5. Let it dry thoroughly before putting your toothbrushes back in it

Bonus points: You can also run it through the dishwasher or use toothpaste to scrub it.

How often: Once a month

Shower curtain

Why you should clean it: Mildew and soap scum buildup cause discoloration and general grossness; a clean shower curtain is much more welcoming to overnight guests.

How to do it: You've two got options. You can simply wipe it down by hand, with a damp cloth sprinkled with baking soda. Alternately, you can use your washing machine, even if the curtain's made of plastic or vinyl.

  1. Set the machine on warm.

  2. Fortify your regular dose of laundry detergent with baking soda or bleach.

  3. Run the machine as usual.

  4. If you can, add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle,
  5. Drip dry or put in dryer on the lowest heat setting.

Bonus points: Adding a couple of bath towels to the load keeps the curtain from wrinkling.

How often: Ideally, once a month to every 3 months

Faucet

Why you should clean it: Hard water deposits can affect your water pressure and dull the shine of your fixture.

How to do it:

  1. First, check what material your faucet is made of; some cleaning solutions aren't meant for iron or nickel, for example.

  2. Make your solution: either a blend of water and calcium remover (for which you should use gloves) or undiluted white vinegar

  3. Pour this solution into a baggie and wrap it around the faucet, tying it up with a twist tie or rubber band

  4. Let the faucet soak for anywhere from 1 to 24 hours (the calcium remover will work more quickly)

  5. Scrub off loosened buildup inside and outside the faucet with a toothbrush

  6. Rinse and dry

Bonus points: Using a microfiber towel to dry your faucet will give it extra shine.

How often: Every 3–6 months


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