How to Deep Clean your Old Bathroom

How often have you asked yourself how you can deep clean your old bathroom to achieve a fresh, clean and luxurious looking bathroom?  We want a bathroom that looks like a showroom bathroom oozing freshness and luxury all the time.  However, we often do not know how to give the bathroom a deep clean to achieve that feeling of luxury.  Therefore, we never attempt to do anything about it either.  Just because a bathroom is old and tired looking does not mean that we cannot give it a fresh and luxurious feel.  We all have the ability to turn our bathrooms into spaces that are fresh, clean and have a luxurious feeling. 

The Secret …

We have lived-in bathrooms that are a jungle of mess instead of a bathroom from a celebrity home.  The secret to a luxury looking bathroom is minimalism.  Scroll through any Pinterest or Instagram image and what will you find?  A fresh looking bathroom with very little on display!  So how do you give your bathroom a deep clean for a luxurious feel in day? You do so by using a cleaning and decluttering checklist to manage how you will carry out the deep clean.  By following a cleaning checklist, you are effectively saving yourself time, allocating the tasks accordingly and doing the deep clean and declutter one bit at a time. Therefore you will be saving yourself from the stress and anxiety that often comes with house cleaning. 

How to deep clean your old bathroom – Before you start

The first thing you need to do is to download a checklist on how to deep clean your old bathroom. The checklist will enable you to carry out the clean section by section, so that you are not overwhelmed during the process.

Numerous checklists already exist on the internet.  You can either download one from this site, or search for another one online.

Download the Deep Clean Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

Label, Itemise & Box Away

With bathrooms and toilets, you will rarely have anything that you can store or donate unless it is a brand new, unused item.  In either case, make sure you have three declutter piles: what you are keeping (storing), what you will be throwing away and what you are donating to charity.  Keep boxes or bags next to you as you declutter.  

Once you have done the declutter, revisit the piles to see if they are appropriate and then put some back, throw some and box the rest with a label and date. The boxed items can either be donated or stored for immediate future use.

Remember to Take a break

It is important to take small breaks when you start to declutter and deep clean.  Even if you have a small bathroom, take a few minutes break.  You want to do a deep clean of the bathroom. However, if you end up spending hours without taking a break, you will end up exhausted and not finishing the job to your high expectations.

What You Will Need

The checklist contains a list of items that you should keep ready before you start to deep clean the bathroom. This will save you from rummaging around once you have started cleaning.

Do not worry if your cleaning products are not environmentally friendly. Use up the ones that you have and purchase eco products for next time.  It is better to use up the current stock than to throw them away. 

AMAZON has an extensive list of environmentally friendly products that you can purchase when you deep clean your old bathroom in the future.

The Starting point: 

How to deep clean your old bathroom

Spend a full day cleaning your bathroom and toilet.  If you have more than one, then spend 2 days doing so. 

Do not start with decluttering straight away. I have a bottom up rule.  Start from the bottom and work your way up.  Start by sweeping/vacuuming the floor.  Loosen and sweep away the dirt that is lingering on the skirting boards. 

Then fill a bucket less than a quarter with warm to hot water (not scalding) and washing up liquid.  Using an old clean rag gently wipe skirting boards, doors, cabinets and any other frames you have in the bathroom and toilet.

Once you are done, empty the bucket and fill with clean fresh warm water – no soap, just water.  Wipe across the same areas again with another clean rag to remove any soap residue. 

I suffer from dust and hay fever allergies.  Therefore, I use the bottom up rule whenever I decide to declutter my home.   If the dust is disturbed, I cannot continue with cleaning and I end up with flu like symptoms for the rest of the day.  Therefore, clear away all the dust before getting started.  

Toilet

Walls near the toilets are the worst to clean especially if you have boys!  You do not realise how much they splash when they are peeing.  This will take you the longest to clean therefore spray the area with a disinfectant of your choice before you do the first wipe. In addition, spray the inside of your toilet with a good toilet bowl cleaner.  Leave the bowl to disinfect for at least an hour before you scrub and flush. 

If you have dirt on the inside of the toilet, soak some toilet paper in vinegar and bicarbonate soda and place it against the stains in the toilet bowl.  Do this once you have cleaned with the cleaner and flushed the toilet. Make sure the bowl is completely dry so that the vinegar does not lose its acidity when it is doing its work.  Leave the toilet paper for as long as you can, a couple of hours if possible.  After that, wet the toilet paper with a bit of water and wipe it away, taking all the grime with it.

Declutter the cabinet drawers and counter tops

Back to the bathroom area. Once you have cleaned the skirting boards and doors, move on to decluttering and cleaning the inside of the cabinets.  Remove everything from your cabinets. You can either empty one cabinet at a time to save yourself from being overwhelmed, or use the KonMari method of decluttering category by category.  alternatively, try Mrs Hinch, the little book of lists to get you started on listing and decluttering.  

Bathrooms have several items that can easily be recycled.  Therefore, make sure you keep your recycling bin next to you.  Items that should go in this will depend on the services in your area.  As a general rule, plastics that have a recycling symbol and the numbers 1 to 6 can be recycled.  For example, empty shampoo, conditioner, shower gel bottles are all recyclable.  Other products such as paper and cardboard based products like toothpaste and soap packaging is recyclable. 

After decluttering, give the cabinets a good wipe with warm soapy water (and then just plain water as you did for the skirting boards).  Once this is done.  Allow the surfaces to dry.  Then start to put back items that you will use.  Anything else should go.  Put them back in categories so that you know how much of each item you have.  For example, put all shampoos together, all conditioners together etc.

Repeat the same steps for anything that is on the counter tops.  Keep as little as possible on the counter tops to give the bathroom a clean finish.

Download the Deep Clean Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

Bathroom Sinks

Start with the sinks, because they are quicker to clean. Spray the surfaces with a disinfectant bathroom spray.  Leave them for a few minutes.  Then wipe the surfaces with warm water. Always use a clean rag to wipe away the dirt. 

Keep an old toothbrush aside because it can be used to scrub the grime from the corners of hard to reach areas such as the corners of taps.  Use the toothbrush to clean away the dirt, mould or lime scale you may have building around it.  I have heard that using vinegar and bicarbonate soda to scrub the taps will remove lime scale and mould easily.

Once the sinks are clean, put back what you need, and once again, throw away excess products that you will not use.

Time to clean the bathtub

Most bathtub areas will be tiled and have a shower installed above it.  The best way to get started with cleaning it is to switch the shower on and spray the tiles for a few seconds. You do not want to fully wet the tiles, just a bit to make it easier for you to scrub the tiles.  Once wet, spray it with a good cleaner and leave it for a few minutes.  Then use a small brush to gently scrub the tiles, especially where there is mould.  Be very careful if you step in the tub, as you do not want to slip while cleaning. 

Once you have given the tiles a good scrub, use the toothbrush again to clean around the shower pipes, taps and fixtures.  Then shower the tiles to give them a good wash.  Be sure to be out of the tub when you are doing so. 

The bathtub is now ready for a clean.  Spray it again with a bathroom cleaner.  Once again, leave it for a few minutes and then go through the same steps as you did to clean the tiles; spray, scrub, shower.

While you wait for the bathtub to dry, sort through your products and only put back what you use.  Recycle your empty bottles and discard unwanted ones. 

Tip – switch your plastic shower exfoliate for an environmentally friendly one such as a loofa.  It is more eco-friendly and can be washed by hand. Like all products, loofas can harbour germs so remember to keep it clean and dry after each use. Sterilise it frequently in hot water with an antibacterial soap such as Fairy liquid to keep it clean.

Shower cubicles

Shower cubicles should be cleaned in the same manner – spray, scrub and shower.

The finishing touches …

How to deep clean your old bathroom in one day

Once you have cleaned/washed all areas and placed the items back, you are ready to finish putting the final touches to complete your 1 Day Deep Clean & Declutter Plan for a Fresh Bathroom. 

  1. Polish the mirrors and windows with a good glass cleaner. 
  2. Vacuum the floor one more time.
  3. Mop the entire floor space using with warm water and a disinfectant or an essential oil such as tea tree oil.
  4. Place fresh towels.
  5. If you have a small plant, put that in your bathroom to bring nature into your fresh bathroom.
  6. Place one scented candle, no more than that to make the space look luxurious.

Finally

If you feel inspired to achieve more in your bathroom, give it a fresh paint job, change the blinds and shower curtains. This is will be the ultimate way of giving your old bathroom a deep clean and an uplift that will make it look and feel ultra luxurious.

Download the Deep Clean Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

One last point! To help the environment and keep your bathroom clean and minimal:

  • Reduce what you buy. Only pick up items when you are running out.
  • Recycle and discard unwanted items straightaway.
  • Look for cleaning alternatives that are eco-friendly, such as cleaning loofas, bathroom cleaners.

Better homes and garden have written a good article on how to clean bathroom floor, which is worth looking into.

3 comments

  1. Taylor

    Very thorough post! I love that you included taking a break. Deep cleaning anything can be exhausting and it’s hard to stay motivated to continue if you don’t let yourself have a break! Nice post 🙂

  2. Robyn Jones

    I love these tips! I would have never thought to use an essential oil to mop the bathroom floors with. I also like the idea of placing a plant in the bathroom. Would flowers work?

    1. rva43

      Some flowering plants are great for the bathroom, you can try placing a plant such as peace lily or an orchid. They like brightness but not too much sunlight.

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