Bathroom cleaning is very few people's favorite household chore. As far as housework goes, I don't mind it in particular, but I don't love it, and I certainly don't do it often enough. For the purposes of today's project, I'm tackling just our master bathroom, which is "my" bathroom. We also have a guest bathroom upstairs (Mark's bathroom), a half bath on the main floor, and a full bath downstairs. I'm not doing those because Mark does his own, the main floor one was just cleaned, and the one downstairs never gets used. Mine, however, is a nightmare.
America's Housekeeping Book provides the following instruction for weekly bathroom cleaning:
One day each week additional care should be given the bathroom.
1. Rug should be cleaned and bathmat changed.
2. Duck shower curtain should be hung out in the sun if weather permits. (Clean curtain should be put up when needed).
3. Walls should be wiped down with clean cloth or wall brush, washed when necessary.
4. Light fixtures, bulbs and globes should be dusted every week, washed when necessary.
5. Medicine cabinet (page 104) should be dusted and straightened, washed when necessary.
6. Mirror should be dusted, washed when necessary.
7. Windows should be dusted inside, washed on both sides when necessary.
8. Curtains should be laundered when necessary.
9. Toilet bowl should have a special cleanser used each week.
10. Clothes hamper should be emptied, dried and aired each week, scrubbed and sunned occasionally when weather permits.
11. Floor should be washed twice weekly, Tuesdays and Fridays, oftener if needed.
These instructions are on top of what the book advises be done in the bathroom every day:
1. Open windows top and bottom for free circulation of air.
2. Pick up and replace small articles belonging in bathroom.
3. Gather up and take out soiled linen (to hamper, if dry) and articles belonging in other rooms. Collect trash in waste basket. Roll up bath mat or rug.
4. Wipe mirror.
5. Wipe tile behind washbowl and tub.
6. Clean bathtub and metal fixtures (be sure to wipe shower fixture, and clean soap holder).
7. Clean towel bowl with brush. Wipe outside of bowl and closet with cloth used for that purpose only.
8. Clean washbowl (be sure to wipe base as well as top; also clean soap holder).
9. Straighten towels and washcloths. Put out clean linen when needed (fresh linen for all on Wednesdays and Saturdays).
10. Sweep floor. Gather up dust in pain.
11. Replace bath mat or rug. Close windows in cold or damp weather.
It goes without saying, I'd imagine, that I don't do a single thing on that daily list every day. So I'll consider the whole thing part of my deep cleaning.
Martha's list is, again, more concise but not all that different. She recommends:
*Clean toilets, bathtubs, showers, and sinks.
*Change and launder bath mats, towels, and washcloths
*Dust light fixtures
*Empty trash bins and wipe the insides and outsides
*Vacuum and mop floors
When I began, my bathroom and I looked like this. (My apron is a homemade gift, by the way.)
Some parts weren't so bad:
Some were a bit worse:
And some were far, far worse:
This ledge thing on my shower is the bane of my existence. It isn't down-sloped, so it doesn't drain. Water builds up on it when I shower, and then it molds. I wipe it down all the time, but it's always nasty.
After I opened the window, I began by putting Mrs. Meyer's toilet cleaner in the toilet. Then I took the shower curtain and shower curtain liner down, threw the liner out (I have a new one to replace it with), and put the "duck" curtain in the washer. I then removed everything from the shower and took a look at what I had to work with.
Ew. There is, as far as I can figure, no really great way to clean a shower. At least not without getting wet. But I do the best I can. After I removed the curtains and all the bottles and stuff, I filled a bucket with hot water and Mrs. Meyer's All-Purpose cleaner. I then scrubbed every inch of the shower--tile, fixtures, and tub--with a scrub brush and the hot water and Mrs. Meyer's. It was nasty. I sweated. But it more or less worked--there are some spots of in-grout discoloration that didn't come up, but it's far better than it was. Once it was all cleaned and rinsed, I dried it all out. No need to start re-growing the mold already.
Once the shower and tub were done, I started at the top. I dusted the light fixture, window sill, door frame, and everywhere else dust collects. I washed the window, medicine cabinet, and mirror. Then I cleaned the inside and outside of the toilet. Then I removed everything from the counter and scrubbed it and the sink down, then replaced the things that needed to be there and threw away the ones that didn't.
When everything was clean, I did something I don't think I've ever done before. I swept the floor, then I got down on my hands and knees, feeling very much like Cinderella, and scrubbed the floor with a scrub brush. I even did the edges and floor boards with a toothbrush. Then I dried them.
After everything was done, I took the dirty towels and bath mats down to the laundry, emptied the garbage, and was finished. The whole process took about 45 minutes.
The results looked like this:
Look at that floor!
As I was cleaning, I realized something. There are two rooms in this house that are "mine," used almost exclusively by me--this bathroom, and my office/dressing room/closet. And they are the two dirtiest, messiest, most cluttered, least looked after rooms in this house. As first, I thought this was just because those rooms aren't seen or used by guests, but there's more to it than that. Mark has two rooms, too--a bathroom and an office. They're nice and tidy and well-kept. I've been on the feminist train long enough not to think that is a coincidence. The truth is, I don't put my energy into rooms that are meant for me. They come last, after rooms that are public, and also after rooms that Mark uses as well. I don't clean Mark's rooms, but he doesn't feel any qualms about keeping them nice for himself, and I clearly do.
It's a revolution up in here, y'all.