A Deeper Clean: You’re Missing These Spots in Your Bathroom

People love to tell me housekeeping horror stories since they usually both disgust and delight me. The worst of what I’ve heard all center on the bathroom. Some highlights:

A shower shared by several college-age athletes that was so completely clogged the only water that drained out of it had to go through the overflow drain at the top of the bathtub. Each time one of the housemates went in to take a shower (for a year!), he stepped into 15 inches of fetid standing water.

Another friend, according to his wife, had a bachelor pad bathroom so fifthly it grew a hardy crop of mushrooms.

And finally, another friend living in rural northern California shared her shower for a stretch with a family of frogs.

Most bathrooms I enter don’t have swamp water or fungi or frogs, but most have two areas that aren’t cleaned well–even homes and businesses that are cleaned professionally.

Toilets. Don’t worry, this won’t get graphic. It’s just a gentle reminder that the toilet is more than the seat and the bowl. Most people do well on those fronts. What they miss is everything below and behind the toilet seat. It’s no one’s favorite job, but the loo needs a full scrub from tank to handle to base. Take a rag and your favorite bathroom cleaner and scrub down the whole thing–all the way down to the bolts that hold it down to the floor. Rinse the rag with clear water and keep washing down the toilet and rinsing the rag until all the soap and ick are washed away. Then throw that rag into the washing machine with hot water and bleach.

Floors, baseboards and walls. These need attention in nearly every bathroom I go into. And no, I’m not judging, just noticing. Bathroom floors need to be swept often and mopped or scrubbed weekly. Get into the corners where the hair and lint collect. You also need to wash down the baseboards in the room and check the wall behind where the handtowel hangs. This areas often gets grungy. Also take a look at the door, door handle, and light switches for smudges and fingerprints. A quick wipe down with a rag and some diluted dish soap will usually do the trick.

Now onto something else, like sending me your best housekeeping horror stories.