My working past is rich in cleaning experience. None of it until the past few years was without toxic chemicals, but I did learn some fun techniques that still make things easier.
The bathroom is my least-deplored room in the house to clean, maybe because I don’t have to vacuum it. But when our family switched over to the more natural bar soap rather than liquid body wash, soap scum made the chore a little more difficult. A few weeks ago, I remembered a trick from my housekeeping days that has cut my cleaning time by at least half. Here’s what I do.
First of all, as with the rest of the house, I no longer carry a ridged cleaning schedule. I dust after it has accumulated and is visible. I sweep when stuff sticks to my feet. I vacuum when I feel the carpet needs vacuuming. The bathroom gets cleaned once grime has been visible for a week or so. Less cleaning is not only easier and uses less energy and materials, but it also creates a ripple effect of less stress.
The less I clean, the less I worry about how things look. The windows don’t have to be perfect, so when the baby smears them up, I smile instead of worrying about when to fix my perfect windows. When my husband drops some salsa on the kitchen floor, it doesn’t bother me, because it didn’t mess up my just-mopped floor. After a couple years of working on this, my stress level regarding cleaning has plummeted.
Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll get back to the bathroom. I grab my supplies:
- A bottle of all-purpose cleaning solution made of 50/50 water and vinegar with a few drops of tea tree oil
- A shaker bottle with baking soda
- Toilet brush
- An old wash cloth
- Norwex polishing cloth
- My old student ID (any old card will work)
First off, the sink. Wet the rag. Wipe the splatter off the mirror and wipe dry with a Norwex polishing cloth, which I just keep on the towel rack for impromptu mirror cleaning. Spray the counter and sink, shake a little baking soda in the sink if there is soap scum, and wipe it all down with the rag.
Move to the toilet, spray it all down, including inside the bowl, give the bowl a quick scrub with the toilet brush, and wipe the rest of the toilet down.
Now the tub/shower. This is the part that would take so long with the ring around the tub and the other scummy problem spots. But now it takes about five minutes, tops. Spray it down from top to bottom and shake baking soda in the bottom of the tub and on any surface that has soap scum. Wipe off the walls, faucet, all the easy stuff. Now you’re left with the scummy part.
Take your old card and scrape anywhere there is soap scum. It doesn’t take a lot of elbow grease. Just enough to cause a bend in the card when holding it on a narrow end. The soap
scum will turn into dark gummy pieces, just leave them there and keep going all around the tub. Wipe/scrub the bottom of the tub. Then close the drain, run the water for about five seconds and turn it off. Use that water to splash up the sides and rinse/wipe everything clean. Open the drain and wipe the bottom along with the water as it drains.
You are now left with a sparkling bathroom after about seven minutes of easy work, no toxins, and no waste. Enjoy!