Disgusting Bathroom Cleaning Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making

There are so many germs in the bathroom, so it’s important to keep yours clean for the health and safety of you and your family. Unfortunately, people often make some pretty gross cleaning mistakes when it comes to this particular room in the house.

Are you guilty of any of these bathroom cleaning oversights?

1. Not washing your shower curtain liner

Make sure the liner is free of mildew. | iStock/Getty Images

When cleaning your shower, it’s easy to forget about the curtain liner. And most people think that when it does start to build up a residue, that the best solution is to just throw it out. Instead, toss it in the laundry machine with some old towels and a bit of bleach. Use hot water and use a delicate cycle. To keep your liner fresher for longer, Good Housekeeping suggests pulling the curtain closed after you shower because the liner is more likely to attract mold and mildew when you leave it bunched up.   

Next: Don’t make this toilet cleaning mistake

2. Only cleaning part of the toilet

Toilet brush
Don’t forget to clean the outside, too. | AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images

Everyone knows how important it is to keep the toilet clean — it’s one of the dirtiest places in the home, but, surprisingly, a lot of people fail to clean the entire toilet. Cleaning inside the toilet bowl is important, but don’t forget about the exterior as well, including the tank and all along the base. Additionally, don’t forget to regularly disinfect the handle.

Next: Avoid this wasteful cleaning product

3. Using paper towels

Man cleaning tile wall
Microfiber towels are better than paper towels for cleaning. | Di_photo/iStock/Getty Images

Not only are paper towels wasteful, but they’re not incredibly effective to clean with in the bathroom. Instead, try using a microfiber cloth. Before wiping down the surfaces of your bathroom with a disinfectant, it’s important to dust things off first. Microfiber cloths create a static charge that attracts dirt and dust — perfect for an initial bathroom wipe-down. After a few uses, give them a good wash and continue to reuse them.

Next: Something everyone’s guilty of

4. Holding onto bathroom accessories for too long

Bathroom sink
Put the toothbrush holder in a dishwasher every once and a while. | iStock/Getty Images

Certain bathroom items you can clean and keep for years and years. For instance, things like toothbrush holders and small shower racks can go through the dishwasher. But things like loofahs and kids’ bath toys should be replaced over time.

Next: This is easy to do when you’re in a hurry.

5. Just mopping the floors

Cleaning floor in room
Vacuum or sweep first before you mop. | Serezniy/iStock/Getty Images

If you want sparkling, absolutely clean bathroom floors, you need to do more than just mop. Prior to mopping, go over you floors with either a vacuum or broom to collect most of the dirt, dust, and hair. In the long run, it’ll save you time and keep you from needing to scrub the floors extra thoroughly.

Next: Cut down mildew and mold by avoiding this mistake.

6. Not using your exhaust fan

Wall electric extractor fan for bathroom. Closeup
Exhaust fans cut down on mildew in the bathroom. | Zoka74/iStock/Getty Images

Exhaust fans help to cut down on mildew and mold growth in your bathroom, but they’re often not used enough for this purpose. Good Housekeeping suggests turning on your fan prior to getting in your shower and leaving it running for 15 to 20 minutes after getting out — this will help to cut down on moisture. If you don’t have a fan, leave a window wide open.

Next: Keep your hair clean with this tip.

7. Never cleaning your hairbrush

Hairbrushes can make your hair dirtier if you don’t clean them. | iStock/Getty Images

Uncleaned hairbrushes trap unwanted dust, dirt, oils, and old hair product. When you think about it, every time you use your brush, you’re putting all of that back into your hair.

To keep your hair clean, make sure to clean your brushes regularly. RD suggests mixing a solution of one cup of water, one teaspoon of shampoo, and one teaspoon baking soda to work into the bristles and base of your brush.

Next: A lot of people don’t know this is necessary.

8. Not cleaning your toothbrush

toothbrush, toothpaste
Cleaning your toothbrush will save you from some gross bacteria. | iStock/Getty Images

“A recent study from the University of Manchester found that the average toothbrush contained about 10 million germs, including E. coli,” reports RD. To make sure your toothbrush is clean, thoroughly rinse it after each use and periodically soak it in a cup of vinegar for about 30 minutes to remove any bacteria. They also advise getting a new toothbrush every three months.

Next: Let cleaning products do their job.

9. Using your cleaning products too quickly

Plastic bucket with cleaning supplies on wood background
Make sure you’re giving things enough time to kill the bacteria. | Logoff/iStock/Getty Images

It’s not uncommon to spray your bathroom surfaces with a cleaning solution and then immediately wipe everything down. However, if you immediately wipe everything away, you’re not giving your cleaning products enough time to do their job.

To make sure they dissolve all the bacteria and germs they can, follow the directions of the back of the cleaning product exactly — they’ll tell you how long to let your product sit for.  

Next: Martha Stewart says to never forget this when cleaning the bathroom.

10. Not using a squeegee

Shower cleaning with squeegee
Well, if Martha says so… | KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

Martha Stewart is a big squeegee advocate. She advises wiping down the walls of your shower with a squeegee after every use, not just on cleaning days. This way, you’re proactive about keeping mold and mildew out of the cracks of your shower tile walls.

Next: You need more than one.

11. Only using one product to clean your whole bathroom

Don’t use the same products for everything. | iStock/Getty Images

It’s easier to just wipe everything down with one disinfecting wipe, but it’s not as thorough. Each area of the bathroom typically requires specific cleaners to do specific jobs. “Use your favorite tub-and-tile spray cleaner on the shower tiles, sink basin, and tub, but save the spray glass cleaner for mirrors,” advises Good Housekeeping.   

Next: The idea is to not work too hard.

12. Scrubbing too hard

glove cleaning the bathroom tiles
Cleaning the bathroom tiles should only take so much elbow grease. | S_white/iStock/Getty Images

Chances are, if you have to scrub at an area in your bathroom really hard, you’re using the wrong cleaning product. Whether it’s the tool you’re using (like a sponge) or your cleaner of choice, you shouldn’t have to work that hard, especially if your bathroom gets cleaned on a regular basis.

Try a different combination of cleaning tools and products to see what works best for you. The goal is to clean smarter, not harder.

Next: A pretty gross cleaning blunder

13. Cleaning without gloves

Assortment of cleaning supplies
Make sure to use gloves. | Jevtic/iStock/Getty Images

A lot of people go ahead and tackle the bathroom sans gloves, but Chelsea Day of Momtastic couldn’t disagree more. “The germ exposure — and seriously gross illnesses you may catch as a result — are not worth it,” she says. “Always wear gloves, no matter what.”

Next: A breeding ground for bacteria

14. Not letting the toilet brush dry out all the way

Toilet brush cleaning
Make sure your brush dries all the way before replacing it. | Ratmaner/iStock/Getty Images

After cleaning your toilet bowl, don’t just place the wet toilet brush right back into its holder if you want to avoid a breeding ground for bacteria. Instead, simply lay it across the bowl to dry completely before putting it back. If you feel your toilet brush itself needs a good cleaning, soak it in an antibacterial cleaner, rinse, and wipe dry.

Next: Nobody does this as often as they should

15. Skipping the pipes

Baking soda vinegar cleaning
Make sure the pipes don’t get blocked. | Eskaylim/iStock/Getty Images

Martha Stewart advises cleaning your bathroom pipes every month or two. It’s important to clean them to prevent grease, oil, and hair buildup. To do this, pour a ½ cub baking soda down the drain, followed by a ½ cup of white vinegar. Let the foamy mixture settle for a few minutes while it dissolves the fatty acids, then pour boiling water down the drain.

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