When I was in first grade, my closest friends were twins. I don’t remember their last name but I remember Saturday mornings at their house. They had to do chores before we could play. The girls, including me if I was there, were charged with cleaning the bathroom.
We used a washcloth and bare hands to scrub the toilets inside and out. I thought it was cool because my mom never let me clean. I was seven—the same age Pea is now. She’d mutiny if I told her to stick her hands in the toilet. I wouldn’t blame her.
Thinking about the way we swished our washcloths in the dirty toilet bowls makes me cringe.
I’m all for letting my kids take on more age appropriate chores. But….do you know how many bacteria are in one little gram of poop? BILLIONS!
I no longer classify myself as a “horrible housewife” but I am far from a clean freak. I’m a “much improved but a long way to go” kind of homemaker. The linen closet I organized last year is still organized. The mountain of clothes waiting to be folded in the living room is more of a mole hill these days thanks to the kids’ DIY shirt folders. I’m a work in progress.
Then we get to “spring cleaning” the bathroom…
Using a bucket and mop suddenly seems disgusting. Yes, the mop and the water are clean. But you swab the dirty floor and rinse the mop in the same bucket over and over. The clear water turns muddy and gets sloshed back onto the floor?! Do good homemakers change out the water in the middle of mopping a bathroom so it’s always clean? I’m going to have to ask my sister about that. She’s one of those people.
Anyway I put away the mop and bucket.
I turned to my Swiffer, an old towel, a spray bottle, bleach, a plastic grocery bag, and water.
(For inside the toilet, I used a toilet brush and wore gloves because germs are gross and it’s not the 80s anymore. Nothing works better than my Blue Magic DIY solution on tubs and in showers. For the counters, I use my homemade reusable cleaning wipes.)
I turn on the exhaust fan or open the bathroom windows for proper ventilation.
Then I mix bleach and warm water in the spray bottle. I used a 1:1 ratio for the deep cleaning. I use 1 part bleach to 3 parts water for normal daily cleaning.
I cut the old towel into pieces that will fit the Swiffer (11×11 works well if you are the measuring type.) I used several during the course of cleaning the bathrooms.
I hang the plastic bag on the doorknob so I can get to it easily.
First I spray the walls and baseboards with the bleach solution. (If your walls are painted in flat paint, then this won’t work because flat paint is the devil. It is also incompatible with children.) I wipe the walls down with old towel pieces or a cleaning rag. Then I toss the used rag in the grocery bag.
Next I heavily saturate the toilet with the bleach. I let the solution sit for a few minutes.
I wipe it down with a rag and toss the rag in the plastic bag.
After that, I spray the floor. I make sure to get the areas behind and around the toilet completely wet and let it sit for a few.
I attach one of the cut towel pieces to the Swiffer and mop up the water. Once the towel piece is soaked, I pull it off and toss it into the plastic bag with the other soiled cloths. I grab a clean dry Swiffer sized rag and repeat.
Since I am using a fresh rag, I am not sloshing around dirty water. Once done, I simply bring the dirty rag bag to the washing machine and dump them all in. It’s super easy. No emptying the mop bucket into my freshly cleaned toilet because there is no bucket.
I often use vodka, vinegar, and essential oils in DIY cleaning solutions. I mop the kitchen with the homemade solution. However for deep cleaning the bathroom I prefer to use bleach because I know it works.
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After I know it’s clean, I let the kids go in and do the finishing touches. They restock the toilet paper holder with Charmin and can even reach the shelf above the toilet now. (Side note: getting rid of the toilet paper roll thing on the wall was the best decision ever. No more complaining about empty rolls because it is easy for anyone to change. The kids don’t have to stand up to reach the toilet paper on the far wall anymore and it looks better. This toilet paper holder makes my life easier!)
We love Charmin. My son hates having to go to the bathroom when we aren’t home because public restrooms never have it. We’d like to thank Charmin for sponsoring this post. All opinions are our own. P&G’s Charmin is a brand that our entire family stands behind because Charmin Ultra Soft is the softer and more absorbent way, to get clean. Thanks to our sponsor, we get to give you this coupon! (Click on the picture.)
The kids also help in the bathroom by using our homemade wet wipes to wipe down the counters, neatly lining up their toothpaste, mouthwash, and toothbrushes. They also bring the soiled towels and bath mats into the laundry room. They both like helping with the “mopping” so instead of bleach solution, I let them use our all purpose cleaning spray to clean up messes.
But for now, germ killing is this mom’s job.
What weird cleaning rituals do you have?
For more on cleaning in the bathroom: