How to Deep Clean a Bathroom in 10 Steps

February 02, 2024
toothbrushes and a mirror in a bathroom

Your bathroom gets a lot of use. As a result, it can be one of the messiest rooms in your house. Outside of the visible grime and soap scum that build up, there’s a multitude of unseen germs that can form. This means it’s crucial to deep clean your bathroom regularly. Whether you just need to scrub the toilet or clean the whole space, these tips will help keep your house sanitized.

Step 1: Prepare your bathroom for cleaning

Before you begin cleaning, clear out anything that’s in the way, such as towels, shampoo bottles and soap dispensers. Make sure that you dust first before you reach for the sprays, specifically paying attention to the baseboards and toilet. This will help clean dirt, spots and smudges off the surface. Once you’ve done that, gather the necessary cleaning products. [1]

Best bathroom cleaning supplies

Do a bit of research, and use whatever you’re comfortable with, but the following bathroom-cleaning supplies are commonly used:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Bleach (or alternative)
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Glass cleaner

While cleaning your bathroom, it helps to focus on one section at a time. Each step covers a different part of the bathroom and can largely be done in any order.

Step 2: Scrub down the shower and bathtub

The shower/bathtub may take up the greatest amount of space in your bathroom. They can seem rather daunting to clean, especially if you haven’t given them a good scrub recently. Here’s how to approach cleaning your shower and tub: [2]

How to clean shower curtain and liner

Put your shower curtain and liner in the wash with a couple of old towels (the towels help scrub off any extra grime). When they’re done, there’s no need for the dryer. Just hang them back on their hooks to air-dry. It’s recommended to wash them at least once every 3 months. [3]

How to clean glass shower doors

If you clean your shower regularly, you really should have to deep clean your shower door just once a month. Make sure to squeegee your doors every day and wipe them down with a sponge once a week. To deep clean shower doors, mix a few drops of vinegar with baking soda to create a paste, then wipe it all over the door panel. Leave it for an hour, then wipe off with a damp cloth, rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth. [4]

How to clean the bathtub

If you use your tub regularly, it’s recommended that you clean it about once a week. To clean the tub, simply spray bathroom cleaner all over and let it sit as the product’s directions state. Then, scrub the tub from top to bottom and rinse away any residue. Clean the drain of any hair and then you’re done. [5]

How to clean the showerhead

Finish this area with the showerhead. If the showerhead isn’t too dirty, you can simply wipe it off with a soft cloth and soapy water, then rinse it clean. If the waterspouts on your showerhead have limescale buildup, you may find it easier to clean by unscrewing it from the showerhead pipe and cleaning by hand with a gentle cleanser and an old toothbrush. Some fixture finishes will suffer damage over time from common cleansers, even vinegar if exposed too long.  If you want to keep your fixtures clean and looking great, check the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning. [6]

Step 3. Get in deep with tile grout

Grime can run amok in the spaces in between your bathroom’s tiles. To keep the grout clean, scrub once a week with a mixture of ¾ cup of bleach and 1 gallon of water. Carefully apply the solution with a stiff brush and wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. After letting it sit for about 5 minutes, rinse with water. [1] If you prefer to avoid bleach, you should research alternatives to find a cleaning solution with which you’re more comfortable. [7]

Step 4: Wipe down the walls

You can easily clean your walls with an all-purpose cleaner that’s appropriate for your situation. For a deeper clean, try adding steam to the mix. To do so, after a bath or shower, while the bathroom is still steamy, spray your cleanser on any particularly dirty areas and let it set for a few minutes. Then wipe down the walls. [2]

Step 5: Brighten up the toilet bowl

Out of everything in your bathroom, the toilet might be the piece that requires the most frequent cleaning. Keep in mind that cleaning a toilet is more than just the toilet bowl; it also includes all the parts attached to it. Here’s the best way to tackle your toilet:

How to clean the toilet bowl

Pour toilet bowl cleaner all along the top of the bowl. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then scrub with a toilet brush. Flush the toilet to rinse. For stubborn stains, use baking soda instead of the toilet bowl cleaner. This whole process should take only about 15 to 20 minutes. [8]

How to clean the toilet brush

Keep your toilet brush clean by either spraying it with disinfectant or, while holding the brush over a sink or toilet, pouring bleach or an alternative disinfectant over its bristles. It’s recommended to clean the brush after every use. Make sure to let the brush air-dry before placing it back into its holder. [9]

How to clean the toilet seat

For the toilet seat, flush lever and cover, use an all-purpose cleaner with separate paper towels or wipe down with separate disinfecting wipes. To preserve the gloss on the seat, it’s recommended to use a mild hand soap and water. After, thoroughly dry each part with a different paper towel. [10]

How to clean the toilet tank

Remove the lid and take a look to see whether there’s any mineral buildup in the tank. If there is, pour 4 cups of vinegar into the tank and let this soak for up to an hour. Make sure to turn the water to your toilet off before you flush it to drain the tank. Scrub the walls with a sponge or brush while it’s empty. Then, turn the water back on and flush it multiple times to rinse. [11]

Step 6: Deep clean the sink

It may come as a surprise that the bathroom sink is home to more bacteria than any other part of the bathroom. This makes it even more important to clean it the right way. Use a bathroom cleaner or disinfecting wipes for the faucet, handles, countertop and bowl of the sink. [1] For the drain, pour some vinegar or baking soda down it, followed by hot water. [2]

Step 7: Clean the mirror, cabinets and shelves

The items that hang from your bathroom walls, such as the mirror and other shelves, also need regular cleaning. For your mirror, first wipe it down with a microfiber cloth. Then, lightly spray it with a glass cleaner or a vinegar-and-water solution. Finish by wiping it down again with a microfiber cloth. You can use paper towels or another type of cloth instead, though they may leave behind streaks. [12] Clean any additional shelves and cabinets you have with an all-purpose cleaner.

Step 8: Clean the dust out of the bathroom fan

Don’t forget to look up during your deep clean. The bathroom fan holds on to a lot of residual dust and dirt from all that goes on in the bathroom. Start by vacuuming the dust from its vents, then wipe it down with a slightly damp sponge or cloth. If the cover can be removed, soak it in soap and water, rinse it and then let it air-dry. Be careful not to get any of the fan’s electrical components wet. [2]

Step 9: Wash the bathroom towels

The towels in your home bathroom are touched by many people, so make sure you’re taking care of them properly. Bleach your towels or run them through a sanitize cycle on your washing machine. Replace used bathroom towels every few days. [2]

Step 10: Finish up the floors

As you go about your bathroom cleaning, it might help to save the bathroom floor for last to avoid tracking in fresh dirt while cleaning something else later. With floors, just spray a bathroom cleaner and wipe them down. If needed, use a bleach-and-water solution for lingering spots, then rinse with water and dry with a towel. [1]

Looking after your bathroom is a relatively small undertaking, but it can help prevent other major problems in your home, particularly water damage. In case you do end up facing this situation, it’s important to know whether your homeowners insurance covers water damage.

Bathroom cleaning FAQs

Where do I start when cleaning my bathroom?

The best advice on cleaning the bathroom is to clean it like any other room, from top to bottom. Clean the counters before the floors, so that any residual dirt or dust that falls onto the floor while cleaning the counters gets cleaned up when you tackle the floors. [1]

Is it better to clean the bathroom before or after showering?

Showering before or after cleaning the bathroom is completely up to you. However, it could make sense to shower after cleaning because you could have gotten a little grimy after scrubbing the bathroom from top to bottom. [13]

How long should it take to clean a bathroom?

Typically, it takes anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes to get your bathroom shiny and clean. This can include cleaning and disinfecting toilets, showers, bathtubs and more. [14]

How often should you clean your bathroom?

It’s recommended to clean your bathroom about once a week. Cleaning any more frequently than that might be considered overkill. However, if someone in your household is sick, it can be disinfected more frequently. [15]

What does deep cleaning in a bathroom include?

Deep cleaning the bathroom involves clearing everything out, dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing with bathroom cleaners and mopping the floors. [16]

What best removes dirt and grime from a bathroom?

A sponge and a box of baking soda are a great combo to tackle dirt and grime in your bathroom. First, soak the sponge in warm water, sprinkle baking soda on top and get scrubbing. [17]

What should you not do when cleaning a bathroom?

There are a few mistakes you can make when cleaning the bathroom. For example, cleaning the surfaces out of order, mixing cleaning products can be hazardous, skipping the showerhead, using dirty cleaning tools and forgetting to dust first. [18]


[1] “A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning the Bathroom, and Everything in It,” Shifrah Combiths, (Nov. 3, 2022).

[2] “How to Deep Clean Your Bathroom in 10 Steps,” Nicole Sforza and Lisa Milbrand, (March 2, 2023).

[3] “How to Clean Your Shower Curtain and Liner the Right Way,” Blythe Copeland and Madeline Buiano, (June 12, 2023).

[4] “How to Clean Glass Shower Doors for a Bathroom That Sparkles,” Berit Thorkleson and Caitlin Sole, (Feb. 23, 2023).

[5] “How to Clean a Bathtub,” Sarah Aguirre, (May 24, 2022).

[6] “How to Clean a Showerhead Using Basic Pantry Ingredients,” Caitlin Sole, (Feb. 7, 2023).

[7] “Natural Alternatives to Bleach for Disinfecting,” Bethany Wieman, (June 24, 2013).

[8] “How to Clean a Toilet the Right Way,” James Austin, (June 15, 2023).

[9] “How to Clean a Toilet Brush and Holder,” Mary Marlowe Leverette, (Dec. 4, 2022).

[10] “Who Knew That Cleaning Your Toilet Seat Was So Easy!” (accessed June 16, 2023).

[11] “How to Clean a Toilet,” (accessed June 16, 2023).

[12] “The Best Way To Clean Your Bathroom Mirrors,” (Aug. 20, 2022).

[13] “Should I shower before or after cleaning the house?” (Oct. 25, 2022).

[14] “How Long Does It Take to Clean a House?” (Oct. 22, 2020).

[15] “Here’s How Often You Really Need to Clean Your Bathroom,” Amy Marturana Winderl, (Nov. 24, 2022).

[16] “How to Give Your Bathroom a Deep Clean (It Could Probably Use One), Camryn Rabideau, (March 6, 2023).

[17] “The Best Product to Remove Dirt From Shower Tiles,” Lee Carroll, (July 27, 2015).

[18] “15 Mistakes To Avoid When Cleaning Your Bathroom,” Melissa Locker, (May 19, 2023).


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