How to clean a bathroom
Germs in the bathroom
There are a number of frequently touched surfaces in the bathroom that can be contaminated with germs, like the toilet flush button or handle, toilet seat, taps, sinks, door handles and bathtubs. 2,3 Even face cloths, towels, bath sponges, and toothbrushes can become a hotspot for germs if they aren’t properly maintained.2 Because bathrooms tend to have a lot of moisture, there is also a risk of mould growing if the bathroom isn’t well ventilated. 3
The toilet bowl can also house a significant number of germs. 1,3 Thankfully, the risk of picking up germs directly from the toilet bowl itself is low. 2,3 However, germs from the toilet can splash into the air and other surfaces when you flush and can end up on your hands. 1,3 This is a particular concern when someone in your family is sick with a tummy upset.3
Bathroom cleaning should aim to stop germs from spreading by reducing the germs on these surfaces, as well as preventing the growth of mould. Along with washing your hands, bathroom cleaning is an essential part of keeping your home and family hygienic.3
How to clean your bathroom
How to clean the toilet
Step 1: Generously apply a toilet bowl cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes per the instructions on the product before scrubbing with a stiff-bristled toilet brush. If possible, use a toilet cleaner that removes limescale, followed by a disinfectant to discourage the build-up of germs. 3 Alternatively, you can pour a cup of baking soda into the bowl and let it sit for a few minutes before brushing.4 Make sure to clean under the rim as well as the surface of the bowl. 3
Step 2: Afterwards, flush the toilet to remove the chemicals and germs, keeping the toilet lid down to help prevent splashback. 3 You can then insert an antibacterial in-the-bowl or in-the-cistern cleaning block to continuously release disinfectant and keep it hygienic between flushes. 3
Step 3: Finally, wipe down the toilet seat, rim and flush button or handle using an antibacterial product like Dettol Healthy Clean Bathroom Spray3. Don’t forget to disinfect the toilet brush after the cleaning is done.
How to clean the bathtub
Step 1: Spray the bathtub with an appropriate detergent and leave for the duration recommended on the product to allow the dirt and grime to loosen.
Step 2: Scrub the bathtub with a brush, sponge or cloth to maximise dirt and germ removal. Then, rinse the bathtub with hot, clean water – this step is important for hygienic cleaning. After cleaning, thoroughly dry the bathtub to stop germs from growing.
How to clean the shower
Step 1: Start by descaling the showerhead as, when left unused, it can harbour a lot of germs. 3 Remove the shower head and soak it in an appropriate descaling agent or white vinegar overnight.4 If your showerhead is not removable, try filling a strong plastic bag with enough descaling agent to submerge the showerhead nozzle and tie it in place. Remove it in the morning and run it under hot water to.4
Step 2: Spray the shower with an appropriate detergent and leave for the duration recommended on the product to allow the dirt and grime to loosen. You may need to follow additional steps if you need to from the shower. Scrub the shower with a brush or sponge to maximise dirt and germ removal. Then, rinse the shower with hot, clean water – this step is important for hygienic cleaning. 3
Step 3: Spray the shower door with an appropriate detergent and leave for a few minutes before wiping down. Alternatively, make a paste by adding a few drops of distilled white vinegar to a cup of baking soda and apply it directly to the door.4 Leave it for an hour then rub with a microfibre cloth. Rinse and buff dry with a fresh, dry microfibre.4
How to clean bathroom tiles and grout
Step 1: If your bathroom floor is tiled, start by vacuuming to help remove dust and other allergens. 3 For a basic clean, spray the tiles with an appropriate cleaning product and leave for the duration recommended on the product before wiping down. You can also mix water and distilled white vinegar in equal amounts to make a homemade cleaning solution. 5
Step 2: To clean the grout, scrub using a stiff-bristled grout brush dipped in a bleach-based product. You can also use a paste made by combining baking soda and water.5 Ensure windows are open and the place is well ventilated if using a bleach product. After scrubbing, rinse with a clean, damp cloth. Once cleaned, dry tiled surfaces thoroughly and make sure your bathroom is always well ventilated to prevent mould from building up.3
How to clean bathroom sink and drain
Clean the drain by pouring white vinegar or baking soda down the drain and flush with hot.4 Use an antibacterial product to wipe down the tap and sink basin to ensure the surface is properly disinfected. 3 Since a tap handle is a frequently touched surface, there’s a high risk of picking up germs so definitely don’t forget to clean them regularly! 2
How to clean bathroom glass and mirrors
Spray the window with a generous amount of glass cleaner and wipe it from top to bottom with a microfiber cloth. If there are any streaks, give it another wipe until the glass is clear.
How to clean bathroom fan
Ensure the fan is turned off. Vacuum the dust from the grill and then wipe it down with a damp cloth. If the cover is removable, soak it in warm, soapy water, and then rinse and dry before reattaching.4
What bathroom cleaning products should I use?
Dettol has a great range of cleaning products specifically designed for use as bathroom cleaners, which you can trust to kill 99.9% of germs*:
- Dettol Healthy Clean Bathroom Spray – penetrates and dissolves tough soap scum. Try it on dirty toilet seats and sinks.6
*Which germs are killed varies between products – refer to the product label.
Bathroom cleaning tips
Take on these simple habits to help ensure your bathroom is always kept fresh and hygienic:
- Use disposable cleaning cloths or tools where possible, otherwise, make sure to decontaminate and dry them after using them – that way, they don’t become a source of germs themselves3
- Use a different cloth for cleaning the toilet than for other bathroom surfaces3
- Rinse toothbrushes and bath sponges under running water after use, and dry them as quickly as possible – keeping them damp can allow germs to grow2
- Regularly launder face clothes and towels using a 60°C cycle2
- Clean up and disinfect any spills of body fluids (like vomit or faeces) immediately3
- Don’t forget to regularly disinfect door handles and light switches – a lot of hands will touch these surfaces so germs can easily spread from here2
- Wash your hands after cleaning the bathroom and – very importantly – every time you use the toilet!2
Always read the label and follow the directions for use.
- Lai ACK, et al. A pilot study on the disinfection efficacy of localized UV on the flushing-generated spread of pathogens. J Hazard Mater. 2018;358:389-396.
- Beumer R, et al. Guidelines for prevention of infection and cross infection in the domestic environment. Milan (IT): International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene; 2002 Mar. 44p. Available from: https://www.ifh-homehygiene.org/sites/default/files/publications/IFH-Guidelines%202002_last.pdf
- Beumer R, et al. Recommendations for selection of suitable hygiene procedures for use in the domestic environment. Milan (IT): International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene; 2001 Apr. 36p. Available from: https://www.ifh-homehygiene.org/sites/default/files/publications/IFHrecomends.pdf
- Real Simple. How to deep clean your bathroom in 10 steps. Available from: https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/cleaning-bathroom/how-clean-bathroom
- WikiHow. How to clean bathroom tile. Available from: https://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Bathroom-Tile?amp=1
- Dettol Health Clean Bathroom Spray Product Label