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Spotless Baths Cleaning Tips from Top to Bottom

Make bathroom surfaces sparkle with these effective strategies.

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You’ll know your bathroom is germ-free and fabulously clean—from the shower head to the floor—when you follow this advice for cleansing common surfaces.

SHOWER + TUB

Lime deposits eventually gum up the showerhead. Unstop the nozzle outlets by submersing them in a gallon-size plastic storage bag partially filled with undiluted white vinegar. Secure the bag over the showerhead with a rubber band, and let it soak overnight. In the morning, remove the bag, turn on the hot water to flush out the deposits (scrub with a brush if necessary), and then polish the surface with a soft cloth.

Clean the shower and bathtub surround with a general purpose cleanser recommended by the surface material manufacturer. The secret to removing deposits and stains is to let the cleanser set for a few minutes before scrubbing or wiping the surfaces clean. (While mild abrasives can be used on many surfaces, avoid harsh abrasive cleansers that may scratch the surface.)

As a natural alternative, wipe down the surround and glass door surfaces with white vinegar diluted with water; rinse. To remove stains, mix vinegar with hot water, spray it on, and let set for several minutes before wiping the surface clean.

Clean and whiten grout by spraying it with a solution of vinegar and hot water. Let the solution soak in for several minutes and scrub the grout clean with a stiff-bristled brush. For stubborn stains, apply a paste of baking soda and water to grout. Lightly spray with diluted vinegar to promote foaming. When foaming stops, scrub with a brush (such as the BLACK+DECKER ScumBuster Xtreme with 3 in 1 Extension Handle and rinse with clean water.

You can also clean and sanitize shower walls and grout with a handheld steamer appliance, such as the BLACK+DECKER Handheld Steamer, which cleans and kills germs with just water. The steamer comes with attachments, including a hose for hard to reach places, and various brushes, such as one for cleaning grout.

Launder the shower curtain and the liner with a few towels to help remove grime; rehang to dry.

Once you have the shower spic-and-span, keep it clean longer by using a squeegee on the surround and glass doors after every shower to prevent lime deposits, water spots, and soap scum buildup. Spray grout once a week with diluted vinegar to keep these clean as well.

To remove a bathtub ring, apply a paste of baking soda and vinegar, let set for several minutes, and scrub clean with a stiff-bristled brush. (Use a non-abrasive scrubbing sponge or pad on acrylic or fiberglass tubs to avoid scratches.)

SINK+TOILET

Spray the sink exterior and basin with all-purpose bathroom cleanser and wipe down. Or wipe with diluted white vinegar and rinse. Avoid using abrasive cleaners on cultured marble basins or other materials prone to scratches. For stubborn spots, apply a paste of baking soda and vinegar, let it set a few minutes, and scrub with a nonabrasive scrubbing pad or sponge.

Wipe down the toilet exterior, seat, and lid with disinfecting cleanser or use diluted white vinegar. To deodorize and clean the toilet bowl naturally, pour 1 cup vinegar into the bowl and let soak for several minutes; scrub with a toilet bowl brush and flush as usual.

COUNTERTOPS

Wipe down bathroom countertops with cleansers recommended by the manufacturer of the surface material. Avoid abrasive cleansers to prevent scratches. As a natural alternative, partially fill the basin with hot water, and add a cup of white vinegar. Dip in a non-abrasive pad or sponge and wipe down the counters. Remove stubborn stains by applying a paste of baking soda and vinegar; let it set on the stain for several minutes and scrub with a non-abrasive pad or sponge.

MIRRORS

For streak-free mirrors, spray with white vinegar diluted with water and polish with a microfiber cloth. Remove stubborn smudges with rubbing alcohol.

FLOORS

Sweep floors and vacuum the crevices with a device such as a BLACK+DECKER Handheld Vacuum. (Choose from several models that suit your home’s needs.)

Wash floors with cleansers recommended by your flooring manufacturer. Or, for tile or vinyl, use a solution of vinegar and water. Rinse clean. Another earth-friendly alternative for cleaning and sanitizing tile or vinyl floors is to use a steam mop, such as theBLACK+DECKER SmartSelect Steam Mop,which automatically delivers the right amount of steam for different types of floors.