Q: When my mom came to visit my apartment last week, she said she was appalled at the state of the bathroom. I admit it’s a little grungy, but I don’t have the time to scrub it from top to bottom every week. Is there a fast way to clean it so it passes muster the next time my mom visits unannounced? — Kyle B., Atlanta
A: Yes, there is a fast way, but it’s going to take an initial investment of time and then a minor devotion to consistency. If you can meet this challenge, however, you’ll never have a grungy bathroom again — and the rest of the apartment may improve, too. Plus, being able to clean up after yourself is extremely attractive to the ladies. Believe me.
Here’s What You Have to Do:
“Declutter: Remove old magazines, empty the trash can, move the laundry hamper out (temporarily, at least), throw out old or unused lotions, creams, gels and other accessories, and clean out the medicine cabinet.
“Prep for the first cleaning: Put all the towels into the laundry. Place all countertop items into a box or basket and take out of the room for now. Same with shower items. Take down the shower curtain; if the liner is very dirty or moldy, throw it out and purchase a new one.
“Do a “big” cleaning: Starting from the top down, clean cobwebs from the ceiling with a broom. Wipe down painted wall surfaces with a cloth and mild soap and water (pay attention to the baseboards). Clean bath tile with a mold-fighting tile cleaner and rinse. Scrub the toilet. Wipe down the outside of the toilet with a disinfecting cleaner and hot water. Clean the sink, countertops, towel racks and bathtub, and rinse clean. Lastly, sweep the floor, then wet-mop with disinfecting cleaner and hot water, rinse and let dry.
“Maintain: Set aside just 15 minutes every week to clean the bathroom. Declutter by placing all counter items into a box. Then just wipe down the counters, sink and tub; scrub the toilet, and clean the medicine cabinet mirror. Spread out the shower curtain liner and spray with a disinfecting cleaner or a mold-fighting cleaner, let sit while you sweep the floor, and then rinse off. Empty the trash, and you’re done.
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