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Banish Germs and Grime from Bathrooms

Banish Germs and Grime from Bathrooms

For most people, stepping into the bathroom with cleaning supplies in hand can feel a bit like entering the Roman Colosseum. While the fear of germs often takes center stage in our minds, the real dread that lurks in the shadows is the muscle-straining task of scouring away all the stubborn soap scum and hard water stains.

That villainous duo never misses a day in the arena, necessitating a rigorous cleaning battle for the lives of your bathroom fixtures multiple times a month!

As if the traditional challenges weren't enough. The modern bathroom has introduced a new player: the rise of the Dastardly Designer. This mercenary's infatuation with delicate surfaces such as natural stone and patina-coated metals has transformed bathroom cleaning from a practical yet exhausting slog to now a near-impossible tightrope walk.  

Balancing the competing care restrictions of fussy surfaces with the aggressive tools required to remove challenging soils with the near-absurd consumer demands of removing deposits without harsh chemicals is a circus-worthy gymnastics feat.

But fear not! Melissa Homer, a professional cleaning consultant, is here to arm you with the weapons and strategies to win. As a cleaning expert with over 18 years of experience consulting large cleaning franchises, Melissa has distilled the essentials that really work over the fluff that has flooded the market, ensuring your bathroom cleaning is as easy and effective as possible.

Selecting Your Weapons of War

The very mention of bathroom germs can make some people’s skin crawl. But rather than shying, away, let’s face our fears head-on armed with the tools to make them far less scary. Think of it like preparing for a battle: the better your equipment, the more confident you'll feel, disarming germs' ability to send you running for the hills.


Begin with gloves, but not just any gloves. Layer up with quality disposable gloves underneath sturdy dishwashing ones. This double shield not only creates a barrier against those unpleasant bathroom messes but also ensures you can swiftly remove the outer layer without getting your hands dirty.

The double-layering technique also masks the unwelcome sensations of slime and grit, making the cleaning process feel way less icky.

Over time, as you get more used to bathroom cleaning, you may be able to work your way down to one layer, but don’t rush yourself as the psychological power of creating layers of separation can’t be overestimated. This trick is especially powerful for new professional cleaners, as your first few times digging deep into a stranger's bathroom grime can be pretty unsettling without it.


Equally essential in our armory is the choice of wiping media. When it comes to the bathroom, the unsung hero is microfiber. With its incredible ability to trap and remove up to 99% of dirt and germs, microfiber is both a time-saver and a bacteria-buster.

As a professional, I can confidently tell you the most innovative towel in bathrooms is the waffle weave towel. With it’s honeycomb pattern and signature tiny pockets, it scrubs and scoops up bathroom yuck like no other towel on the market.


Beyond wiping, the truly most game-changing tool in bathrooms is the contour frame. This flexible rubber utility pad holder attaches to a mop pole and lets you scour showers and tubs at a comfortable distance while standing on dry ground.

This tool allows you to clean with your core body strength, making scrubbing far less exhausting, but it also allows you to truly deep clean without risking slipping and falling in soapy tubs and showers, making the entire process exponentially faster and safer.

Using Color-Coding

Regardless of which towels and tools you select, adopting a color-coding system for your supplies can ensure you never inadvertently spread bathroom germs to other parts of your home. The industry standard of red for high-risk bathroom surfaces like toilets and floors and yellow for the rest of the bathroom act as a bright visual queue to remind you to act with care and handle or launder the tools properly.

Beyond the Bottle: Why Cleaning Chemistry Matters

The plethora of cleaning products, each accompanied by a host of instructions, can feel overwhelming. However, there's a vital truth we must acknowledge: manufacturers aren’t lurking in dimly lit rooms, laughing malevolently while plotting to make our lives difficult. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Their primary goal is to create products that yield the best possible results to earn your repeat business. By understanding and embracing this, we can approach those seemingly daunting labels with a fresh sense of gratitude instead of annoyance.

Recognizing that these chemists are essentially our allies, not adversaries, makes it far simpler to set aside time to heed their wisdom.

The "Dwell" Time of Cleaners

Diving deeper, you'll find that many common cleaning woes can be traced back to a lack of patience. Take hard water removers, for instance. Predominantly acidic, they require upwards of 10 minutes to get to work on those stubborn mineral deposits.

Pre-spraying and allowing these agents the necessary “dwell time” makes all the difference.

A quick spritz and immediate scrub not only diminish the product's efficacy but also translates to wasted effort and money. Essentially, without granting these chemicals their required time, you're merely substituting their potential power with the cleaning theater of spraying without any real help.

This is why so many people are convinced bathrooms are harder to clean than they really are because they have never given the cleaning chemist enough time to provide the help they really need.

Embracing the chemistry behind cleaning isn’t just about getting surfaces spick and span; it's about safeguarding them too. When warnings on product labels are sidestepped, the results can be detrimental.

Overuse of a product, or using it on unsuitable surfaces, can lead to irreparable damage. The financial repercussions of these missteps, coupled with the potential for workplace injuries, underscore the importance of not just knowing but understanding and respecting the science behind each bottle.

There are two big categories of bathroom cleaner, bleach-based and acid-based. One fights mold stains and the other fights mineral stains, and they both make each other’s stains worse!  

In the case of rust stains, since the rust is coming from iron mineral deposits, it needs an acid to dissolve it. If you put bleach on it, it won’t whiten the rust, it will actually oxidize the iron, making it rust harder and faster!  

In the case of moldy grout in a stone shower, bleach can whiten the grout lines, but acid would damage the stone and strip off whatever stone sealant was put on to protect the stone.This is why reading the bottles (and articles by verified experts like myself) matters!

Since many of you would be disappointed with a discussion about soaps in bathrooms without my revealing some of my specific recommendations, so here’s a list of some of my favorite bathroom cleaners:

1. Bar Keepers Friend 

This acid based, abrasive powder powers through minerals and yet is safe on chrome and plated metal.

2. Stone Pro Stone & Glass Scrub 

This acid-free, abrasive cream makes a manageable job of scouring off hard water deposits from delicate stone in bathrooms.

3. Windex Multisurface

Tthis jack of all trades is great for everything from wiping down the cabinet below the bathroom sink to the toothpaste splattered mirror.

4. Lysol Power Foaming Cleaning Spray 

This citric acid based disinfecting bathroom cleaner cuts through bathroom gunk without using bleach and is great for maintenance bathroom cleans.

5. Black Diamond Stoneworks Intensive Stone Cleaner 

This acid-free tile and grout cleaner is incredibly effective yet safe for even marble, making it a hidden gem for caring for natural stone in bathrooms


Work Smarter with Sealants

Many have heard the age-old adage, "Prevention is better than cure." In the realm of bathroom cleaning, this proverb truly hits home when we consider the transformative power of surface sealants.

These ingenious innovations, including stone sealants and hydrophobic coatings, act as protective shields, ensuring that once troublesome minerals and gunk can no longer deposit and bond on your bathroom surfaces. Their primary function is to force water to bead up and roll off surfaces effortlessly, thereby significantly curbing the accumulation of stubborn enemies like hard water marks and soap scum.

But the benefits don't just stop at the ease of cleaning. Sealants play a crucial role in maintaining the original beauty of various surfaces. Especially in bathrooms, where natural stone and grout can be prominent features, the protection against discoloration from potential stains is invaluable.

The application of these sealants ensures that the vibrant colors and textures of your bathroom surfaces remain untarnished, retaining their visual appeal for years to come.

For professional cleaners, the advantages of surface sealants resonate even deeper. Selling applying sealants as an upcharge service can be an incredible win-win for customers and cleaners!

In an industry where time equates to money, shortening the duration of tasks without compromising on quality is a game-changer. With surfaces that resist dirt and grime, cleaning becomes not just quicker but also more efficient, allowing for more competitive pricing. You get less back-breaking labor, and they get a bathroom that looks better between visits. What’s not to love?

For homeowners, this protective measure redefines the cleaning experience. No longer does one have to dread the backbreaking scrubbing sessions. With sealants in place, the assurance of minimal effort and maximum results turns bathroom cleaning from a chore into a delight.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite bathroom sealants:

1. 511 Impregnator Sealer 

This all around pinch hitter will seal most stone, tile, and concrete floors, grout and all, making it perfect for bathrooms and DIYers.

2. ProtectaClear 

This unique sealant permanently seals in alloy, patina, and all, making it invaluable to those that want to preserve their sink or make it permanently shine like a new penny!

3. Faucet Wax 

While not a true long-term sealant, this hard polish lasts for months and protects bathroom faucets from hard water buildup.

4. Lifeproof Ceramic Coatings 

This is part of the newest wave of sealant tech called ceramic coatings, which are incredibly durable and hydrophobic, making them perfect for protecting shower glass and sinks (use the last of the bottle to protect your kitchen stainless steel—thank me later!)


Bathroom Organizers Are Everything

Ever heard the saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place”? In the realm of bathroom cleanliness, this couldn't ring truer. Imagine the daily chaos of rummaging through haphazardly placed toiletries, hair products, and other essentials sprawled across your counter. Not only does this make your space look messy, but it also complicates and elongates your cleaning routine.

Enter the transformative power of baskets, lucite trays, decorative shelves, and more. These items merge style with purpose, amplifying the visual appeal and utility of your space. Assigning designated spots for each item streamlines cleaning, turning what was once a chore into a swift and satisfying routine. It's not just about neatness; it's about crafting a bathroom environment that melds elegance with ease.

Be sure to think ahead about the cleanability of the receptacles you select! For example, a velvet-lined tray, while gorgeous, cannot get wet, making it terrible in the bathroom. Instead, a lucite shelf can easily be splashed with water or dripped on with shampoo and be wiped clean in moments. Don’t forget the organizers and shelves aren’t just for your showers and counters! Under-sink organizers will help free up more space to put more of your toiletries and hair items under the sink, freeing up more open space on bathroom vanities to function better and clean faster!

Picture polished faucets free from crusty minerals and pesky smudges, paired with a meticulously organized counter showcasing your aesthetic flair. With thoughtful organization (and the sealants from the last section), your bathroom isn't just simpler to clean; it's a delight for the eyes. With these organizational tools, not only will your bathroom be easier to clean, but it will also be easier to enjoy!

Take Your Bathroom Learning Deeper

Taking back control of your bathrooms is an empowering endeavor. From understanding the science behind your cleaning agents to embracing the wonders of microfiber, and from sealing your precious surfaces to organizing with style, each step is a leap towards a bathroom that's not only clean but also a pleasure to be in.

But the journey doesn't stop here. Bathrooms are multifaceted, and each section brings its own set of challenges. So stay tuned, and remember, a bathroom is more than just a utility space; it's a sanctuary. It’s time to start treating it as such!

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