In the dozen years I’ve written about cleaning, I’ve tried a lot of cleaning products. Most of them, to be frank, aren’t worth the landfill their wrappers will take up. While it may be tempting to try every new product that promises to make bathroom cleaning easier, the truth is that no miracle cleaning product exists.
Another truth about cleaning is that it doesn’t matter how good a cleaning agent is, and there are some really good ones! — the point is, you should always use it, and you should use it regularly and correctly. (People hate it when I tell them that, but it’s the truth!)
These are the bathroom cleaning products and tools I come back to time and time again, and the ones I recommend to people in my life when they ask me – and believe me, they do! — how to make cleaning the bathroom less of a chore. These are also the products you would find if you walked into my house and opened the cabinet under my bathroom sink.
When I recommend cleaning products to people in real life, they usually get more than just “this is the product you’re looking for” – there are reasons, product comparisons, warnings, and methods.
One such method is the 10-Minute Bathroom Cleaning Routine I wrote about for CNN Underscored in 2021, which focuses on using scrub bubbles. The key to the routine’s effectiveness is two-fold: by using a product to do most of the work for you, it simplifies a (dreaded!) chore, and by simplifying that chore, you’re more likely to do it. every week.
Foaming cleaners like Scrubbing Bubbles can do a lot of jobs in the bathroom, but unfortunately, they’re not designed to clean glass. So you need a glass cleaner to complete jobs that the foam cleaner isn’t designed for, like polishing mirrors, chrome finishes, windows, and other glass or metal surfaces.
I’ve tried a lot of glass cleaners over the years – DIY water and vinegar solutions, commercial brand natural glass cleaners, foaming glass cleaners, window cleaning wipes – and I always come back to Windex for home use.
X-14 is a mildew eliminator that’s as close to a miracle cleaner as I’ve come to find. Simply spray it on grout, tile, vinyl, or plastic surfaces that have developed stains from mold, mildew, or Serratia marcescens, the pinkish-orange bacteria often found in bathrooms, and leave it on. penetrate for 10 to 15 minutes. Then clean the surface with water to remove product residue. No need to scrub!
However, miracles don’t really exist in cleaning and X-14 does have some downsides. It has a foul smell reminiscent of bleach, which can be quite overpowering. When using it, you must wear protective household gloves, and make sure the area you are working in is well ventilated; put on a mask while spraying X-14 is also recommended. If you are sensitive to odors and/or harsh chemicals, or just prefer not to use them in your home, X-14 is not for you.
When the makers of OxiClean call it “versatile”, they really mean it! OxiClean has many uses, but in the bathroom it really stands out in two ways. The first is something I stumbled upon while soaking a dirty duvet cover in my tub – not only did the OxiClean brighten up my whites, it also cleaned the tub and cleared a slow drain.
The other great use of OxiClean in the bathroom is for deep cleaning grout that has become heavily discolored over time. Grout cleaning may conjure up images of hours spent scrubbing with a toothbrush, but an oxygen bleach like OxiClean takes the brunt of deep grout cleaning when used properly.
A mistake most people make when looking for miracle cleaners is looking for cleaning agents instead of cleaning tools. But choosing the right tools will have a much greater impact on the ease and effectiveness of cleaning than that spray or foam.
There is nothing truer than microfiber cleaning cloths. Use sponges, rags, paper towels, etc. microfiber cloths will make regular bathroom tasks like cleaning the sink or tub faster, easier and more efficient.
A frustrating thing about bathrooms is that they don’t stay clean for very long. It can feel like as soon as you’ve wiped off the last stain from the faucet, someone comes over to wash their hands, brush their teeth, or do their makeup, leaving the sink in a mess.
Microfiber is, once again, the answer to this tricky bathroom cleaning problem. Place a microfiber sponge on the edge of the sink for a quick cleanup during the week, which will help keep things tidy even in high-traffic areas like the bathroom. Wash the sponge weekly with towels.
Magic erasers aren’t actually made of magic (they’re made of melamine foam), but they can definitely get rid of stubborn stains on hard surfaces like walls or counters. And that’s a good thing in a bathroom, where highly pigmented products like makeup, skin care products, hair dyes, etc. may cause stains.
To use a Magic Eraser, wet the sponge, wring it out and run over the stain using light pressure (the eraser will disintegrate as you use it, similar to a pencil eraser ). However, magic erasers aren’t safe for all types of surfaces, so it’s important to test them in an inconspicuous area to make sure they don’t cause damage.
DampRid is a specialist product that not everyone will need, but one that I recommend to people with a very specific bathroom problem often enough that it deserves a spot on this list. (It’s also weird and cool, and I like to tell people weird and cool things.)
DampRid is a desiccant – it absorbs water from the air, helping to regulate humidity and humidity levels. Bathrooms prone to humidity due to environmental or design factors can be unpleasant, on the one hand, and difficult to keep clean, as high humidity levels encourage bacterial growth and contribute to lingering odors. DampRid solves this problem by helping to keep the bathroom cleaner longer.