While “I heart Mom!” mugs and bunches of flowers are lovely, and brunch is usually quite yummy, we suggest a Mother’s Day gift that is different – and deeply appreciated – a thorough bathroom cleaning! No, it’s not soppy or sentimental, but we bet your mom will be tickled!
- The Shower. Pour an ample amount of white vinegar into a plastic grocery bag and tie it in place around the showerhead for an overnight soaking. Remove it in the morning and run the water to rinse. Give shower curtains and liners a spin in the washing machine with regular detergent and a few old towels, which act as scrubbers to help get rid of soap scum and mildew. Rehang to dry. For shower doors, make a paste by adding a few drops of distilled white vinegar to a cup of baking soda; apply it directly to the door (it’s nice and thick, so it will stick). Let sit for an hour, then rub with a microfiber cloth. Rinse and buff dry with a fresh, dry microfiber cloth. For an extra shiny tub, fill it with hot water, then drain. Apply a bathroom cleaner and let sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing.
- The Grout. Dip a grout brush in straight bleach and scrub any discolored areas; rinse Be sure to ventilate the room. Seal grout every six months to help prevent moisture and grime from infiltrating.
- The Surfaces. Spray tile, countertops, walls, and the ceiling with all-purpose cleaner and turn on the shower, cranking the hot water until steam builds (about five minutes). Turn off the water, shut the door on your way out, and let the steam and the cleaner mix for 20 minutes. Then wipe down all surfaces with a clean cloth. To reach high spots, use a clean, dry microfiber mop. Wipe the tile floor, too, but only after you’ve finished the rest of the dirty work.
- The Toilet. Start by pouring a cup of baking soda into the bowl. Let sit for a few minutes; brush and flush. Still seeing spots? A damp pumice stone is abrasive enough to remove stains caused by mineral deposits and lime scale but gentle enough not to damage surfaces. Then tackle the toilet brush itself, which you should be cleaning after every use. Here’s how: Secure the brush handle between the already-cleaned seat and the basin so that it hovers over the bowl; pour bleach over the bristles. Let stand for a few minutes, then douse with a pitcher of clean water. Next, fill the brush canister with warm, soapy water and let sit; dump the dirty water into the toilet.
- The Sink. Pour white vinegar or baking soda down the drain and flush with hot water. Clean the faucet with disposable disinfecting wipes, which significantly reduce bacteria. (In contrast, cloths may just move germs from one spot to another. If you must use cloths, be fastidious about where each one is employed and stored. When the handles are done, floss the faucet (yes, you read that right). The stringy stuff is perfect for tackling that narrow, grimy space where the base of the faucet and the taps meet the sink.
- The Mirror. In a large bowl, mix a quart of room temperature water with two tablespoons of vinegar. Use coffee filters or a soft cloth. Dip your coffee filter in the mixture and wring it out thoroughly. Clean the mirror with the damp filter. Then use a dry coffee filter to dry the mirror until it’s streak-free.
- Hand Towels. Use the sanitizing setting if your washing machine has one (or bleach them). Replace with clean towels every three to four days. Spread out wet towels on a bar, where air can circulate, rather than hanging them from a hook, where folds form. Don’t forget to clean the towel bar; it too collects bacteria.
And once you’re done cleaning, finish things off with a simple, bathtub caddy – or maybe a new plush terry robe!