A person using a spray cleaner and sponge to clean a toilet with a bathroom cleaning checklist superimposed on one corner of the photo

The Essential Bathroom Cleaning Checklist for Proper Disinfection

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Have you ever woken up and thought “Hooray, I get to clean the bathroom!” Me, either. But, with all the germs involved, ignoring this chore isn’t really an option, and neither is doing it half-heartedly.

That’s why I use a bathroom cleaning checklist: so I know I’m not overlooking a thing.

Bathrooms Need Two-Step Cleaning

You really can clean most surfaces in the home with soap and water, but bathroom surfaces get exposed to a lot of bodily fluids, and not just because certain people don’t have good aim.

Every time we flush the toilet, it spews urine and fecal matter. This toilet plume spreads several types of bacteria that cleaning products alone aren’t strong enough to kill.

Yep, everything from E. coli to staph and strep can land on your toothbrush and towels.

Did You Know?

Too many germs on a surface can overpower a disinfectant and keep it from working. That’s why we clean first, then disinfect.

How to Clean Your Bathroom

It’s a good idea to turn on your exhaust fan and open any windows before you begin the steps in the bathroom cleaning checklist. This helps reduce the bacterial concentration and fumes from cleaning products. Your bathroom will smell fresher, too!

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies.

Speed up cleaning and avoid distractions by making sure you have what you need in advance.

• Bathroom Cleaning supplies: Soap and water or bathroom cleaner, disinfectant spray, toilet bowl cleaner, glass cleaner, floor cleaner.

• Bathroom Cleaning equipment: This checklist, a ox or bag, microfiber cloths, long-handled duster, toilet brush, vacuum, mop and bucket or spray bottle.

Pro Tip

Many bathroom cleaners double as disinfectants, so check the label. Where it says “heavily soiled areas” where you need to leave it soaking longer or apply it again? They mean your shower, tub and toilet.

Step 2: Prep Surfaces.

The idea here is to make cleaning faster, so we’re first going to clear surfaces of clutter and debris. I know that sounds redundant, but completing the bathroom cleaning checklist goes much faster if you get rid of all that dust and stray hairs first.

Clear the room: Put any trash in the wastebasket, collect the used towels, and use the box to gather things that don’t belong in your bathroom, like this morning’s coffee cup. Put it all outside the bathroom door.

Apply bowl cleaner: Squirt some bowl cleaner into the toilet so it can start working.

Remove dry debris: Clear the counters and pull out all the shampoo bottles or other things in the shower. Run a dry microfiber cloth over the counters, sinks, tub, shower, and toilet to scoop up the loose mess.

Step 3: Clean and Disinfect.

Scrub and flush: Next, scrub the toilet and flush so the bowl cleaner isn’t hanging around. The active ingredient cause a dangerous combination in the next step.

Clean: Spray your bathroom cleaner on the sink, faucets, counter, tub and shower walls and floor, and the toilet tank, lid, seat, rim and base. Then, wipe each surface with a separate damp microfiber cloth to rinse away the cleaner.

Disinfect: Once you’ve removed all the cleaning product residue, spray disinfectant on the areas you just cleaned. Apply disinfectant to a fresh cloth and wipe it onto your light switches and doorknobs. Check the product label to know if you need to rinse it.

Did You Know?

“Dwell time” is the time a disinfectant needs to stay visibly wet on a surface to work properly. Always check the product label for the proper dwell time and rinsing instructions.

Step 4: Polish Mirrors and Glass.

You’re in the home stretch! Now, it’s time to polish the mirrors, shower doors, faucets and other glass surfaces so they sparkle. Remember to switch microfiber cloths if the one you’re using starts to feel damp, or you’ll leave streaks behind.

Step 5: Clean the Floor.

If you use bathroom mats or rugs, pull them out of the room. Then use the vacuum’s crevice tool around the base of the walls.

I usually switch to small floor attachment or upholstery head to get behind the toilet, or you can do it by hand.

Finally, start at the side opposite the door and mop your way out of the room. If you’re using my homemade floor cleaner, you don’t need to rinse. Otherwise, rinse by mopping with plain water then let the floor air dry.

Finishing Touches

Now, if you’ve been paying attention while reading this it’s dawned on you there’s a huge pile of things outside the door. Time to deal with all that!

  • Empty the trash can and wipe it out then replace the liner.
  • Grab the box and put away the stuff that belongs in other rooms.
  • Wash the used towels and maybe that smelly bath rug, too.
  • When your bathroom floor is dry, set out fresh towels, close the windows, and turn off that fan.

You are done! Now, if that felt like a lot of work the first time around, I have some great news. Following my daily whole house tidying routine will help keep your bathroom looking and smelling fresh all week—and it takes only minutes!

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4 Comments

  1. Thank you so so much for making these printables free!! You are amazing! Blessings!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You are so welcome, Carole!

  2. Thank you so much for all of these charts. You’ve changed my life. My husband is happier, the kids are cleaner, and I’m more organized with everything. You rock!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I am so happy you’re finding my charts helpful, Fran!

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