9 Bathroom Cleaning Problems Solved

Clever tricks for cleaning your bathroom.

from Five Minute Fixes

1. “My shower curtain is crawling with mildew
Wash it with a bleach solution. Shower curtains can be tricky to clean because they are big and cumbersome. Getting rid of mildew, especially during damp weather, can be especially challenging. Here’s a solution that’s quick, easy, and low-cost: Pour 1 gallon (3.7 liters) of warm water and 1⁄2 cup of household bleachinto a plastic bucket. With plastic gloves on, soak a sponge in this cleaning solution, give it a squeeze to avoid drips, and wipe. The mildew will vanish. Rinse using the showerhead.

2. “I’m ready to toss this filthy shower curtain liner”
Toss it in the washer.
Don’t throw away your liner just because of mildew and dirt buildup. Extend its life by cleaning it in your washing machine. Set the machine on the gentle cycle with warmwater and 1 cup of regular laundry detergent or 1⁄2 cup of vinegar. Afterward, whirl it in your drier, set on Low Heat or Fluff, for about 20 minutes. Your liner will come out clean and wrinkle-free. Rehang it immediately.

3. “My brass fixtures look dull
Polish them with baking soda and lemon juice.
Don’t rush out to buy an expensive brass cleaner. Save time and money by making a paste with equal amounts of baking soda and lemon juice. Dip an old toothbrush in the mix and lightly scrub the fixtures. Let the solution dry a few minutes and then buff the fixtures with a clean cloth. They’ll look brand new.

4. “The nooks and crannies in my bathroom are hard to clean
Use an old toothbrush.
An old toothbrush is the perfect time-saving bathroom-cleaning tool. For example, you can use it to clean the tracks of your bathtub’s sliding glass doors. Simply spray bathroom cleaner on a paper towel and wrap the towel around the bristle end of the toothbrush. Then scoot the brush along the tracks to dislodge dirt. Or put the little bristles to work on the grime that collects around the rim of a bathroom sink. Once the bristles have loosened the dirt, just mop it up with a damp sponge.

9 Bathroom Cleaning Problems Solved© Polka Dot / Thinkstock

5. “I hate those mineral deposits on my bathroom faucet”
Remove them with white vinegar.
No one likes crusty white deposits on a faucet. Try this easy solution: Before you go to bed one night, head to your kitchen for a bottle of white vinegar and three paper towels. Saturate the towels in the white vinegar and wrap them around the faucet like a cocoon. In the morning, remove thetowels. Fill the basin with warm water, plus a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Dip an old toothbrush in the solution and scrub the faucet toremove the final bits of mineral deposit.

6. “I have scum buildup on shower doors.”
Use furniture oil to prevent buildup.
Cleaning soap scum off a shower door is a tough, time-consuming job. Try using lemon oil furniture polish as a barrier against the scummy buildup. The next time you clean the door, follow up by wiping it with furniture oil on a soft rag. Let the oil sit for two minutes and then polish off the excess with a dry cloth. The furniture polish will leave a slight film of oil that will act as a buffer against future soap scum. Using a shower squeegee (available at discount stores and supermarkets) after every shower will also discourage the buildup.

7. “My glass shower doors are filmy
Clean them with vinegar, baking soda, and salt.
Stubborn mineral buildup on glass shower doors is no competition for a few common household ingredients—white vinegar, baking soda, and salt. Spray vinegar on the door and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, create a paste with equal amounts of baking soda and salt. Use adamp sponge to rub this paste over the door; then rinse well.

8. “My bathroom grout is grungy with mildew
Spray it with vinegar. Mildew on grout is no match for that miracle household cleaning dynamo called vinegar. Just pour somewhite vinegar into a container, dip in an old toothbrush, and scrub away at the mildew. Or pour the vinegar into a spray bottle, squirt it on the mildew, and let it sit for ten minutes. Rinse with water and apply the old toothbrush if necessary. Bleach is effective in removing mildew from tile grout. Fill a spray bottle with equal parts of household chloride bleach and water. Spray the grout, let it sit a few minutes, and then wipe with a clean white cotton cloth.

9. “Those nonslip bathtub stickers won’t peel off”
Loosen them with laundry presoak. You know the ones: They’re shaped like flowers and fish and are stuck on with industrial-strength adhesive. Instead of ruining the smooth surface of your tub trying to scrape them off, follow these simple steps for removing them: Carefully lift corners on each sticker using your fingernail or a plastic scraper. (Metal will scratch most tubs.) Spray the stickers with a good dose of laundry pretreatment product, such as Shout or Spray ’n Wash. Let the stickers soak in the spray for a few hours. This should loosen the stickers and allow you to peel them off. Wipe up any adhesive residue and the laundry spray. Clean and rinse the tub thoroughly.

Plus: 5 Best Baking Soda and Vinegar Cleaning Solutions