The bathroom. Sure, it may not be first on your list when it comes to rooms you or your guests are itching to spend quality time in. (Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to turn a blind eye to it.) But it’s actually one of the busiest rooms in your home. According to CNN, most people make five trips to the bathroom in a day. That equates to more than 160,000 bathroom breaks in an average lifetime. Heck, a single family probably uses the loo in your home more than 20 times a day!
With all this activity, it’s no surprise a once clean bathroom can lose its freshness pretty quick. Fortunately, it’s not hard to get it looking—and smelling—sparkling clean again! Seriously. All you need is 15 minutes to refresh and rejuvenate the most overlooked yet well-used room in your home. Ready, set, refresh!
2 MINUTES – Clear the Clutter
After a day in the life of a busy family, your bathroom can end up looking like a war zone. It’s easy to ignore the dirty clothes or damp towels heaped on the floor, but they can quickly make a clean bathroom smell like a locker room. Grab a wash basket and get to work (this is a great chore for the kids). Pick it up and get the damp clutter out. Don’t forget to clear the counters too. Everything should have a place.
5 MINUTES – Air It Out
If your bathroom smells funky, mildew is probably the culprit. Mildew is a tiny fungus that loves to grow in damp, dark places. Common mildew hiding places? Check the shower curtain and along grout and sealant lines.
Once mildew sets in, there are several natural ways to get rid of it:
- Fresh air and sunlight are essential to drying out damp areas. If possible, open a window and run a fan to keep the air circulating to keep the area free from dampness. Once an area is clean and free of mildew, this is a great way to keep it that way.
- Look for natural cleaners that kill mold and mildew. There are several great choices—white vinegar, baking soda and water, or a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Check out Mother Nature Network’s advice on how to use these natural products to curb mold and mildew.
- To keep mildew from coming back, keep shower and toilet areas dry and well ventilated so excessive moisture doesn’t create a friendly environment for mildew to elbow its way back in. If the problem continues, run a dehumidifier in the room to help dry things up.
2 MINUTES – Swap the Towels
Towels can also harbor mildew if not changed frequently. Make sure to give musty-smelling ones a good wash in hot water with a half cup of baking soda. After a shower or bath, make sure you hang them out to dry thoroughly before the next use.
It’s best to swap out your towels every 2 to 3 days with fresh ones. This helps keeping things feeling fresh and clean in the bathroom.
Bonus refresh: Think of changing out tired, worn out towels with the popular quick-dry towels in the marketplace. They dry more quickly, some up to 40% faster, and therefore do not get the lingering musty smell.
3 MINUTES – Follow Your Nose
Put down that aerosol can of pine-scented freshener. Think about chemical-free fresheners, like essential oils. They are an Earth-loving alternative and come in tantalizing scents like lemongrass, lavender and orange—all pick-me-ups perfect for the bathroom. Pour a few drops into a diffuser, or dab onto cotton balls and place in an open container out of view.
3 MINUTES – Clean the Commode
No one you know is going to volunteer for this one. So it may fall on your shoulders. No bathroom is considered clean until you have a pretty potty. Pour a cup of baking soda into the bowl. Let sit for a few minutes, then brush and flush. Then give the seat a good wipe down—top, bottom and around the hinges.
If you have a few extra minutes to spare, give the toilet brush a good cleaning too. Pour equal parts white vinegar and water into the brush holder, let sit for a few minutes, then rinse in the toilet bowl.
You’ve just freshened the bathroom the natural way in 15 easy minutes. Doesn’t that feel a little fresher and better?