How to clean a bathroom – a step by step guide

Whether you have five minutes or thirty, here's how to clean a bathroom so that it's sparkling in no time at all. Think taps, toilets, mirrors, tiles and more

how to clean a bathroom: small pink and white bathroom with a shower over bath
(Image credit: Ikea)

When it comes to how to clean a bathroom effectively, there are a surprising number of people who have no idea where to start. Perhaps you've never actually been shown how, and just figured it out way back when you fled the nest, or, maybe you simply want more wisdom on how to remove stubborn grime in your bathroom space and the best products to help you do it? Given how much action the average bathroom sees on a daily basis, knowing how to give your bathroom a deep and thorough clean is an indispensable part of a happy household, and, it's not that hard!

We have done a lot of successful bathroom cleaning in our time, so we've created this expert step by step guide to make the top to bottom bathroom cleaning process as pain-free as possible. We'll talk you through everything from where to start and which products will give you the best results, to actually tackling the toilet and making that bathroom mirror gleam once again. Revealing the best order to do everything in for maximum efficiency also, here is how to achieve professional clean results quickly. 

For more bathroom ideas and inspiration, be sure to check out our lovely gallery post scrub.

What is the easiest way to clean a bathroom?

Follow the steps below to discover the easiest way to clean a bathroom. They're perfect if you're short on time – or motivation – and want to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

1. Start by decluttering your space. That means recycling any empty shampoo and shower gel bottles, emptying your bathroom bin and placing anything else in your bathroom that takes up room outside the door for the time being. This is also a good opportunity to wash towels, bath mats and the like.

2. The next area to tackle should be the toilet bowl. Put whatever you're using to clean the toilet with – this could be professional cleaner or white vinegar – into the bowl, where it can begin to work its magic while you get on with the rest of the bathroom. Close the lid... for now! If you need to tackle a clogged loo, make sure you know how to unblock a toilet.

3. Next step is tending to your tiles. Spraying any that surround the bath, or shower. Give them a good scrub before wiping them down with a clean cloth. If you so wish, it's also possible to use the shower head to rinse down your ties with warm water. Discover more dirt lifting tips in our guide on how to clean tiles.

4. Next,  clean the shower, and/or – if you're fortunate enough to have one – a bath. Start with the screen, or any glass surrounding your shower. Then, tackle the shower basin and/or bath. You could use the same multi-purpose spray to clean your bath and all aspects of your shower also, or look for products that will suit more specific areas if you have different materials as part of your bathroom design. A glass cleaner over a stainless steel cleaner per se. 

5. Next, return to the toilet. Take a toilet brush and give the toilet bowl a good scrub, making sure to cover all aspects and get into all the corners. Once you're happy you've done a good job, take a multi-purpose bathroom cleaner and spray the outside of your toilet, as well as the toilet seat – wiping down with a cloth. Finally, give your toilet a flush and shut the lid – you're done here.

6. Take a clean cloth and wipe down any remaining surfaces. Give any storage solutions you may have a quick wipe down, including any bathroom mirrors.

7. It's often advised that you clean the bathroom sink last, as you may need to use it while cleaning the rest of the bathroom. Start by tackling the taps and eventually the basin. Remember, both the inside and outside of the basin will need a clean.

8. Take a brush, or vacuum and do you best to remove any dust from your bathroom – you'll be surprised how much can build up. Once that's done, grab a mop and bucket – or perhaps just a cloth if your bathroom is small enough – and give the floor a wipe down. 

9. Return any toiletries, toothbrushes and the like to your bathroom. Try to organise them as neatly as possible. This is a good time to think about bathroom storage.

How do I deep clean my bathroom?

If you're looking to deep clean your bathroom, follow the steps above – leaving cleaners a little more time to work their magic before scrubbing – and consider the followings steps also to give your bathroom further specialist treatment:

  • Tackle any stainless steel in your bathroom – clean the shower head and the taps if you haven't already done so in the basic bathroom clean listed above.
  • Tackle the tools you've used and clean the toilet brush. Hold yours over the toilet and spray the bristles with bleach if using or another natural cleaning products. Let this sit for five to ten minutes before flushing the toilet to rinse off the loosened dirt and excess product. 
  • If you live in a hard water area, you're likely familiar with limescale. During a deep clean we'd recommend taking steps to tackle any limescale in your bathroom, you can use our guide to how to get rid of limescale for more advice.
Swap chemical products for natural detergents

We always recommend to swap the chemicals for natural cleaners like white vinegar.

  • If you have a medicine cabinet full of half-used products, testers, and minis, during a deep clean might also be a good time to to dispose of clutter and anything you won't realistically use.
  • Make your bathroom look fresh and clean by cleaning your tile grout, as well as the tiles themselves.
  • During a deep clean, you could also make time to clean the windows in your bathroom.
  • It's also advisable to tackle any mould you may have spotted growing before it gets out of hand.

What cleaning products do I need?

While you can get away with using just a multi-purpose bathroom cleaner in your bathroom, opting for specialist products will certainly reap greater results and is less likely to leave you with streaks, limescale, condensation marks, mould and other bathroom nastiness. We'd recommend the following list of essential bathroom products:

How often are you supposed to clean bathrooms?

How often you clean the bathroom is totally up to you, and will depend on how often you use it and, to be honest, how dirty it tends to get. For example, if you partake in a lot of outdoor exercise that means you end up covered in mud pretty regularly, chances are you'll need to clean your bathroom more often that others.

For the average person, we'd recommend giving your bathroom a quick clean once a week – doing so will dramatically reduce the number of deep cleans required. Perhaps aim to take on a deep clean every six weeks, or so.

Discover more cleaning advice