Home & Garden

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist for the Natural Home

A clean bathroom is essential to a clean, healthy home. Between the rest of the house and too many confusing products and methods, it can be easy to skip over cleaning a few areas. Use this bathroom cleaning checklist to start your next deep clean to make sure you get every last spot naturally clean while developing healthier habits.

A plant, an essential oil diffuser, a decorative vase, and soap are all on display for this bathroom cleaning checklist.

I’ve decided to share a few important tasks when cleaning a bathroom. Mainly because I am a bit of a germaphobe. When I see others not caring for their home or creating a clean environment for others living in their home, I cringe inside. Maybe I am just high maintenance, but I think that’s the least you can do for those you’re sharing a home with. A bathroom doesn’t have to be fancy or even up-to-date, but having it clean is a necessity. 

I personally prefer to use more natural cleaning solutions and methods. Getting a sparkling clean bathroom is possible using a combination of DIY solutions and a few store-bought natural ones, too.

Although I do a thorough job at cleaning the bathroom, I also keep it fairly simple. I take a very practical approach. This is partially due to the nature of natural cleaning. 

I use less ingredients, which can combine to make many, many different solutions for different areas of the bathroom. I don’t go overboard with chemicals to kill bacteria and focus more so on preventing the spread of it in the first place. 

Read on to see how I keep a cleaner bathroom with my bathroom cleaning checklist, using natural methods and healthier habits…

What is natural cleaning?

Natural cleaning involves using products that have minimal ingredients and are free from certain toxic chemicals often found in standard products. There are so many reasons people choose to go the natural route. Health and environment are the two biggest reasons cited for choosing natural cleaning over traditional cleaning methods and products. 

A bathroom cleaning checklist includes natural methods and decorative elements including eucalyptus like the one hung on the wall here.

Why keeping the bathroom clean is so important

Keeping a clean bathroom is essential to keeping your home clean. If there’s one thing to have clean when visitors come over, it’s the bathroom. Bathrooms are known for harboring germs and used frequently, especially when guests visit for extended periods of time. 

If I can have the living room, bathroom, and kitchen clean in my home, the rest can wait. After all, most visitors stay within these particular rooms anyway. 

Besides visitors, one should always keep their bathroom clean for their own health. There’s not much point in showering if you’re just going to step out onto a germ-ridden floor and touch five other things that haven’t been thoroughly cleaned in forever. If nothing else, do it for you and your family’s health.

A bathroom is being cleaned for a deeper clean in a natural home. Pictured is a basket behind the toilet with a diffuser and plant.

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist for Good, Clean Habits

Close the toilet lid

This one is more of a habit. Always, always, always, always close the lid before flushing the toilet. Keep that lid closed all the time unless you’re actively using it. I’ve read several studies done on germs in bathrooms. They all show that when a toilet is flushed, some water (with lots of yucky germs) splatter all over–up to several feet away from the toilet. The walls, the floors, the sink, the toothbrushes by the sink… Gross. Even if you can’t see the water droplets that have splashed out, trust me, they’re very much there. 

The easiest way to stop this preventable spread of germs is to close the lid before flushing. So many people I know don’t follow this rule, yet it is so simple. Don’t make me be that person who puts a sign in their bathroom explaining this rule. Just do it.

Scrub the tub

Bathtubs are notoriously dirty. I mean, we do clean the dirt off our bodies in them each day. Plus, all the moisture… it just makes sense that it would need some extra attention. 

What I do is I start with the walls first, that way anything that falls off will be cleaned afterward anyway. I use my favorite all-purpose DIY cleaner that consists of vinegar, a little soap, and hot water. This is a great recipe here that is similar to my own recipe.

I remove everything before wiping, first. Then I spray it one section at a time, wiping it down before moving to the next. I wear socks while doing this since I stand inside the tub. 

As I finish the walls, I remove my socks as I’m stepping out of the tub, one foot at a time, careful not to cross contaminate. Then I clean the tub portion with the same DIY cleaner afterward. 

A bathtub sits behind a farmhouse-style shower curtain in this small bathroom.

Occasionally, if I notice some stubborn mildew trying to pop up in a crack or crevice, I’ll spray a bit of bleach on it. I really try to use this as a last resort. Always try to seal anything with waterproof caulking to avoid this in the first place. 

If you have a build up that a DIY cleaning solution won’t get up (which shouldn’t happen if you’re cleaning thoroughly each week), I’d suggest using a towel soaked in baking soda and vinegar to scrub it down. 

Clean the most (and least) used spaces

One of the most important things to remember when cleaning is this: Clean the most used spaces in the bathroom first. Anything that is touched a lot is likely carrying the most germs: doorknobs, faucet handles, toilet seats, etc. Prioritize cleaning these if nothing else.

Now my next suggestion is this: Clean those areas you forget about the most. The least used spaces. 

I tend to neglect cleaning the baseboards and tile behind the toilet. I honestly probably do it once a month (that’s if I remember). Sometimes these areas that we think don’t need to be cleaned because they’re out of sight and not used can be the dirtiest. This is because we have this mentality and don’t clean them frequently enough. So here’s your reminder to clean those spaces.

Replace towels often

Towels can really harbor a lot of bacteria, especially if household members are drying their hands frequently. Towels can be forgotten in some households. I mean, I get it. You’re drying clean hands on them, but still. Anything that is damp and in the right temperature will allow bacteria to multiply. Be sure to change hand towels out daily, more if they’re soiled. 

Also: Please, replace the bath towel you use to dry off after a shower. Twice a week is sufficient. That way it doesn’t start stinking up the bathroom. 

To sanitize these towels in the washer: Wash with hot water, vinegar, and a natural laundry soap booster like this washing soda to do the trick. 

Store toothbrushes away from the sink

Remember when I mentioned the bacteria from the toilet going everywhere at each flush? This is exactly why toothbrushes should never be stored on countertops next to the toilet. Even if you close it, because the sink is a busy area in the bathroom, it’s likely to get some sort of cross contamination between dirty hands and toothbrush. Studies show that toothbrushes often have more bacteria than toilets for this very reason. Store them inside a bathroom cabinet, hanging up or in a shallow dish (just be sure to wash this every week). 

Shower curtains need attention

Another important area on my bathroom cleaning checklist: shower curtains. Since they are in the dirty bathtub constantly, it’s no surprise they’d be so dirty. Change inner liners once every 3 months or so. Wash and dry the other shower curtain at this time, too. You’d be surprised how much dust and germs can accumulate in curtains. 

A shower curtain hangs beautifully toward the marbled tile floors.

Clean the exterior of the toilet, too

Just because the inside of the toilet is dirty, doesn’t mean we should neglect the exterior. I’d guess that most homes have at least one male. That one male probably drips just a little bit here and there on occasion. That’s why the sides and all around the exterior of the toilet are crucial to clean. Along with the most touched area, the handle. 

Don’t forget to clean the cleaning tools

A typical thing homeowners neglect in their bathrooms include the cleaning tools. Which is why I’m mentioning it here in my bathroom cleaning checklist. So that toilet bowl scrubber especially needs to be cleaned after each and every use. After scrubbing, I rinse it in the toilet bowl water, then run it under hot water for a couple of minutes, and finally spray it with vinegar water or some other sort of natural disinfectant. Don’t forget to wash the vessel it sits in, too.

Deodorize pipes and drains

My favorite cleaning hack for sink and shower drains is sprinkling baking soda and then pouring vinegar down them. First it will bubble up a bit. This just means it’s having a chemical reaction and cleaning a lot of gunk out. Wait for 10 minutes or so and pour boiling hot water down the drains to not only sanitize them but also deodorize them. All three of these ingredients will leave them clean and free of odors. If you have lots of hair in the drain, now is probably time to invest in a snake to get that out, too.

A bathroom sink has just been cleaned and the drain deodorized using all natural cleaning agents.

Don’t forget the floors

The floors are so important to clean. In our house we clean all the floors at once, very last. This means mopping the bathroom, too. 

Many times, I’m so wiped out from cleaning the rest of the house that when I get to the floors I want to skip them “just this once.” Then I remember how essential clean floors are. Don’t skip cleaning them. 

We don’t wear shoes in our house which helps prevent a lot of messes, but our feet can still get dirty and carry germs. Considering most people I know do wear shoes in their homes, you should never ever skip out on cleaning any of the floors, especially the bathroom floors.

Bathroom floors shine with their hexagonal porcelain tiles.

Say no to chemical air fresheners

I’m always trying to reduce chemicals in my home, so air fresheners are a definite no-no. 

“But how do you disguise the smell of our poo?” you may ask.

Well, we use an essential oil diffuser in our bathroom. I am not a hardcore essential oil enthsuiast. But I do diffuse them for practical purposes like getting rid of odors in the bathroom. They are worth the small investment. 

An essential oil diffuser sits behind a toilet and is essential on this bathroom cleaning checklist.

Wipe the shower and tub after use

Yes, after every single use. This may sound like a lot, but it takes 30 seconds at most. It prevents bacteria from spreading. Bacteria thrive most in dark, wet, warm environments. If I can eliminate the water, which is simple enough to do, I can keep a cleaner bathroom overall. Either use the same towel you use to dry off with before throwing it into the washer or use a hand towel to get in any corners, crevices, near windows, etc.

Fresh eucalyptus hangs in the shower after being scrubbed down.

More Cleaning Inspiration:

Easy Ways to Keep a Tidy Home  

Closet Organization Ideas  

Natural Cleaning for a Clean Home  

Spring Cleaning Checklist

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