February 11, 2013

How to have an Always Clean Bathroom in 2 Minutes a Day


Please don't hate me for this, but I have six young children, one bathroom, and it is pretty much always clean.

I swear I'm not a clean freak or Super-Mom. I just have a system that works for us.  And that's what successful housekeeping is, right?  Finding a system that works for you and your family in this season of life you are in. 


Every morning when I am getting ready for the day I give the bathroom a quick wipe down.  Then throughout the day, if I'm in the bathroom and notice a mess I just clean it up.  I rarely spend more than two minutes cleaning the bathroom in a day. 

To make this even easier I recently started storing my cleaning supplies on the inside of the bathroom sink cabinet.  I hung a bag dispenser to hold rags and an inexpensive drawer pull to hang my bottle of bathroom cleaner on.   So now when I go to the bathroom and find toothpaste spit in the sink, I don't need to grumble and feel overwhelmed by a never ending to-do list. I just clean it up.  It only takes a moment. Simple, right?


My homemade bathroom cleaner (approximately two parts vinegar to one part of whatever dish soap you have on hand) is safe enough that my kids can even use it to clean up their own messes.

Theoretically.

If I tell them to...

...twice. 


Obviously the bathroom needs a deeper clean from time to time so that the lighting fixtures can get dusted and the baseboards can be cleaned, but this way the basics are taken care of so that it is always a pleasant place to be. 

 More tips for an always clean bathroom:
  • Reduce clutter by only storing things that are used daily in the bathroom.  Everything else can go in a bin labelled for each family member in a linen closet or in each person's bedroom closet. 
  • With your spray bottle work from dirtiest to cleanest, spraying the toilet first, and then the tub and sink and then any cabinets that need it.  With your cloth, work in the opposite order, starting with the relatively clean and sanitary things and ending with the toilet.  
  • Have a separate colour for bathroom rags so that they don't get mistaken for kitchen rags and so that you know which ones to put in which room when putting away laundry.

Now I just need to develop a system for an always clean kitchen...


 Thanks so much for visiting The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking.  Please take a moment to "like" me on facebook or follow me on twitter.  

58 comments:

  1. Great article. Matter of interest, where do you store your toothbrushes and paste?

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    1. Thanks Tessa! The toothbrushes and toothpaste and a few other daily-used items are stored in the dark wood-coloured linen tower you see beside the sink vanity in one of the photos above.

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  2. I used to do this in our old house and it worked very well. Now we have a house with 3 bathrooms (2 full baths, and 1 ensuite) and I really struggle to keep up with it. I actually think it is easier to just have one bathroom, even with a large family, as it is the one MOM is always in, so she is constantly aware of the state of it.

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    1. I agree. It's easier to stay on top of things in a small house because you can't help but see the mess!

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  3. Do you add water to your bathroom cleaner? Or is it just the vinegar and dish soap? By the way, I have 9 children - 7 at home now - and this is how I do the bathrooms, too!

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    1. Hi kozimom! No, no water,just dish soap and vinegar. And nine kids, wow! That's awesome...you are so blessed!

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  4. 1) what kind of rags did you get? J cloths?
    2) where did you get the bag dispenser from? i like its more compact size.

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    1. Hi Erin! The rags are a cheap store-brand version of J cloths. The bag dispenser is from HomeSense, which is the Canadian version of HomeGoods.

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    2. I am Canadian so that works wonderfully! thanks so much!

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  5. Ok, with only 3 small children I can't use that as an excuse for dirty bathrooms anymore :) Thanks for sharing. I love this simple, accessible approach.

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  6. Gosh you're doing a great job...the bathroom is lovely. I am a senior and all of my children are gone but the bathroom always remains..lol. I am going to try you formula cleanser...that looks great. I don't think I will ever get to old for tips and ideas on cleaning. thanks so much.

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  7. Thanks for sharing your “recipe” for the bathroom cleaner.
    I have a cleaning routine that works for us in our current season, but I love reading alternative ideas in case I need to adjust in the future. I love the following statement: “And that's what successful housekeeping is, right? Finding a system that works for you and your family in this season of life you are in.” I’ve read so many posts on homemaking that espouse “the best” or “the right” way to do something—it’s great to see an author acknowledge that the best way to do something can vary depending on one’s situation. This is encouraging!

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  8. A brilliant post, sometimes being told the obvious such as 'clean as you go' really is just what we need to hear. It's all so easy to let things slip and then the cleaning turns into a big job, and then gets put off even longer.

    Love your bathroom by the way :-)

    Sue xx

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  9. I keep cleaner and rags in our bathroom too. I also bought a bunch of white plastic basket totes at the dollar store and they hold extra shampoo, soap, and the like in a way that makes it very easy to do even the deep cleaning. I liked it so much that all the bottles and pots and tubes in the shower itself are now on a ledge in another tote....stops them from falling over and spilling even when the messiest kid has been in there.

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  10. This was how my mom did & still does the bathroom cleaning (she had 5 kids). It's just my husband and I but I find this still the simplest way of cleaning. We had company this weekend and I wiped down the sink/vanity & toilet fresh and in less than 3 mins. the entire bathroom was spotless once again.

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  11. Great post! I'll be putting this in practice right away ;)

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  12. Great idea with the different color rags! I agree that a quick wipe-down each day keeps things nice and tidy and always guest ready!

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  13. I try really hard to keep the bathrooms clean. Once, my husband was really sick and the toilet was a bit gross-looking. I felt bad for him having to throw up in there! So I really prioritize the bathroom.

    Anytime I'm in there (generally the half-bath on the main floor), I wipe something down or just splash water all over the sink part to get rid of dust and dirty water. (We have the same sink as you.) I really, really like your door handle and bag holder inside the door, and I'm pretty sure I'm doing that this week.

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  14. ok I have to ask you, do you not ever have toothpaste smeared all over the sink? I have 5 young children, my husband even purchased a "touch and brush" and we still end up with blobs of toothpaste in the sink every other day just about. I have taught them to do laundry, dishes, clutter pick up, etc. I guess I need to teach them how to rinse it all down :)

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    1. Yes, that definitely happens here too!

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  15. This was good for me to read just now, minutes after cleaning our bathroom and being ashamed of letting it go so long. Where do you put the used rag once the wipe-down is finished??

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    1. Hi jill. I just throw it in the laundry basket to be washed!

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  16. Jill - I was wondering the same thing!

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  17. I can't believe I'm re-commenting to tell you this, but you know the anti-spam "code" that you have to enter to comment? I had to type in the word "odor" (with an extra "o" and letters after); I thought that was funny considering the topic. :-)

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  18. I am one of kozimom's 9 kids, married and mama of my own family now - still do our bathroom like this! Rags in a stand-alone drawer beside the toilet (also houses bath-toys), spray bottle of cleaner (castile soap, vinegar, and a little water for mine!) under the sink!
    The used rag goes into the laundry basket (ours is in the bedroom behind the door, we use every inch of space in our 1-bedroom apartment!) when I'm done.

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  19. Your bathroom is gorgeous! And so spa-like. Great job on getting it to look like that with kids around! You are an inspiration to me. :)

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  20. Perfect post.
    Love your bathroom too.
    Hugs
    Aretusa

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  21. Does your cleaner leave behind a film? I'm currently using vinegar and water with a microfiber cloth and I find if I wipe my hand over the counter after cleaning it still seems dusty...

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    1. Hi Nerissa! No, I haven't found it to leave a film.

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  22. :) cute bathroom! Same thing works for me As well, but I usually clean the bathroom during myy youngsters bathtimes. Wipe down the counters And sinks, windex the mirror. Wipe down the ,And brush the inside of it, and voila! P.s. If u ever figure out a way to keep the kitchen always clean, I need to know!!,lol

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  23. When do you clean the tub or shower?

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    1. Hi Teresa. I clean the tub in the mornings when I give everything else a quick clean.

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  24. HAHA. I'm going to just admit I have a love/hate relationship with you and your bathroom. :) I have one child...and one filthy bathroom :) And I love you for being such a role model. But, alas, sorry: I get the "Imperfect Homemaker" award this week, Kel.

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  25. For all those people who are thinking of putting Kelly's ideas into practice, but are starting from a "ewww, I've really let that get away" base, mix up your vinegar stuff, but sprinkle bicarb soda on surfaces and spray with the vinegar mix. It will hiss and bubble. Great for really soapy-scummy surfaces. Only downside is it does take a bit of work to get rid of it as its a powder, but it is non toxic, and very cleaning. If it is super grotty, a plastic kitchen scourer will pick all the yuk off. Think of it as your workout for today.
    My bathroom fittings and fixtures are around 30 years old, so they never really look clean. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to have it all replaced at some time in the not-to-distant-future! :)

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  26. Ummm... I hope you don't mind my asking, but is that photo supposed to be of a dirty and messy kitchen?

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    1. haha. Well, moderately messy anyways!

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  27. I found that the bathroom that I use is usually clean and the one I don't isn't. I have to make a special trip to go make sure they (the little messy monsters) are keeping it up. Thanks for the incouragement.

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  28. Do you make all your cleaning products? If so please share. I so want to go green and kid safe !!! I'm totally hooked on your blog :)

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    1. Sometimes I buy "green" cleaners, sometimes I make my own, sometimes I'm given fancy green cleaners for free to try out because of the blog. :)

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  29. Thank you! I really needed to see this. My bathroom is an absolute disaster! And it is that way because my husband and I HATE cleaning bathrooms. Last night we were even discussing possibly hiring a maid just to clean the annoyingly dirty bathrooms. You've inspired me to give it a good cleaning and then to focus on just tidying it up for 2 minutes each day.

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  30. I love reading your blog - so many realistic, practical tips. I've only got two children but I'm finding it pretty hard to keep up as I haven't really found that system that works for me yet. I think the key is to do little and often rather than procrastinate and let it get out of control. My house is small which is good but rather unworkably organised for 2 kids so little tips like this help me get myself sorted! Can I ask - what temperature do you wash the rags on and do you wash them with general laundry?

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    1. Yes, I wash them in the regular laundry, in a hot load. I don't sort my laundry by colour, but by how dirty things are. For example, really dirty things like cleaning rags and my husband's work clothes get washed in hot, most of the clothing gets washed in cold.

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  31. Just WOW!
    And I want to whine, not fair..
    But will try to think of this as inspiration :).
    Ieva

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  32. What's your wall color? It's beautiful!

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    1. Hi Alyssa! It's Benjamin Moore's "Blue Grass"

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  33. Love this! The bathroom is my nemesis so it always turns into a huge cleaning job, one I'm always happy to put off to do something else instead. I've been trying to figure out a new system to keep it simple. I will definitely try something like this...as soon as I get the bathroom clean enough so that a quick wipe-down will suffice!!!

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  34. Hi Kelly, hope your family is doing good. Thanks for the idea of the hang up rags and spray bottle on the inside of the door. It is so easy and accessable, such a great idea! Your photos are wonderful! Thanks for sharing. Smiles :-)

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  35. Seems simple enough. Thanks for breaking it down.

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  36. Thanks for sharing your bathroom color. It is absolutely gorgeous! I am getting ready to remove some wall paper in mine and that's just the color I was looking for!

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  37. Ohhh...that mirror!!! So.beautiful. And the flowers in the mason jar. Love it!

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  38. Really embarrassing and stupid question, but how to clean a toilet properly? I find I get accumulation in the bottom of the toilet, where my scrub brush doesn't quite reach the bottom. Also, the hard water lines from the water filling the toilet are visible too. I tried using a pumice stone, no good,

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  39. Hello,
    Nice post. Using a sponge and cleaner diluted in water, and starting from the farthest corner of the room, work toward the door, going left to right. Thanks for sharing it...

    Grande Clean Website

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  40. Hi!! Great Post...your bathroom looks awesome. There are so many decisions to make when choosing the best commercial janitorial company. Please give me some tips to clean my bathroom .

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  41. Great Tips! Thanks for sharing. Its very a big help in maintaing our house clean.

    Mini Clean
    http://www.miniclean.com.au

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