Detox and Declutter Your Bathroom
When was the last time you really dealt with the down and dirty of the bathroom? Ew. Well, it’s time. Think The Purge—but less horror thriller (though we admit what’s lurking in the bathroom can be quite scary) and more like going full-on Monica (of Friends fame) to deep-clean and detox your bathroom. Here, we break down how to clear out, clean up, purify, and maintain your bathroom for good.
Step 1 to Declutter Your Bathroom: Purge
This is the purge. Grab a garbage bag, as well as a separate container or sealable bag for medications. And now, empty all the areas of the room, and we mean all: the medicine cabinet, drawers, cabinets, linen closet, etc. Here’s what to remove:
- Rx. Dispose of unneeded, unmarked, and expired meds. Place these in a separate container and set aside for safe disposal. Google local collection sites or options like DisposeRx and more. (It is not considered safe to flush them or throw them in the trash. Medicine flushed down the drain can get into our lakes and streams, harming wildlife and ultimately ending up in our drinking water.)
- Expired products. All products have a shelf-life. Anything that is past it needs to go. Empty containers and recycle them.
- Half-used bath products. Be honest with yourself—if you were going to use it, you already would have. Time for it to go.
- Samples. Free stuff is great, but it can make for clutter. Sort your samples and ditch any you do not truly plan to use. For those you keep, store them together to take on weekend trips in place of bulkier products.
Step 2 to Declutter Your Bathroom: Deep Clean
Top-to-bottom scrub-down time. Turn on some tunes, slap on some gloves, and let’s detox this bathroom. Wipe down the emptied surfaces, the cabinet doors, handles, the shelves, the sinks, the toilet, the bathtub, the floors, the baseboards, the mirror—even the ceiling.
Your secret weapon? Vinegar. Mildew, soap scum, mineral deposits, grease, you name it—none are a match for the safe, natural, super affordable white vinegar. Use a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and water with a microfiber cloth on surfaces to clean and disinfect. The mixture can even be used for a streak-free shiny bathroom mirror. Insider tip: Adding a dash of Dawn to your mixture can help rid particularly grimy grime. And non-gel toothpaste is a touted titan for removing rust stains. (Want more? Read our five swaps for greener cleaning.)
Step 3 to Declutter Your Bathroom: Create a Haven
Your bathroom should be an oasis. Make it a “me-time” refuge with clutter-free, minimalist-inspired organization, candles, and purifying plants.
- Bins and baskets are a great way to organize products so that they are both pretty and easy to find. Adding chalkboard labels (you can use “chalk” markers) is a fun, clean-looking way to organize.
- Place a tray on the counter for everyday multi-use items to declutter and beautify the space.
- Add scent with candles or reed diffusers. Whether you prefer lavender for a calming refresh or white vinegar as a deodorizer, reed diffusers are an elegant way to keep your bathroom smelling clean and fresh. (Read more about healthy indoor air here.)
- Plants will not only help add a sense of calm and beauty to the space, low-maintenance and low-light plants like succulents (specifically the snake plant) actually release oxygen while filtering the air.
Boom. You’ve decluttered your bathroom. You now have not only a deep-cleaned space, but you also have a beautiful refuge you will actually want to retreat to.
What doesn’t ever get really dirty again won’t need to be deep-cleaned again. You’ve detoxed, decluttered and decked out your space. Now, with only one to three minutes per day, you can keep it sparkling clean for good. (Tip: Keep bath wipes, dryer sheets, squeegee, and old washcloths in one of those stored baskets for easy access.)
- Clean up wet spots, toothpaste, and any shed hair as they happen.
- A dry shower means no mildew. Squeegee your shower before you hop out.
Every few days
- Wipe down counters, toilet lid, seat, and handles with a disinfecting wipe.
- Combat shower and tub mildew by keeping a spray bottle with a vinegar solution in the shower. A few times a week, spray the entire shower with the solution and let air dry.
- Use toilet cleaner and brush.
- Wipe down floors and baseboards.
by Melissa Howsam