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Cleaning your bathroom sucks— but these hacks make it better

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Get rid of built-up gunk in your bathroom with this guide to deep cleaning

Although there are exceptions to the rule (here's looking at you, self-professed clean freaks), most of us don't necessarily love to spend our spare time cleaning — it's called a chore for a reason, right? Of course, it's a necessary evil and you can't deny the accomplished feeling you get when your home is sparkling.

But of all the places in the home you have to clean, perhaps none elicits more dread than the bathroom. Scrubbing toilets, waging the good war against mold and mildew... it can be an exhausting endeavor, especially when problem areas simply don't seem to bend to your cleaning will.

Enter the following tried-and-true deep-cleaning tips, which should help give you an edge the next time you go to battle with your bathroom.

1. The toilet bowl

Might as well get this one out of the way, right? As far as bathroom cleaning goes, the toilet is kind of tops — because it is used the most, it can quickly accrue unsightly spots and stains (not to mention germs). Thankfully, all you have to do is break out the Clorox ToiletWand System. Thanks to a disposable head preloaded with Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner, you don't have to deal with the age-old "What do I do with this gross, wet toilet brush now?" internal debate. Just click, swish and toss!

More: How to unclog a toilet without a plunger

2. The floor (specifically around the toilet)

If like me, you have a little boy living in your household, you undoubtedly know how important it is to deep clean the floor in your bathroom (and sometimes the walls too, but that's a whole other article). But even if you don't currently know the unique joy of living with a rogue toilet bowl aimer, you likely find that everyday foot traffic can make your bathroom floors feel grimy.

Want to know a clever trick when it comes to keeping your bathroom floors spotless? Do them last. Work from top to bottom, dusting and wiping down everything above the floor. That way, you don't risk sullying the floors you've just cleaned. As for the actual cleaning, clean and sanitize at the same time using a mixture you can make at home.

Mix equal parts salt, baking soda and borax in a jar, sprinkle over stained tile and grout, wipe with a wet sponge and rinse. It'll take care of that nasty, sticky mess, and leave your grout looking good as new.

3. The shower

It's funny how a space we use strictly for cleaning can get so downright nasty. Start by spraying your shower walls and doors with cooking spray. Yep, you heard that right! Cooking spray will loosen all the grime, scum and lime deposits that seem to be embedded in your shower. You'll want to let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes to let it do its thing, so move on to other areas of the bathroom.

This is also a good time to toss your fabric shower curtain, if you have one, into the washing machine with regular detergent for a deep clean. If your curtain is in relatively good shape but you want to prevent future molding, mix a quarter teaspoon of clove oil — a natural anti-fungal agent — with a liter of water and spritz your curtain with it.

More: Goodbye, gunk! How to clean mineral buildup in your sink and shower

When you return, rinse all areas lightly with soapy water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth. To help minimize future mineral buildups on your shower door, spray them with an auto glass treatment like Rain-X (yes, really!).

Next, you can clear a clogged showerhead by filling a bag with diluted vinegar, placing it over the showerhead and tying the bag closed. This will need to sit overnight to break down water deposits, so you may want to plan ahead and do it the day before you clean the rest of the shower.

4. The tub

Like the shower, the tub can benefit from some extra TLC on cleaning day — between bath and body oil, hair products and soap scum, it can get pretty darn scuzzy. When you spritz the shower with an all-purpose cleaner, spritz the tub too. If you let it stand for at least 15 minutes, you'll actually have to put in less effort when it comes time to scrub any stubborn spots and stains.

After you've rinsed the all-purpose cleaner, break out your abrasive scrubbing pads and grout brushes and get to work on any areas that look less impressive than the rest. When you're satisfied you've scrubbed away any unwanted residue, rinse one more time.

Is that grout around your tub still looking kind of gross? Soak cotton beauty coil in bleach, then place it around grout lines. Let it sit overnight, then rinse.

5. The sink

In my household, we may never win the fight against toothpaste dribbles and errant hairs from my husband's clippers. As such, regular cleaning is the only way we (read: I) manage to keep my sanity and occasional deep cleaning is a must. For all-over cleaning, use an all-purpose cleaner that will strip away the light layer of soil on the sink.

More: 6 houseplants that remove bathroom toxins naturally

To put the kibosh on any hardened deposits, look toward a soft-scrub cleaner that will let you put in some elbow grease without damaging your sink's ceramic surface. Lastly, sanitize your sink by giving it a quick pass with a Clorox wipe.

The best way to fight tough stains in the sink, though, is to make sure it's thoroughly rinsed after each use. Easier said than done, right?

6. Faucets and fixtures

Have you ever noticed faucets and fixtures seem to accrue a surprising amount of gunk? Spatter, spots, discarded hair, soap scum — you name it, faucets and fixtures seem to have it, especially around the base. Using an all-purpose cleaner or a soft-scrub cleaner, start by rubbing around the base of your faucet or fixture. Continue by spritzing the entire fixture with your cleaner and rinsing. If your fixtures are chrome, try finishing up with this trick I learned from my grandma (I swear by it). Spray them with the same glass cleaner you might use to clean your bathroom mirror and dry with a clean microfiber cloth. They'll practically sparkle!

Get rid of built-up gunk in your bathroom with this guide to deep cleaning
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

This post was sponsored by Clorox ToiletWand.

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