Get your bathroom sparkling with these spring cleaning tips and tricks

Cleaning the bathroom shouldn’t be a punishment. It’s one of the smallest rooms in your house, after all. If you’re keeping dirt from building up on grout and other time-consuming cleanups, it shouldn’t be long before your bathroom sparkles, experts say.

You can prevent mold and mildew from building up on damp, dark surfaces by opening a window or using a fan to reduce moisture. Also, leave the shower door or curtain open after showering.

Also, it doesn’t require many specialized products. Many of the tips for cleaning your house are simple washing-up liquid and a soft cloth. Baking soda is a natural cleaner. Mix it with water for a slightly abrasive paste that is safe to use on most fixtures and surfaces.

Before you start scrubbing, throw away any empty or old bottles of hair and skin care products hidden in drawers and closets, says Toni Hammersley, founder of A Bowl Full of Lemons, an online community that specializes in cleaning, organizational and offers budgeting advice.

> “The Complete Book of Clean: Tips and Techniques for Your Home” by Toni Hammersley, best-selling author of “The Complete Book of Home Organization”.

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Preventing dirt from building up on grout and other time-consuming cleanups shouldn’t take long to sparkle in a bathroom, experts say.Stephanie Yao Long / The Oregonian

Becky Rapinchuk from the popular Clean Mama blog makes an all-purpose bath peeling with two cups of baking powder and 10 drops each of lemon and clove essential oils.

She keeps the mixture in a mason jar (or a container with a lid or a shaker lid). She wets the area, sprinkles the powder, and adds a splash of dish soap or castile soap. She scrubs with a sponge or sink-proof scrubber, rinses with water, and then dries with a soft cleaning cloth.

> “Simply Clean: The Proven Way to Keep Your Home Organized, Clean, and Beautiful in Just 10 Minutes a Day” by Becky Rapinchuk

> See other green house cleaning books

Here are easy countertop and toilet cleaning ideas from experts, including the editors of How To Clean Virtually Anything, by Consumer Reports:

Spray powdery mildew with one part bleach and four parts water (after opening the window for ventilation and wearing a mask and eye protection if you are sensitive to fumes). Let the solution sit for half an hour, then scrub and rinse with water.

Faucet: Wipe with a soft cloth or sponge dipped in warm water and washing-up liquid. Dry with a soft, clean cloth to restore shine. Limescale build-up on chrome can be dissolved by wrapping the area with a cloth soaked in white vinegar or a commercially available descaler such as CLR.

Medicine cabinet: remove the contents and wipe the interior with a sponge dipped in warm water and a few drops of mild detergent. Wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth.

Sink, bathtub and shower: wipe the surfaces with a soft cloth after each use to prevent dirt and soap build-up. Use a sponge to clean surfaces with hot water and liquid detergent. Don’t use abrasive cleansers such as abrasives or steel wool on acrylic, fiberglass, stainless steel, or sealed marble tubs or sinks, according to Consumer Reports.

Shower curtains and linings: Clean with the washing machine’s gentle cycle and remove before the spin cycle. Hang it on the shower rod to air dry. Add three-quarters of a cup of chlorine bleach to the detergent if there is mold or mildew.

Keep lather off the bottom of a plastic shower liner by putting baby oil on a soft towel and applying it to the liner.

Shower doors: The Rain-X glass treatment repels water on clean shower doors. After each shower, wipe the doors with a squeegee, sponge, or dry cloth. Make a paste of baking soda and water to clean the doors with a non-abrasive sponge. Rinse with white vinegar.

Shower head: Clean a metal shower head in a saucepan with one part vinegar to eight parts boiling water. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Soak a plastic shower head in an equal-part solution of vinegar and hot water.

Toilet bowl: Use a toilet bowl cleaner and brush to clean and disinfect to remove stains and hard water. To clean the brush, run it through the soapy water and then rinse it off during a rinse.

Windows and mirrors: Spray on a mixture of one part ammonia and eight parts water or use an ammonia-based window cleaner. Wipe with a damp, lint-free cloth and then dry with a streak-free microfiber cloth or a squeegee. Use an anti-fog windshield cleaner to prevent the mirrors from fogging.

– Compiled by Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

[email protected] | @janeteastman

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