Things We Forget to Clean in the Bathroom

Dirtiest room in the house? The bathroom, hands down. That’s in part because the warm, humid environment is prime for mold growth, and mildew feeds off the leftover soap scum.

Not to mention, there are millions of bacteria colonies on any given surface. Because it’s one of the gnarliest rooms in a house, it’s important to keep your bathroom clean.

Improve your odds against mold, mildew, and harmful bacteria by cleaning these often-overlooked spots.

Deep Clean Overlooked Areas of the Bathroom

As you go through the routine of sprucing up your bathroom, don’t forget to include these often-unnoticed nooks and crannies …

P.S. If this doesn’t sound appealing, we clean some of these areas for you! Visit or call (888) 658-0659 for a free estimate.

The showerhead

Over time, the showerhead collects gunk that needs to be cleaned. The buildup is even faster if you have hard water. Minerals in the water can clog the jets and reduce water pressure.

To clean your showerhead, try this home solution once a month:

  1. Tuck a gallon-sized plastic bag into a pitcher.
  2. Fill with ½ cup of baking soda.
  3. Slowly pour 4 cups of vinegar. Be careful not to overflow by pouring too quickly.
  4. Top off with 1 cup of water.
  5. Place the bag over the showerhead and tie it closed with rubber bands.
  6. Allow to soak overnight.
  7. Gently scrub the softened mineral deposits from the showerhead’s holes (jets).

The sink drain

While a sink may look clean on the outside, most forget to pull up the stopper and clean inside the bathroom sink drain. A semi-regular cleaning of the drain will minimize clogs and keep your bathroom sink flowing.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Start with the drain plug. Lift it the highest it will go and wipe around it to remove hair and bits of soap scum.
  • Pour vinegar down the drain. Vinegar is great at breaking down dirt, grime, and bacteria buildup. Maximize its benefits by first pouring one part baking soda down the drain, followed by a one-to-one mix of hot water and vinegar down the drain. Cover the drain for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with boiling water. The chemical reaction between the two creates foaming that cleans the inside of your plumbing.
  • Flush with hot water. The water washes the vinegar mixture and all of the dislodged debris down and clears the bathroom sink drain.
  • Use a drain snake for stubborn clogs. As amazing as vinegar is, there are some clogs or buildup it won’t break up. Insert a drain snake to clear especially challenging clogs, though this will usually involve removing (and then re-installing) the stopper.

The shower curtain

Shower curtains are notorious for mold. They’re regularly splashed with water, and they don’t always dry properly because bathrooms are humid. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends proper ventilation and regular cleaning to prevent mold in your bathroom.

If you inspect your shower curtain, you may notice soap scum, mineral deposits, and potentially mildew forming as black spots.

Some plastic curtains are machine-washable and some are not. To clean a plastic curtain by hand, we recommend scrubbing affected areas with a cloth and baking soda.

Cleaning non-plastic curtains is fairly simple:

  1. Throw the curtain in the laundry machine. (Again, make sure it isn’t plastic, so you aren’t met with a melted mess at the end of the cycle).
  2. Add a quarter cup of detergent and a cup of baking soda. Baking soda is a mild abrasive and helps to scrub the curtain clean. You may also like to add a few drops of tea tree oil, which has antifungal properties.
  3. Include two or three towels in the load. The added volume gives the curtain something to rub against. Ideally, you’ll want to use light-colored or white towels to prevent colors from bleeding.

Related content: How to Clean Your Shower Curtain Liner


Because it sits a touch lower than the tile, even when you mop, tile grout is often barely touched. Grout is often darkened with mold or buildup but is also delicate. As tempting as it is to pour on the bleach, avoid harsh chemicals that can erode your grout.

These are a few solutions that can keep your grout clean and extend its life:

  • Warm soapy water. This method uses a mild detergent to scrub into the grout and lift dirt and bacteria. It can clean the surface, but your grout may not be as brightened as it could with other cleaners.
  • Vinegar and bicarbonate mixture. Combine a paste of white vinegar and baking soda and scrub the grout gently with an old toothbrush.

The exhaust fan

An exhaust fan works to remove humid air, but it also collects huge amounts of dust and grime that may harbor bacteria. Cleaning can also be tricky if your fan includes a light fixture.

Here are steps for cleaning a bathroom exhaust fan with a light.

  1. Turn off the breaker at the electric panel that powers the light.
  2. Remove the light cover and clean it with soap and water.
  3. Remove the light bulbs.
  4. Dry brush the vent and follow with a quick vacuum to prevent dirt and dust from falling on you as you continue.
  5. Unscrew the bolt holding the exhaust secure.
  6. Pull the vent down. It may only come down an inch or two.
  7. Reach behind the vent to unclip the inner hook holding the vent in place.
  8. Unplug the light fixture before fully freeing the vent from the wall.
  9. Dry brush and vacuum behind the vent.
  10. Follow the steps backward to reassemble the vent.

The light fixtures

Make sure to dust these often! Light fixtures are often overlooked and can easily be kept clean with routine wiping.

The bathroom walls

A splash of vinegar or a drop of dish soap in warm water is the best way to clean bathroom walls. It’s easy to damage the color on interior walls, so always stay gentle, using clean microfiber cloths or sponges.

Related content: 8 Cleaning Tools That Save Your Time

The toothbrush holder and soap dish

The gunk on the soap dish is usually easier to see and clean than inside toothbrush holders with small holes. Depending on material, both may be machine-washable, allowing them to be cleaned in a household dishwasher.

How to clean a nasty toothbrush holder? For toothbrush holders that are not machine-washable or with very small holes, try soaking the holder in hot, soapy water for an hour to soften any residue. Using a pipe or straw cleaner, scrub the inside of the holder until clean.

The doorknob and light switch 

Also hidden in plain sight: the doorknob and light switch – both of which are magnets for germs.

How long do germs stay on doorknobs? Bacteria often live for days – even weeks on hard surfaces, and germs on doorknobs in the bathroom are the worst of them all. To clean the light switch and doorknob, use disinfectant wipes to help eliminate germs.

Make the Bathroom Shine

Life gets busy, and we know it’s hard to keep up on your bathroom cleaning as often as you’d like to. Complement your bathroom – and entire home – cleaning schedule with regular or even a one-time cleaning service from The Cleaning Authority.

Give us a call at (888) 658-0659 or request service online to set up your cleaning today.