Introduction

The Ultimate Guide to Deep Cleaning Your Bathroom

You may be wondering why you would ever need to deep clean your bathroom. Maybe you just moved into a new place, and the previous tenant didn’t take care of things very well. Or maybe your bathroom needs a good cleaning, as let’s face it – they can get pretty gross. No matter the reason, a deep clean is the way to go if you want to achieve an exceptionally clean bathroom.

While a regular cleaning routine is important to maintain cleanliness, some areas and items just need a little extra attention from time to time. This is where deep cleaning comes in. Deep bathroom cleaning is a thorough process that will leave your bathroom looking and feeling brand new.

So, how do you deep clean a bathroom? This guide will provide you with all the necessary steps and tips to give your bathroom the best clean it has ever had. Be sure to go over each bathroom area, including the toilet, sink, shower, and floors. With a little elbow grease and these tips, your bathroom will be sparkling clean in no time!

Remove everything that’s not bolted down

The first step to deep cleaning is to remove all items from the counters, shelves, and anywhere else they are not bolted down. This includes things like rugs, toothbrush holders, soap dishes, the contents of medicine/mirrored cabinets etc. Anything that can be easily removed should be taken out of the room. This will give you more space to work and make it easier to clean all surfaces. Your toothbrush holder and the like should go in the dishwasher for a hot, hygienic clean.

Get rid of dust and hairs

Once everything is removed from the room, it’s time to start cleaning, but before you start splashing the water around, you want to get rid of dust and hair as the hair will stick to anything damp such as your gloves and cleaning cloths.

If the bathroom is dry, a vacuum with a long hose attachment works brilliantly and will allow you to get the dust from the floor around the back of the toilet, down the back of radiators, around any annoying pipes and also give the grille of your extractor fan a quick clean (we’ll come back to this later).

Prepare the toilet

Squirt bleach around the toilet bowl. Ensure you get it right up under the rim, and it covers any discoloured areas of the bowl. Put a good squirt into the water too. Leave the bleach to do its thing whilst we move on.

Descale and clean the shower head

Shower heads that have not been used for a while can harbour the bacteria that cause Legionnaires disease. Limescale will also build up over time, which can cause the shower head to become less effective and can also lead to corrosion. The good news is that descaling a shower head is a fairly simple process.

Ideally, remove the shower head and put it into a bowl or cup of vinegar, ensuring the holes are submerged. Leave it for a few hours or overnight if possible (if your shower head is brass or has brass decoration, you should not soak it overnight in vinegar), then rinse with clean water. If you can’t remove the shower head, put vinegar into a sandwich bag and tie it over the showerhead, ensuring all the holes are covered. Again, leave for a few hours before rinsing with clean water.

Give the shower head a squirt of cleaning spray and a good scrub with a brush, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies and get rid of any nasty-looking marks or residue, then give it a final rinse with clean water.

Clean the shower hose

If you have a shower hose, clean it the same way as the shower head. Remove it (if possible) and soak in vinegar or cleaning solution, then give it a good scrub before rinsing with clean water. If you can’t remove it, put vinegar into a sandwich bag and loop the hose into the bag. Again, leave for a few hours, after which a good scrub should remove all the remaining dirt and buildup, then rinse with clean water.

How to give shower grout and silicone a really good clean

There are several tried and tested ways to clean shower grout, but as this is an ultimate guide to a deep clean, we want to ensure that every last bit of dirt or discolouration is removed.

Prepare it and leave to work

For a really deep clean, we recommend using neat bleach. We have seen many guides that recommend mixing bleach with baking soda but having tried a side-by-side test have found that neat bleach works best. This makes perfect sense as it fizzes and bubbles when you mix bleach with baking soda. What is happening there is the acid in the bleach (one of the main active ingredients) is being neutralised by the alkaline in the baking soda, thereby weakening its potency to clean.


Apply the bleach to the grout and silicone and leave it to work whilst you carry on with the other items on this list. The longer the bleach is left to work, the better the results will be.

Finishing the grout and tile clean

You can use a grout brush, but a toothbrush is also an ideal size to really get into the grout groove, and a new one with stiff bristles works best of all. Take the toothbrush and scrub the bleach, and it should come away, revealing beautifully white grout.

Before you rinse the remnants of the bleach off the walls, take your cleaning cloth or a scrubbing brush and go over all the bathroom tiles in the shower. You might want to add more of the same bleach, but do not mix any other type of cleaner as this can cause unwanted chemical reactions and/or release toxic gas.

When you’ve finished, rinse the walls down with plenty of water.

Clean the glass shower doors or shower curtain

Your shower curtain can go into a cool/gentle wash on its own or along with your bath mats (even the rubber-backed variety).

Glass shower doors tend to get covered in soap scum and water marks from limescale.

A citric acid solution works miracles on limescale, mineral build-up, and soap scum.


Mix 60g of citric acid with 1 or 2 tbsp dish soap and 1 litre of warm water in a spray bottle.

Spray this mix liberally on sinks, bathtubs, shower doors, faucets, taps, and toilet bowls and let sit for 20 minutes. If you leave it, it will dry slightly sticky, so rinse it off after 20 minutes.

Clean the shower tray

You should start by cleaning the drain – check out our step-by-step guide on unblocking a sink. Pour a little bleach down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes before flushing with warm water. You want to remove hair that is likely to cause clogs and any soap scum or residue. For best results, use a drain snake which you insert into the drain opening, and twist around several times. Have a waterproof bag handy and slowly retract the drain snake, and it should bring all manner of hair and other gunk with it. Transfer anything it brings back up into the bag. Repeat until it brings nothing back out.

If you do not have a drain snake, you can use a straightened-out coat hanger or, failing that, something like a small screwdriver to latch onto and get rid of the hair and gunk, but be very careful not to scratch any polished finishes.

Once the drain is clean, it’s time to clean the rest of the shower tray. The majority of shower trays are made from acrylic or fibreglass. These materials are typically finished to a shine, but the material itself is not hard enough to stand up to cleaning with abrasives. You can use non-abrasive bathroom sprays or bleach to clean them. If there is limescale build-up or marks, you should use the limescale busting spray, but ensure that you have rinsed away all the bleach beforehand.

For stone resin or enamel shower trays, you should use a non-abrasive cleaner and avoid using bleach or other acidic cleaners. Spray this onto the shower tray and leave it to work for a few minutes before scrubbing with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge. Rinse with clean water afterwards.

You can also buy commercial cleaners that are designed specifically for cleaning shower trays, but always follow the instructions on the bottle and take care not to use anything too abrasive.

Clean the bath tub

Fill the bathtub with hot water and leave to sit for a few minutes. This will help soften any dirt or grime stuck to the surface.

If your bathtub is made of enamel, you can use the same white vinegar and water solution that you used for the shower tray. Simply spray onto the surface, leave to work its magic and then scrub with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge. Rinse with clean water afterwards.

For porcelain or stone resin bathtubs, you should use a non-abrasive cleaner. You can make your own by mixing one part white vinegar with one part water. Spray this onto the bathtub and leave it to work for a few minutes before scrubbing with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge. Rinse with clean water afterwards.

You can also buy commercial cleaners that are designed specifically for cleaning bathtubs, but always follow the instructions on the bottle and take care not to use anything too abrasive.

Clean the walls and ceiling

The walls and ceiling in your bathroom, like the rest of your house, can get covered in dust. This is especially true if you have a lot of ventilation. You can use a feather duster or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to clean the walls and ceiling. Start at the top and work your way down, dusting any light fixtures, vents, or other objects that might have accumulated dust.

For more thorough cleaning, you can make a solution of one part white vinegar and one part water. Put this into a clean spray bottle and spritz it onto the walls and ceiling. Wipe down with a clean cloth or sponge, working from top to bottom. Rinse with clean water afterwards.

If you have any black mould, we recommend HG Mould spray, which is specially designed to kill mould and mildew. Simply spray onto the affected area and leave it to work its magic.

Clean the extractor fan / vent

If your bathroom has an extractor fan or vent, it is important to keep it clean to do its job properly.

Before you begin, you should isolate the power supply to the fan. To do this, simply switch off the circuit breaker or unplug it from the socket. Once you have done this, you can proceed to clean the fan.

The first step is to remove any dust or debris from the outside of the fan. You can use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment or a feather duster.

Next, you want to clean the blades of the fan. You can do this by using a damp cloth or sponge and some washing up liquid. Gently wipe down the blades, taking care not to damage them. Once they are clean, rinse with clean water and dry them with a clean cloth.

Finally, you want to clean the inside of the fan. This can be done by vacuuming it out with a soft brush attachment or using a can of compressed air.

Once you’ve finished, reconnect the power supply.

If your extractor is looking a little tired, check out our recommended bathroom extractor fans

Clean the toilet

The cloth you use for cleaning the toilet should be kept separate from the one you use for anything else as toilets can harbour all sorts of bacteria and other nasties.

Modern toilet seats often have an easy-release button to take them off, so take a look and see if yours does. If it does, pop the seat off and clean it in the bath or a large sink with antibacterial spray and a scrubbing brush. Taking the seat off will also allow you to give the area around the toilet seat hinges a really good clean.

If your seat doesn’t have an easy-release button, don’t worry, you can still clean it thoroughly. Just make sure you give the hinges a good clean too.

You should have poured bleach around the toilet bowl in an earlier step, but if you skipped that, squirt a good amount of bleach around the toilet bowl and get it right up under the rim. Pour a couple of glugs into the water as well.

Starting at the top of the toilet, clean the flush handle or button and, working downwards, clean the rest of the exterior as well as the toilet lid and seat, if still attached, with a bathroom disinfectant spray and cloth.

When cleaning the seat, make sure you pay attention to its underside at the front of the toilet, as there’s normally a little yellowy-brown patch here caused by the accumulation of little dribbles of wee.

Continue past the bowl to the base of the toilet and clean around the bottom of the toilet, being careful not to get any water or cleaning products on the floor.

Clean the toilet bowl last, using a toilet brush to reach all areas. Start at the top and really get the brush under the rim, then work your way down, scrubbing as you go.

As the water in the toilet bowl will be a fairly concentrated mix of bleach, this is a great time to ensure the toilet brush itself is clean. If there are discoloured marks on the toilet brush head, you can let it sit in the water for a few minutes to soften and dissolve. Just make sure you remove the brush before you flush.

Give the toilet brush holder a good clean as well. If it’s looking a bit grubby, you can remove it and give it a soak in some bleach solution before giving it a good scrub and rinsing it off. Spray the toilet brush handle and bowl with disinfectant spray and leave them.

Once you have given the whole toilet a good clean, flush it to rinse away any cleaning products.

Reattach the cleaned toilet seat and lid if you removed them earlier.

If you find that there are still mineral stains that look brown or reddish in the toilet bowl, there are several commercial products such as Lime Away and EcoGurus Limescale Remover. We have also heard suggestions such as dropping a denture-cleaning tablet into the water. Another suggestion was to pour a can of cola into the bowl, leave it for a while, scrub and rinse, and then pour in vinegar. Whichever route you choose, ensure you have flushed away the other cleaning chemicals first.

Clean the cabinets and any glass shelves

Spray the outside of your bathroom cabinets and medicine cabinet with an all-purpose cleaner or disinfectant and wipe them down with a clean microfiber cloth. If the doors have dirt or grime build-up, you can use an old toothbrush to scrub it away.

Don’t forget to clean the cabinet hardware, too. Simply wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove soap scum or water spots.

Once you’ve cleaned the outside of the cabinets, you can move on to the inside. Take everything out of the cabinet and give it a good wipe down with a disinfectant. This is a good time to get rid of expired products or ones you no longer use.

Wash the cabinet shelves with hot, soapy water and dry them with a clean cloth before putting everything back.

Clean the countertop

Empty everything off your bathroom surfaces and countertop and wipe it well with an all-purpose cleaner or disinfectant. If you have any stubborn dirt or grime build-up, you can use a scrubbing brush to get rid of it.

Clean the bathroom sink

You should start by cleaning out the drain in the same way you cleaned the shower drain:

Pour a little bleach down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes before flushing with warm water. You want to remove hair that is likely to cause clogs and any soap scum or residue. For best results, use a drain snake which you insert into the drain opening, and twist around several times. Have a waterproof bag handy and slowly retract the drain snake, and it should bring all manner of hair and other gunk with it. Transfer anything it brings back up into the bag. Repeat until it brings nothing back out.

If you do not have a drain snake, you can use something like a small screwdriver to latch onto and get rid of the hair and gunk, but be very careful not to scratch your sink.

Once the drain is clear, continue cleaning the taps and then move on to the basin. If your taps look dull, you can bring them back to life by polishing them with a little vinegar.

You can use dental floss to get into the tiny gaps between the tap and the basin. Draw a decent amount of dental floss out and wrap it around your fingers so that you have a good grip. Gently insert the floss between the tap and basin and wiggle it back and forth until you have cleaned the whole area.

Once you’ve tackled the taps, you can move on to cleaning the basin. If you have a pedestal sink, you’ll need to clean around the base where it meets the floor. Use a cloth or sponge and an all-purpose cleaner to wipe away any dirt or grime.

If you have a countertop sink, you’ll need to clean the area around the sink as well as the sink itself. Use a disinfectant to clean the countertop and an all-purpose cleaner or disinfectant to clean the sink.

Clean the chrome fixtures

To polish your chrome fixtures to a high shine, use Jennifer from Queendom Cleaning‘s Limescale Busting Spray

Mix 60g of citric acid with 1 or 2 tbsp dish soap and 1 litre of warm water in a spray bottle.

Spray this mix liberally on your chrome fixtures and let sit for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, spray a gentle all-purpose cleaner onto the fixture, wipe it off and polish to a high, limescale-free shine!

The spray will dry slightly sticky, so you’ll want to rinse anywhere else it landed with water or wipe with a damp cloth.

Polish hard surfaces and mirrors to a high shine

For polishing any hard surface to a high shine and disinfecting it at the same time, Jennifer recommends using a solution of water and isopropyl alcohol diluted to a 50:50 ratio.

Spritz on counters, sinks and mirrors and polish with a clean, dry cloth.

Clean any windows

If your bathroom has a window, you’ll need to give it a good clean as well. Start by dusting off the window sill and frame with a dry cloth. If there is any dirt or grime build-up, you can use an all-purpose cleaner or disinfectant to remove it.

Use a cloth or sponge and some soapy water to wash the outside of the window. If the window is very dirty, you may need to use a scraper to remove any stubborn dirt or grime.

Once the outside of the window is clean, you can move on to the inside. Use a glass cleaner to clean the inside of the window.

You can skip this step if your bathroom doesn’t have a window.

Clean the floor

You should have already swept or vacuumed the floor as it is likely to be quite wet by now. If you still need to sweep or vacuum, do so now, making sure to get into all the corners and cracks.

Once the floor is free of dirt and debris, you can move on to mopping. You’ll need to use a tile cleaner if you have a tile floor. You can use an all-purpose cleaner if you have a vinyl or linoleum floor.

Once you’ve finished mopping, make sure to dry the floor with a clean towel. This will help to prevent any streaks or water marks.

That’s it! Your bathroom is now clean and sparkling.

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