Scrub all showers, bathtubs, sinks, and toilets. Before getting started in the bathroom, spray down your tub with multi-purpose cleaner so that it can soak for a while and break up any soap and oil that have accumulated. Do the same with the toilet bowls and sinks. That will make scrubbing that much easier when you circle back to it later on.
• TIP: Don’t forget to wipe down the base of the toilet near the floor, where dust and dribbles can sometimes land.
Wipe down light fixtures, mirrors, and window bottoms. Take extra time to carefully clean out gunk that has made its way into corners and around edges. Remove any grime or dust that has built up by wiping items down with a little vinegar on a damp rag.
Wash glass shower doors. To clear off that soap scum or water spot, apply some warm distilled white vinegar and let it sit for a half an hour or so, reapplying if needed, then sprinkle some baking soda on top, and gently scrub the spots away.
• TIP: A slightly damp dryer sheet will also remove buildup.
Toss any cloth shower curtains and bath mats in the washing machine. Just be sure to check care tags to verify what cycle items should be washed on. To keep anything from wrinkling in the dryer, set the heat setting on low and take items out when they’re still a little damp. Then, hang them back up in the shower to finish drying completely. If you also have a plastic shower curtain liner, wash it in the laundry on cold, and rehang it to dry, or replace it with a new one.
Clean Out Under the Sinks and Inside Drawers. Over time, these spaces tend to get cluttered. Take everything out so that you can wipe the bottom of the cabinets and drawers and clear out any cobwebs that might have formed. As you’re putting items back, toss what you no longer need, and organize the rest — taking care to put items you’ll use most frequently near the front for easier access.
Don’t forget the grout. You can make a homemade grout cleaner using vinegar, baking soda and water. First, spray down the grout with a half-vinegar/half-water solution until the area is good and saturated. Let it sit for a few minutes, scrub with a bristled brush (an old toothbrush will do!), and then rinse. Then, mix some baking soda with water until it forms a paste, apply it to the grout using your brush, and spray it with the water and vinegar. The bubbles that form will start to clean away some of the grit and grime, and your brush will do the rest. When you’re done, rinse the grout with warm water.
• TIP: In a pinch, carpet cleaner also works great on grout.
Disinfect Handles and Door Knobs. These neglected pieces of hardware are some of the most germ infected places in the house. If you haven’t wiped them down in a while, it’s a good idea to give them a thorough cleaning with a multi-purpose cleaner or disinfectant wipes.