How to clean bathroom fixtures for spotless surfaces

Make your bathrooms sparkle. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/hikesterson

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Unlike living areas or bedrooms, bathrooms are exposed to much more than everyday dirt or dust and the occasional spill. Surfaces like sinks, toilets, bathtubs and shower fixtures can collect bacteria, hard-water deposits, mold or mildew, soap scum and other gross buildup over time, so it's crucial to stay on top of regular bathroom cleaning.

As a general rule, plan to complete a few key cleaning tasks about once a week, though some bathrooms might need more frequent scrubbing, depending on how often they're used. No matter how you work it into your cleaning routine, make your bathroom sparkle with this guide on how to clean bathroom fixtures.

Bathroom sink

Clean your bathroom sink with a general-purpose spray cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water (1 cup vinegar to 1 cup water).

How to clean bathroom fixtures for spotless surfaces

For stubborn grime, scrub with a mildly abrasive cleanser or a paste made from baking soda and water. Vinegar works well for removing soap scum. Dry the sink with a soft cloth to keep it gleaming. To help keep the sink clean, get in the habit of wiping down the basin and surrounding countertop when you're done getting ready or brushing your teeth for the day.

Bathroom faucet

Dish soap, water and a cleaning cloth are typically all you'll need. However, check the manufacturer's instructions for the recommended cleaning method and tools for your faucet's material. Some finishes, such as oil-rubbed bronze or unlacquered brass, should only be cleaned with water and a soft cloth. Even for protected finishes, like chrome or stainless steel, avoid scrubbing with stiff-bristled brushes or abrasive sponges, as these could damage the faucet's finish. After cleaning the surface, wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth.

For tough grime, try a solution of 1 cup vinegar to 1 cup water applied with a cleaning cloth. To clean around the edges of the faucet, use a dedicated toothbrush. A small amount of baking soda with a few drops of water can also help clear away stubborn stains or buildup.


Porcelain or ceramic bathtubs should be cleaned with a general-purpose cleaner, vinegar and water, or a paste of baking soda and water. Never use undiluted bleach on a porcelain tub as it can remove the finish. Use a stain-removing cleanser on rust.

Acrylic and fiberglass tubs are easy to keep clean with a small amount of dish soap and water. Wipe the surface with a soft cloth. If anyone in your household uses bath oils, wipe down the tub immediately after bathing to avoid scum buildup.

Shower heads

To remove lime from shower heads made with chrome, stainless steel or other protected metal surfaces, fill a plastic bag with white vinegar. Attach the bag over the showerhead with a rubber band. Wait one hour, then remove the bag of vinegar and turn on the shower to flush away the vinegar and sediment. Polish with a soft cloth.

For fixtures with oil-rubbed bronze or brass finishes, it is often recommended that you use only water for cleaning.


Spray the exterior with a general-purpose cleaner or mixture of vinegar and water. Wipe clean. Use a mild cleaner such as dish soap with water to clean the surface of the toilet seat. Sanitize the bowl by scrubbing with antibacterial toilet cleaner or 1/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water. Wipe off any splashes or drips on the surrounding area with a soft dry cloth.

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