My first cleaning experience was intentionally deprived of research, so I could rely on the biased and preconceived information I had about cleaning. Granted, there wasn’t much I could draw from. Subsequently, I consumed all the information I could. In other words, I watched YouTube videos for hours.  And woah, I was blown away with all the material. There are some really creative and innovative cleaning tips and tricks that I want to cover next.

While there were a lot of sources out there, the hands down winner of cleaning was Melissa Maker.  She is the internet queen of cleaning.  Melissa is entertaining, informative, and yeah . . . she’s cute. Okay, I’ve got a cleaning crush on her. And much like myself, she hates cleaning. Using her tips on cleaning the bathroom from this video I was able to mash up a general strategy that made sense.

I added my own spin on things and here is the optimized format for cleaning. Keep in mind, I haven’t even tackled the angle on making this fun. I am just trying to get competent right now!

Positioning-make sure everything is ready and prepped
There is an old adage in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that I keep telling my kids.

Position before submission.

Marcelo Garcia-one of my favorite BJJ artist.

Before you strike, make sure everything is ready and setup for success. In this case, I need to make sure that all my supplies were ready and that I wasn’t going to run around the house with dirty dripping gloves trying to find paper towels. Items to have at hand:

  1. Wiping scrubbing stuff
    1. Paper towels
    2. Sponge with scouring side
    3. Microfiber towels
    4. Toilet brush
    5. Corner/grout brush
    6. Squeegee
    7. Bath towel*
  2. Cleaning solutions
    1. Soap scum busting solution (1 part vinegar  + 1 part dish detergent)
    2. Disinfectant/mirror solution [1 part alcohol + 1 part water]
    3. Toilet bowl scrubbing solution. Store bought.
    4. Soap*
    5. Shampoo*
  3. Protection
    1. Gloves-PVC nondisposable

*Since I wanted to take a shower while cleaning the shower, I eventually needed these items.
Melissa built a cleaning caddy of supplies so she could carry everything she needs. This gave me a good idea to work with the kids in building their own caddies.

The final step in positioning is to remove all items from the bathroom. This includes contact lens holders and toothbrushes that I accidentally left out the first time and accidentally spraying with cleaning solution.

Let it dwell-lets get all that acid and alcohol to work

With the tools all positioned, the next step was to pretreat any surface to let the cleaning product sit. This is known as “dwell” time.  With the soap scum solution, I hit the shower walls, floor and sink. With the disinfectant, I hit the toilet and mirror. I don’t really need to disinfect my mirror-but it does leave a streak clean finish.

Elbow grease-here’s where the fun begins
With everything positioned and prepped, let the games begins! In my last experience, I hit the sink, toilet and then shower. Unless I am drawing toilet water to wash my hands, I am reversing the sink and the toilet order. There is less chance I would need to use the toilet versus the sink while cleaning.

I donned a glove.

Previously I had used a disposable glove, but I wanted to explore non disposable options. I selected a very thick PVC glove over a thinner neoprene version. The PVC glove felt more durable.  This was both a blessing and a curse. While the glove might last a while longer, it was definitely more difficult to use.

I used paper towels to wipe off the disinfectant solution. Two things I forgot to prep were 1) pre tear the paper towels so I wouldn’t contaminate the main roll and 2) leave the trash can inside the bathroom to throw away the towels.  I did spend more time scrubbing and cleaning away the grime around the back of the toilet. I still have no idea what that yellow orange grime comes from back there. . .

The final toilet task was to scrub the toilet bowl.  Since I didn’t want the toilet brush handle with my dirty gloves, I removed them.  Before that, I cleaned the gloves by washing my hands with the gloves on. I subsequently found no good way to hang my wet gloves. Another problem to ponder.

With my hands free, I took out the toilet brush and scrubbed the bowl clean. Learning another tip from Melissa, I let the brush drip dry in the toilet by placing the handle between the rim and the seat. Victory-toilet cleaned!

Brilliant tip! Let the brush drip dry.

Sink and Mirror

I picked up these cheapo towels at Walmart. They seem to offer the best value for the volume.

Cleaning the sink and mirror was relatively easy. Using one of the new microfiber cloths I bought, I cleaned the mirror in no time. I guess using paper towels or old pieces of rags really hurt my productivity here.

For the sink, I took out a kitchen sink sponge-the one where there is a green abrasive side glued to the sponge. Cleaning the open areas of the sink was easy. I did work a bit harder to get at the corners for the faucet and the sink. Washing the sink I think I took a wrong approach. I used the microfiber cloth to wipe down the surface, but there was a lot of dish soap residue. So I damped the cloth and made even more bubbles! In hindsight, I should have a damp towel and a dry towel to finish the job.

For the shower I got naked. [No picture for this section] I failed to mentioned that I started cleaning the bathroom at 10pm and my wife was already asleep. I decided to get naked because I wanted to try out cleaning the shower while taking a shower. Melissa has not recommended this technique. Or at least one that I’ve found . . .

Since I had pretreated the floors, the floor was a bit slippery.  I used a big brillo pad with a handle to clean most of the wall surfaces. For the hard to reach corners, I pulled out a narrow corner brush. With my vigorous scrubbing, I managed to work up a sweat as expected. But no problem-all I had to do is get the soap and shampoo, which were conveniently removed for cleaning, and take a shower. So with a number of wet trips out of the shower, I managed to wrangle up the showering supplies (towel included).

Washing the walls last time seemed tedious and a bit ineffective. We don’t have a hose attached to our shower head so I had to use a bucket. While taking a shower, it was much easier to wash down all the walls. When I was done with the shower, I took the squeegee and dried (or attempted to) every surface in the shower.

With the toilet, sink, shower, and myself all cleaned-all I had to do was wipe the floor down and put everything back in. I simply wiped down the floor with a paper towel and finished up.

Lessons learned
Was this fun? Not exactly. I did feel more efficient with decent results. Taking a shower was useful, but that is only useful if timed accordingly.  While this was not fun (yet), I do have some additional ideas I want to use on my next cleaning assignment.

Until we clean again!


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