Say what? Did I just say that you have dirty rooms in your home? Not only that but two of the dirtiest rooms?
Yep. I said it. And I know it’s true, even though I’ve never been to your house.
Now I’m not comparing your home to anyone else’s house. So your rooms aren’t necessarily any dirtier than Mary’s across the street. And they might even be cleaner than the lady’s next door, who’s so obsessive she organizes the snow in her driveway. (True story. The things I could tell you…)
I know you’re wondering. Maybe some of the rooms in your house aren’t quite neat and tidy, but what could be so bad that it could be called the dirtiest room? And two of them!? (You might have even more.)
So what are the two dirtiest rooms in your home?
Why Are They So Dirty?
Think about it. It should be obvious why your bathroom is dirty and germ-ridden, but what about the kitchen? Shouldn’t that be one of the cleanest spots in the house?
Well, yes. That’s my point entirely; your kitchen and bathroom should both be the cleanest rooms in your home. But because of how we use them, they can easily become two of the dirtiest.
If you think about it, the kitchen and bathroom are also two of the busiest rooms in the house. And they can also be considered public rooms. If you have guests over, they often end up in the kitchen for one reason or another.
And everyone seems to need the bathroom at least once. I’ve even let repairmen use mine.
Let’s take a closer look at this.
Now how can your kitchen be one of the dirtiest rooms in the house? I’ve got a few reasons:
- It’s a high traffic room. In addition to being “the heart of the home”, it gets used all day long. A “clean” kitchen floor is probably not really clean for long.
- With so many people in and out, you also have a higher probability of them carrying dirt (and germs) with them. Especially if they’re wearing shoes.
- In many homes, the door to the garage connects to the kitchen. Great for when you need to bring the groceries in, but what else are you bringing?
- Lots of kitchens (like mine) have a door to the outside, usually to the deck and backyard. Got a pet? I bet you use that door to let them in and out.
- Speaking of pets, I bet that’s where you feed them too. Well, dogs and cats. Presumably, your iguana eats elsewhere.
- You prepare food in this room. That might include raw meat. (Not that you’re eating raw meat, but you are getting it ready to cook.) Ever rinse a whole chicken when you’re getting ready to roast it? Think about all the bacteria and grossness in your kitchen sink after that. It makes me want to clean the drain and the pipes too.
- And admit it: you’re just as guilty of science experiments in the fridge as the rest of us. That means your fridge might not be as clean and sanitary as you think, and then, once you discover what’s growing and dispose of it, your sink or your trash is icky.
- Which leads us to the kitchen trash. We have wastebaskets in other areas of the home, but none of them – not even the bathroom ones – get the kinds of garbage we put in our kitchen trash can.
As I said, it should be obvious why the bathroom is one of the two dirtiest rooms in your home. Still, we need details:
- We’ll just begin with the worst and get it over with: the toilet. We know what kinds of things go on there and none of them are things we want to think about. Bodily functions sum it up in a totally unappealing way.
- While we’re on the subject, did you know that flushing the toilet with the lid open can send a mist of germs in a six-foot radius? Where’s your toothbrush?
- The sink, tub, and shower are all places we use to get clean, so it stands to reason that they might be just a little bit dirty. Add soap scum to the stuff that comes off our bodies and this is starting to get really nasty.
- In addition to washing our hands and face at the sink, don’t forget brushing your teeth. The dentist is happy, but your sink is not. You’ve just added extra bacteria there.
- Then there’s the wastebasket. Again, we’re talking body fluids on a smaller scale, but they still have and leave behind germs.
- Finally, what about the floor? You’ve got that nasty part over there around the toilet (and in the back of the toilet, which probably doesn’t get the cleaning it needs). The part around the wastebasket could probably be a little cleaner, but the floor around the tub and sink aren’t bad, right? I wouldn’t bet on it.
Where to Begin
I don’t know about you, but I feel overwhelmed just writing all that stuff. That seems like a lot to clean! And when you’re born without the “clean gene” like me (you too?) it can be hard to know where to begin.
Let’s break it down, so it doesn’t seem like so much to do. And remember, you don’t have to get all of this done at once. It would be a good idea, though, to keep at it until you have it under control.
Basically, what you’re going to do is clear out anything that doesn’t belong and give the room a good cleaning.
You might want to assemble a cleaning kit if you don’t already have one. (Total honesty here – I have a few caddies here and there but I don’t use them. I keep cleaning supplies in each bathroom and the kitchen along with cleaning cloths, trash bags, and paper towels. I rarely use gloves, but you might want to. Disposable ones are best, I think. If you’re using sturdier gloves, make sure you use them for one job only. Bathroom gloves stay in the bathroom, and cleaning the toilet gloves only cleans the toilet.)
What you will need are your favorite cleaning products (make sure you have some kind of disinfectant), cleaning cloths or paper towels, a brush for the toilet, and trash bags. I use old grocery bags for the bathrooms and paper towels to clean the outside of the toilet.
And if you are a fan of natural or DIY cleaners (me, too), be sure that you have something you can completely trust when it comes to disinfecting, especially during cold and flu season. Vinegar, for instance, can usually be relied on, but not for all germs and viruses.
Cleaning the Kitchen
We’ll start with the kitchen.
- First, take care of any clutter or obvious trash.
- Then, if you have dirty dishes, put them in the dishwasher or hand wash them. (You might want to check that link above about washing dishes and really getting them clean. For now, use a clean dishcloth and towel.) If you hand wash, you’re going to dry them as soon as you’re done washing and then put them away. Novel concept, huh?
- Next clear and clean your counters and table. I use a countertop spray and paper towels, but you could use a microfiber cloth too. My table and counters are both made of stone, so I can use one product. Use what you need for yours.
- Clean the stovetop. I usually use a degreasing cleaner for this. (This is one of the reasons I love warm weather: grilling season! My goal is to only have to clean the dust off of my stove for a few months.)
- Do a quick wipedown of your appliances.
- Take out the trash. If your wastebasket needs it, give it a good cleaning. If not, lightly spray it with a disinfecting spray before replacing the liner.
- Sweep the floor, and if it really needs it, mop it too. You can either shake out any rugs or throw them in the wash.
I know this sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. And once you do this, it’s easy to maintain.
Cleaning the Bathroom
Of the two dirtiest rooms in your home, the bathroom definitely takes first place! At least it’s smaller than the kitchen, and most of the surfaces are meant to get wet and therefore will take well to cleaning.
- As before, start with any trash or clutter that doesn’t belong.
- Clear off all of the surfaces if you can. If you have to move things from one place to another to clear and clean, then that’s what you have to do. No big deal. For what it’s worth, I don’t keep anything decorative in our bathrooms, and certainly nothing on top of the toilet tank. Think of the germs!
- Before you go any further, put some cleaner into your toilet bowl. I use bleach to clean our toilets. I let it sit while I clean the rest of the bathroom.
- Now spray every surface that you can with your cleaner or cleaners. Maybe you use a different one for the tub or shower than you do elsewhere. This includes the outside and seat of the toilet. Note: if you’ve got hair in the sink or tub, you might want to wipe that out first, then add the cleaner.
- This is one of the best tips I can ever give you: let the cleaner sit for a couple of minutes before you start cleaning. Otherwise, you are doing most of the work instead of the cleaner. Maybe you can go back to the toilet and swish the cleaner around while you wait. Don’t forget under the rim.
- Wipe down your surfaces, going from cleanest to dirtiest if you are using the same cloth. So, sink, shower/tub, then the toilet.
- Wipe off anything you took off of your surfaces with a clean cloth before replacing. You might want to spray the cloth with a bit of cleaner.
- The bathroom rugs probably need to go in the laundry; that’s your call.
- Now you need to clean the floor. A quick sweep might be needed, then mopping. I would follow with a disinfectant spray around the toilet, especially at the base.
- Be sure to put up fresh towels, and don’t forget to clean the mirror and polish the faucets!
Now don’t get discouraged. It looks a lot longer than it takes. And once you get it done, and are just on upkeep, it’s no big deal at all!
Get these under control and you might not have the dirtiest rooms in any house anymore!
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I just wanted to mention that if you have a tub that’s especially hard to clean, I have the perfect homemade recipe for you in my printables. We have hard water where we live, and when you add that to soap scum, you get a mess that’s almost impossible to clean. (Especially when it’s your son’s bathroom and he’s not particular about cleaning.) This stuff works like a charm! You’ve got to try it!