Bleach is a germ-busting solution for dirty bathroom surfaces. Here's how to use it safely and effectively with our tips.

By Megan Boettcher

When it comes to cleaning the bathroom, having to deal with mold and bacteria is practically guaranteed. But bleach, a powerful cleaner, can be used to zap germs, brighten surfaces, and eliminate odors

Before cleaning with bleach, however, it's important to take some safety precautions. You should never pour bleach directly down the drain as it could cause damage to pipes or a septic system. Remember to always work in a well-ventilated area when cleaning with bleach; this could mean opening a window or turning on your bathroom exhaust fan. Keep pets and children away from the bathroom while cleaning with bleach. We also suggest wearing rubber gloves to protect your skin from the chemical. And never mix bleach with ammonia or another cleaner as it can create a toxic gas. 

Once you're ready to get started, gather your cleaning supplies and follow our top tips for cleaning the bathroom with bleach.

Blue bucket filled with home cleaning supplies

1. How to Clean a Toilet with Bleach

It’s no secret that the toilet has the dirtiest job in the house. But it's important to keep your toilet clean to maintain a healthy household. Start cleaning the outside bowl and handle with a few sprays of a bleach cleaning solution. To make the solution, mix 1 tablespoon bleach with a gallon of hot water; pour some of your mixture into a spray bottle. If you're planning to clean your entire bathroom, you can use the rest of the solution throughout your deep-clean, or divide the recipe for a smaller batch. Spritz the bleach solution on the toilet and wipe clean with a paper towel or clean rag. To clean the inside of the bowl, spray the bleach solution into the toilet around the rim, scrub with a toilet brush, and let sit for 5 minutes before flushing.

2. Use Bleach to Clean Bathroom Mold

Tough mold and mildew stains can be defeated with bleach. Clean the moldy area with a 1:1 bleach to warm water solution. Let it stand for 5 minutes, then scrub with a bristle brush and rinse off with warm water. Let air-dry, making sure to open windows and doors for ventilation. Once gone, find ways to prevent mold and mildew from coming back.

3. Tips for Cleaning Grout with Bleach

Similar to cleaning bathroom mold with bleach, you can also clean grout with bleach using a 1:1 bleach to warm water mixture. Apply the bleach mixture to the grout and let it stand for 5 minutes. Use a toothbrush or other small brush to brighten grout. Finish with a thorough rinse of warm water before letting air dry.

Editor's Tip: For a milder cleaning alternative, use baking soda to clean grout lines. Combine baking soda and water to create a paste, and use a toothbrush to scrub the mixture on the grout. Finish by rinsing the baking soda mixture off the grout.

4. Remove Bathroom Stains with Bleach

Use a bleaching powder for cleaning stains on the sink or countertop. Mix a tablespoon bleaching powder with 1 gallon warm water and stir to dissolve. Wipe the surface with solution and scrub away stubborn stains. For tough stains, allow the mixture to sit on the stain for a few minutes before scrubbing with a toothbrush or bristle brush. Rinse with warm water.

5. How to Clean a Shower Curtain with Bleach

Before cleaning your shower, take down your shower curtain and liner, and throw them in the washing machine with regular laundry detergent and 1/2 cup bleach. Washing the shower curtain with bleach kills mildew and eliminates orders. To prevent plastic shower curtains from wrinkling in the washing machine, add a few towels to the load. Air-dry the shower curtain and liner on the rod.

6. Use Bleach to Clean Bathroom Rugs

Mold and mildew love to grow in dark, damp places, and the underside of a bath mat is the perfect breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. Similar to cleaning a shower curtain with bleach, wash bathroom rugs with 1/2 cup bleach and your regular laundry detergent. For plastic mats that sit inside the tub or shower to prevent slipping, soak in a mixture of 1/8 cup bleach and 1 gallon of water for an hour before rinsing thoroughly. 

7. How to Clean Bathroom Trash Cans with Bleach

Spray your empty bathroom trash can using the spray bottle you filled with some of the 1 tablespoon bleach and 1 gallon of water mixture. Let the bleach mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, then wipe the trash can dry. 

8. Tips for Cleaning Bath Toys with Bleach

Bath toys are another hot spot for bacteria. To clean bath toys, fill a bin with bath toys, 1/2 cup bleach, and one gallon of water. Let the toys sit in the bleach mixture for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and allow them to air-dry.


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