The bathroom is naturally associated with germs, which means an unclean bathroom gives the impression of an unhealthy house.

These are also rooms we must use every day, which presents a two-fold challenge-maintaining a nice space for all the time you and your family spend there, and keeping a high-traffic room from looking like one.

Fortunately, most of the surface treatments used in a bath­room are specifically designed for easy cleanup.

You probably won’t need to do a lot of scrubbing to keep your bathrooms look­ing sharp-especially if you use the shortcuts we provide here!

Details matter more in this room than any other in the house.

After all, a soap-splotched sink or a shower door cloudy with mineral buildup is all it takes to make an otherwise spic-and­span room seem dingy.

Weekly cleanings will go a long way toward making your bathrooms clean and welcoming personal sanctuaries, but it’s wise to add some basic maintenance to ensure your bathrooms really shine-and function as well as they should.

Start with the heavy-use fixtures and features in the room.

Keep showerheads looking sharp and delivering an invigorat­ing spray.

If you live in an area with hard water, you’ve probably encountered mineral deposits clogging some of the holes in your showerhead, making the head itself look dull and drab.

No need to buy a new one, just use denture tablets or vinegar to revive the fixture.

If you’re able to remove the showerhead, dissolve 4-5 denture tablets in a bowl of water and put the head in the bowl to soak for about an hour.

Or let it soak overnight in white vinegar. If the showerhead isn’t removable, pour the denture tablet solution or vinegar into a plastic bag, tape or tie the bag to the fixture so the showerhead is completely immersed, and leave the bag in place for 1-2 hours.

Glass shower doors are a convenient addition to any bath­room, but seem to be magnets for soap scum.

Head off the scum by squirting foaming shaving cream onto a dry, clean rag and wiping down the doors.

The foam will leave behind a film that keeps the door from fogging and makes it harder for soap scum to stick.

This trick works just as well to keep bathroom mirrors from fogging and looking their best between room cleanings!

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Bathroom Action Plan Step 1. Toss the linens into a pile
Bathroom Action Plan Step 1. Toss the linens into a pile
Reader's Digest

If you have a hamper in the bathroom, put in the towels, washcloths, tub mats, and bath mats.

Other­wise, pile them in the hall.

Once you’ve “stripped” all your bathrooms, gather everything that needs to be washed into a laundry basket and start a load in the washing machine.

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