A scrub brush is certainly the most versatile tool for cleaning a bathroom. It’s the best for removing soap scum and tough spots, so you’ll need it to give your bathtub a good cleaning. And unless you rinse your sink every time after brushing your teeth, you’ll probably need it to get the dried toothpaste and soap scum out of your sink, too.
Scrub brushes are also great for getting to floor areas that the mop can’t reach, like behind the toilet and sink and between vanities. Brushes with synthetic bristles last longer, but natural bristles are less likely to scratch surfaces.
Some bathrooms are small enough to clean the floor in a few swipes with sponge. But if you have a larger bathroom and want to save your back, a mop is a must have. Twist mops with replaceable heads are your best bet, because they allow you to control the water on the head while mopping and you can throw the head away when it’s clearly seen its last swipe. You can also use a dry mop to get cobwebs out of remote corners of the ceiling. If you want to get a little more high tech, there are some electric floor cleaners that function like a mop but with a little less effort on our part.
You use one sponge for the sink, one rag for the tub and only paper towels to clean the toilet areas. But no matter how anal you are about cross contamination, if you clean your bathroom with bare hands, you’re likely to pick up some grubby stuff. As an added bonus, gloves also help prevent dishpan hands in the kitchen.
Tile is a common surface in bathrooms because it’s nonporous; it’s easy to clean and difficult to damage, especially with water. But the humid environment in a bathroom can be a problem for the grout that goes in between the tiles. Unless you sealed it with a non-permeable sealer when the tile was installed, grout is porous, which makes it the perfect host for mold and mildew especially when you add the oils from soaps and shampoos that it absorbs. A grout brush is designed to get in the small areas between the tiles without scratching the surface.
You can get down on your hands and knees and scrub your toilet with a sponge, or you can spend a few extra dollars and invest in a toilet wand. Not only do these bathroom tools give you access to the darkest depths of the bowl without having to get very close to it, but they’re also great for cleaning out the tank — if you ever get around to that.
You can find toilet wands with disposable heads, so you don’t have to replace it in the holder that inevitably winds up full of grody toilet water. Just keep in mind that the disposable ones aren’t environmentally friendly, so be sure to buy some carbon offsets to assuage your green side.