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Linda's Corner

Cleaning maven Linda Jones shares her tips, tricks and insights with a monthly column for Sandy Wipes.

 

The Brisk Bathroom Boogie

By Linda Jones, 7 January 2013

    Happy New Year!

    I thought I'd kick off 2013 with a cleaning game, one that's sure to help you out this year with getting your bathroom sparkly-clean in record time. Introducing The Brisk Bathroom Boogie.

    The goal in this game is to clean the bathroom as quickly as possible. It's timed - you start the timer right as you begin, and stop it when your bathroom is disinfected and cleaned, head to toe. Keep a record of this time - the next time you clean your bathroom, you'll try to beat it. Every bathroom cleaning from now on will be an attempt to beat your high score.

    What makes the game worthwhile is that you'll be so focused on the challenge of beating yourself that you won't find the housework to be anywhere near as hard as you probably do now. If you beat your time, you'll feel a surge of pride and accomplishment, and even if you don't, you got your bathroom cleaned very quickly and without much trouble at all.

How to play: First, get a stopwatch. If you don't have a physical stopwatch, you can use this free web-based one. Next, select your bathroom size below. Read through the cleaning routine outlined underneath, and print it out so you can review it quickly and easily. When you're ready, hit start and clean!

Select Bathroom Size:
Gold Star 14 minutes 30 seconds
Silver Star 19 minutes
Bronze Star 27 minutes 30 seconds

Star Times. We've provided some star times to give you an idea of what you're aiming for. Bronze stars mean you've done a very good job, Silver means you've done amazing, and Gold means you're an unstoppable cleaning force. You may think these times are unrealistic - I promise you it's possible if you follow the cleaning routine below. Also note, these times assume you clean your bathroom regularly. If you don't, it may take longer.

Cleaning supplies you will need:
- Extra Strength Sandy Wipes or similar disinfecting wipes
- Grout cleaner (can be substituted with 50/50 vinegar/water mix in spray bottle)
- Toilet cleaner and toilet brush
- Mop
- Disposable gloves (optional)
- Sponge (optional)

Before starting the timer, gather all these supplies in the bathroom. Remove any items that shouldn't be in the bathroom, like clothes. Read through this routine at least once, and visualize yourself moving from task to task in your head. When you're ready, start the timer, and clean! Get printable version

  1. Gather all washable linens, bathmats and towels. Put all towels and fabrics into a laundry hamper, and begin the washing machine. Most bathroom rugs, even those with rubber bottoms, are machine-washable - just hang them to dry to avoid cracking the rubber. Check the tags to be sure.
  2. Throw out all garbage and declutter. Place all trash, such as used cotton swabs and empty shampoo bottles, into the trashcan or a garbage bag. Place the trashcan just outside of the bathroom. Place any out-of-place items into their spot, such as hair dryers under the counter, without reorganizing anything.
  3. Clean the toilet. We'll start cleaning with the toilet, because it's the most work-intensive and we want to do it while we have energy. Apply liquid toilet cleaner under the rim, and allow to drip down and soak the inside of the toilet bowl. While it soaks, grab a disinfectant wipe and wipe down the seat lid, the seat, and the outside of the bowl, in that order. Grab the toilet brush, and scrub the inside of the toilet. Flush.
  4. Clean the counter and sink. Grab a disinfectant wipe, and wipe down the counter by the sink, moving towards the sink. Wipe down the sink fixtures, and then the sink itself, starting at the top and working towards the drain.
  5. Clean the tub. With a new disinfectant wipe, wipe the faucets, showerhead and surface of the tub. Tubs tend to remain fairly clean, so you can do this quickly, without scrubbing or going over an area more than once.
  6. Clean the tiles. If your bathroom has tiles by the shower/tub, the grout in between them is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Spray down the tiles, and scrub the grout with a sponge or a disinfectant wipe, focusing on yellowed areas.
  7. Clean the mirror and other glass. Grab a disinfectant wipe, and wipe down the mirror, with circular motions to avoid streaking. You can alternatively use a glass cleaner (I like to mix vinegar and water in equal parts, and pour it into a spray bottle) and a rag or paper towels. Clean any other bathroom glass (eg. shower door, window).
  8. Mop. You're almost done! Mop up the floors, focusing on high-traffic areas and by the toilet.
  9. Wrap-up. Throw the used disinfectant wipes, paper towels and other garbage into the trashcan sitting outside the bathroom. Replace the trashcan's bag, and put it back in the bathroom. Put away all cleaning supplies.
  10. Stop the timer! You're done! Hit the stop button, and mark down your time! You'll still have to transfer the washing machine linens to the dryer, but this is a small deal that can be done easily later on.

Additional Notes: Everybody's different, and so is everyone's bathroom, so the star times listed here are approximations. If you have a more elaborate bathroom than most, or if you have a physical condition that makes it hard to move quickly, don't be discouraged if it takes you a bit longer than you expected. The more important metric is how you do against your own times, set previously. Even then, the point of this game isn't really to beat your score, it's to clean the bathroom more quickly, and for it to seem like less of a chore. If you've done that, you've won.

I've used this game in my own life for years now, and it's still great fun. I hope you guys enjoy it as well!

One last thing: feel free to modify the steps for your own bathroom, or for your own cleaning style. Add in things you would like to add, remove stuff that isn't applicable to you. The rules aren't set in stone! Also, feel free to apply 'handicaps' - For example, if you're feeling a bit sick, give yourself +5 minutes to complete it. If you haven't cleaned it in 2 months, give yourself +10 minutes. This way, it still feels competitive, and not like the circumstances are preventing you from beating your high score.

I'd love to hear how this game works for you! Send me an email and let me know: linda@sandywipes.com.

Editors' Note: This article contains links to external websites. When clicking a link, you should be aware that other sites have their own terms as well as privacy policies, and that our privacy policy only applies to pages hosted by Sandy Wipes. Furthermore, this article is provided for informational purposes only. Neither Sandy Wipes nor Linda Brown are responsible for any damages or injuries that occur as a result of following the guidelines on this page.

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