If you teach your children to clean the bathroom every day as part of their morning routine, you’ll never have to worry about dealing with a gross bathroom again!
When we moved into our new home, I was determined to have sparkly-clean bathrooms.
But, I have boys.
Lots of boys.
(And a fair share of girls too! But, boy moms, you get me, right?)
I knew the only way to keep the bathrooms under control and the stench at bay was to clean them every single day. And I knew just the right kids for the job!
There are 3 bathrooms in our home. I manage the daily cleaning of the master bathroom, my 14 year old daughter looks after the main level 1/2 bathroom (which is kept mostly for guests and the there-aren’t-enough-bathrooms-for-this-many-people emergencies), and my 8 & 10 year old boys clean the kids’ bathroom in the hallway outside their bedroom. This is done every day as part of our Morning Routine.
See our Simple Morning Routine >>
I consider this a “spot check” just to keep the bathrooms under control – reminiscent of the Swish & Swipe prescribed by FLYlady. This works well because every week on Friday we do a full-blown Home Blessing (which is WAY more in-depth than FLYlady’s version) and the bathrooms get deep cleaned. However, they don’t need nearly the scrubbing they once did because they are “touched up” all week long!
Read: Weekly House Cleaning with Kids (aka Home Blessing)
Supplies needed for each bathroom:
- Toilet bowl brush
- Spray bottle of water & window cloth
- Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner or favorite kid-safe spray
- Paper towels or cloth rags
- A tote to organize supplies under the bathroom sink (optional)
Here is the Morning Bathroom Cleaning Schedule we follow:
1 – Wipe down counter & sink
Using a homemade all-purpose spray (ours only has 3 ingredients!) or your favorite kid-safe counter-top spray, or just a wet rag, have your kids spray and wipe down the counter and sink. Teach your kids to start here because they can use the same rag to clean the toilet, but no one really wants them to start with the toilet and THEN clean the counter and sink!
2 – Swish & Swipe toilet
As I mentioned earlier, this method was passed down from my FLYlady days. I’ve since had to adapt some of her methods for my larger-than-average family, but much of what she teaches totally works for me…if I’d just do it. *smirk*
This is probably the most crucial step to having a nice-smelling bathroom. Start by wiping down the outside of the toilet with a paper towel or the rag you used on the counter and sink. It’s your choice whether you have your kids spray the toilet down before “swiping” or if you save that for your deep-cleaning day.
Next, have your children use the toilet bowl brush to swish around the inside of the toilet. No cleaner needed.
To limit the amount of toilet water that ends up in the brush holder (or all over the floor – yikes!), teach your children to place the brush like this to dry:
Note: Make sure everyone else in the house knows to REMOVE the brush before they utilize the facilities. Just sayin’.
3 – Wipe down the mirror
Please tell me I’m not the only mom with toothpaste spit marks all over her bathroom mirrors. *sigh*
All you need to clean mirrors is a spray bottle of water and a window cloth – sometimes even the window cloth alone will do the trick (well…that is, if you don’t have toothpaste spit marks all over the mirror).
4 – Check trash & replace as needed
Teach your kids to recognize a full trash can and how to replace the trash bag. This skill is priceless.
A handy trick I learned from my waitressing days is to put several trash bags underneath of the top bag so that when you bag up one trash bag another is right there waiting for you.
5 – Check soap and refill or replace as needed
We use refillable liquid soap pumps, so in addition to our supplies, we also keep a large soap refill under the bathroom sink. Whatever your soap choice, teach the kids to recognize when it is empty or used up and needing to be refilled or replaced.
If you like liquid soap, try these foam soap dispensers to minimize how much soap your kids go through.
If you like bar soap, this soap holder is fantastic at minimizing the mess!
And that’s it! The kids put everything back under the sink and call it good!
Now, I imagine you have a few questions. Like…
What about towels?
This might be something you decide to add into your routine, but for us, it isn’t necessary because twice a week our 14-year-old daughter washes towels and sheets (if needed). So, twice a week the towels in each bathroom get freshened – which is good enough for me.
See our Large Family Laundry Routine >>
You can also check out my HUGE LIST of Large Family Laundry Solutions >>
Or maybe you are wondering…
How do I teach my kids to do all of this?
We use a method known as EDGE.
That’s just a fancy way of saying, I explain each step while I demonstrate it. The next time, I watch them while they try to do it on their own, stepping in where needed. And finally, when I feel like they have it, I let them do it all on their own with no supervision, just spot checks here and there to make sure all is going well.
And be prepared to remind, remind, remind. It takes time for things like this to become automatic.
Your kids really can do this! Trust them! It may not be perfect, but let me tell you, an imperfect bathroom cleaning is better than no bathroom cleaning!
Looking for more homemaking tips?
Check out the Homemaking Basics page here on Raising Arrows!