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How to Power Clean the Bathroom Before Your Holiday Guests Arrive

A messy bathroom.
trekandshoot/Shutterstock.com

Your holiday company is on the way, and your guest bathroom is a wreck. No worries! In a mere 15 minutes, you can take your powder room from hot mess to presentable. You don’t even have to do a deep clean to get a sparkling latrine.

You’ll want to start with the higher areas and work your way down, saving the floor for last. This will allow any stray hairs, dust, and dirt you loosen while cleaning the sink and lighting fixtures to fall to the floor, where they’ll be whooshed away when you sweep. Follow these steps to make that bathroom sparkle with a quickness!

Grab That Duster

A Swiffer feather duster beig used on vertical blinds.
Swiffer

You don’t have to scrub down the bathroom walls, although a quick spot-clean might be useful if there are some dirty areas. However, you should do a quick dusting of all surfaces. Make sure you hit any visible dust on the ceiling vent or light fixtures, as well.

One swipe will usually be enough, especially if you have something like the Swiffer Duster with Extendable handle. It’ll allow you to dust every bathroom from top to bottom in just a few minutes. Once all the loose dirt and dust is gone, you’ll already be well on your way to a clean-looking bathroom.

Clear Counters & Purge Medicine Cabinets

A woman placing an organizer holding a few product jars in a bathroom drawer.
Kostikova Natalia/SHutterstock.com

You don’t have time to pull everything out of the medicine cabinet and drawers. Just be sure to put away any stray bottles of hair or personal hygiene products. Also, make sure the hand soap dispenser is full for your guests.

If your medicine cabinet is crammed to overflowing, scan the contents and take a quick inventory. Trash anything you no longer need or combine multiple bottles of the same medicines or products.

Store any excess items in another cabinet or drawer, if you have one. If not, just stash them in your private bath until the holidays are over.

Wipe Down Mirrors, Sinks, Counters, and the Toilet

Someone squirting toilet cleaner into a toilet.
Odua Images/Shutterstock.com

Squirt some toilet cleaner in the bowl first thing, so it can penetrate all the grime while you clean everything else. If you want to clean your toilet less often, get some automatic toilet bowl cleaner drop-ins. Put one in the water tank and it will activate with every flush. Just replace it with a new tablet when the water is no longer blue.

A quick spritz of glass cleaner and a wipe down with a microfiber cloth will remove any messy toothpaste spots or fingerprints from the bathroom mirror.

Sinks and toilets can both get really dirty, really fast. If you’ve fallen behind on your cleaning schedule, you might have to spray and wait a bit. Not all bathroom cleaners are created equal, either.

However, if you follow these tips, it should speed up your power-cleaning process before anyone rings that doorbell:

  • Add some shine with vinegar and water: This combo will give you sparkling faucets and hardware immediately.
  • Scrub with a baking soda and water paste: Mix these in a small plastic dish, dip a damp cleaning rag in it, and then scrub that sink and wipe down the counters.
  • Grab some Dawn Dish Soap: It actually cleans better (and faster) than many so-called bathroom cleaners.

After you’ve cleaned everything else, grab that toilet brush and swirl it around in the bowl with the cleaner that’s been soaking in. Pay extra attention to any spots or water stains. Once it’s as clean as you can make it, give it a flush.

Swap Out Hand Towels & Close the Shower Curtain

No one likes drying their hands on a dirty, wet towel, so put some fresh ones out for your guests. This is also a good time to grab any dirty towels or clothing off the floor and toss them in the hamper.

If your guests won’t be sticking around long enough to need a shower, you don’t have to waste time cleaning the tub—just close the shower curtain. Out of sight, out of mind!

However, if you’ll have overnight guests, you’ll likely have to scrub the tub or shower to get it properly clean. One product that can help in a pinch is some Scrub-Free Bathroom Cleaner. Just spray it all over your tub or shower and let it sit for 1-3 minutes. Then, wipe it all down with a wet sponge, or turn on the faucet or shower to rinse.

Empty the Trash, Sweep, & Spot Mop

Someone mopping a bathroom floor.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Once everything has been wiped down and/or scrubbed, grab those rugs and take them outside for a quick shake or use a hand vac to give them a quick once-over. Also, don’t forget to empty the trash can and replace the liners! If you have a lidded can or you keep it under the sink, it can be easy to forget to empty it if it’s not trash day.

Finally, sweep the floor, and then use a wet rag to wipe up any spots or dirt. Or, if you have a Swiffer Two-in-One, you can use that to both sweep, and then quickly mop the floor. After the floor is dry, replace any rugs, and your bathroom is clean and ready for visitors!


When you’re down to the wire, and the fam is on the way over for the holiday feast, you can still make that filthy bathroom presentable. Just follow these steps, and you’ll have everything spick-and-span in time to greet your guests at the door.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »

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