Tips For Quickly Cleaning Your Bathroom When Unexpected House Guests Come

It's your worst nightmare: Out-of-town guests are stopping by for an impromptu visit, and your bathroom is nowhere near ready. While it would be nice to be excited to welcome your friends, there is no time to think about that as you frantically rush around to make the space more hospitable. Fortunately, you can quickly and thoroughly clean your bathroom — and your guests will be none the wiser. This speedy approach involves batching your cleaning work into the following categories: clearing clutter, spraying the cleaner, wiping down the mirror, cleaning surfaces, emptying the trash, and replacing inventory.

First things first, you need to have a clean slate in order to make your bathroom guest-ready. Begin by removing any dirty laundry or towels and any rugs or floor mats (roll these up and shake them outside later). Now is also the time to remove any personal items you shouldn't leave out if you're expecting guests. This includes used bars of soap, razors, toothbrushes, and other cosmetic and personal hygiene products. If you have available cabinet space, simply relocate these items to a bin or drawer in your vanity. This will save you time, as you won't have to move the items to another room. With your bathroom empty of clutter, you can move on to the actual cleaning.

Making the most of your time

To begin, gather your streamlined bathroom-cleaning supplies in a bucket for quick transport. You'll need a roll of paper towels, a couple plastic grocery bags, a microfiber cloth, a floor sweeper with dry and wet cleaning sheets, a multipurpose cleaning spray, and a toilet brush. As soon as you enter the bathroom, spray down all the surfaces (which include the countertop, shower or tub, and the toilet — both exterior and interior) with the multipurpose cleaner first, so you can batch the cleaning work and save precious time. Remember to use gloves and your bathroom exhaust fan when employing harsh chemicals.

While you're waiting for the cleaning product to do its job, you can clean the mirror. The best mirror cleaning trick out there is to use a microfiber cloth for a streak-free shine; dampen it slightly and buff your mirror until it gleams. By then, a few minutes have elapsed from when you sprayed down all the surfaces, so you can then wipe them down. Use a few paper towels to wipe all the surfaces, with the exception of the interior of the shower and toilet bowl, and dispose of them in your trash can (save emptying the trash can for the very end). Next, grab your shower hose and rinse off the tub or shower. Finally, finish cleaning the toilet by scrubbing it with the toilet brush and flushing away the excess cleaner.

Finishing touches

The final step when cleaning the bathroom is to sweep and wet-clean the floors. You always want to save the floor cleaning for last, as dust, hair, and other debris will likely fall on the ground during the preceding cleaning steps. The Swiffer Sweeper line of products (about $14 at Walmart) is ideal for last-minute housekeeping needs. Begin with using the dry mop, then quickly freshen the floor with the wet mop. Toss your used cleaning sheets into the trash, empty the can, replace it with a new trash bag, and voila — the bathroom is completely clean! 

However, there are still a few more things to do to get the bathroom ready for your guests. Remember to refill the hand soap pump, hang a fresh hand towel, and add a new roll of toilet paper right before your guests arrive (leave extra toilet paper under the sink or on a rack to save your guests the embarrassment of having to ask for more). This is also the best time to shake your bath mats outside and place them back down on the floor. For a little extra oomph, choose one of the best candle scents for bathrooms to lend some bright energy to the space. If guests are staying overnight, give them the gold-star treatment by leaving a stack of bath towels, washcloths, and bar soap or body wash in their bedroom or on the bathroom vanity.