Deputy Housekeeper of Vivanta by Taj Surya, Geoffin Daniel, guides Pankaja Srinivasan from damp, smelly bathrooms to fresh bright ones in a few simple steps

Cleaning a bathroom is overwhelming. Especially if it has been a while since you have done it. Geoffin Daniel, Housekeeper at The Taj Vivanta who is responsible for all the sparkling bathrooms in the hotel says it need not be so swamping. He starts with the instantly-feel-good tip. “Just put everything back in their place,” he says. This means, cap the toothpaste tube, snap the shampoo lid shut, straighten out the shaving kit, pour out the excess water from the soap dish, arrange the buckets neatly, keep the mug where it belongs and empty the bathroom of soggy clothes. There! Your bathroom already looks and feels better. Of course this is just to motivate you to do better.

But when you have to get down and dirty, he says: “When you look at a bathroom, break it down into three main sections.

Below the knee level, chest to knee level and above chest level

It is the below-the-knee level that needs most attention. That is because we walk into the bathroom with dirty shoes, there is always water on the floor, and you look down at the toilet bowl. Once you tackle this level, everything else is easy.

W/C, the toughest one

Use a cleaner with a ph below seven for this (do not use very strong acids). Use the traditional round brush that reaches everywhere. Start with the inner rims and progress lower. If you push the brush at an angle inside the W/C, it drains the water out. This helps you tackle the tough yellow stains and the dirty ring formed thanks to the salt deposits. Wear gloves, especially when cleaning the inside of the toilet bowl and under its rim. Clean these areas with a green scrub pad. DO NOT use emery sheets as these will leave grooves and dirt will get ingrained in them which will be difficult to clean later.

Flush the toilet

Pour Chemical and spread evenly with brush

Allow it to stand for a while (this is a good time to move on to other areas of the bathroom) and scrub

Clean the toilet seat the last. Spray mild cleaner on it and wipe dry.

Tiles

Do NOT use acid

Use a mild cleaner.

Dilute the cleaner further and pour into a spray bottle. Spray onto the tile and wipe with soft cloth

For stubborn stains, use the green scrubber

Wash basins

Clean the wash basin every day.

Spray a mild cleaner and wipe with a dry cloth

The stubborn stains can be removed with green scrub

Pay attention to the splash areas around the wash basin. They can collect germs.

Do NOT use acid. It might clean the wash basin but it will harm its surface.

Make sure to peep under the washbasin. It is an area we normally forget about. That also needs periodic cleaning

Take the floor

The floor should ideally be cleaned every day. And thoroughly at least once a week.

Pour water. Sweep the excess off.

For the heavier cleaning, use cleaners with mild bleach content.

Scrub stubborn stains with long-handled nylon brush.

Clean with water and dry off the floor with water pusher followed by a mop.

Tip: Spread a few newspapers on the floor. The bleach in the newsprint acts as a cleaner and it also absorbs any residual urine smells in the bathrooms.

Fixtures

Use really dilute cleaning liquids

Use the soft cloth to wipe them dry

Do not use abrasive scrubs

Mirror/ glass surfaces

Do NOT use any strong chemicals

Use a cleaner that is high on alcohol content. As alcohol evaporates, it will leave no residual marks. News paper is great to wipe the surface

Flow chart

Break down the chores: You don’t have to do everything every day.

Allot one task per day: Do the washbasin one day, a corner wall one day (it is okay to clean even just four tiles a day; it is called square feet cleaning).

Make a chart: Pin it up so that you know what you have to do each day. This makes it easier to tackle.

Get a cleaning caddy: To keep all cleaning agents/scrubs/mops/gloves together. This way you will have everything at hand when you decide to clean.

Banish smells: Follow a systematic procedure and tackle each area regularly, and there will be no smells. Do not use cleaning agents that are over-perfumed. Perfumes are not necessary if the cleaning job is done well.