Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Steam Clean Your Bathroom Like a Pro

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Updated on:

July 1, 2023

Ultimate Guide to Steam Cleaning Your Bathroom: Say Goodbye to Grime and Germs!

Ask anyone what room they hate cleaning the most in their home, and they will invariably say the bathroom. Even though many contemporary bathrooms have become spa-like retreats in recent years, cleaning them is still awful. After all, even the nicest bathroom smells horrible at times. Doubtlessly, you know that the average person spends one-third of their life in bed, but what you probably didn’t know is that we also spend a year of our lives in the bathroom.

Not only is the bathroom is the most used room in the home, even surpassing the kitchen, it’s also the one that harbors the most harmful organisms, including bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew. Just thinking about what can live there will make you figuratively sick. That’s why cleaning your home's bathrooms with steam is the perfect way to keep the most hated room in the house cleaned and sanitized. We’ll show you how to clean your bathroom thoroughly and efficiently, like professionals do, and then sanitize it with a powerful portable steam cleaner like the Fortador Volt Mini.

Key Takeaways:

  • Steam cleaning is an efficient and chemical-free method for thoroughly sanitizing bathrooms, eliminating harmful organisms, and removing soap scum.
  • Assembling the necessary tools and cleaning in a specific order can streamline the process and save time.
  • Steam cleaning offers benefits such as killing germs, reaching small areas, being hypoallergenic, and drying quickly without the need for additional drying.

Our recommended model: Fortador Volt Mini

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Table of Contents (Show)

Table of Contents (Hide)

complete guide of bathroom cleaning
Complete guide of bathroom cleaning

1. Assemble Your Bathroom Cleaning Tools

Before you get to work, assemble everything you need to do the job:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Newspapers or cloths especially made to dry windows
  • Spray bottle filled with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water
  • Essential oils for a pleasing scent
  • Toothbrush for scrubbing tight areas
  • Baking soda
  • Spray bottle with a home bathroom cleaner mix of 1:1 vinegar or dish soap
  • Non-scratch scrub pad
  • Vacuum
  • Paper towels
  • Long-handle duster to reach high places
  • Fortador Volt Mini commercial steam cleaner
tools for bathroom cleaning
Tools for bathroom cleaning

When sanitizing with a steam cleaner, you can skip harsh chemicals to disinfect the bathroom and clean the toilet bowl. The power and heat of the steam will do the job of blasting away all harmful organisms.

2. Essential Tips for Effective Bathroom Cleaning

Why do professional house cleaners get your bathrooms so clean in such a short amount of time? They clean items in a specific order and place clutter outside of the bathroom for easier cleaning.

If the weather isn’t too cold, open the bathroom window if you have one. Even if the temperature is a bit nippy outside, you could open the window a crack to bring in fresh air. Alternately, if you don’t have a window, turn on the exhaust fan after cleaning it.

Remove towels, bath mats and rugs, shower curtains, and window curtains and place them in the wash to remove lingering musty smells. If you have a plastic shower curtain, run the washer on warm instead of hot and remove it immediately following the rinse cycle. Hang it to dry. You may also want to place one cup of vinegar in the washer with the shower curtain to freshen it.

When deep cleaning, remove everything from flat surfaces, starting with your toothbrush cady, all of the bottles of product you regularly use and those you don't use, and knick-knacks that you may have on shelves. While this may seem like a pain at first, you’ll save time and achieve a more thorough cleaning. Place everything in a box or container just outside the bathroom to make it convenient to retrieve and replace them. Don't forget the wastebasket and any miscellaneous items on the floor.

Start from the top and work your way down. By doing so, any dust or other debris won't fall on surfaces already cleaned.

3. The Importance of Steam Cleaning Your Bathroom

Steam cleaning provides myriad benefits over scrubbing by hand. For one, you won't have to work as hard. Secondly, steam cleaning is quicker. However, consider these additional benefits:

  • Steam's high heat kills all germs and infection-causing bacteria while also removing mold and mildew and preventing those organisms from redeveloping
  • Attachments can work their ways into small areas to remove dirt and grime
  • Soap scum buildup melts away with steam
  • You can always clean any furniture with steam
  • Because you use no harsh chemicals with a steamer, your environment will be healthier
  • Steam cleaning is hypoallergenic
  • As you do not need to buy extra cleaning products, steam is bdget-friendly
  • Steam dries quickly, so you don't need to dry off tiles and many other surfaces

4. 12 Proven Steps to Achieve a Sparkling Clean Bathroom

bathroom sink and shower walls
Bathroom sink and shower walls

4.1 Dust All Surfaces

Remove loose dirt and dust, starting with the exhaust vent on the ceiling along with any heating vents. You may want to use your vacuum with a hose attachment to reach into the vents to remove more. Remove cobwebs and any other accumulated dirt with a long-handled duster, and then move onto ceiling light fixtures and any wall fixtures. If needed, bring in a step stool to reach these high places. Dust the blinds and window tracks next, using a microfiber cloth to wipe off loose debris. Once you have dusted all surfaces, sweep and vacuum the floor to remove hair and other debris. Don't worry if you can't quite reach into the smallest spaces; the steamer will reach there with a narrow attachment.

4.2 Wipe Down Surfaces with a Lightly Moistened Microfiber Cloth

Depending on the surface, take the distilled vinegar solution or the dish soap solution, spray it on the surface and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth. For surfaces that may have soap scum or discoloration, sprinkle some baking soda on a non-scratch pad, work it in and let it sit. Steam cleaning will remove any residue from your pre-cleaning preparations.

4.3 Clean the Vents and Lights

As you'll need to reach high, keep the step stool handy. Use a thin nozzle attachment to reach into the exhaust fan and the vents to remove pet dander, human hair, and anything else that accumulates there. From there, you can move down to ceiling lights and those on the wall, running a small nozzle attachment over the slats and the light fixtures. Proceed to window blinds next. You may want to use a small brush attachment if you feel that either the vents or the blinds harbor a lot of dirt. If you wish, you can wipe down all of these areas with a microfiber cloth are you finish steaming.

If you see any presents of mold or mildew, check this guide for killing them in your house.
bathroom mirror and lighting
Cleaning mirrors

4.4 Clean Windows and Mirrors

Spray windows and mirrors with the distilled vinegar and water solution and use the squeegee attachment to clean and polish. This method works so much better than using window cleaner, as you will have no streaks. For areas where steam may remain, use newspaper or a special window cloth to remove excess moisture.

Learn more about windows and glass cleaning with steam
Learn more about cleaning mirrors

4.5 Make the Tile Shine

Bathroom tile takes a lot of abuse. It's also the place where mold and mildew can easily form, especially in the grout. Over time, these organisms can embed themselves in the grout pores, hardens, and then becomes difficult to remove by traditional methods. Traditional methods call for brushes and harsh chemicals, and even then, you may not be able to remove all of the gunk. Before steaming the higher sections of your bathroom, spray your dish soap solution on the tile, paying particular attention to stained grout areas. When you're ready to clean the tile, place the small brush attachment on the Fortador Volt Mini and steam the tile, working from top to bottom. Make sure you pay special attention to grout areas that are heavily discolored as well as corner seams to remove the embedded mold and mildew.

If you have wood floors, check this cleaning guide.
To learn more about our selection of best mops for floors learn more here
bathroom shower cabin
Bathroom shower cabin

4.6 Shower and Tub

Our shower and tub areas take a beating with frequent use as soap scum, hair products, bath oil, and body soil all combine to make the shining surface dull and dingy. That combination also provides a thriving environment for mold and mildew. If you put off regularly cleaning your tub and shower walls, that gunk will harden and ossify and make it even harder to remove. As with the tile, spray the tub with your all-purpose cleaning solution and let it sit while you steam other parts of the bathroom. The cleaning solution will begin to dissolve oils and soap scum, so you'll spend less time on it later. If you have a particularly nasty tub or shower surface, make a paste of baking soda and hot water water and apply it to the worst areas with a scrubbing pad and work the paste into the area. Use the small brush attachment on the steamer to dissolve and whisk away the gunk. Rinsing is not necessary.

4.7 Steam Shower and Tub Fixtures

The fixtures in this area have their own set of cleaning problems, especially if you live in an area with high mineral content in the water. Mineral buildup can make your showerhead run slowly. If you can, detach the showerhead the previous evening and soak it in full-strength distilled vinegar. The vinegar will dissolve the minerals, while the force of the water when you turn the shower on will flush them out.

Other than taking care of the inside of your shower head, your fixtures don't need any special treatment. Place the small nozzle attachment on our steam cleaner to work on the showerhead, tub faucet, and water controls, paying attention to the areas where the fixtures meet the tile or tub surfaces. After you are through steaming, you can wipe down the fixtures to make them shine.

bathroom shelves cleaning
Bathroom shelves cleaning

4.8 Shelves and Towel Bars

Open shelving and towel bars are two other areas that can benefit from a deep cleaning with steam. Use a narrow attachment to steam the bars and wipe them off with a microfiber cloth when you're done. For shelves, you can use one of the smaller attachments for smooth surfaces. Before cleaning, make sure that you have glass or a sealed surface that can withstand steam cleaning.

4.9 Steam Clean Fiberglass or Glass Shower Doors and Enclosures

Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads on these areas as they require special treatment as abrasives can scratch or dull the finish. Use your all-purpose mixture or baking soda if you think your shower enclosure is especially dirty. Spray cloudy glass doors with full-strength white vinegar before cleaning. Make sure that you have the bathroom exhaust fan on or the window open for this job.

bathroom sink
Bathroom sink

4.10 Clean Your Vanity or Sink

Sinks and vanities are two other areas that also suffer a lot of abuse with soaps, dirt, toothpaste dribbles, germs and the like. You'll have to forego steam cleaning as the steamer can warp unsealed wood if you have a wooden cabinet base. Lightly spray wood cabinets with all-purpose or vinegar and water solution and then wipe off immediately. The area around the faucets generally harbors accumulated dirt and mineral deposits, so spray cleaning solution on them ahead of time to help loosen the gunk.

Sinks and vanities can be tough to clean, but with a steam cleaner, it's a breeze. Attach a scrub brush to your Fortador Volt Mini. Pay particular attention to the faucets, especially the area behind the faucet and water controls as mineral deposits and gunk accumulate there. Splash clean water on the sink and faucets to eliminate the loosened dirt, and then wipe and polish the faucets and sink with a microfiber cloth. Voila, you're done and have produced a squeaky clean surface along with a sparkling washbasin that will look like new. The best thing about this process is that you cleaned without chemicals, so there is no residue.

toilet cleaning
Toilet cleaning

4.11 Navigating Toilet Cleaning With Steam

Of course, this is the job that everyone hates, and with good reason. Toilets smell, and they are simply icky. Let steam cleaning do the work to eliminate the odor and the residue from whatever comes your toilet's way. While all you need is your steamer, you may want to include several microfiber towels and some vinegar according to your preferences. The microfiber cloths will come in handy after loosening dirt, grime, limescale, and other undesirable elements.

To properly clean your toilet while also removing stains and germs to produce the ultimately clean bathroom, follow these steps:

  • Use the steamer's angled nozzle attachment to clean under the rim of the toilet and toilet seat
  • Steam the toilet bowl at the highest possible pressure to loosen stains
  • Concentrate on the hinges to loosen rust on screws
  • Rinse with water to wash off ossened dirt into the toilet bowl and flush it
  • Wipe remaining moisture with a microfiber cloth
  • Don't hesitate to redo any areas with stubborn stains

Take your time cleaning the toilet, and don't forget the handle or the flush buttons which harbor microscopic particles. If you prefer, spray the toilet with vinegar before you begin cleaning. Standing time is often necessary to clean all built-up deposits, just like it is with other areas of your bathroom. Start first with the lid and move down the tank to the bowl. If your toilet bowl develops a stubborn ring that been steaming won't fully remove, get a pumice stone. Pumice stones are porous and can crumble, but they're great at removing stubborn toilet stains. Make sure you wear rubber gloves when reaching into the toilet bowl with the pumice stone. The combination of steam, vinegar, and a pumice stone will make your toilet sparkle like new.

bathrom tiles cleaning and grout brighening
Bathrom tiles cleaning and grout brighening

4.12 Turn Your Attention to the Bathroom Floor and Baseboards

Start at the area near the toilet as this will generally be the dirtiest rea, not to mention the fact that you've worked your way down the toilet. The floor near the toilet is subject to drips and dribbles, especially if you have boys of any age. Pay strict attention to the floor near the toilet as urine accumulates here and can cause odor problems and floor damage. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the base of the toilet and the floor near it that could be considered a "spray zone." You may even want to do so with the lower part of the walls around the toilet. After all, there's nothing that says you can't do so.

Create a mixture of 1/4-cup vinegar, one tablespoon of dish soap, and two gallons of water. Put it in a spray bottle and apply it to the floor before you steam. Save the rest of the mixture for other times when you will either mop the floor or do a deep clean. Steam the floors and let them dry. You won't need to do any wiping. That mixture works well for tiled floors. If you have another type, follow the manufacturer's recommendations for non-toxic cleaners.

Check this guide how to deep clean tiles and grouts
bathroom drainage cleaning
Bathroom drainage cleaning

4.13 Do Not Forget. Clean the Drains

While this step isn't something your steam cleaner can do, you don't want to forget it, and you can follow up with the steamer after the mixture has bubbled down. Take a half cup of baking soda and put it down and around your drains. Add a full cup of vinegar, which will fizz, and scour the drains as the mixture goes down. Turn on the hot or warm water to flush it out, and you're done. If you want, you can still follow with your steamer around the drains, both shower/tub and sinks, to make sure all residue is gone.

bathroom steam cleaner
Bathroom steam cleaner - Fortador Volt Mini

5. Why is the Fortador Volt Mini Best for Cleaning Bathrooms?

When compared with other popular steamers available across various websites, the Fortador Volt Mini is much more powerful. The unit heats within minutes and delivers steam at temperatures up to 338 degrees Fahrenheit. That's much higher than the 212 degrees produced by most other machines. The Volt Mini also produces steam at a pressure of 101.5 psi, which is also more powerful than most units used in the home. This powerful machine will shorten the time you spend cleaning as you won't have to go over the stubborn spots as much as you would with less powerful devices. Another great feature of the Volt Mini is that it is powered by electricity, no diesel fuel, so you still get power without any fumes.

portable steam cleaner accessories
Portable steam cleaner accessories
Also steam cleaner is a great tool for post construction cleaning.

6. PRO Tips to Keep Your Bathroom Clean

Once everything is clean, you can replace everything you removed, wiping down bottles to make sure they are clean. If you don't feel like removing your shower curtain, you can even steam that clean too, which will further reduce the time you spend giving your bathroom the deep cleaning it deserves. You'll only need to perform deep cleaning with the steam cleaner every several months. Most of the time, wiping down surfaces with a non-toxic, all-purpose cleaner every week will do the trick to keep your bathroom looking bright. In between deep cleanings, do the following to keep your bathroom clean:

  • Buy a good bowl brush, place some vinegar in the toilet bowl and scrub underneath the rim to avoid hidden deposits and scrub
  • Mop or sweep the floor weekly to remove hair and debris
  • Regularly wipe down sinks, vanities, tiles and shower doors
  • Use a hair-catching device to avoid drain clogs
  • Run your toothbrush caddy and soap dish (if you still use one) through the washer occasionally

This combination of shorter weekly cleanings and longer deep cleanings will give your home's bathrooms a much cleaner environment that harbors fewer bacteria, viruses and other undesirable organisms.

About the Authors

Olga Drążewska
With a decade of experience in export operations and logistics, I bring a wealth of expertise to the field. I've navigated the complexities of logistics with precision, ensuring smooth operations and seamless exports. Cleaning expert.
Sabrina Tretyakova
In the world of cleanliness and hygiene, Sabrina Tretyakova stands as a beacon of expertise and dedication. As an ISSA-certified cleaning technician, Sabrina brings a wealth of knowledge and three years of unwavering commitment to her profession. Having served a staggering 1,200 clients

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