Bleach is undoubtedly the best way to sanitize your bathroom floors, but many people don't know how to use the beloved disinfectant properly. It's important to follow very specific steps when using it in your home because, let's face it, bleach is powerful stuff. We did the research and found the proper way to clean your bathroom floor using bleach, so you didn't have to.
Follow these steps to clean your bathroom floor using bleach:
- Remove all rugs and towels from the room
- Sweep away hair and debris
- Remove grime build-up with an all-purpose cleaner
- Mix 1/2 cup bleach with a 1-gallon water
- Evenly mop the floor with the bleach solution
- Let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing with warm water
- Let air dry
This multi-faceted home cleaner isn't just for your laundry anymore. Use bleach on your bathroom floor to remove stains and kill germs with ease. Keep reading for our in-depth guide to achieving a sparkling clean bathroom floor in no less than 20 minutes.
Avoid Bleach Stains On Your Linens
This first step may seem like a no-brainer, but it's crucial that you remove all bath mats, rugs, and towels from the bathroom before you start cleaning. And no, that doesn't mean hanging them on your towel bar or folding them on the counter.
Even the smallest amount of splashback when mopping the floor can result in unsightly bleach stains on your favorite bath towels. Do yourself a favor and remove them from the bathroom altogether while you're cleaning.
Sweep Before You Clean
Due to their high traffic, bathrooms are notorious for collecting dust, dirt, and hair like no other room in the house. Neglecting to sweep before you mop will push all that debris around the floor rather than remove it. Do a thorough sweep of the entire floor to avoid this issue.
Scrub Away Debris Build Up
Although it does have cleaning properties, bleach is actually a disinfectant, not a cleaner. For the majority of your floor's surface, Bleach will be perfectly sufficient for a deep clean. But if you have grime build-up in any area (check behind your toilet!), then you'll need to include this extra step.
Use an all-purpose cleaner with a sponge or scrubbing brush to remove scum that your mop can't reach. Don't be afraid to get on your hands and knees and use a little elbow grease. This won't be necessary across the entirety of the floor, just a few spots, so it's best to concentrate your scrubbing power rather than waste a mop and bucket on this step.
Check out this Aunt Fannie's Floor Cleaner Vinegar Wash on Amazon.
How Do You Make A Floor Sanitizer?
The number one most important piece of information to know about bleach is NEVER to use it undiluted. Bleach is extremely concentrated and powerful. Using the disinfectant without adding water first will heavily damage your tile over time.
For a sanitizing solution that's safe but still effective, mix 1/2 cup bleach with 1 gallon of warm water. That translates to about two tablespoons bleach to 1 quart of water if you don't need an entire gallon of sanitizer.
Check out this Concentrated Clorox Bleach on Amazon.
Now It's Time To Bleach
After all that prep, it's finally time to use your bleach solution. Depending on your bathroom's size, you can either use a mop and bucket or a spray bottle for this step.
Mop And Bucket
If using a mop and bucket, you will need at least a whole gallon of sanitizer. Dunk your mop in the mixture and start at the far end of the bathroom. Use even strokes to distribute a thin layer of bleach solution and continue as you make your way toward the door. This technique will ensure that you won't have to walk over your freshly cleaned floors and dirty them again.
Let the solution sit for 5 minutes before moving on to the next step.
Check out this O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Spin Mop & Bucket on Amazon.
If your bathroom is small enough that a mop and bucket seem excessive, then a simple spray bottle may be a better option. Spray an even layer of solution using the same back-to-front technique described above and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Check out these 2-Pack Glass Spray Bottles on Amazon.
Do You Need To Rinse The Floor After Mopping?
This is a debate that provokes different answers across the internet – to rinse or not to rinse? We highly suggest you do. Here's why.
Like we've mentioned throughout this post, bleach is potent stuff. Although it's great at doing its job and disinfecting surfaces thoroughly, it can also do a lot of damage if it sits for too long. To avoid risking damage to your tile floors, you should always rinse away bleach after letting it sit for 5 minutes.
Take a clean mop (or a towel if you used the spray bottle method) dunked in warm water, and do a once-over of any areas you cleaned with bleach to rinse.
Air drying at this point will work perfectly fine. If you want to minimize streaking, then take a clean, dry towel and wipe the floor down. Then let the floor air dry for an additional 20-30 minutes before utilizing the room.
Will Bleach Harm Tile?
Many things can go wrong when using chemicals to clean surfaces, such as tile. Bleach, in particular, can damage or weaken natural materials if it isn't used properly. That's why we recommend following the tile-safe bleaching method we've described above.
What Can Go Wrong?
One way that bleach can harm tile is by wearing away at its protecting coating. This is the risk you will face if you don't rinse your floors after bleaching them, which is why we think rinsing is a mandatory step in the sanitization process. Always diluting your bleach in warm water will also help to keep your tile safe.
Another way that bleaching your bathroom floors can damage tile is by using a rough abrasive. Rather than using heavy-duty scrubbers like steel wool, we always suggest a soft towel, sponge, or gentle scrubbing pad to remove stubborn dirt. Mops are also soft enough to use across your entire floor without the risk of scratching.
Check out this OXO Good Grips Grout Brush on Amazon.
Is It Bad To Use Bleach On Grout?
Grout is much more porous than sealed tile, which makes it more susceptible to damage. If your grout is colored, then bleach may not be the best idea. One of bleach's primary purposes is to turn colored organic compounds into colorless ones – that's why it works so well on your white laundry.
If you want to maintain the color of your grout, then it's best to stay away from bleach. But if your grout is white, then there's nothing to worry about as long as you're careful to dilute your bleach and rinse it off 5 minutes after applying.
Will Bleach Damage Laminate?
Laminate flooring is an entirely different story. Laminate is extremely porous – much more so than tile. Using bleach on laminate flooring will remove its shine, discolor the finish, and change its texture entirely. Never use bleach on laminate unless you want to drastically reduce the lifespan of your floor.
How To Clean Laminate Flooring
With bleach out of the question, what are you supposed to use to clean your laminate floor? The key is gentle products and quick-drying to avoid water damage. Keep reading for a brief overview of how to get it done.
Sweep The Floor
Does this sound familiar? Similar to tile, you always want to sweep your laminate floor before going in with liquid cleaner. This is a good practice to keep whenever you're cleaning a floor of any kind.
Use A Gentle Cleaner
It's imperative to use a gentle cleanser with a porous material like laminate. For a DIY option, try mixing equal parts vinegar and hot water. Use this mixture with a mop or spray bottle and sponge to clean your floor.
If you want to maintain your laminate floor's shine, try using a product specifically designed for the material. Black Diamond makes cleaners that are widely trusted to get your floor clean and rejuvenate its shine.
Check out this Black Diamond Stoneworks Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner on Amazon.
Immediately Hand Dry
When you're working with porous surfaces, immediately drying the area after cleaning is an absolute must. If you let water or cleaner hang out on the surface of your laminate floor for more than a couple of hours, it will soak in and damage the finish. In worst-case scenarios, this can even promote the growth of mold.
Once you've finished mopping, take a clean, dry towel and sop up any leftover moisture. Trust us; it's worth a couple of extra minutes of work to avoid the hassle of what would happen otherwise.
Now that you know how to clean and sanitize your bathroom floor with bleach safely, you'll be pulling out the mop and bucket all the time. Remember: bleach contains very strong chemicals, so always dilute it with water and rinse the floor after applying.
Check out these articles for more spring cleaning inspiration:
4 Ways To Get Rid Of A Bleach Smell In The Bathroom