I must confess. After six years of being married and living in our house, today was the very first time that I did a BJ in the bathroom.
BJ, by the way, means Big Job. It`s another term used for general cleaning, spring cleaning, deep cleaning or anything you want to call it, so long as we mean the same thing. I didn`t make it up, it was Jan Dougherty, the author of The Lost Art of Housecleaning, who coined the term. It was so amusing the way she used it that even my husband had to tell me, “I`ve got to disturb your BJ!”
So anyway, this post goes to family women like me who are overwhelmed with general cleaning of their bathroom, who don`t know where to start, who don`t know what products to use. Adopting what Jan taught in her book, here`s how I did the BJ in our bathroom.
Products I used
Jan Dougherty only uses Krud Kutter, white vinegar, and Soft Scrub with Bleach in her cleaning regimen. How I wish those brands are available here so I don`t need to purchase any more cleaning products. But since I don`t know where to get the brands she`s using, I have to make do with the locally available brands. And so I searched online for the effective products offered in the market. After reading the Girltalk forum, I learned that several women swear by Mr. Muscle Molds and Grout Cleaner in cleaning the molds in their bathroom. So that`s what I bought. And true enough, it cleared our already darkening tiles.
So here are the things I used in cleaning our bathroom.
– Mr. Muscle Molds and Grout Cleaner (for the tiles)
– Mr. Muscle tiles cleaner (for countertop and mirror)
– Vinegar-Alcohol-Water Solution (after cleaning with Mr Muscle tiles cleaner for countertop and mirror)
– Microfiber rag (for countertop and sink)
– Small toothbrush (for corners and grouts)
– Gloves and mask (Mr. Muscles Molds and Grout Cleaner is too strong a solution you need to protect your hands).
– Lysol for the toilet
– Scoth Brite with sponge
– Scoth Brite wire gauze (I used this for erasing the toilet ring instead of the pumice stone that Jan was suggesting. I couldn`t find a pumice stone in any of the store I went to).
1. Prepare all the cleaning solutions and materials that you need to use.
2. Empty your bathroom by taking out all the toiletries, detachable wall fixtures, laundry basket, cosmetic pouches, trash can, as in everything that you could take out except the stuff in your drawers and cabinets. Those can be dealt for another day.
3. When your bathroon is all cleared up from any obstructions, you may start cleaning up all the cobwebs on the ceiling and walls using a vacuum or broom. In our case, since we don`t have a vacuum, I used a broom instead.
4. Now you are ready to scrub your bathroom tiles. But if you`re going to use a strong cleaning solution such as Mr. Muscles Molds and Grout cleaner you might want to wear a pair of gloves to protect your hands. However, if you`re using a natural product, you may forego this step. And as a side note, you must have a different pair of gloves for your walls/floor and for your toilet.
5. Starting from top to bottom, going around the bathroom, and eventually ending at the sink, use your cleaning solution and sponge/scrub to clean the tiled surfaces, bathtub, and toilet.
6. While cleaning, use the slice and clean approach in scrubbing. For example I focused on the 3×3 tiles on the wall/floor at a time. That way, I`d be able to clean this small area thoroughly.
7. Now when you reach the toilet, you may want to follow the instruction for deep cleaning here.
8. At this point, you have already cleaned the walls, floors, tub, and toilet. Now, you will be ending your BJ at the sink. What I did was I sprayed the counter and sink with a pure solution of Mr. Muscles tile cleaner and wiped it off with a microfiber rug. I then finished it off with a vinegar solution and wiped it again to achieve a shiny surface.
Direction (the path)
As what Jan advised, the area that I should end with should be the sink . And so I began on the wall where the exhaust fan is attached. That way, going around our bathroom will make me end on our sink and counter. With that path in mind, I also began by cleaning from top to bottom. In general my path was counter clockwise from the exhaust fan wall following a top to bottom direction.
I don`t know how many times in a year should I do BJ in the bathroom. Jan said that once or twice a year is okay. But then it will all depend on your tolerance for dirt. Needless to say, I`m very tolerant with it, our bathroom walls have survived without general cleaning for six years! So I guess even once a year will do for me.
Now there is also the weekly and monthly maintenance which I am reserving for another blog post.
After three to four hours of cleaning and sweating, I already have a clean bathroom! So this is how our bathroom looks like with a newly-purchased plastic plants I bought from Anding`s.
PS: I think putting a tree plant on our bathtub is kind of weird, but I just want to have a feel of nature while I`m taking a bath and while I`m doing my toilet work. 🙂
Anyway, mission accomplished for me!