Got a Last Minute Showing? How to Clean Your Bathroom in 5 Minutes

Anyone who has sold a house has been through it … the caller says “We’re close by and would like to see the house. Can we come RIGHT NOW?” The seller hangs up and goes in to full-on panic mode! Where to start cleaning?

From the online pages of Real Simple Magazine (, a checklist to get your bathroom in shape QUICK! Make sure you have cleaning supplies on hand at all times so you don’t have to spend valuable time searching for them.

# Minute 1: Drop two Alka-Seltzer tablets into the toilet bowl and let the bubbles do their magic. Toss used towels in a pile outside the door; stash odds and ends (brushes, hair dryer) in drawers or a pretty basket. Get rid of melty soap bars and lingering chips.

# Minute 2: With a damp microfiber cloth, swipe cobwebs from ceiling corners (stick the cloth on the end of a broom to reach) and dust door frames, tile ledges, moldings, shelves, framed art, and sills. Rinse and wring. Do the light switch and the soap dish with a disinfecting wipe.

# Minute 3: Spray mirrors with glass cleaner and rub in circles with the cloth. Then run a wipe over the vanity and the sink to pick up rogue hairs, powder, and toothpaste. (Clorox brand is safe for most hard surfaces, including marble.) Grab a new wipe for the faucet handles, the wall behind the faucet, and any light fixtures.

# Minute 4: With a fresh wipe, clean the top of the toilet tank, the flusher handle, and the lid. Use a new wipe for the top and the bottom of the seat and the lip of the bowl—in that order. Take one more wipe and do the base of the toilet and the floor around it. Next, swish water around the inside of the bowl with a toilet brush and flush. Using (you guessed it) another wipe, clean the vents and the baseboards.

# Minute 5: Move the wastebasket to just outside the door. Set out clean hand towels and a roll of toilet paper. With a couple of wipes, tackle the floor. Clean dust and hair from every corner, starting with the corner farthest from the door and backing out. Empty the trash and you’re done.

Author’s note: I personally think you can reduce the number of wipes by half, but I’m thrifty like that!

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