Cleaning the bathroom is probably the most-dreaded bathroom chore, but we all know that picking the the right bathroom cleaner can make scrubbing down your bathroom a lot more painless.
There are literally hundreds of bathroom cleaners on the market, and each brand has endless variations on their basic products, but our favorite was the Bleach Free Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner. We liked that it’s a quick solution to cleaning almost every surface in your bathroom without dragging out a million different products.
While Bleach Free Clorox is probably what we’d go with for the best overall bathroom cleaner, take a look through our Top 5 picks to see which one will help you keep your bathroom spotless.
Overall, Bleach Free Clorox is a good pick if you just want a single bottle that you can grab and spray on any mess, anywhere in your bathroom. It kills 99.9% of germs, which is key in a bathroom cleaner, but it is also bleach free, which we liked because you can do a quick clean of your bathroom without worrying about bleach spots on your clothes.
Top 5 Bathroom Cleaners
|Bleach Free Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner||Chrome, Glass, Tile, Tubs, Toilet||Unscented||Check Price|
|Lysol Power & Free||Tile, Tub, Toilet, Sink, Fixtures||Fresh Breeze||Check Price|
|Clorox Gel Cleaner with Bleach||Tile, Tub, Toilet Exterior, Stainless Steel, Chrome||Bleach||Check Price|
|Method All-Purpose Bathroom Cleaner||Tile, Wood, Stone, Glass, Tubs, Toilet, Fixtures, Sink, Stainless Steel||Lavender||Check Price|
|Greased Lightning All-Purpose Cleaner and Degreaser||Plastic, Tile, Tub, Toiled, Sink, Porcelain, Granite, Marble||Unscented||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Bathroom Cleaner
Bleach Free Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner
If you’re looking for an all-purpose bathroom cleaner that’s going to cut through grime and get everything germ-free with minimal scrubbing, then we recommend Bleach Free Clorox.
While there are zillions of specialized bathroom cleaners out there for the individual pieces of your bathroom, this is the one for you if you just want something that can cut through dirt, soap scum, and oil on anything in your bathroom.
The best thing about this bathroom cleaner is that it can be used on multiple surfaces. Go around and spray down your toilet, shower, and sink with this, and then follow the spraying with a quick scrub or wipe with a sponge or rag.
You can even use it to clean your floor or spot-clean nasty areas of the wall. While some heavy-duty cleaning aficionados still prefer the Clorox formula with bleach, we felt that this bleach-free formula was actually a fantastic addition for the average person.
If you put off cleaning your bathroom like I do because it seems like such an undertaking, it’s nice to have a cleaner that won’t spray bleach droplets everywhere. You can give the bathroom a quick cleaning on your way to work or before bed.
This has some good mildew-fighting properties as well if you spray your caulking with it regularly, though you might need a specialty product to remove mildew or mold that has already taken hold.
Even though there’s no bleach in it, there’s still a pretty strong chemical smell, as with most bathroom cleaners, so be aware of that as you clean and open a window if you can.
Overall, if you’re just looking for a single bottle that can handle just about all of your cleaning tasks, this is it.
Pros and Cons
- Cleans 99.9% of Germs
- Cuts Through Soap Scum
- Strong Smell
- Spray Nozzle Can Clog
2. Best Foaming Bathroom Cleaner
Lysol Power & Free
Hydrogen Peroxide is the secret weapon behind Lysol Power & Free Bathroom Cleaner. It’s common in a lot of homemade cleaners and if you’ve ever had your parents put hydrogen peroxide on a cut when you were little, you know that it fizzes up and kills bacteria.
If you don’t like using a bleach-based spray to clean your bathroom, than this one might be a good pick for you. It still smells a bit like hydrogen peroxide, but the “fresh breeze” scent that Lysol included does a decent job of covering up the chemical smell.
This is a good all-purpose spray that can be used on tubs, sinks, floors, showers, and toilets and kills 99.9% of germs. We don’t recommend using it on your wall because the peroxide can leave weird stains on some paint finishes.
We really liked that this formula foams when you apply it, so you can give it a chance to sit and do it’s magic without drips until you’re ready to wipe it off. This is good, since you’re supposed to leave most cleaners on for at least 5 minutes to give them a chance to kill all the germs and work through soap scum thoroughly.
Hydrogen peroxide also works to kill mold and mildew, so using this regularly in the shower can help prevent mold growth, and using a lot of this stuff might even be able to help you eradicate a current mold infestation.
At the end of the day, the scent will probably make it or break it for most users – if you like the way it makes your bathroom smell, then this is a good pick for you.
Pros and Cons
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Fresh Breeze Scent
- Hydrogen Peroxide Smell
- Nozzle Can Leak
3. Best Bathroom Cleaner with Bleach
Clorox Gel Cleaner with Bleach
Since we’ve given you two bleach-free cleaners, its only fair to present our pick for an all-purpose bathroom cleaner with bleach. For this, we liked the Clorox Gel Cleaner with Bleach for its super-intense cleaning formula.
Because this is a gel formula, application is a little different. It’s nice not to have the dripping issues that most spray and foam cleaners encounter because it allows you to be really targeted with your application and let it sit on the grime for a good long while.
The combination of gel consistency and bleach might be a good choice if you have stained tile, tubs, or sinks that you’re trying to revive. It can be used on chrome or stainless steel, so it’s has additional applications around the house.
Keep in mind that bleach smells bad and can be a health hazard if you don’t ventilate your bathroom while you’re cleaning. Of course, all bathroom cleaners contain toxic materials, but the bleach scent is particularly troublesome to some people, though it really has phenomenal whitening power.
It’s not really optimized for the inside of toilets, but does a good job cleaning the outsides of them. You can also use it to coat the grout and caulk of your shower to help prevent mold growth.
Make sure you’re dressed for success when you use this stuff- even with the supposed “no-waste” nozzle, it will leave tiny little bleach spots on your clothing, especially if you’re like me and aren’t really that careful.
Pros and Cons
- Powerful Whitening
- Gel Formula
- Prevents Mold Growth
- Removes Stains
- Strong Smell
- Strong Fumes
- Will Stain Clothes
4. Best All-Natural Bathroom Cleaner
Method All-Purpose Bathroom Cleaner
Some folks really don’t like cleaning their bathrooms with a lot of harsh chemicals. If that’s you, and you also don’t feel like mixing up batches of homemade bathroom cleaner on the regular, we recommend the Method All-Purpose Bathroom Cleaner.
To be honest, we were sold on the Lavender scent and almost didn’t care if it was killing germs or not, it just smelled so good. Now, Method doesn’t make the kill-all-the-germs claims that chemical-based cleaners do, but does a better job as a cleaner, in our opinion.
So you may even want to use this as a cleaner for dirt on a daily basis, and then follow it up with a quick wipe down with a disinfectant once a week or so.
The other thing that really stood out to us was how many surfaces you can use this on. Most bathroom cleaners are for solid, non-porous surfaces only – think tile and tub.
Method also works on organic materials too, so if you have a lot of wood accents in your bathroom this might be a good pick for you.
They also use recycled plastic and don’t animal test, along with the bathroom cleaner itself being completely biodegradable, so that’s great if you want to find a bathroom cleaner that won’t harm the environment.
Overall, Method may be a good choice for you if you prefer using green household products or if you have children or pets that you want to keep away from the bleach- and hydrogen peroxide-based cleaners.
Pros and Cons
- Lavender Scent
- Strong Dirt Cleaning
- Weak on Antibacterial Power
- No Mold-Removal Power
5. Best Bathroom Cleaner for Really Nasty Jobs
Homecare Labs Greased Lightning 204HDT
If you have a really seriously nasty bathroom cleaning job ahead of you, we’d like to introduce you to Greased Lighting. It’s actually a whole-house cleaner and degreaser that is popular for cleaning kitchen grease and outdoor dirt, but it can handle some pretty gross bathroom situations, too.
Seriously, this stuff has been known to remove soot from kitchen fires. It can handle your scummy bathroom. Since it’s super concentrated, it tends to have a strong chemical smell, though it’s not exactly a bleach smell either.
You can use this on porcelain, vinyl, tile, glass, and fiberglass, so it’s going to work on just about every surface in your bathroom.
It doesn’t have the disinfectant properties of some of the other bathroom cleaners we reviewed, but it’s a good first line of defense if you have to first remove years of dirt, soap scum, and mildew to find the tile underneath.
We recommend spraying Greased Lightning lightly on the dirty surface and letting it work for a while, then scrubbing, to remove as much grime as possible. The longer you let it work, the less scrubbing you’ll have to do – just don’t let it dry on your countertops or that will be another layer of stuff to remove.
Overall, Greased Lightning might be a good pick for you if you recently bought a house, moved into a new apartment, or are cleaning your kid’s bathroom after he jus left for college.
Pros and Cons
- Cuts Through Grease
- Can Use on Various Shower Materials
- Great on Soap Scum
- Can’t Use on Stainless Steel or Chrome
What to Look for in a Bathroom Cleaner
It’s easy to dismiss all of the various bathroom cleaning products out there as just marketing ploys. After all, can’t you just dump a load of bleach in the sink and be done with it?
As it turns out, there are a bunch of different bathroom cleaners that are optimized for different results, like low-scrumming, mildew prevention, or nontoxic cleaning. As we reviewed the mountain of bathroom cleaners out there for you, we prioritized all-purpose use, soap-scum fighting, and low-scrub power.
We felt that, for the majority of us cleaning our bathrooms at least weekly, having a single bottle of powerful bathroom cleaner that can tackle multiple projects was better than a whole shelf full of specialty products that we rarely use.
While the all-purpose cleaners we rounded up are all great choices for cleaning everything from your faucet to your toilet, there are a few specialty cleaners you may still want to take a look at:
- Toilet-bowl cleaners
- Mirror Cleaner
- Fixture Cleaner
- Automatic Shower Cleaners (we want one!)
What Do Bathroom Cleaners Actually Do?
First of all, did you know there’s a difference between a cleaner and a disinfectant? Most of today’s all-purpose products have combined these two features because bathroom really need both.
Bathrooms are second only to kitchens in the amount of grime that they accumulate, and since a lot of it is the residue of the cleansing products you use to wash your body, they are harder to clean up than the average dust that gets in the rest of your house.
The cleaning ingredients in your all-purpose bathroom cleaners are the ones doing things like cutting through soap scum, removing dirt, and cleaning up the foundation that you dripped on the sink yesterday.
The disinfecting ingredients are the ones getting rid of disease-causing bacteria that love to grow in the damp, dark environment of a dirty bathroom. When you see advertising claiming that this or that bathroom cleaner “kills 99.9% of germs!” then you know that there is a disinfectant included.
The most common disinfectants are bleach and hydrogen peroxide. You’ve probably used bleach at some point in your life, in laundry or cleaning, so its distinct smell is not hard to recognize, and hydrogen peroxide is often used in first aid for it’s antibacterial properties as well.
Straight-up bleach is usually too harsh to be used as a bathroom cleaner on its own, so that’s why it’s incorporated into a multiuse formula.
While there are lots of powder-type bathroom cleaners on the market, we chose spray cleaners for our Top 5 roundup because we felt that they are much easier to use on various surfaces, especially shower walls that tend to get neglected.
The disinfectant-wipe-style bathroom cleaners are also great for really quick nasty jobs (any parents of toddlers in the house?!) but they’re not really economical for cleaning your whole bathroom. Plus, spray-type bathroom cleaners can be targeted at specific areas and left sitting long enough to work through dirt and soap scum.
How Should I Use Bathroom Cleaners?
Believe it or not, there’s a little bit of technique to learn here. First of all, brands do change their formulas from time to time, along with having many different products within a particular brand line, so please make sure to read the instructions before you start!
The label should also tell you what surfaces your cleaner is safe for. Some very harsh cleaners can do something called etching to high-end building materials like marble, so make sure that you don’t have something that’s going to ruin your countertop before you begin spraying it everywhere.
Once you’re sure you have the right product for the job, there are basically five steps:
All-purpose bathroom cleaners pretty much all come with a spray nozzle. While the consistency can be a spray, gel, or foam, you’re essentially just trying to coat the dirty surface with the cleaner until it’s lightly saturated.
There’s no sense in pouring it on – it will just drip off since you can’t really oversaturate most bathroom surfaces.
Next, you need to give the cleaner time to work. This is usually between five and ten minutes, though that can be longer if you have a really dirty surface or a cleaner that specializes in killing mildew root.
Some formulas that contain hydrogen peroxide will fizz, which shows that a bacteria-killing chemical reaction is taking place. When the fizzing is done, then you know that most of the disinfectant purpose has been achieved.
There are even some fun color-changing bathroom cleaners on the market, though we felt that it doesn’t really add that much to the experience just to see the foam on your shower change colors.
If you clean your bathroom fairly regularly and don’t have much grime to work through, you may be able to skip the scrubbing step and just rinse and wipe the cleaner and dirt right off.
There are usually a few problem areas – spilled toothpaste in the sink, brown rings around the bathtub – that need some scrubbing. After your cleaner has sat on the area for a while and loosened the grime, you can us a sponge or brush to scrub the dirt off.
Finally, you want to rinse the area with water. While you can usually combine this with the wiping step, just wiping it down with a damp rag or sponge, you may want to take a little extra care if you’re using a cleaning product that stains, especially anything containing bleach.
Always remember to store any cleaning products at room temperature, away from children and pets, and try to keep them where they won’t get accidentally knocked over and ruin all your towels.
Eco-Friendly or No?
Probably the most contentious debate raging right now when it comes to cleaning supplies is whether or not to go green. Eco-friendly cleaners have become big on the market recently, with retail sales of “green” cleaning and laundry products estimated at around $600 million in the U.S. in 2014 alone.
A lot of people are choosing more natural products because they can decompose naturally and won’t poison wildlife that depend on the water these cleaners often get flushed down into.
Some reasons people opt for eco-friendly:
- Safer Around Kids
- Safer Around Pets
- Not Tested on Animals
- Sustainably Sourced
On the other hand, a lot of green cleaning products can’t handle the tough jobs that traditional cleaner can. Bathrooms are notoriously difficult to get clean and keep clean, since they’re a favorite place for mold and mildew to hang out and the dirt and soap scum build up quickly.
While it’s a personal decision to opt for eco-friendly cleaners, we felt that for the average user it isn’t a bad idea to keep a traditional cleaner on hand for serious grim and maybe an eco-friendly one for casual cleaning or daily countertop wipe-downs.
At the end of the day, all of us are looking for a cleaner that will get the grossness out of our bathrooms with minimal time and effort. While there’s no magic formula (yet) that just lets the grime melt away into thin air, we thought that Bleach Free Clorox was the best choice for those looking for a single bottle of multipurpose bathroom cleaning spray that can tack soap scum and dirty sinks with ease.
Though any of the products on our roundup would be a good pick for general bathroom cleaning, it’s a good idea to take a look at the different building materials used in the construction of your bathroom to see if you have any funky surfaces, like marble or granite, that would require a specialty product.
Now that you know what you need, what are you waiting for? Go clean your bathroom!