I don’t know about you, but when it comes to cleaning my kids like to cut corners. They don’t like to clean so they try to get away with doing as little as possible. So over the years we have worked over and over again on how to teach our kids to clean a bathroom. And I’m sharing what has worked for us.
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Teaching Kids to Clean a Bathroom
So yes, my kids hate cleaning. What kid doesn’t? But we are “mean” parents and require that they know how to clean. And that they take their turns helping in the home. They have chores.
Each boy has their own bathroom that they are in charge of cleaning. They are the oldest. They are the messiest. So they get to clean it up.
I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to teach my boys how to clean a bathroom.
I’ve stood there through the entire process. Micro-managing every cleaning step.
And while it technically works, it defeats the purpose that they learn to clean a bathroom and can execute the task on their own.
The point is so that I can be free to do other cleaning tasks. Or so that they can clean it on their own when they move out.
The point is also so that the bathroom gets clean. And I mean actually clean!
But my kid’s favorite task is to very lightly wipe down the top surface and call it good. And by the top surface that is exactly what I mean.
- They will lightly wipe the counter, but not the sink or faucet.
- They will lightly wipe the top of the toilet tank, the closed lid of the toilet and call it good.
- They will lightly wipe the rim of the tub – that’s clean, right?
- They won’t touch the floor or baseboards or mirror.
Your kids would never do that to you, would they? Oh of course not. It’s only my kids.
After they have spent a solid 2 minutes (GASP, what a long tortuous day at work right?) they come out and say they are finished.
And then they are aghast that mom has the audacity to not believe them that the bathroom is actually clean.
And sure enough, when I walk in, I instantly still see the toothpaste smears on the counter. The hair in the tub. And you don’t want to know what I still see all over the toilet! (Remember, I have BOYS!)
So I say, “nope, not clean” I am then met with murderous mutiny!
Child: “But I wiped it!”
Me: “That’s great, but just because you wiped it doesn’t mean it is clean. If there is still dirt/toothpaste smeared on it, then it’s not clean”
This is the conversation I hear myself go through every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!
Can anyone else relate? Anyone? Just me? Ok, I’ll go cry in my corner now.
But I’m tired. I’m tired of the constant fighting to get the bathroom clean. I’m tired of the constant battle that they think they can cut corners and still consider the job done. I’m tired that if I’m not standing there micro-managing each step that it doesn’t get done.
So I’m trying something new.
How to Clean a Bathroom
We’re adding in a handy How to Clean a Bathroom Printable chart.
This FREE printable is awesome because it lists each step to cleaning the bathroom. This means I don’t have to be in the bathroom for the entire process.
It outlines exactly what I expect them to do in each step. And the order in which they need to do it.
It helps guide them to know how to clean a bathroom.
- Clean the Mirror
- Clean the Counter and Sink
- Clean the Tub/Shower
- Clean the Toilet
- Sweep Floor
- Wipe baseboards
- Hang Towels Nicely
- Restock Toilet Paper
You can also add “empty Trash” and “Mop the floor” if you want. But we have special floor mopping and trash gathering days so I didn’t include those for us.
And then I only have to show up at the end and check the finished project to say “Yes approved” or “Nope try again”!
And it’s really simple. Just Print out the How to Clean a Bathroom Printable.
Laminate it in your handy at home Laminator. I got mine for only $25 on Amazon with free shipping. (LOVE Amazon PRIME Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial). And it’s so worth it to have my own laminator! Especially with all the cool printables, we’ll be bringing you in the How to Teach Kids to Clean series.
Once it is laminated (because you want this to last week after week after week) simply use some Tacky and stick it up in the bathroom.
Place the printable where your child can read it easily.
You can even add a dry erase marker if you want. And they can mark off each task as they accomplish it. Because remember we laminated the How to Clean a Bathroom instruction sheet.
Then when the kids are all done, you can make sure each step was checked off.
And if they happen to check it off without actually doing the task then you get to have the joyful talk about lying. Oh wait…just my kids again?
Oh, the never ending, over tiring joys of parenthood right?
But once they have actually done each task. And the bathroom looks clean, you can use a paper towel and wipe off the dry erase marks off the laminated How to Clean a Bathroom list. And it is ready for next week’s challenge.
At the end of the process, make sure you praise your child. Because all kids love praise and rewards.
Take them back into the bathroom and praise how well they did. Point out specifics like how smooth the counter is. Or the shiny faucet. Have them bask in the beauty of their hard work so they can appreciate the results of their hard work.
If you are running your home on an allowance system be sure to pay the allowance for the accomplished chore. If you are rewarding with screen time ensure they get the reward.
Be sure to check out our other Parenting resources. And Download your How to Clean a Bathroom Printable. I put one in each bathroom.
Also take a look at our How to Teach Kids to have a Clean Room!
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Wednesday 23rd of September 2020
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Any chance you have one for the kitchen LOL
Tuesday 16th of April 2019
This is great!! With this list, my boys 7 & 12 are in a routine of cleaning not only the bathroom but also their rooms with the other printable. Do you have any other printables? Such as how to clean the kitchen, living room, backyard? LOL - I would love to print those too!
Tuesday 12th of March 2019
This is really helpful. I have been working to give my son more responsibilities around the house around the house and cleaning the bathroom is something he hasn't worked on yet. Usually, this job is left to my husband, but I think it's important for my son to learn how to do this. This checklist will help me out to get him to do this task and do it thoroughly.
Monday 11th of June 2018
You are my new hero. I love that this checklist gives instructions for each item to clean. Thank you for creating this.
Tuesday 5th of December 2017
How old are your kids? Wondering if this is appropriate for my 9 year old step-son.
He likes to leave every area of the house looking like a little pig sty. We have another one on the way, and I'm over being the person who has to clean everything because "my boys" don't seem to know how to do it properly. Hubs is decent at pitching in, but the kiddo seems to think that this isn't a thing he should be doing, and when he does do it, he does not do it well.
This is a great place to start with the reward system.
Monday 5th of February 2018
My boys are 12 and 13 right now. BUT, I started this when they were much younger. I have my kids start learning how to clean up about 2-3 years old. At that point it is simply helping to pick up their toys when they are done playing. Then when they get a little older, they are responsible for their entire room and a few very simple jobs around the house. By age 8, my kids worked together to clean a bathroom, were in charge of their own room, helped do their laundry, and vacuuming and learning to wash dishes.
I think your step-son is old enough he can begin learning to help clean.