As parents, we know the challenges of maintaining a clean and tidy bathroom are multiplied many times over when children are brought into the equation. From toddlers playing with toilet roll to old kids missing the toilet altogether, children have a tendency to leave the smallest room in the home in a messier state than they found it.
Teaching children at an early age how to help in keeping the toilet clean and the bathroom tidy can ingrain positive habits that will come in handy throughout their lives. Children of all ages can be taught simple steps to help out around the house - and the bathroom is no exception.
Keeping toilets tidy - the rules for kids
Establishing a few simple rules for keeping a toilet clean during each visit can result in a bathroom that is better maintained, tidier and free from unwanted stains and odours. Even the smallest potty-trained children can help by learning how to wipe surfaces using carefully selected, gentle products after each visit to the bathroom.
One of the biggest bugbears for parents of boys is lack of aim. Introducing toilet targets can help make the process of aiming into the centre a fun game rather than a chore. Keeping bathroom rugs away from areas where they might score a direct hit can also be a useful idea until their aim is perfected.
The key to helping children develop tidy habits is making the task as easy as possible for them. Having a series of colour-coded baskets in the bathroom can help them learn where things go without making it seem like hard work. One basket for bath toys, one for laundry, one for shampoo and other products – then all they have to do is put things in the right basket.
For older children, having a checklist for cleaning the bathroom - such as the one below - can help break what might seem like an overwhelming task down into a few easy stages. Even children as young as five can use a gentle cleaning spray and wipe down the surfaces, while older children may enjoy ticking off tasks as they are completed, especially if there are rewards for finishing the list. Bathroom cleaning chores can be added to a list for teenagers that guarantees them their pocket money, while smaller children may be content with stickers or other small rewards.
Making household chores a fun activity for the whole family rather than a daunting task is key to instilling good habits at an early age and maintaining those habits through the difficult teenage years.
How to clean a bathroom checklist
Introducing a how to clean a bathroom checklist ensures everyone in the household knows exactly what needs to be done to keep the room up to standard and breaks a big task down into a series of smaller and more manageable stages.
A checklist for cleaning the bathroom also lets everyone who participates feel a sense of achievement as tasks get ticked off, even if they do not complete the entire list in one go.
- Remove anything that lives in another room back to its home
- Clear clutter off surfaces
- Hang up wet towels and bath mats or put them in the laundry basket
- Wipe all surfaces and fixtures (taps etc) with a damp cloth and gentle detergent
- Wipe out the bath and shower tray, including removing any hair or lint from the plug hole
- Wipe down shower doors or shower curtains and leave closed to dry quicker
- Empty the waste-paper basket
- Squirt toilet cleaner into the bowl and leave for a few minutes
- Spray and polish the mirror using special glass cleaner
- Use the toilet brush to clean the toilet and flush away any residue
- Wash hands thoroughly after cleaning the toilet
- Sweep and mop the floor
A daily checklist for cleaning a bathroom can also help ensure mess doesn’t build up during the week:
- Is the toilet flushed?
- Are wet towels hung up to dry?
- Have I wiped the bath after draining?
- Is the shower curtain closed?
- Are the lids back on any products I’ve used?
- Does the toilet roll need replacing?
- Are there any toilet drips I need to wipe up?
- Have I washed my hands?
Laminating a how to clean a bathroom checklist and leaving it with a marker pen on the back of the door, where everyone will see it as they leave, acts as a handy reminder every time any member of the family uses the toilet or takes a bath or shower.
For more advice on developing positive toilet habits, check out the rest of our Parenting Hub articles