9 Overlooked Spots in Your Bathroom That Are Surprisingly Dirty

You may not think you have a dirty bathroom, but if you're missing these commonly overlooked spots, then it's not as clean as it could be.

Published October 30, 2023

People are so worried about toilet seat cleanliness that we’ve got plastic liners and strange hovering positions to keep everyone’s parts from touching the porcelain. And while toilet seats aren't exactly clean, we at least do what we can to keep them germ free. But dirt, microbes, and other gross stuff lurk in spots in your bathroom that many people forget to clean regularly. 

Nobody wants a dirty bathroom. So if you want your washroom to be truly clean, you'll need to look beyond the obvious to the common spots where germs hide because they seldom get cleaned.

Towel Racks


Every few days, you toss an old towel in the wash and grab a fresh one from the linen closet. If only we washed our towel racks as often. Wet towels are the perfect places to breed unsavory microbes, so you should aim to wipe down your towel rack every week or so. With a clean rag or sponge and some bathroom cleaner, you can make that grime a memory.

Quick Tip

Polish metal towel racks every few weeks after cleaning to build up their shine.

Bath Mats


Bath mats work wonders to keep us from doing unexpected gymnastics while trying to get out of the shower. Give yourself a second and think about the last time you vacuumed or cleaned your bath mat. Now think about how dirty your feet are. Yeah, we made the same disgusted face.

Always check the mat’s care label before washing it, but most bath mats are made to be tossed in the washing machine. However, non-slip rubber backings will lose stickiness over time, and if yours has started to come undone, it’s time to replace it. And if you see an abundance of speckly black mold, it's doomed for the trash. 

When it’s time for a wash, shake off your mat (sweeping any debris up before you put the clean one down) and toss it in a washer on a warm cycle with regular laundry detergent. Then hang to dry if you don’t want your dryer sounding like it’s being beaten to death.



After a couple of years, shower heads start to look a little gunky. Soap scum is a real devil to deal with, and mold can grow in the teeny-tiny holes that the water comes out of. To make your shower head last longer, soak it in some distilled white vinegar for a few hours. Then use a toothbrush to scrub any lingering grime off.

Quick Tip

If you don’t want to remove your shower head, fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and secure it around the shower head with a rubber band.

Bathroom Door Handles


When it’s bathroom cleaning day, you’re probably inspecting every inch of the inside of your washroom. But a part that doesn’t cross many people’s minds is the door handle! Sure, your bathroom may be spick and span, but those doorknobs could do with a good cleaning and shining.

Disinfect first. Then, tackle any accumulated gunk. The quickest way to get rid of that accumulated gunk is with a wet magic eraser. Not only can you use it on door handles, but you can clean the residue on the door around the handles, too. Make sure you wipe away any water that’s left with a clean rag.

Light Switches


If you want a good scare, take a long, lingering look at your light switches. They’re probably meant to be white, and we’re sure they’re a lovely shade of brown. Light switches and switch plates are another part of the bathroom that you regularly use and probably forget to clean.

Avoid a little toaster-in-the-bathwater action by turning the breaker off to that area of the house. Then dilute some mild dish soap and scrub the plate/switch with a damp cloth. Fully dry before turning the power back on.

Shower Curtains


With shower liners, you can use mildew-preventing spray and wipe them down when mold starts settling in. But shower curtains are more evasive. If we’re being honest, sometimes we’ve gone a while without taking the shower curtain off the hooks.  

Instead of taking a swab of your shower curtain and seeing what’s brewing under a microscope, read the care instructions on the tag. Most shower curtains can be machine washed in a warm delicate cycle with a little detergent and about a cup of distilled white vinegar. If not, fill the tub with some warm water and the same solution. After you’ve washed it, hang the curtain to dry.

Toilet Tank


To be honest, we’ve only ever taken the toilet tank lid off if something’s not working. Chances are, you’re just like us and haven’t done more than rub a sponge around the top and sides with some bathroom cleaner. After some time, the moisture in your bathroom can seep under the cracks in your toilet lid and start to mold.

To be safe, cleaning your toilet tank is a good idea. Take the toilet tank lid off about once a month and wipe the edges of the tank down with a sponge. Do the same for the inside of the lid itself. If you’ve got more than just dirt, use a bathroom cleaner.



Sure, baseboards look pretty, but their higher purpose is to accumulate dust in cracks that not even a toothbrush can get to. If you don’t clean your baseboards often enough, it’ll be nearly impossible to extricate all the debris from the beautiful ridges.

Thankfully, cleaning baseboards is an easy task. Just scrub them down with warm soapy water and a microfiber cloth or a magic eraser. And to clean those small nooks and crannies, soak a cotton swab in the soapy water and use it to really get in those corners. Those cotton swabs may not be good for your ear canals, but they’re awesome for cleaning your bathroom.



There’s not a single material in a house that’s more agony-inducing then grout (well… except maybe asbestos or lead paint). All it takes is a week of using a bathroom for that pristine grout to dull. But the reason that your grout’s gotten so dingy is probably because you haven’t been cleaning it enough.

Save your grout by cleaning every grout line once a week. Yes, we mean breaking out the sponges and using the corners to push cleaner into them. Though it seems like back-breaking labor, you’ll thank us five years down the road.

Sink Faucets


Have you ever cleaned your bathroom sink’s faucet and turned the water on to rinse it off, only to see black funk shoot out into the sink and immediately wanted to vomit? Well, you’re not alone. We’ve also had to reckon with our less-than-ideal cleaning habits in the past.

Thankfully, you can use the same rubber band, baggie, and distilled white vinegar trick to get deeper into the faucet’s holes than a sponge or cloth can. Just to make sure that everything’s gone, use a scrubby brush, and do a thorough job on the outside of the faucet, too. Finish it with a quick polish to restore its shine. 

Banish Dirty Bathrooms


Don’t let your bathroom turn into a science experiment. Get rid of that gunk, grime, and mold for good by remembering to clean up these surprisingly dirty places. All it takes is consistently cleaning them for a few weeks, and soon it’ll be like you’d never not cleaned them before.

Are you cleaning these commonly missed spots in your home

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9 Overlooked Spots in Your Bathroom That Are Surprisingly Dirty