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I’m happy to partner with Clorox® to share this story with you…

A woman and a boy washing dishes together with text above them.
Yesterday, I walked into my clean bathroom to fix my hair.  The bathtub was clean, the shower was spotless, the toothbrushes were all put away… exactly as I left it when I cleaned up 15 minutes before.  

Except for that one thing that was now sitting on my sanitized countertop.

One thing that reminded me that I am raising almost teenage boys.

A cup.  

Not the kind of cup you are thinking of.  

Nope… not a drinking cup.   Not the kind of cup that you would expect on a counter.  

This kind of cup is the kind that I never want to see near my makeup or toothbrush drawer again.  The kind that you wear to lacrosse practice and then take it immediately to the laundry room… not to your mom’s (cleaned) bathroom and leave it for her to find later.

A  lacrosse player holding a stick on a field.
That’s when it hit me: this child is ready. He is almost a teenager and he is ready to start learning about cleaning up on his own.  More than just putting away his clothes or doing the chores that I write down for him.   

Any parent to a teenager or pre-teen knows the new messes that this new stage of life brings – from makeup to grooming products and beyond…

I know that it can be hard to teach kids to start pulling their weight when it comes to cleaning around the house, but it makes a difference.   I’ve learned that there is a transition that needs to happen when our kids start to get older.   This is when we need to stop reminding them what needs to be done and start expecting them to know.   This is when we stop giving them chore charts and to-do lists for their basic things and we start explaining why they need to pull their weight.

I start with the bathroom, the epicenter of that special kind of mess that only a teenager is capable of making. The average person spends 1,095 days in the bathroom over the course of their lifetime, so it is a good place to start.

I talked to him about the things that I have to do in the bathroom and how I want him to start helping.  I told him that when he sees that these things need to be done, he does not have to wait for me to ask him to do them, he just needs to do them.  He will be helping out our family by doing these things.

1- Clean the toilet.  After I told him how toilet bowls can contain as many as 3.5 million bacteria per square inch[1] and some of those remain on traditional toilet brushes after you’re done cleaning, he understood why I wanted him to use the Clorox® ToiletWand® System to clean the toilet from now on.

A close up of a Clorox toilet wand.
Luckily, he thought it was pretty cool, so no problems there.  The
Clorox® ToiletWand® System kills 99.9% of germs & it has abrasive scrubbers so it can cut through stains.  

Bottom view of a Clorox Wand.
2- Toss the used refill head of the Clorox® ToiletWand®  and replace it with a new one, so it’s ready for the next person. The Clorox® ToiletWand® System comes with disposable refill heads that are preloaded with Clorox® Toilet Bowl Cleaner to give you all the cleaning power you need with none of the nastiness of a traditional, germy toilet brush.  Simply click a refill head onto the wand, scrub to unleash the preloaded Clorox® Toilet Bowl Cleaner, then toss the head away.  That being said, it is SO simple to toss it after the toilets are done, you literally just hit the eject button.  As Mickey would say “Bye, Felicia!”

Close up of the handle on a Clorox wand.

3- Wipe down the countertops.  Seriously.  After you brush your teeth, fix your hair, get ready… clean the counters!

A bathroom with  wooden cabinets and mirrors.
4- Throw away empty shampoo bottles.  This drives me CRAZY.   Don’t leave them in there for me!

5- Lay your towel to dry over the shower door or hook.  It will not dry if it is left in a ball on the ground.  I promise.  

6. Keep your toothbrushes in the drawer. It makes me sick to think of them being out and exposed to everything in the bathroom, so just put them away!   Aerosol plumes created by flushing the toilet can shoot up to 15 feet in the air.[1]   “Toilet plumes” can transmit bacteria(e.g. salmonella, shigella) and viruses (e.g. hepatitis A, norovirus) when fecal particles enter the mouth.  GROSS!  Experts note that it’s best to keep cups and toothbrushes in the cabinet…and most importantly, to wash your hands. 3

7. Restock toilet paper if it is running low.

A close up of a bathroom with a white toilet.
And that’s all it takes to have a clean bathroom…

[1] Source: Sean Kane, Here’s why you should always close the toilet lid when you flush, Tech Insider, March 24, 2016


Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. When I learned about the toilet plumes you mentioned in step 6 a few years ago, I was sick to my stomach for a week. It totally changed the way I think about what I have out on the bathroom counter, and even around the bathroom. I now keep most things tucked behind the bathroom closet door or in a cabinet.