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How to Prepare Your Bathroom for Guests

Eliminate Clutter

Before you add items to the guest bathroom, take out what doesn’t belong. Guest bathrooms can become an unintentional storage spot if they don’t see a lot of guest traffic. If your family uses the guest bath on a regular basis, you might have personal belongings cluttering the countertops. That clutter leaves the bathroom looking uninviting and dirty.

Remove items your guests won’t need. A clean space makes your guests feel more at home and in control of their personal guest space. You can always put the extra items back after your guests leave, but for now, keep it as simple and uncluttered as possible.

Clean All Surfaces

The bathroom can become a dirty place without regular cleaning. Did you know the countertop can contain 450 bacteria per square inch, the sink can be home to 2700 bacteria per square inch and the bath can harbor almost 20,000 bacteria just on the drain?

Now that the clutter is gone, you can move through the space from top to bottom, cleaning every surface. If the bathroom doesn’t get much use, it shouldn’t take long to wipe down and disinfect the space. If you use the guest bathroom regularly, you may have a little more soap scum and toothpaste splatter to scrub. The goal of the cleaning is to make the bathroom look and smell fresh so your guests can be comfortable.

Add these cleaning tasks to your to-do list:

  • Dust light fixtures, tops of cabinets and other high places first so the dust doesn’t get on clean surfaces.
  • Remove old bars of soap, empty bottles and other old items from the shower.
  • Scrub the tile in the shower area, including grout lines.
  • Dust the shower curtain rod and shower curtain rings.
  • Wipe the shower fixtures to make the metal shine.
  • Clean towel bars, towel rings, toilet paper holders and other fixtures in the bathroom.
  • Wipe the shelves in the medicine cabinet.
  • Clean the mirrors and windows with glass cleaner.
  • Use a disinfecting bathroom cleaner on all solid surfaces, including countertops, sinks, tubs and outer surfaces of the toilet.
  • Wipe the doorknob and light switches.
  • Scrub the toilet bowl with toilet cleaner.
  • Wipe the handles and faucet on the sink.
  • Clean the exterior of the cabinets with a dampened cloth, wiping with the wood grain. Use a little cleaner or soapy water if necessary to remove stuck-on hairspray or other debris.
  • Polish knobs on bathroom cabinets.
  • Dust window blinds.
  • Dust or vacuum air vents.
  • Dump trash out of the trash can and put in a fresh liner.
  • Sweep the floors.
  • Scrub or mop the floors.

Rinse all surfaces well to remove any soap or cleaner you use. This step leaves the bathroom looking spotless without an overwhelming cleaner smell.

Freshen the Linens

Musty towels or a wrinkled shower make your guest bathroom less inviting. If you have a fabric shower curtain, wash it before guests arrive. Toss in the window curtains while you’re at it. Try adding a new shower liner to freshen the space. Washing the bath mat or replacing it with a new plush mat gives the spaces a spruced-up, spa-like feel when guests step out of the shower.

Towels are one the most important parts of guest bathroom prep. Having soft, luxurious towels on hand makes your guests feel at home. An easy way to ensure your guests’ towels are always fluffy and new is to buy a separate set of guest bathroom towels. Splurge on plush, luxurious towels. Choose a different color of towels than you use in other bathrooms so you can easily identify them as guest bathroom towels.

Luxurious towels make your guests feel at home.

Don’t forget the hand towels and washcloths, as well. Have a fresh hand towel hanging on a towel bar or ring near the sink when guests arrive. Stack a few extra hand towels, especially if guests are staying for longer than one night. It’s a nice touch to have extra towels on hand so your guests can switch their used linens for fresh ones.

If it’s been a while since the guest towels have been used, pop them in the washing machine to freshen and fluff them. It’s also important to wash new towels before using them the first time. These tips ensure your towels come out of the wash in pristine condition:

  • Separate towels from other laundry to avoid lint buildup.
  • Wash the towels in small loads, so the fibers don’t get compacted. This results in fluffy, soft, flexible towels that feel nice against the skin.
  • Use a small amount of detergent to ensure it washes out well. Built-up detergent can decrease absorbency.
  • Skip the fabric softener, which also diminishes absorbency of towels. Avoid dryer sheets for the same reason.
  • Dry the towels thoroughly without over-drying them. Damp towels can breed bacteria and mildew.

Placing the fresh towels where guests can easily find them is also important so they don’t have to ask you. There are many easy and creative ways to display towels. Try one of these options:

  • Folded decoratively on a towel bar
  • Folded and stacked on a countertop or shelf
  • Rolled and stacked on a shelf
  • Rolled and placed inside a wine rack
  • Stacked in a decorative crate
  • Draped on a decorative ladder
  • Placed in a basket on the floor near the bathtub

No matter how you display them, your overnight guests will appreciate having soft, luxurious towels available whenever they need them.

Check Fixtures

A guest bathroom should be bright and functional. If the bathroom needs a little maintenance, now’s the time to do it. Your guests will appreciate the properly functioning bathroom.

Bathroom Maintenance

Start by checking the light fixtures. Replace any light bulbs that are no longer working. You might also consider placing a nightlight in the bathroom so guests can find their way in the dark.

Sink and shower fixtures may also need a little attention. Fix any leaks or other minor repairs to ensure the fixtures are working properly. Replacing a shower head that doesn’t work well is relatively easy. If you have more serious plumbing issues, consider calling in a plumber before guests arrive so everything is in peak operating condition.

Restock the Medicine Cabinet

Overnight guests don’t want to be a burden, so make it easy on them by stocking essentials in the medicine cabinet. Having a stockpile of basic first aid items lets your guests take care of basic needs, and it comes in handy if they forgot to pack their own items. If you already have items in the medicine cabinet, check to make sure they’re full. Also, check the expiration dates to ensure they aren’t too old. Refill the items as needed, or add items that you’re missing completely.

Well-stocked medicine cabinets in guest bathrooms include:

  • Bandages
  • First aid ointment
  • Pain reliever
  • Tweezers
  • Antihistamine
  • Heartburn relief
  • Eye drops
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Offer up Guest Bathroom Essentials

Having the essentials on hand in the guest bathroom means your visitors can use the space comfortably without asking you for everything they need. Toilet paper is perhaps the most important bathroom essential to keep on hand. Ensure the roll in the toilet paper holder is full. Keep other rolls of toilet paper nearby for quick changes. Tissues are also a nice convenience item to keep stocked.

Have the essentials on hand

Many people pack their preferred toiletries, but it’s easy to forget something basic in the rush to depart. Have those basic, essential toiletries on hand in case your guests leave something at home. If your guests are flying to visit, they face the liquid restrictions on how much they can bring, so providing larger quantities of those items is a welcome sight after a long flight.

Some things to have on hand in the guest bathroom include:

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Soap
  • Body wash
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Floss
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton swabs
  • Make-up wipes
  • Body lotion
  • Hairspray
  • Feminine hygiene products

Place the items where guests can see them easily and where they will be used. For example, put the shampoo, conditioner and body wash in the shower so it’s ready to go. Put a basket on the countertop with toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, shaving cream, lotion and make-up wipes. Store cotton balls and cotton swabs in cute, clear glass jars. Decorative soap and lotion dispensers add a pretty touch to the display.

Make Trash and Laundry Receptacles Accessible

When you’re preparing your guest bathroom, don’t forget to keep a trash can readily accessible for convenience. Guests can dispose of waste without having to ask where the trash can is, which can be awkward. Leave a decorative trash can out in plain sight, so guests can easily spot it.

A small laundry hamper is also a useful addition to the guest bath. This receptacle gives guests a place to put their used towels and washcloths after they shower. If you don’t have a hamper to use, let guests know what they should do with their towels.

Leave Space for Personal Items

Providing essentials for your guests is a nice touch, but you also want to save room for their belongings. Leave space on the countertop for guests to put their toiletries. An open shelf or empty drawer also works well for holding personal items while your guests stay at your home. These open spaces let guests keep their toiletries handy in the bathroom instead of lugging a toiletry bag back and forth.

Add Pleasant Scents

A clean bathroom smells fresh, but adding some extra scented items creates a relaxing, spa-like ambiance. When adding scented items, be careful not overwhelm the small space with too many conflicting scents.

Add some scented items for a spa atmosphere.

Scented candles work well in bathrooms. They’re pretty, so they add a decorative element. They also give off a pleasant fragrance whether they’re lit or not.

Another option is using a scented spray in the bathroom. Leave the can in the room in case guests want to freshen up the atmosphere. Choose a natural-smelling air freshener instead of one that has a strong, perfume-like nature.

A natural way to add fragrance to the bathroom is by placing a vase of fresh flowers in the space. The floral arrangement also adds a homey look and a beautiful accent to the room. Other scent options for the bathroom include wax warmers, reed diffusers and plug-in style scented room fresheners.

Throw in Pampering Items

If you really want to pamper your guests, throw in a few extra items that make the bathroom feel like a luxurious spa retreat. These are items that the guests don’t necessarily need, but they’re a fun bonus to aid relaxation.

Try these options:

  • Bath salt
  • Luxury body scrub
  • Bubble bath
  • Decorative soaps
  • Loofahs
  • Hairdryer
  • Luxurious robes
  • Soft slippers

Display the items in a decorative way that also makes them easily accessible. An easy way to do this is to arrange the items in a basket. Place the basket on a shelf or the bathroom countertop so guests will have a surprise when they walk in.

You can also dial up the decorative factor with the containers you choose. Place things like body scrub and bubble bath in decorative jars or bottles. Fill clear glass containers with soaps and tie ribbons around the necks of the jars and bottles for a decorative finish.

Do a Final Walk-Through

It’s easy to get caught up in your guest bathroom to-do list. Once you complete all your tasks, step back to admire the results. Put yourself in your guests’ shoes to spot anything you’ve overlooked. Check for any spots you missed when cleaning. Look for missing items that would make the stay enjoyable and convenient. Take a big whiff of the air to make sure the space smells nice. Consider the overall look and feel of the guest bathroom. Is it bright and inviting or outdated and dark? Make the final tweaks to make the space guest-ready.

Leave a Note or Give a Tour

The special touches make your guests feel comfortable in your home. Leave a short note in the bathroom as an extra welcome for your guests. You might point out where things are located or simply let your guests know they should help themselves to anything they need in the bathroom. This note lets them know that all those little extras are free for the taking and not just for decoration.

Another option is to give the guests a quick tour of the home, including the guest bathroom. Point out the towels, toiletries and medicine cabinet essentials, assuring them everything is fair game. It’s an easy way to help your guests relax while they stay with you.

Stock up on Fresh Guest Bathroom Towels

Is your towel selection getting worn? Now that your bathroom is clean, restock with fresh bath towels. Towel Super Center offers the colors you want at wholesale pricing to match your budget.

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