For a space that we rely on so heavily to keep ourselves clean, it’s amazing how dirty a shower will get before it sees some of that cleaning power on itself. If we’re honest with ourselves, the shower isn’t probably a favorite thing to clean in our homes. But if you do a few simple things each day and give it a decent cleaning each week, your shower will look sparkling and be sanitary with relative ease. Here are some tips on how to clean a shower easily and effectively.
Cleaning the shower should be a weekly activity, as tedious as it may sound. The good news is that even with 60 seconds of maintenance, you can enjoy a clean showering environment and remove stains that range from grime and soap scum to bacteria that’s actually threatening to your immune system. In the following article, we wanted to discuss shower cleaning in depth, with a focus on finding the right products and tools to help make the process easier.
How to Properly Clean a Shower
Nobody likes to scrub bathroom walls and shower doors every week. However, it’s not only about having a clean and safe space to bathe in every day, it’s also about making the cleaning process easier. As you already know, the more you wait to clean stains, the more difficult they are to remove, and certain types of shower stains are no exception to that rule.
It’s true that cleaning different kinds of showers implies following a list of steps that’s pretty similar regardless of the construction, but the differences are there and they are worth mentioning. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three common shower types and focus on the best tips and cleaning practices that will provide you with a clean and disinfected shower..
- In order to clean ceramic tile showers, you are going to need a mixture of homemade grout cleaning solution (to make it, grab a clean sprayer bottle and combine half a cup of ammonia with half a cup of distilled white vinegar and 3 quarts of hot water) or a store-bought cleaning solution (you can find some very good ones later in this article). You will also need chlorine bleach, a plastic mesh scrubber or a sponge, a squeegee, an old toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush, and a good pair of rubber gloves.
- Something that a lot of people neglect to do is clean all the items that are in the shower as well such as shampoo bottles or other recipients that you might have inside the shower with you. Also make sure that you remove excess hair from the drain.
- Ventilation is really important when cleaning your shower with chemically-based solutions because cleaning supplies are filled with ingredients and fumes that you don’t want to inhale.
- Make sure that you wet all the shower walls and doors before you proceed with the rest of the cleaning steps.
- Removing mildew should always be done before moving on to cleaning grout. In order to remove mildew from grout, you have to create a mixture of two parts water and one part chlorine bleach, apply it on the dirty surface with the help of a sponge, leave it for 10 minutes, scrub, and rinse. Alternatively, you can also use store-bought products for this process.
- Regardless of whether you are using your own homemade cleaning solution or opted for a commercial cleaners, you will have to give the product time to act. That means about 10 to 15 minutes of leaving the product on the surface before scrubbing and rinsing, as this allows the product to soil stains of different kinds and reduce the effort needed to scrub even further.
- Even if you’ve rinsed the surfaces in the shower multiple times during this cleaning process, you will have to do an overall rinse as well. With the help of a special sponge, a good brush, or a mesh scrubber, make sure that you clean all the sections of the shower’s walls and doors. The rinsing process is always done from top to bottom.
- Make sure that you avoid using brushes with hard bristles or metal scrubbers, as these can damage the tiles.
- You can use a squeegee or a bunch of old towels to remove excess water from the shower. This step is not mandatory, but it’s something you want to do if you want to avoid nasty water spots.
- When you’re looking to clean a fiberglass shower, you need to keep in mind that the texture of the floor tends to be different and it might require some extra scrubbing in order to get rid of grime. If you don’t have a special solution for that, you can use baking soda on a white vinegar-dampened shower floor and scrub after leaving it to soak for about 10 minutes.
- Fiberglass boat wax applied after cleaning adds a nice protective coating on the walls which tends to eliminate water spots considerably. Don’t use it on floors, as they will become slippery and highly dangerous.
- Stone showers are different when it comes to cleaning, and it’s best if you wipe them down after every shower. This will make it easier for you to clean them once a week.
- Natural stone showers must never be cleaned with vinegar as the surface can become etchy when doing so.
- The best tool to use when looking to clean a stone shower is a microfiber cloth. This means that you might have to put a little bit of elbow grease into it and wipe the surface harder.
- It’s a good idea to seal your natural stone shower because this helps create a barrier that prevents any bacteria from getting into the stone’s natural crevices.
Removing Tough Shower Stains
Some stains are normal in the shower. Mildew, soap scum, water spots, these are present in just about anybody’s shower. However, these stains are not that difficult to remove, at least not as difficult as rust stains or adhesive residue. Let’s take these two examples and learn how to deal with each of them in particular.
If you have cans of products in the shower (such as shaving creams or deodorant cans), there are chances of you noticing rust rings at some point. These stains won’t go away with just any cleaner. You can make a paste by combining baking soda and lemon juice. However, this will only work on fresh stains. For old ones, you will need to purchase a cleaner that has oxalic acid listed amongst the ingredients. Avoid using chlorine bleach on a rust stain because it might set the rust completely onto the surface.
Adhesive residue in the shower is usually a sign of some removed sticker or goo left by whatever accessory. These are best removed by using olive oil. Leave the olive oil to soak onto the surface for about 15 minutes and then use a plastic scraper to remove the adhesive residue off the surface. If you notice any residue left afterwards, you can dip a cotton ball in some rubbing alcohol to clean it up.
Step by step Shower cleaning process
How to Clean a Shower Door
If you’re lucky enough to have a doorless shower, go ahead and skip this step while you gloat at the rest of us. Shower doors aren’t easy to keep clean. They develop hard water spots and discoloration from water buildup pretty quickly.
To kickstart your shower door cleaning, dampen and then squeeze out a magic eraser.
Run a damp magic eraser along hard-to-reach cracks and crevices in the shower door frame. This will likely be gross if it’s been more than a week since you’ve cleaned these areas, but it will get easier and faster over time as you stay up on it. It’s recommended you include this in your cleaning regimen once a week for the shower.
Rinse out the magic eraser, then do the same thing in all areas around the shower door, inside and out. I’m amazed (and, frankly, embarrassed) at the amount of crud this yields. It’s a good idea to follow the magic eraser wiping with a dry microfiber cloth, to remove any extra water droplets or residue from the magic eraser.
To maintain the door’s cleanliness, squeegee after every shower to remove excess water droplets. This will go a long way toward minimizing water spots and mildew potential.
Like the front door of your home sets the tone for the entire interior, the cleanliness of a shower door is often representative of the cleanliness of the shower itself…maybe even the entire bathroom.
How to Clean a Shower Shelf
Shower shelves are so useful, but they can quickly become over-full and, therefore, lose much of their functional offering. If you’ve ever reached for the shampoo off your shower shelf and had to dodge falling face wash and razors as a result, you know what I’m talking about.
Not only do shower shelves have a tendency to fill up, but they also are one of the least-cleaned areas of the shower. Probably because it takes so much effort to move everything off the shelf to clean it. So, crud and grime build up on the shelf face, making it a haven for germs and bacteria and mold.
Start by using vinegar, a magic eraser, or regular shower cleaner to scrub away the mildew or whatever else has attached itself to the shower shelf, surrounding walls, and any nearby horizontal surfaces, large or small.
To maintain a clean and organized shower shelf, it is recommended that you consider other options than cramming all your shower goods on top of it. One recommended option is to install a shower dispenser. Prepare the dispenser according to manufacturer instructions.
Mount the shower dispenser on the shower wall, ensuring that it is level and centered where you want it. This will eliminate the need for all those extra bottles and pumps on the shelf, which will facilitate the shelf’s easier accessibility for use and for cleaning.
This is beneficial for a clean shower, also, because it eliminates the need for opaque bar soap, which leaves soap scum residue all over. Liquid body wash or shower gel doesn’t produce soap scum, so a dispenser will help with that transition.
Only store those things on the shelf that you need for everyday showers, such as a razor, loofah, or specialized soaps or face wash.
How to Clean a Shower Head
The shower head is the most likely place to get buildup within the shower faucet holes themselves, and also to have hard water spots and other hard-to-clean blemishes. You can spend an hour reaching and scrubbing the shower head if you want, or you can try this simple (and all natural!) shower head-cleaning trick.
Pour a little bit of white vinegar into a plastic sandwich bag.
Pull it up over the shower head so that the head itself is covered in vinegar, then secure the bag to the shower head with a wire bag tie. Leave the shower in the vinegar for several hours, or overnight.
In the morning, remove the vinegar baggie from the shower head and wipe with a microfiber cloth or some other soft cloth.
Use a damp magic eraser on the shower head pipe and other areas that didn’t get touched by the vinegar-in-a-bag. Then run the shower water for a few seconds to clear out any leftover crud that the vinegar loosened but didn’t remove.
Viola! A clean shower head, as simple as that.
With disinfected water sprays, to boot.
How to Clean a Shower Floor & Walls
If you have no shower shelf, you probably have to put your showering toiletries on the ground. Unfortunately, this leads to buildup of water grime underneath said products.
To keep your shower walls and floor sparkling, use a squeegee to dry off the walls and floor every day after showering. This is particularly important because a dark, damp shower is like the mecca of all bacteria; they’ll grow and multiply so fast in that perfect environment. So your goal is to keep things dry as much as possible, to inhibit their growth.
After using the squeegee, quickly wipe the walls and floor to remove any leftover condensation or water droplets. This might sound like a lot, but (depending on the size of your shower) we’re talking about adding an extra 30 seconds or less to your shower. With the effort it saves over time in heavy duty cleaning elimination, I’d say it’s definitely worth it.
It’s a good idea to leave the shower door open for a while after a shower to reduce the opportunity for humid conditions to fester. Also, if you have the option, run a high shower fan for 20-30 minutes after showering to clear the humidity. If you don’t have that option, an open window works, too.
To help combat moisture, spray your whole shower a couple times a week with white vinegar mixed with tea tree oil (2 oz. vinegar to 1 drop tea tree oil). The vinegar is a great agent to combat soap scum and slime, while the tea tree oil works against mold and mildew. Let the spray air dry. Of course, you’ll want to pay attention to what’s appropriate for your shower surface (e.g., vinegar is not good for travertine or stone).
Best Shower Cleaning Products
If you’re ready to start cleaning your shower with some proper products, let’s look into some of the best-selling and most efficient ones on the market, so you can get started on having clean showers without too much hassle.
Mr. Clean is one of the best cleaning solutions for baths and kitchens, and this is a bath scrubber that typically eliminates the need for using other cleaning tools. This is basically a sponge that needs to be wet and it will start releasing a powerful foam that’s really efficient in cleaning showers and a multitude of other surfaces. The product works based on the water-activated micro-scrubbers that can help reach difficult spades and remove soap scum, grime, and dirt. This is a set of two packs of scrubbers, each pack containing four pads that can be used time and time again before they are no longer efficient.
Lime is a very common problem in the shower and it makes it quite difficult to clean the premises. With this product, you get an efficient formula that brings forth ingredients capable of removing rust, calcium, and lime. It promises to help you get rid of limescale without too much elbow grease, so those of you who aren’t fans of scrubbing might love this product even more. It’s very common to see tracks of limescale on the bathroom hardware, calcium crust on the shower head, or rust stains on the drain. With your purchase, you will receive two spray bottles with 22 ounces of product each.
Better Life Natural Tub and Tile Cleaner
The Better Life tub and tile cleaner is a plant-based solution that’s perfect for those of you who are sensitive to different chemical smells or for families with children or pets that want to avoid having their children or pets touching bath surfaces filled with chemical ingredients. Some of the ingredients included in the formula are citric acid, potassium sorbate, lime extract, lemongrass oil, lactic acid, and purified water. This pack consists of one sprayer bottle and another one with spare cleaning substance (each bottle comes with 32 ounces of solution).
The next product on the list is a 64-ounce bottle that contains a shower spray designed for weekly use. You can purchase a single bottle or opt for packs of two, three, or four bottles, with each one being at a more convenient price than the last. It’s a product designed to help you clean shower drains, to remove soap scum from shower walls and doors, and it even cleans bathroom hardware, making everything shiny once again. It comes with a soft vanilla scent and a sprayer that makes it easy to apply the solution on different kinds of surfaces. The manufacturer promises up to 12 weeks of use from a single bottle.
Bio-Clean is a best-selling product that’s designed to be a spot remover which can aid in cleaning your shower. It works with light and stubborn stains alike, being able to remove calcium deposits, limescale, and even paint-over spray stains. It works on a variety of different surfaces, such as brass aluminum, porcelain, windows, glass surfaces, hard vinyl, fiberglass, tiles, and more. You can opt for the 20-ounce product or the 40-ounce one.
Needless to say, you will also need a proper cleaning tool aside from buying an appropriate cleaning solution. Since this combo is important, here are two cleaning tool suggestions that will surely make the process easier.
The Casabella is a 10-inch wide tool that’s designed to be useful and comfortable to hold. It comes with a soft silicone skin that makes it really pleasant to hold the tool. The material itself prevents the tool from slipping from your hands, even if you get wet. The handle is designed with a special system that allows you to clip the tool to the shower head and get it out of the way, but also have it close in case you need it.
The OXO scrubber is another ingenious tool that makes it really easy to clean not just the shower, but the entire floor of the bathroom or the kitchen, and make it easy to reach higher places that also need cleaning. It comes with an ergonomic handle that extends from 26 to 42 inches, leaving your back with less strain from having to bend over to clean spots that aren’t within reach. The steel pole is designed with a non-slip grip, and it’s super lightweight and comfortable to hold. Thanks to its unique shape, you can get the scrubber to clean difficult corners of the room.
It’s really important to thoroughly clean your bathroom once a week. Even if it may seem like a huge effort at times, there are plenty of powerful cleaning products and tools that can facilitate the process by soaking stains up to a point where you just have to gently scrub and rinse after. Some tools will do almost all the work for you, but they are more expensive compared to an average cleaning brush set, which is usually around $10. Regardless of whether you like commercial solutions or you fancy creating your own homemade mixtures for cleaning the shower, this is a process that should become part of your weekly home-cleaning routine.