The process of showering is mainly associated with feeling fresh and clean afterwards as you remove all the dirt and grime from your body. But where exactly does all this dirt and soapy body soil go?
The answer is that most of it lands on the walls, floor, and door of your shower, where it can attract bacteria, mildew spores, and even more grime.
With this in mind, our guide will take you through a detailed step-by-step process of how to effectively clean your shower, whether it’s made of ceramic tile, stone or fiberglass.
Cleaning Ceramic Tile Showers
The most difficult part of cleaning a ceramic tile shower is dealing with the grout - especially if it’s left unsealed.
This is because the porous nature of unsealed grout makes it the perfect breeding ground for mildew spores.
In order to effectively clean a ceramic tile shower, you’ll need some commercial shower and grout cleaner as well as chlorine bleach.
If you’re unable to find these in your local store, you can make a homemade solution by mixing ½ cup distilled white vinegar, ½ cup ammonia, and three quarts of hot water.
In addition to these supplies, it’s essential that you have access to the following tools: rubber gloves, sponge or plastic mesh scrubber, soft-bristled brush, and a squeegee.
- The first thing you need to do is empty the shower. So, remove all of the shampoo bottles, razors, and toys. It’s also a good idea to remove any excess hair from the drain.
- Next, you’ll need to ventilate and wet the shower walls. You can ventilate the fumes of the cleaning supplies by turning on the bathroom fan and opening the windows. At the same time as this, use either the shower head or a bucket of warm water to wet the walls of the shower.
- If you see any mildew on the grout of your shower, you’ll need to tackle this first before moving onto the usual grime. Apply a solution of one part chlorine bleach and two parts water onto the mildew, leaving it to rest for 10 minutes, before scrubbing clean with a soft-bristled brush.
- Whether you’re using a homemade solution or a commercial cleaner on the walls and floor of your shower, make sure you leave the product to do its job - ideally for at least five to 10 minutes. The longer you leave it, the better chance the cleaner has of breaking down the soap scum and soil.
- After applying the cleaner and waiting for 10 minutes, use a sponge or plastic mesh scrubber to clean the shower walls and floor, before rinsing thoroughly with clean water. Be sure to avoid using a hard-bristled brush or metal scrubber as this can damage the ceramic tile.
- Finally, use a squeegee or a towel to remove any excess water from the shower’s surfaces. This is an important consideration if you want to avoid water spots.
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Cleaning Stone Showers
If you’re lucky enough to have granite, marble, or another natural stone as a finish, your shower will need to be cleaned a little differently.
Fortunately, if you’re able to remember to wipe the walls down after every use, you should only need to clean a stone shower once a week.
In order to effectively clean a stone shower, you’ll need non-acid ammonia-free stone cleaner, chlorine bleach, warm water, and stone sealer.
In addition to these supplies, you’ll also need a spray bottle and a microfiber cloth.
It’s worth keeping in mind that you should never use vinegar or harsh cleaners on natural stone showers. This is because they can etch the surface and permanently damage the stone.
- Empty your shower of all loose items and spray down the walls with the commercial stone cleaner. Wipe with a microfiber cloth, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. When drying your shower, start from the top and work your way down to avoid streaking.
- If you notice the presence of mildew on the stone or grout, mix together some chlorine bleach and water, and apply it to the mildewed area. Leave the solution to take effect for 15 minutes, before scrubbing gently with a soft-bristled brush and rinsing clean.
- Most natural stone requires a barrier to prevent chemicals and water from penetrating into the stone. Sealing can also prevent bacteria from forming on the stone’s surface. So, once the stone is completely clean and dry, apply small amounts of stone sealer and buff until it’s all been absorbed. You should do this at least twice a year.
Cleaning Fiberglass Showers
Fiberglass showers are relatively straightforward to clean so long as you use the right products and tools.
It’s vitally important to avoid using anything that’ll scratch the fiberglass surface because when scratches occur, soil can settle into the crevices making it incredibly difficult to clean.
The supplies you’ll need to clean a fiberglass shower include distilled white vinegar, baking soda or borax, and a soft-bristled brush. It’s also helpful to have access to a spray bottle and a squeegee.
- Remove all of the bottles and accessories from the shower and spray the walls and floor with distilled white vinegar. The vinegar will take effect by cutting through soap scum and any minerals in water spots. Use a squeegee to wipe down the surfaces.
- The floors of fiberglass showers are typically textured, so you’ll need to give them an extra scrub to remove all of the grime. Sprinkle some baking soda or borax onto the shower floor and leave it to work for at least 10 minutes. Following this, use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away the excess dirt and then rinse thoroughly with clean, plain water.
- If you want to add a protective coating on the walls to help prevent spotting, you can apply some fiberglass boat wax. Just be sure to avoid using any of the wax on the shower floor as it tends to leave a slippery finish.
The Best Shower Cleaners of 2022
- Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner Spray.
- Kaboom Foam-Tastic Bathroom Cleaner with OxiClean.
- Method Antibacterial Bathroom Cleaner.
- Wet and Forget Weekly Shower Cleaner.
- Soft Scrub Gel Cleanser with Bleach.
- Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Grime Fighter.
- Better Life Natural Tub and Tile Cleaner.
Top Tools For Shower Cleaning 2022
- Oxo Good Grips Extendible Tile and Tub Scrubber
- Holikme 4 Piece Drill Brush Attachment Set
- Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
- Shower Nozzle Cleaning Brushes
Frequently asked questions
The majority of showers should be throughly cleaned on a weekly basis. However, if you’re able to do a minute of maintenance each time you use the shower, you should be able to get away with cleaning it once every two weeks.
This maintenance includes using a bath towel or squeegee to wipe down the shower walls and hanging any shower accessories like poofs or brushes to drip dry. It’s also a good idea to clear the drain of excessive hair.
If you want to remove a small rust stain from your shower, try applying a paste of baking soda and lemon juice.
However, for larger and older rust stains, you’ll probably need to use a commercial cleaner that contains oxalic acid.
Whatever you do, make sure you don’t use chlorine bleach on a rust stain. This is because there’s every chance that it’ll cause the rust to become permanently stuck on the surface.
If you’ve removed an accessory from your shower and it’s left some goo, the best way to remove it is to saturate the area using a small amount of olive oil.
Leave it to work for around 15 minutes, before using a plastic scraper to remove the residue.
If there’s anything left after removing the worst of the residue, try rubbing some alcohol on a cotton ball and wiping it clean again.
Equal parts of vinegar and warm water will clean tile, counters, cabinet fronts, and soap scum in the shower. I use 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water.
A baking soda and water paste will clean stuck-on gunk in the shower and tub (use vinegar instead of water for really tough stains). Do not use this on marble as the acid may ruin the finish.
The Bottom Line
To conclude, cleaning a shower shouldn’t be something you put off or worry about. In fact, with the right information, it should be a relatively straightforward process.
So, hopefully after reading the information in this guide, you’ll be in a much better position to successfully tackle any mildew or dirty grout!