How To Clean Your Shower Like An Adult
You clean your shower, it cleans you. It’s a win/win.
Your shower cleans you, you ought to clean it. What a flawless, symbiotic relationship! The shower—and bathtub, if you’re lucky enough to have one that you fit comfortably into—is a special place where you get to undress, unplug, unwind and sing like no one’s listening (and hopefully they’re not).
Your shower cleans you, you ought to clean it. What a flawless, symbiotic relationship! The shower—and bathtub, if you’re lucky enough to have one that you fit comfortably into—is a special place where you get to undress, unplug, unwind and sing like no one’s listening (and hopefully they’re not). Sure, the shower can also just be a perfunctory maintenance stop in the course of your day, but it should still be a clean safe haven where you can scrub and shave without being exposed to grit, grime, mildew or mold.
You owe it to yourself to give your shower a weekly clean, however lazily you do choose to do it. But a monthly deep clean should certainly be in the cards. And it’s as easy as spray, set, scour and rinse. Read on to follow our basic guidelines on how to achieve a sparkling shower that will almost make you feel like you’re at the spa. Or at least ensure that you don’t feel like you’re in the dorms.
Rubber gloves (If you’ll be working with bleach and/or ammonia!)
Soft bristled brush or scouring pad (We recommend a diamond shaped scrub brush to really get into those corners.)
Clean, soft rag
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
All purpose cleaning spray OR DIY cleaning solution
(For DIY cleaners, try either 1 part bleach/2 parts water spray OR baking soda, vinegar + water paste for serious scrubbing.)
Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner
Mr. Clean Clean Freak
First thing’s first: Open all of your bathroom windows, turn on all the fans and open the door for maximum ventilation. This is to both aid in drying and also so you’re not left unnecessarily huffing cleaning products.
Empty the shower of all bottles, razors, soaps, caddies and loofahs. Wipe down bottles with antibacterial wipes.
Rinse the entire bathtub or shower with clean wet rag or simply let the hot water in the shower run for a couple of minutes to remove any visible loose dirt or hair and steam up the place a bit, which will loosen grime and make it easier to scrub.
If there are some obvious scummy spot in the shower, spot clean first with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a textured melamine sponge that’s perfect for tough cleaning tasks, from wall scuffs to bathtub soap scum. Plus, this one is specifically designed to fight soap scum.
Tend to clogged drains. Remove all the hair from your drain by using a straightened wire hanger or a knitting hook (Perhaps grandma or your septuagenarian neighbor will let you borrow theirs?). This is for sure one of the grossest bathroom chores, but if you keep on top of it and do your weekly maintenance, you likely won’t be pulling an entire chinchilla out of your drain each month. Then use a drain cleaner to dissolve all those gross hair clumps you know are still lurking down there. For DIY drain cleaner, mix 1/4 cup ammonia in a quart of boiling water. Just in case you skipped step one, it bears repeating that you ought to make sure your bathroom windows are open and the fans are running and you’re wearing gloves for this chore. Ammonia can be very toxic, so try to avoid inhaling or splashing it around. After you’ve poured in the ammonia solution or cleaner and let it set, run some clean hot water down the drain to flush and be sure that it’s draining properly.
Spray, set, scour. Now it’s time to bust out your scouring pad or scrub brush and your favorite all purpose or shower cleaner (or your DIY solutions), keeping your clean rag on hand nearby for the next rinsing step. (Pro tip: Keep all your bathroom cleaning products and tools together in a caddy under the sink or in a nearby linen closet to streamline this chore. Having to seek out and gather your cleaning tools is a surefire way to procrastinate and not actually get any cleaning done, trust us.) Most bathroom cleaning products need a few minutes -- typically five minutes does the job, but be sure to follow the directions on the product label if they advise otherwise -- to set, but you don’t want to let them completely dry before scrubbing and rinsing them. To achieve this, it helps to work the shower walls or bathtub in sections, spraying one wall or areas and letting it set while moving onto the next one. Spray down each section and, using your soft bristle brush or scouring pad, scrub each wall in tight, firm circles, paying special attention to the grout lines. For really gnarly looking grout, try using a toothbrush to get the grime out.
- For tile and grout shower walls, you can use a bleach/water (about ¾ cup bleach to a gallon of water) solution or that DIY baking soda/water scrub that you made. Scrub with a stiff bristled scrub brush or scouring pad to really get in there. If DIY-ing a shower cleaner seems like more work that you’re not trying to do (because why make chores out of chores?), we recommend Mr. Clean Clean Freak. This all purpose cleaner is easy to use and powerful enough for shower tiles, stainless steel, backsplashes or even glass. Just spray on, let sit, scrub and rinse with warm water.
- For a porcelain tub, buff it out with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and watch your soap scum splatters disappear.
- For a shower curtain on a rod, use your wet rag to wipe dust and grime from the rod and individually wipe off the rings. Yes, this is tedious and will make your arms tired. Hang in there, you got this. Remove the shower curtain and liner, careful to separate them, then toss in the washing machine with a few old medium or large towels (probably not the fresh, fluffy ones you like to dry your face with). The towels will help to scrub the grime off of the shower curtain and liner by rubbing up against them in the washing machine. Add regular detergent, wash with cold water and then either throw them in the dryer on a low heat setting (they ought to only take about twenty minutes to dry) or hang back up in shower to air dry.
- For shower doors, start by pre rinsing them with clean water. Then spray down both the inside and outside with your glass cleaner then wipe clean. Alternatively, you can also use a DIY mixture of baking soda and vinegar (1 cup to 1 tablespoon) to make a scrubbing solution and apply with a soft rag, so as to not scratch the glass. Let the solution sit for about an hour then wipe clean with a wet rag. Bonus points if you use a microfiber rag to wipe and dry, which will prevent streaks.
- For faucets and hardware, mix a DIY solution of equal parts vinegar and hot water. Use a rag to wipe all visible soap scum and mineral deposits from faucets and surrounding areas, then rinse with hot water.
- Soak your showerhead in 50/50 white vinegar/hot water solution. This will remove mineral deposits and prevent clogging so you can enjoy that sweet, sweet water pressure. If you can remove your showerhead, soak it in the vinegar solution in a bucket. If removing the showerhead seems like a colossal chore in itself, fill a gallon sized plastic bag with the vinegar solution and position the plastic bag around the shower head, securing it at the neck with a tight fitting rubber band. Be sure the showerhead’s holes are completely submerged in the solution and leave it on for at least twenty minutes, but best to soak it overnight to maximum cleanliness. When you remove the showerhead from the bucket or the bag from the showerhead, wipe it with a clean rag to dislodge any mineral build up deposits or residual grime. Replace the shower head and let the water run for thirty seconds or so before using on yourself.
- Rinse. Once you’ve worked your way around all of the walls and fixtures, rinse them thoroughly with clean, hot water (a removal showerhead works well for this, or you can fill a cup or bucket or simply use a soaked wet rag or clean sponge) to remove the soap residue and the grimy bit you’ve successfully removed.
- Repeat? If your shower still appears dirty after this, rinse and repeat. If you have to repeat, you should really reevaluate your cleaning routine and try to clean more frequently. Sorry for the mild shaming, but seriously.
- Grout love. And if the grout still appears discolored or moldy once you’ve rinsed all of your shower-cleaning agent from the walls (always be careful not to mix chemicals when cleaning!), mix a 1 part bleach/2 parts water mixture and re-scrub the grout then rinse with more clean water.
- Sanitize and disinfect. We recommend using Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner weekly on all hard, non porous bathroom surfaces to kill 99.9% of bacteria for 24 hours*. Just spray and walk away, allowing the product to air dry.
Bonus shower cleaning hacks:
- Squeegee regularly to cut back on mineral and soap scum buildup on tile and glass doors. Plus, it’s actually kinda fun!
- Use a drain catcher device to avoid future clogs from accumulating (and discourage pet chinchillas from moving into your pipes!)
- Spritz your shower with essential oils such as eucalyptus or lavender while running hot water before hopping in for a steamy spa-like experience. (Then it’ll at least smell clean!)
- Keep a soap dispensing dish brush in the shower for on the go cleaning. Yes, like the one you wash your dishes with. Fill it with some all-purpose cleaner and give your shower walls and faucets a once over while you’re letting your conditioner sit.
- Use lemon to get rid of water spots on chrome faucets and on shower doors. You can cut the fruit in half and rub it directly onto the hardware. Plus, you’re left with a delicious, citrus scented shower.
- Use a bleach pen on discolored grout between shower tiles.
- Wipe black tea onto shower doors with paper towels and wipe off with a clean rag to prevent limescale build-up. The tannic acid in tea cuts the grime off glass surfaces.
- Shaving cream will actually prevent glass shower doors from getting steamy and fogging up during your shower. Who knew that the glycerin in the shaving cream creates a protective coating on glass? Pretty neat trick.
Now that you’ve read all of our shower cleaning tips and solutions, there’s no need to encounter moldy grout or mildew-y shower curtains ever again. Even your faucets and shower head should sparkle with our simple hacks. You can relax better in your shower knowing that it’s not harboring any hidden bacteria and that your drain isn’t a makeshift den for sticky hairballs. And by routinely remembering to tend to your shower, those monthly deep cleans will be a breeze.
*When used as directed, effective for 24 hours against Staphylococcus aureus & Enterobacter aerogenes bacteria. Microban 24 does not provide 24-hour residual virus protection.