January 22, 2015
How to Clean a Shower and Keep It That Way + DIY Recipes
One of the top questions I receive has something to do with cleaning a shower, cleaning soap scum, how to keep a shower clean, etc. Showers are tough. If it’s a shower that’s used regularly, it’s damp and has a fair amount of moisture that needs to fully dry on a daily basis. If it isn’t used on a daily or weekly basis it still needs a quick wipe down to keep it clean and dust-free.
I have a pretty simple process that helps me maintain a CLEAN and MILDEW-FREE shower – want to see what I do and what I use? Keep reading!
Start with a little shower caddy or container that you KEEP IN YOUR SHOWER or bathroom to use on a daily or weekly basis. I use non-toxic cleaners and generally clean the shower while I’m taking a shower. This is the one I use and the one pictured below. (If you have a walk-in shower you will agree that this is the best way to do this or else you’ll end up taking a shower anyway.)
- Use a daily shower spray – I have a recipe in my book for a Peppermint Daily Shower Cleaner Spray and Method brand has a Daily Shower Spray that works really well too. Using a daily shower spray will keep soap scum and mildew at bay and make it easier to clean your shower.
- Use a squeegee at the end of your shower to remove excess water and to prevent water spots.
Peppermint Daily Shower Cleaner Spray
1/2 cup vodka
1 cup water
10 drops peppermint essential oil
Mix and store in a spray bottle. Spray shower or tub daily after showering has occurred. No rinse needed.
- Spray cleaner on walls, tiles, shower surround, faucets, shower head, etc. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Scrub clean and rinse thoroughly. This is part of my Monday cleaning routine – you can see how I speed clean all the bathrooms in my house here.
- Some people swear by using a combination of equal parts white vinegar and dish soap in a handled sponge dispenser. Try that technique if you’d like and see if that works for you.
- My favorite DIY recipe for bathroom cleaning? Lavender + Lemon Bathroom Disinfecting Spray.
- Use a scrub (powder or paste) to deep clean your shower. If you have a lot of soap scum, start with SCRUBBING the shower first to get it perfectly clean and then apply the daily and weekly routine. Use a handled scrub brush to effectively clean the grout and tiles.
- If your shower head isn’t running as strongly as it used to, you can use white vinegar to break down the mineral deposits that have collected over time. All you need is about a cup of white vinegar, a sturdy plastic bag, and a rubber band. Pour about a cup of vinegar into the bag and lift it to the shower head. Make sure that all of the spray holes are covered in the vinegar. Adjust the amount of vinegar if necessary and then secure it to the shower head with the rubber band.
- It’s important to keep the bag on the shower head for at least 3 hours. After several hours or overnight, remove the bag. Not only will the mineral deposits and residue be removed from the exterior, but the interior will be cleaned as well. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.
- Mold and mildew are not things you want in your bathroom or shower, and they are not things you want to mess around with as they can be dangerous. One way to start fresh is to re-caulk your shower and tub every year or so. It’s a fairly simple process and can be completed with a tube of white silicone caulk specifically designed for bathrooms and kitchens. If there’s more than just a little bit of mold or mildew, call a professional to eradicate the problem first.
- If you have a little mildew in your shower, spray straight hydrogen peroxide on the spot(s). Let sit for up to an hour and rinse. You can put a clean spray nozzle right on top of a hydrogen peroxide bottle – keep the hydrogen peroxide in the brown container it came in. It loses its effectiveness when it comes in contact with light. Hydrogen peroxide will bleach fabric so be careful where and how you spray the solution. Repeat if necessary.
- You can also try using the same process with just straight white vinegar, no rinsing is necessary. If the hydrogen peroxide and vinegar don’t work, you can add a couple drops of tea tree oil (melaleuca) to the hydrogen peroxide using this recipe (from my book, The Organically Clean Home):
Peppermint and Tea Tree Mold and Mildew Remover
1 cup water
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
10 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops peppermint essential oil
Mix and store in a dark container. Spray liberally on mold/mildew, let sit for 1-2 hours, rinse. Repeat if necessary.
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