February 19, 2015
The Best Ways to Eliminate Residue, Stains, and Gunk in the Bathroom
How to clean bathtubs and showers is one of the most often asked questions that I receive from my readers. As I made a list of all the questions that you asked after my What’s the Best blog post, I wasn’t surprised to see the bathroom theme continue. Today I am focusing on bathtub cleaning and how to tackle those grimy tubs and showers as easily as possible.
Bathtubs and shower surrounds have the tendency to accumulate soap scum and stains in a hurry. Part of it is a result of soap, shampoo and body washes that you use while part of it can result from the hardness or softness of your water. Regardless, let’s take a look at a couple of cleaner options that can help make a difference. Depending upon your cleaning style and cleanser preferences, I am sharing products that you can find at your local store as well as ones that you can make yourself.
These helpful little numbers can be ideal for a thin layer of soap scum or residue. Simply wet and scrub away. I recommend using the ones that are heavy duty over the regular ones as they tend to be a bit more durable.
Bon Ami products can do a great job at removing rust, residue and stains with minimal fuss and work. Both come in a can in a powder format and soft scrub liquid – I recommend the original 1886 powder as it’s the safest version. This powder works as a gentle, mild abrasive that scrubs without damaging surfaces. Put on a pair of gloves, sprinkle it in your tub or shower and around the faucet. Dampen the surfaces as well as a sponge and scrub in a circular motion. Rinse your tub really well when you are done in order to get all the cleaning residue off.
If you prefer a soft scrub formula, Ecover has a great Cream Scrub that’s perfect for cleaning all things bathroom. Concerned about scratching a fiberglass tub? Use a soft, damp sponge or microfiber cloth and scrub away.
If the soap scum is thin and you need a spray cleaner, try the Bathroom Cleaner from Method. It’s natural and will dissolve minor soap scum and dirt. You’ll need to use a scrub brush to give your scum the heave-ho, but this is a great product if you prefer a spray method.
Make Your Own Cleaners:
Making your own cleaners isn’t rocket science, nor does it require any crazy ingredients. Both Borax and vinegar can be found in most grocery stores. I love making my own cleaners and being able to mix up a remedy for just about cleaning conundrum. You can check out my book, The Organically Clean Home, all about making your own natural cleaners.
SOAP SCUM REMOVER:
Mix 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Borax with 2 cups of hot water in a spray bottle. Shake and spray surfaces thoroughly. Let it sit for up to 15 minutes and use a Magic Eraser sponge to clean. Rinse and wipe dry.
Saturate paper towels or rags with white vinegar and drape over fixtures. Let it sit for 15 minutes and rub with the cloth to eliminate the rust. Rinse, and repeat if necessary.
Once you have a clean tub or shower, it’s important to maintain it with regular cleaning. Thankfully, keeping up with it doesn’t have to be majorly time consuming. For an easy run-down on how to clean your shower and keep it that way, check out this post that covers everything you need to know.
There are certainly issues and situations where no amount of cleaning or cleaners will “fix” the problem. You may need to consider recaulking or regrouting your tub or shower when stains, mildew or mold issues persist. If the surface of your tub or shower has been damaged or has disintegrated beyond repair, it may be time to consider replacing or having the surface reglazed.
Getting rid of those tricky stains and residues in your tub and shower doesn’t have to be a day long cleaning chore nor does it take an arsenal of cleaning supplies. Choose one of the suggested cleaners for your situation and look forward to a cleaner, fresher bathroom!