How to Clean the Shower


A dirty shower drives me crazy!

I know for many of you cleaning the shower is something you’re willing to postpone until it’s a must. Really, who likes to get on their knees or bend over and scrub harder than any other area you clean in the house?

It is important though, especially if you share the bathroom with others. The bathroom is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, germs, mold and mildew, and viruses.

Think about it, especially when you share a bathroom, germs can line the walls of the shower and tub – Ick. Dead skin cells can also stay on the walls of the tub – and if you touch your mouth after a bath – the thought of what could be on your fingers is gross.

That is certainly something to think about the next time you get in a dirty tub or shower. How are you really supposed to get clean? If you want a dirt-free, germ-free area, then let’s do away with those microorganisms.

Homemade Shower Cleaning Recipes

I know there are tons of cleaners available and more coming out all the time to try and entice us into buying them, but I’m happy with my natural, homemade cleaning solution.

Not only is it inexpensive to make, it works on everything in the shower area. Believe me, if you try it once you will never go back to commercial shower products.

Regular Shower Cleaner

We talk about cleaning with vinegar quite a bit, it’s so versatile and can be used just about anywhere in the home. In a spray bottle add the following:

  • 1 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cups warm water

You can double this and fill the spray bottle if you want. Just label the bottle for future use and keep it under the bathroom sink.

Vinegar is mildly acidic, antibacterial, an antiviral, a germ fighter, and deodorizer. It will make the shower a less friendly place for mold, mildew; and help remove water spots leaving your shower sanitized.

Heavy Duty Shower Cleaner

If the shower and tub area are pretty dirty, there are some options to try for hard water stains and soap scum:

Recipes for Cleaning Hard Water

  1. Mix 2:1 ratio of white vinegar (2 cups) and warm water (1 cup) and add 1 teaspoon Dawn dish detergent to a spray bottle. Shake to mix and spray the hard water stains. Let this sit up to 1/ 2 hour then scrub. Rinse with water and wipe dry.
  2. If you want a paste instead of a spray, mix together 2 cups white vinegar and 1 1/ 2 cups Borax. (If necessary add small amounts of Borax until the paste is thick enough it won’t run down the sides of the shower walls and tub area.) Apply to shower tiles and tub using a circular motion and all areas are covered. Let sit up to 1/ 2 hour, then scrub real good. Rinse and wipe dry.

Recipes for Cleaning Soap Scum

  1. Use Borax or baking soda straight from the box. Sprinkle either of these on a wet sponge and scrub the soap scum using a circular motion to help get all areas.
  2. Again, here’s another use for white vinegar. Spray full strength vinegar on the soap scum, scrub, let sit, scrub again and rinse.
  3. If the soap scum build up has gotten pretty bad, try cleaning with 1/ 2 cups ammonia and 1 gallon hot water. (It also states on the back of the ammonia bottle that higher proportions of ammonia can be used if necessary.) Scrub the stain, let sit for 10 minutes, scrub good and rinse when finished.

Recipe for Mold and Mildew

Below is a recipe for removing mold and mildew from the shower stall. Use this after you have cleaned and rinsed the homemade shower cleaner, do not use together.

  • Mix together in a spray bottle: 1/4 cup bleach and 3/4 cup water. Spray on the solution and let it sit a few minutes then scrub, rinse and dry.

When using ammonia, open a window and turn on the bathroom vent, the vapors are strong and wear cleaning gloves. It is also an eye irritant and your eyes should be protected as splashing can occur. Do not mix with bleach or other cleaners containing bleach.

Don’t use vinegar on marble and other natural stone products. Vinegar is slightly acidic and can etch the stone.

Cleaning the Shower in 5 Easy Steps

First, Clear Out the Clutter

I recommend removing everything from the shower area before you begin cleaning. This includes all shampoo and conditioner bottles, soap bars, razors, shower caddy, and anything else you store there.

While you are doing this, be sure to toss old razors, empty bottles, extremely old products and whatnots in the trash. Less mess = more effective cleaning!

Spray the Walls & Clean the Drain

Turn the shower on to rinse any loose dirt or hair into the drain hair stopper then empty that out. This is the perfect time to be sure the drain is flowing properly.

If it seems to be draining slower than it should, make a note to pick up some drain cleaner next time you’re shopping or try my homemade solution to dislodge gunk and get it flowing nicely again.

Drain Cleaner Recipe

  1. Turn the faucet on and run hot water down the drain.
  2. Pour 1/ 2 cup baking soda down the drain.
  3. Then pour in 1 cup white vinegar.

Pouring the vinegar onto the baking soda will cause the mixture to foam out over the drain. Cover with a rag to keep it from spilling out.

  1. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Follow with about 4 cups boiling water and pour down the drain.

Give the Shower and Tub a Good Scrubbing

Using one of the homemade cleaning solutions we mention above, start scrubbing the shower clean.

Shine the Chrome

Don’t forget to clean the faucet and handles. Wiping them down and then drying them with a cloth will make them shine like brand new.

Wash the Shower Curtains

When you’re cleaning the shower, don’t forget to clean the shower curtain liner as well. Cleaning this on a regular basis will enable you to use it longer. Occasionally though, you will want to wash the liner along with the shower curtain.

Simply put them in the washing machine when you wash a load of towels. Add 1 cup white vinegar to the regular laundry detergent and wash on a cool/warm setting.

I place my shower curtain liner in the dryer, with the rest of the load, for just a few minutes to give it a quick dry so I don’t have to carry it back to the bathroom dripping wet.

Cleaning a Dirty Shower Head

Everybody cleans the exterior of the shower head but the water actually comes from inside. Minerals naturally present in water and other sediment can build up in there and block the holes of the shower head.

If you have hard water, it’s a good idea to remove the shower head for a thorough cleaning and to keep it up as often as you can.

  1. Fill a bowl with distilled white vinegar.
  2. Put the shower head in and let it soak for an hour.
  3. Wash off any mineral deposits, etc. and use an old toothbrush for tight spots.
  4. Drain the vinegar and rinse the shower head with cool water, don’t forget to rinse the little mesh filter (sometimes you’ll see little black specs of debris there).
  5. Dry completely and reinstall the shower head.

Keeping the Shower Clean

I know these are the obvious but let me tell you anyway.

  • Always use ventilation while showering by opening a window or turning on the fan.
  • Use a squeegee to wipe down showers walls and door after showering or use your bath towel.
  • Leave the shower door or shower curtain open a little until dry inside.
  • If you notice the shower area is prone to soap scum, think about switching to a liquid soap.

Now you have a sparkling, clean shower. Since you have taken the time to clean the shower head as well, you should have a more enjoyable shower!


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