5 best ways to clean a shower (and keep it clean)

I’ve found five powerful ways to get my tile shower clean and keep it clean longer — months longer! I’m sharing a secret ingredient you’re missing in your all natural vinegar and water cleaner, as well as a DIY shower spray recipe that is magic.

I can’t believe I’m posting pictures of my filthy shower on the internet, but here they are. Promise not to judge? Ok then. I waited for it to get to this point so I could do a cleaning test for this post. Ok, that’s not true. But I did conduct some cleaning tests and here’s what worked best.

Keep the shower clean for months with a couple natural secret ingredients and DIY shower spray

1. Hot vinegar and baking soda

You know the vinegar and baking soda bubble trick by now, but have you tried using HOT vinegar? It takes it to the next level. My friend Theresa told me about this trick a couple weeks ago and I couldn’t wait to try it on our nasty shower! She was right, this is a fantastic new magic trick in my tool belt.

I’ve also heard of using cream of tartar in the mix as well for grout, but I haven’t tried it yet.

  1. Sprinkle the baking soda on the tile. This shower was so dirty I used half a box.
  2. Pour a generous amount of HOT vinegar on top. (Microwaving it is fine.) I used more than two cups.
  3. Let it bubble up, sit and work on the dirt for 10 or more minutes.
  4. Scrub.
  5. Rinse.

A secret tip to get that shower sparkling clean quick

The simple secret step that cuts through shower grime.

How to clean a shower that will stay clean for months


2. Dish detergent

My next move is to scrub the shower doors, shower head and hardware with dish detergent. Dish detergent for the dishwasher gets rid of residue and dries without watermarks.

Just make sure to find one that doesn’t have too many chemicals. They put some scary stuff in the cheap kinds. I’m using Seventh Generation here, not sponsored. I’ve also tried dish detergent and then Rain-X, which works great for keeping the doors cleaner longer, but I didn’t do it this time.

An easy way to clean glass shower doors and get rid of water stains

Secrets to keeping the shower clean longer

How to clean the showerhead

And don’t forget the shower head! I use the detergent on the faucet and in the tile corners with an old dish brush as well.


3. Brillo pads

I use a Brillo pad scrub the soap holders, second shower head and anything else metal that is holding on to soap gunk. I’m a big Brillo pad fan. Check out all these things you can clean with them!

The simple and cheap tool that you never thought to use in the bathroom!

A Brillo pad works wonders on water deposits and soap buildup on stainless steel in the bathroom

How to make DIY shower spray to keep the shower clean for months!

4. DIY shower spray

The key to keeping the shower clean for weeks longer is to keep this DIY spray handy! Ours started to take a nosedive when we ran out and I didn’t make more. Just spray it after each shower. It makes such a huge difference! Trust me here.

Again, be conscious of the dish soap and rinse aid (think Jet Dry) you use. Some are much more skin and environment-friendly than others.


  • 18 ounces of water
  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 2 teaspoons dish soap
  • 2 teaspoons rinse aid

Keep a clean shower for months with these 5 steps

I still have a couple spots of caulking that have mildew so I have to decide if I’ll do the right thing and cut it our and replace it or buy some anti-fungal toxic tile spray. Hmmmm.

A simple secret ingredient you're missing for all natural vinegar and water cleaner

5. All-natural cleaner secret ingredient

One more little tip. Try adding a couple orange peels for a little boost to regular water and vinegar cleaner. Citrus oil aids cleaning by breaking down oils and sticky surfaces. This is the cheater’s version of my more powerful DIY citrus cleaner recipe.

I clean everything with this stuff — sinks, faucets, mirrors, countertops, fridge, dining table … And when I make it, I make two bottles so each of my sons can have his own for chores and helping out. They always fight over the spray bottle! But no worker will be turned away at this house.

Keep your shower clean for months with these 5 steps

Keep your shower clean for months with these 5 steps

There. I didn’t even know I had so much to say about cleaning showers. If you’ve read this far I really think we could be friends because we both like to exhaust subjects. xo

To see how I did my plant wall, go here.

Ultimate clean house planner - horizontal

19 thoughts on “5 best ways to clean a shower (and keep it clean)

  1. How did you get your wall tiles so clean??? Does the bicarb and hot vinegar work or does it just slide off????

  2. Well, there’s two things going on. First, this isn’t years of buildup. I usually don’t keep my shower this dirty! haha! So the dirt wasn’t caked on. And two, yes, the hot vinegar and baking soda sitting and bubbling up on the tile works. I did the same thing to the walls as the floor. After it bubbles up and has time to sit, I scrubbed it with a brush. Anything left I tackled with liquid dish detergent. Like I said though, there are still some caulking spots with mildew that this process didn’t take off.

  3. This post is super helpful, because I still feel like I don’t know how to REALLY get our showers/tubs clean – LOL! I’m going to try your DIY spray!

  4. Thanks! I actually use dish soap in the tub. Cuts through everything. Hmmmm. Maybe I should have mentioned that in the post?? You’re always so sweet. xo

  5. This is marvellous! I have been intending to *read: avoiding* tackling our shower lately. I have been mesmerized and “stuck” reading your blog for at least the last hour and am loving it! Thanks for the great tips, helpful advice and simply encouraging posts. Blessings!

  6. Question: do you wipe or squeegee after spraying the shower spray? Or just spray and leave it?


  7. Firstly, thanks for share this post. This is some really good info for class cleaning. I liked that you pointed out that you should use a squeegee. It does look like a thing to know when you need to keep your glass looking wonderful.

  8. I am completely baffled and thrilled cause the you have submitted the information over here is very stupendous and soothing. Past few days back i was looking for some informative idea regarding this topic but couldn’t found anywhere but after read this article it’s blown my mind away but i want more details information regarding bathroom bidet seat could you recommend which particular brand really need to go can you recommend? and i hope that’s gonna be lit each and everyone.Highly appreciation for your amazing professionalism and great patience.

  9. I have used the spray with hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol which works great.
    I think readers should be aware that tile companies DO NOT recommend using vinegar on grout. Vinegar is an acid and will break down your grout over time. Over time you will have an expensive repair bill.
    When we were installing granite in our new kitchen we were told the same thing. Never, ever use vinegar on granite or tile. The acid will pit granite and break down the grout.
    Even though vinegar is one of my favourite cleaning agents, I won’t use it when cleaning grout and granite.

  10. You’re blog is incredibly helpful! Our house feels like it’s in a state of disarray right now that I’ve almost never let it get to before in my life & not only are your posts helpful but I’m actually inspired to really tackle the mess (which before seemed far too overwhelming & virtually impossible)! Thank you so much!

  11. I completely get it! Actually I just did a whole house reset on Friday because everything was everywhere after a full summer! It can be overwhelming, but you’ve got this. One space at a time! :)

  12. Thank you Kate! You need a followup with the nasty mold mildue that comes on caulking and sometimes grout. Please help!!!!! Thank you – small
    – no fan bathrooms! :/

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