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.
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.
- Sprinkle the baking soda on the tile. This shower was so dirty I used half a box.
- Pour a generous amount of HOT vinegar on top. (Microwaving it is fine.) I used more than two cups.
- Let it bubble up, sit and work on the dirt for 10 or more minutes.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
16 thoughts on “5 best ways to clean a shower (and keep it clean)”
For the shower spray you state you use 2 tsp of dish soap. Is that liquid dish soap?
Hi MJ. Yes, liquid dish soap. Hope you like it!
How did you get your wall tiles so clean??? Does the bicarb and hot vinegar work or does it just slide off????
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.
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!
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
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!
Thanks, Tamzyn! Such a nice compliment makes my day. Hope that shower cleaning goes well! ;)
Question: do you wipe or squeegee after spraying the shower spray? Or just spray and leave it?
Hi Christine! I just spray the shower spray all over and leave it :)
Great tips!! A lot of work but well worth it this is how it’ll look after!
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Very helpful post, thanks for sharing!
How do you stick baking soda to shower walls before spraying?
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.