Let’s start off today with a little riddle:
What gets wet as it dries?
Similarly, you could ask, “What gets dirtier as it cleans?” and the answer would be, “A shower!”
Unfortunately, the more your shower cleans you, the grimier it can get, but luckily, there are some ways that you can spruce up those hard-to-clean areas in your bathroom. We’ve put together a list of ways to make your shower look clean and stay fresh over many uses.
If your faucet looks like it has seen better days, you’re not alone. It seems like no amount of scrubbing can get those unsightly hard water stains off of the chrome, but here is an easy way to dissolve away the spots without wasting a lot of energy.
- Lemon: Lemon juice is extremely acidic and can make hard water stains essentially disappear. Simply cut a lemon into a few wedges and rub the pulpy part and the rind on your flecked faucet. Let the juice sit for a few minutes, then rinse off with water and buff it to a shine with a soft cloth.
- Vinegar: Vinegar can also get rid of hard water stains. Just dip a rag or paper towel in vinegar and wrap the faucet with it for 10-15 minutes, making sure the paper towel is touching everything you want to clean. After the time is up, just rinse with warm water and buff dry.
- Combination: If you have really tough stains, you might want to do a combination of the two. Rub the lemon and rind on the faucet and then wrap the faucet in a vinegar-soaked paper towel for 10-15 minutes. That should take care of even the hardest hard water.
Mold and mildew are unsightly, smelly, and altogether unpleasant. Your best option of avoiding them is to prevent them in the first place by squeegeeing down your shower after every use and leaving a fan or window open during and after you shower. When you notice mold, use a cleaning product that contains bleach to help stop the spread. Undiluted vinegar also works well at getting rid of mold.
Your showerhead is an essential aspect of a pleasant showering experience. If you notice that you have a low flow or a lot of the holes look clogged, it’s probably time to do a deep clean. There are some harsher chemicals on the market that will eat buildup like it is a cream puff, but if you want to go a little more natural, you can start by soaking it in vinegar for a few hours to overnight. Try to remove the showerhead and hoses from the wall so that they can sit completely submerged in a bowl of vinegar. That will remove most hard water and build up. Once it has soaked, scrub the showerhead with a brush and poke each of the holes with a pin or toothpick to dislodge any debris. Then reattach and rinse with warm water for a few minutes.
If you can’t get your showerhead off, you can always fill a bag with vinegar and use a rubber band to attach the bag to the faucet so it can soak. After a few hours, remove the bag, scrub, clean out the holes, and rinse with warm water.
Shower floors tend to get that tell-tale sign of use – two dirtier spots where your feet usually stand – even with regular cleaning. If you notice those smudges on your floors, you might take a moment to deep clean them. There are a couple of ways that you can do that.
- Vinegar and Baking Soda: It sounds like a science experiment, but it actually works! Simply spritz your floor with undiluted vinegar and wait about a half-hour. Then sprinkle baking soda across the floor, and with a soft sponge soaked in vinegar, gently scrub the floor. When you’re done, just rinse the floor with warm water, and it should look like new.
- Barkeeper’s Friend: Barkeeper’s Friend is an abrasive cleaner that you can find at just about any grocery store. It works wonders at cleaning grout and getting rid of hard water stains. You can use it on stainless steel, glass, fiberglass, ceramic, tile, chrome, porcelain, solid surface materials, copper, and brass. Just make sure to test it on a small area, and double-check that it works on the material your shower floor is made of before you start scrubbing.
The glass in your shower is the first thing you see when you step in to rinse off, and it can be off-putting to see it covered in hard water stains and soap scum. You might have tried glass cleaner in the past with little luck, so if you’re up for trying something new, you’ve come to the right place.
- Spray Oil: Yes, we’re serious! Put a towel or some newspaper down on the floor of your shower (you don’t want to slip while shaving later!), and then spray kitchen cooking spray oil on the inside of your shower glass and wait five to 10 minutes. The oil breaks down buildup and residue, so when you wipe it down with a warm, soapy washcloth, your glass will look like new.
- Dryer Sheet: Again, you read that correctly! Your dryer sheet can be used or unused, so simply get it wet and wipe down your dry glass. Rinse the glass with warm water when you’re done, and it should look clean and clear.
We thought we’d leave you with one last tidbit for keeping your shower clean. This is a daily spritz to help control mold, soap scum, and other stains, but it is not meant to replace a deep cleaning every once in a while. Just mix together the following ingredients in a spray bottle, shake it up and spritz your shower right after you’re done. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make!
- ½ cup vinegar (or substitute isopropyl rubbing alcohol if you have natural stone showers)
- 1 ½ cup water
- 1 tsp liquid dish soap
- 5-15 drops essential oil (ex: lemon, melaleuca, lavender, peppermint)
If you have taken these tips into consideration and your shower needs more than your elbow grease and ingenuity can give it, talk to our bath remodel team in the Seattle area. We can share affordable options for giving your bathroom a fresh and beautiful update.