One of the most common questions we get asked is how to clean the shower screen, bath and tiles properly.
Especially those pesky calcium deposits and soap scum!
This is definitely one of the jobs that seems harder than it is. If you have the right tools, products, and technique, and do it regularly, your shower will stay in good shape. If your shower has not been cleaned in a while, however, expect a little more elbow grease to be required the first go.
What You’ll Need
Bathroom and Tile Cleaner
For porcelain, glass walls, glass tile, or ceramic tile, you can use any tub and tile cleaner that you like. We love Earth Choice Bath and Shower Rapid Clean, or you can use a homemade soap scum cleaner. For natural stone, such as granite, slate, or travertine, you can ONLY clean it with neutral soap or a specialty stone cleaner.
Look for the non-scratching kind, to avoid scuffing any finishes. Don’t use a cheap sponge here — that will just have you working overtime.
Microfibre Cloths for Drying Walls and the Tub, and a Squeegee
Baking Soda for Some Added Abrasion
Full-strength Cleaning Vinegar for Heavily-stained Glass Shower Doors
Here’s Our Ultimate Shower Cleaning Strategy!
Step 1 – Remove everything from the shower
Bottles, soap bars, sponges. Place bottles to rest on a towel or counter. Remove the bath mat.
Step 2 – Pull the curtains out of the way
Flip them up over the shower bar or remove them altogether. Spray the walls very generously with your tub and tile cleaner and let it sit for about 5 minutes. This “dwell time” will allow the product to do the work for you, so the longer you let it sit, the more easily it will break down soap scum.
Be sure not to spray the tub or floor of the shower — we leave that until the end to make the cleaning process easier.
For glass shower walls, put full-strength cleaning vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it right on.
Step 3 – Get Scrubbing
With the scrubby side of your non-scratching sponge, start scrubbing at the far left wall of the shower, and continue down until you get to the bottom of the wall.
Then move on to the next wall. For heavy soap scum (on non-glass walls or tiles), sprinkle about a tablespoon of baking soda onto your sponge and wet it, then squeeze it a few times to work the baking soda in. The abrasion will help scrape off the scum.
Work from top to bottom, from left to right. And avoid the temptation to scrub in circles — that is a total time waster! Keep doing this until all walls have been cleaned.
Do not rinse the walls yet.
Step 4 – Tub Time
Now, repeat steps 2 and 3 for the tub. Spray it down, let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes, and then scrub, starting at one end and working your way to the other.
WARNING ⚠️ If your tub is acrylic, use the soft side of your sponge only — the scrubbing side can ruin the finish.
Step 5 – Crank It
Crank the shower on hot water. If you have a removable shower head, start spraying the shower walls down, following the same pattern you used to clean it — far left clockwise to right. Alternatively, a container or jug to rinse the walls.
Once you’ve rinsed, use a squeegee to remove all the water from the walls, then follow that up by buffing with a clean microfibre cloth. Repeat for the tub.
Step 6 – Don’t forget to shine the chrome!
Clean Your Shower Screens
Step 1 – Dampen Your Cloth
Dampen a general purpose microfibre cleaning cloth. Avoid using coarse brushes and scrubbers as they may scratch your glass.
Step 2 – Spray the Vinegar
Spray neat white cleaning vinegar onto glass shower screen.
Step 3 – Bi-Carb Time
Dip your slightly damp microfibre cloth into small amount of bi-carb of soda.
Apply directly to vinegar area on the screen, in circular motions.
You will notice it will fizz. Keep going until fizzing stops. Re-apply to the rest of the screen.
Step 4 – Rinse It
Rinse shower screen and microfibre cloth with warm water.
Step 5 – Drying
Partly dry screen, finishing off with a glass / mirror microfibre cleaning cloth before completely dry.
To check and see if all soap scum is gone, look at your tub and tiles on an angle — you should not see any greyish lines or dull spots. You can also feel it – if you feel any resistance when you run your hand along the surface, it means soap scum is still there.
To keep the soap scum at bay, it is really important to rinse and wipe down after each shower, with either a squeegee or microfibre cloth to get rid of any soap residue, body oils, etc. That way your shower screens will keep looking cleaner, longer.
Handy Hint When Dealing With Soap Scum
Use liquid body wash not soap in the shower and bath tub, as the oils and fats in soap create soap scum build up. Since shower gel is basically a detergent, it’s specifically formulated to prevent soap scum from caking up in the shower / bath. 😁
How Often Should You Clean Your Shower and Bath?
After a lengthy shower and bath scrubbing sesh, you may not be too keen to repeat the performance – unless you’re trying to firm up those biceps, of course … 😉
Either way, you should clean your shower screen, bath and tiles often – once a week at least. By regularly cleaning your shower screen and tiles, you will prevent the limescale, soap scum and grime from building up and hardening, making it a hassle to clean.
Save yourself the trouble and make it part of your daily shower routine to ensure you have a clean shower screen all the time.
Always use a squeegee after your shower.
It may seem like a big effort, but it takes about 20 seconds, and prevents any soap scum from building up. Alternately, just take a microfibre cloth and wipe the walls before you leave the shower. If the walls are dry, you will never see soap scum, because it won’t be able to settle!
You can also create your own shower spray by mixing a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water and keeping a spray bottle of that in your shower. When you’re all done in the morning, mist the shower down. That will prevent soap scum from clinging to the walls.
Alternatively, call in the Experts!
If you have more than just soap scum (calcium buildup / hard water staining), then no natural or shop bought products will remove this. You will need professional help. If you would like to discuss further, please call us on 1300 628 605 and arrange for a cleaning quote.