We don't often think about cleaning the places we use to clean ourselves, but the soap and water we use on a daily basis doesn't stand a chance against dirt and soap scum buildup.
Even the most beautiful shower tile can be tarnished by the chalky white deposits of calcium and magnesium you know as hard water. You may also be familiar with soap scum, which is the crusty, waxy film that is made when hard water, calcium, and magnesium mix with soap. The textured nature of soap scum helps trap bacteria, body oils, dead skin cells, and more, which gives it a slimier feel than hard water buildup.
Mold and mildew growth is slimy and dotted with black, pink, or green stains. These grow where moisture lingers longest in the shower, such as unsealed grout lines that have absorbed water.
Soap scum and dirt are bound to accumulate as long as shower tiles are exposed to moisture (all the time). Drying the tiles off after each shower will slow this buildup. Use a rubber squeegee or microfiber towel to get rid of remaining water spots and leave the tile looking sparkling clean. You can also switch to using a liquid soap, as these don't contain the solids that can lead to gunky buildup. Lastly, you can aerate your shower between uses by opening windows and leaving the door open.
In terms of deep cleaning, avoid using generic bathroom cleaning products to get your shower tiles clean because these might contain abrasives and chemicals that can leave behind scratches. Many online tips claim the best way to clean shower tile is with a mixture of white vinegar and water, but experts advise against this, since vinegar is highly acidic and can damage both grout and tile glaze.
Along the same line, don't use chlorine bleach and bleach-based products as grout cleaners. These can fade colored grout and cause it to crack and crumble.
From cleaning shower floor tile to cleaning the grout lines in between, Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner can remove everyday dirt and tough grime from your shower surfaces. The formula can dissolve soap scum and remove soils.
For extremely stubborn hard water or mineral buildup on non-stone tile showers, your best choice may be Simple Green Lime Scale Remover. Be sure you test the product on a small, inconspicuous area before cleaning, and do your best not to get any overspray on colored grout.
To rid your shower of mold and mildew, skip the hydrogen peroxide and go with an EPA-registered disinfectant. This can control and inhibit mold growth on hard, non-porous surfaces like your shower walls and shower door. A triple threat cleaner, disinfectant and deodorizer rids your shower of both the off-putting sight and smell of mold. Click here for directions on how to clean mold in your shower.
Directions for Cleaning Tile Showers:
Remove shampoo bottles, shower mats and other items before cleaning. If you're unsure about how Simple Green will affect a surface, be sure to spot test beforehand.
- Pre-treat. Run your shower at the hottest temperature possible for about 10 minutes prior to cleaning. Close the shower door so the steam has a chance to help loosen stubborn buildup on the tiles.
- Spray the solution. Spray the same section with full strength Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner.
- Scrub. Scrub tile and grout with a stiff brush, non-abrasive scrubbing pad, or grout brush. This will agitate and help lift away soils.
- Rinse. Thoroughly rinse with warm water. Repeat steps 1 through 3 as necessary.
- Dry. Dry the section with a clean microfiber or non-abrasive cloth to prevent water spots.
- Repeat for each subsequent section.
TIP: For directions on how to clean a glass shower door, click here.
TIP: For in-depth directions on how to clean shower tile grout, click here.