How to clean a shower

Summary: Hints and tips on cleaning your shower area including tiles, grout, shower tray, as well as advice on cleaning shower curtains, cubicle doors and shower heads to keep them spotless and clear of limescale and mildew.

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Sometimes a regular weekly clean just isn’t enough to keep the place looking spotless. Every now and again it’s good to do a really good deep clean, to get everything looking as good as new again. Your shower will be a much more pleasant place to spend time if you get it looking spick and span.

Remove Everything

Before you start cleaning the shower, you have to clear it out. Remove toiletries, shower mats, toys, anything not fixed in. Clean everything you remove and throw away anything that never gets used. Open a window if there is one, switch on the extractor fan and open the door – using lots of cleaning products can leave you feeling light-headed.

Tiled, Baths and Shower Trays

Use a bucket, cup or jug, or the shower head if it reaches far enough, to rinse down tiled walls from top to bottom – this will remove hair and dirt, leaving you with a good starting point. Now grab a pair of rubber gloves and a sponge with a no-scratch scourer, and get to work.

Use a bathroom spray which removes mildew, and start by spraying one third of the tiles. Leave it to soak for a few minutes, then spray another third. Leave the second area to soak while you clean the first section. Use a sponge to wipe over the area, scrubbing lightly anywhere you feel resistance. Rinse out your sponge, and rinse down the clean section of wall with warm water. Then spray the last section of wall, and leave to soak while you work on the second area. Repeat everything you did in the first section, and repeat again for the third section. Use an old towel or flannel to dry off the tiles when you are finished.

If there are any stains remaining on the grout, mix one part bleach with two parts water, in an old spray bottle if you have one, and coat the problem area. Let it soak for a few minutes and rinse with cold water. If the grout is really grotty, you might want to consider re-grouting. See our replacing grout project if you want to give this a go.

Use the above method on your bath or shower tray too. If you live in a hard water area and you find limescale spots build up, these can be removed by scrubbing with a mixture of equal parts hot water and white vinegar. This mixture also works really well on taps, levers and other chrome elements.
If you live in a hard water area and limescale is a problem, see our project on dealing with hard water for help.

Wipe a coat of furniture polish over the wall tiles when you are done – this will help prevent dirt, mildew and limescale from sticking in the future. Just be careful to make sure it stays on the walls, and none gets on the bath or shower tray, as it could make it slippery.

Shower Doors and Curtains

Use that white vinegar again – neat this time – with a sponge to clean soap scum off glass shower doors and make them sparkle. Stubborn water spots on metal door or enclosure frames can be cleaned with lemon oil.

Most shower curtains are machine-washable. Put it in the machine with a couple of towels once a month on a cool wash to stop mould and soap scum building up. Do not use fabric conditioner. Hang the shower curtain up in place to dry.

Shower Head

Shower heads often become clogged up, so the spray is reduced or going off at odd angles. You should be able to unscrew the shower head and remove it. Place it in a bowl of white vinegar for a few hours, or overnight if it’s really bad. Then take an old toothbrush and give it a good scrub. Use a toothpick or pin to poke through and clean the holes. Rise the whole thing and reattach.

Drain

Shower drains can get really disgusting, so this is the worst part of the job. You need to remove all the fluff and hair that’s built up, which will be partially blocking the drain. Grab a plastic bag and your rubber gloves, and unscrew or lift up the drain – depending on how it works. Pull out any clogs of hair you can see and throw them in the bag. Then get a wire coat hanger, unbend it enough to fit down the drain, and poke about a bit, pulling up as much hair as you can.

When you think you’ve got as much gunk and hair out of the drain as you can, pour some bleach down. Leave for a few minutes, then pour some water down to rinse the bleach away. This should remove soap scum build-up from the pipes.

And there you are, a lovely clean shower. Try to maintain it by wiping over the tiles when you finish showering, leaving the curtain mostly open so it can dry, and clean it once a week so the nasty stuff doesn’t have a chance to build up!

 


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