How to Clean a Shower, with Expert Step-by-Step Instructions

Cleaning pros reveal the best methods for tackling glass, stone, and tile showers.

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Your shower cleans you every single day. You should return the favor from time to time, and not just with a quick wipe down. Unsure of exactly how to clean your shower so that it sparkles, shines, and better yet, stays that way? There are lots of different ways to keep your shower clean, but the best method varies depending on what type you have and how much use it gets on a daily basis.

Here, we'll walk you through how to clean your shower, providing step-by-step instructions. You'll learn the best cleaning methods for each type, including glass, stone, acrylic, and tile. And to go the extra mile, we've also included tips and tricks from industry experts that'll keep your shower in tip-top condition.

How to clean any shower

hand in pink glove cleaning a glass shower
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In general, the steps you'll use to give your shower a comprehensive cleaning are similar, whether you have a brand-new, state-of-the-art, glass-enclosed shower or a basic tile shower that's several decades old.

Step 1: Apply a cleaner.

The type of cleaning product you'll use depends on what type of shower you have.

Step 2: Let it soak for a few minutes.

This allows the cleaner to penetrate your shower's surface to reach moldy, mildewy spots.

Step 3: Wipe or scrub it down.

Again, you'll want to choose your materials based on the type of shower you have. We'll discuss this more below.

Step 4: Rinse.

Never leave any kind of cleaner on your shower without wiping it off, unless it's one of those spray-and-go cleaners. Doing this will only cause more build-up in the long run.

Step 5: Dry.

Keeping your shower dry between uses is the key to maintaining a cleaner shower longer, says Kait Schulhof, owner of the website A Clean Bee.

Many modern showers are made with premium materials, such as stone, marble, and glass. If you have one of those, there are certain things you'll need to consider when cleaning your shower. Keep reading for specific step-by-step instructions on each.

How to clean a glass shower

Cleaning a glass shower
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If you have a glass shower, your biggest enemy will be soap scum. That's the white stuff that begins to build up on your shower's surfaces, causing the glass to look dim and streaky instead of glistening and gleaming. Soap scum comes from the waxy substance that's found in your soap, shampoo, and conditioner. While soap scum isn't avoidable, it's easy to clean, especially if you do it regularly and slow down buildup.

There are three simple ways to clean soap scum off of a glass shower, as the DIY Network site explains, and they're easily accomplished with basic household ingredients:

Option 1: Clean soap scum with vinegar.

Mix equal parts white vinegar with Dawn dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray all surfaces of the glass and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Scrub, rinse, and dry fully with a soft cloth.

Option 2: Clean soap scum with ammonia.

Mix one part ammonia with three parts hot water in a spray bottle. Spray all surfaces of the glass and immediately scrub with a sponge or cloth. Spray to remove excess product and dry fully with a soft cloth. Note that it is very important to ventilate your bathroom and wear rubber gloves if you go with this method.

DIY Network also advises that you avoid using a chlorine-based bleach at the same time as ammonia or vinegar, as the combinations are harmful.

Option 3: Clean soap scum with baking soda.

Mix equal parts water and baking soda to form a thick paste. Use a sponge or toothbrush to scrub the paste into the surface. Rinse with hot water to remove excess paste and dry completely. The paste is particularly effective at cleaning grout.

How to clean a stone or marble shower

Marble shower bathtub bathroom
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There's no denying it: Marble showers are simply gorgeous. This upscale bathroom trend is definitely a welcome one, but while you might assume marble is one of the heartiest, most durable surfaces to have in a shower, that's unfortunately not the case. There's a lot of maintenance that goes into keeping a marble shower clean.

"Marble is actually quite delicate," the Merry Maids website writes. "Therefore, you need to know which products and tools to avoid when cleaning a marble shower." It's important to avoid harsh, acidic, or abrasive cleaners, along with scrapers or coarse scrubbers. These things can all scratch or damage marble showers.

To get the scoop on the best way to handle a marble shower, we spoke with Jason Carpenter, owner of the Dallas-based cleaning service Modern Maids.

Step 1: Mix your cleaning solution.

Fill a spray bottle with hot water and a squirt of Dawn dish soap.

Step 2: Spray the walls and floors.

Cover the surface of your shower with this gentle solution.

Step 3: Wipe your shower down.

Use a microfiber towel to protect the marble and bring out its shine.

Step 4: Rinse.

With just water.

Step 5: Seal your shower.

Once a year, apply a marble sealer to your shower to add an extra layer of protection.

How to clean an acrylic or tile shower

Cleaning tiles in shower
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If you have a shower made of tile, grout will be your worst enemy. That's because it's the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can be incredibly difficult to remove. "The grout is an extremely hard area to clean, which is why many people will call in professional companies," says Carpenter. These are the steps he recommends to get clean grout every time:

Step 1: Make a paste.

Combine a powder cleaner, such as Comet or Bon Ami, with any spray cleanser.

Step 2: Leave it alone.

Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes so all the chemicals can set in and activate.

Step 3: Scrub it in.

Attack the area with a bristle brush or hard sponge to remove the discoloration.

Step 4: Spray the shower.

Hit the walls and floor with a stream of water to remove any excess product.

Step 5: Dry.

Let your shower air out for as long as possible before you have to use it again.

Shower cleaning tips and tricks

Man cleaning stone shower
Shutterstock

Looking for some hacks that will help you keep your shower spotless between deep cleans? Our cleaning experts weighed in:

  • Store a refillable dish soap scrub brush in your shower, advises Schulhof. Fill it with dish soap or a combination of dish soap and distilled white vinegar. Once or twice a week, use it to scrub the walls and floors while you're in the shower.
  • If your shower has a sliding door, keep a dry cleaning cloth at the ready to wipe the door track dry after every single shower. Doing so will reduce the buildup of mold and mildew in this difficult-to-clean location, says Schulhof.
  • For stain removal, Carpenter suggests using Magic Erasers with an abrasive powder cleanser. Put the Magic Eraser under your shoe for extra power and the stain will be removed quickly and easily.
Christin Perry
Christin Perry is a freelance writer covering health, lifestyle, and parenting. Read more
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