How to Clean Shower Tiles Without Scrubbing
Lengthy scrubbing sessions can be exhausting. It can take a tremendous amount of elbow grease to coax mildew and soap scum off your shower walls.
That’s not the only reason to avoid scrubbing your shower tiles, though. Intense scrubbing can damage your tiles over time. Rough scrubbing pads may eventually wear through the protective glaze on the outer layer of your ceramic or porcelain tiles.
For the sake of longevity, gentle cleaning methods that don’t involve serious scrubbing are best. You’ll want to loosen the stains with a cleaning solution and then wipe them away a sponge, a soft brush or a magic erasing pad.
By learning how to clean your shower tiles without scrubbing, you can keep it looking sparkling fresh for years to come.
Best Way to Clean Shower Tile with Steam
One of the best tools at your disposal for easy shower cleaning is steam. Filling your shower with steam helps loosen gunk and grime so that it’s easier to wipe off.
The best thing to use is a handheld steamer. With this powerful appliance, you can shoot targeted blasts of steam at all the problem areas in your shower. After saturating a spot with steam, a simple swipe of the sponge may be all that it takes to remove the mess.
If you don’t have a steamer, turn to the shower itself. Close the bathroom door and windows. Shut the shower door or draw the curtain. Turn on the shower with the water as hot as it will go. Let it run for about 10 minutes so that plenty of steam will build up in the room. After that, you can go over the walls with a sponge to wipe away the loosened dirt.
Homemade Cleaning Solutions for Shower Tiles
While steam can be quite useful for cleaning the shower, you may need a little something extra sometimes. Fortunately, there are a variety of powerful cleaning mixtures that you can make with regular household ingredients.
Although you may keep vinegar in the kitchen, it has uses all over the house, including the bathroom.
For a basic vinegar cleaner, pour white vinegar into a spray bottle. Add an equal amount of water. Spritz it all over the shower walls, including the grout areas between the tiles. After letting the mixture stand for about half an hour, wipe the walls down with a sponge. Use a gentle brush to loosen any stubborn marks. Rinse the shower with clean water to finish the job.
If you need a stronger solution, fill your spray bottle with equal portions of vinegar and dishwashing liquid. After spraying the tiles, allow the mixture to sit for an hour before sponging it off and rinsing the shower with water.
Another handy kitchen item to use in the bathroom is baking soda. It has a lightly abrasive texture that’s good for gently lifting away grime.
The simplest baking soda cleaning recipe is to take a handful of the soda and add just enough water to moisten it. Stir them together until a paste forms. Rub this over the tiles in a circular motion, and then rinse it away with clean water.
To enhance the cleaning power of the baking soda, let the paste sit on the walls after applying it. Use a spray bottle to lightly spritz the paste with a one-to-one mixture of vinegar and water. You’ll notice that bubbles start to form. Let the mixture sit until the foaming action stops; it usually takes about an hour. Finish the job by sponging off the baking soda and then rinsing the walls with water.
You may have hydrogen peroxide in your medicine cabinet. It comes in handy for tackling mold on shower grout and tiles.
One option is to make a spray solution using one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts water. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before wiping the walls with a rag and rinsing them.
Another approach is to make a baking soda paste using hydrogen peroxide in place of the water.
If you’re not in a hurry, borax and hydrogen peroxide make a powerful pair. First, liberally sprinkle borax over the surfaces you plan to clean. Leave it alone for five hours. After that, apply undiluted hydrogen peroxide and walk away for another two hours. Finally, rinse the shower with plain water until all traces of the borax are gone.
Household bleach is another worthwhile cleaning product, but you’ll want to wear old clothes and ventilate the room while using it. It’s best for cleaning grout, and you should limit its use to just a few times a year. Overuse of bleach runs the risk of damaging your tiles’ finish.
When you do use bleach, you can apply it as a spray or a paste. For a spray, mix one part bleach and four parts water. For a paste, combine just enough bleach with baking soda to achieve a smooth mixture.
In either case, don’t let the bleach sit too long. 10 minutes may be plenty, and you should definitely rinse it away within 30 minutes.
Commercial Cleaning Products for Tile Showers
If homemade cleaning solutions aren’t cutting it, you may choose to use a commercial product instead. These can also be a quick and easy alternative if you don’t consider yourself much of a DIYer.
The options include:
- Alkaline cleaner
- Oxygen bleach mixed with warm water
- Phosphoric acid
Just keep in mind that these products are often stronger than homemade varieties. Always read the manufacturer’s directions, wear safety gear and use sufficient ventilation.
Tips for Everyday Shower Care
The more you keep up with daily shower maintenance, the less deep cleaning will be required. Just a few simple steps in your everyday routine could reap big benefits down the road.
First of all, use liquid soap instead of bar soap for your personal cleansing. It’s less likely to leave behind soap scum.
When you shower, run the exhaust fan or crack a door or a window. Proper ventilation can reduce mildew growth.
After each shower, use a squeegee to remove excess water from the shower walls and floor. Also, towel dry the shower walls once a day.
If you keep up with these easy tips, you’ll find that your overall cleaning burden is greatly reduced. And when it is time for a deep clean, steam or a homemade cleaning solution can help you remove spots or buildup without any major scrubbing.