Love your morning shower? Make it even more enjoyable by keeping your shower surround sparkling clean. Here's how.
If starting your day off right means stepping into a refreshing shower, then maintaining and preserving that soothing space is important. Daily care and weekly cleaning of your shower will help prevent soap scum and mineral deposits, and discourage the growth of mildew.
But if you do find yourself dealing with this unwelcome invaders, here's a good way to clean your shower. Use a solution of 3/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon water. Be sure to open windows and wear eye and hand protection. Scrub the grout with a small brush, and prevent any contact with porcelain. Seal dry grout with a grout sealer. Spray and wipe your shower weekly with a bleach solution to prevent further mold and mildew.
Specific materials, such as tile, acrylic, and marble, need specialized care, as do glass shower doors.
Plan on spending extra time cleaning your tile surround because of its tendency to attract mildew and soap scum. To remove soap scum, use a nonabrasive cleaner made for bathrooms, a daily shower cleaner, or a white vinegar-and-water solution. To keep soap scum and water spots from reappearing, wipe down the shower with a soft dry towel or squeegee after every use. Bath departments of some discount stores and home centers sell squeegees with suction-cup handles that can be attached to the shower wall for convenience. Daily shower cleaners for after-shower use also prevent soap buildup. Follow the directions. Using too much spray causes streaking. Some sprays also contain an oily ingredient designed to repel water and soap. So use these minimally to avoid slippery, unsafe floors.
Gently wipe the acrylic surface using a damp clean cloth or chamois. Wash with warm water and a mild liquid dishwashing detergent or granular cleaner mixed with water. Use a soft cloth or a clean sponge, as acrylic scratches easily. Rinse the surface with a damp clean cloth, then dry it with a clean soft cloth.
You may also want to use a gel cleaner made especially for acrylic and fiberglass products. Use a clean dry cloth to apply it to a dry surround, then rub into the surface and let it dry until it turns hazy. Buff off the haze to get a brilliant shine.
Marble is a softer stone often used in custom installations because of its beauty. There's a trade-off, though: Marble's permeability makes it vulnerable to scratches and stains. To clean a marble shower, use a pH-neutral cleanser that is specifically suggested for the stone. Acidic products, such as vinegar or lemon-base cleansers, should be avoided due to possible etching. Wipe the marble dry after each use. Polish the marble weekly and cover it with a marble sealer twice a year.
Using a glass cleaner and soft cloth, wipe down the glass shower doors and enclosures. To remove soap scum film, use a cloth dampened with white vinegar, then rinse well. Finally, finish by cleaning the shower door track with a soft toothbrush and gentle dishwashing liquid. Rinse well.