How to Clean a Shower So It Sparkles from Top to Bottom

Get a spotless shower with minimal scrubbing. These cleaning tips require only a few minutes and simple ingredients.

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10

You step into the shower to get yourself clean, but the surfaces in your shower might not be so fresh. Dirt, dust, hard water spots, mildew, soap scum, and other residue can build up in the shower over time, so it's important to incorporate this area into your regular bathroom cleaning routine. A bit of daily, after-shower upkeep can ward off some of the worst stains and grime, but you should plan to also give your shower a deeper cleaning about once a week. Use our guide below to learn how to clean a shower, including those made from fiberglass, tile, and stone. We'll also walk you through how to clean the showerhead, doors, grout, and more.

In general, the best time to deep-clean your shower is right after you use it. The surface is already wet from your shower, and the steamy temperature has loosened dirt, making your job easier. Get a sparkling shower with minimal scrubbing using these easy cleaning tips.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Cleaning a Fiberglass Shower

  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Squeegee
  • Towel

Cleaning a Tile Shower

  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Squeegee
  • Grout brush
  • Toothbrush (optional)

Cleaning a Stone Shower

  • Sponge
  • Microfiber cloth (optional)
  • Soft towel

Cleaning Glass Shower Doors

  • Spray bottle
  • Non-scratch sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Soft toothbrush

Cleaning a Showerhead

  • Soft cloth

Cleaning a Shower Drain

  • Wire hanger
  • Pliers


Cleaning a Fiberglass Shower

  • Commercial shower cleaner
  • Vinegar (optional)
  • Dish soap (optional)
  • Baking soda

Cleaning a Tile Shower

  • Commercial tile cleaner
  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda

Cleaning a Stone Shower

  • Stone cleaning solution
  • Mild dish soap (optional)

Cleaning Glass Shower Doors

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda (optional)

Cleaning a Showerhead

  • Plastic bag
  • Rubber band
  • Distilled white vinegar

Cleaning a Shower Drain

  • White vinegar


bathroom black frame shower
David Tsay

How to Clean a Fiberglass Shower

Showers made from fiberglass or acrylic are popular in many homes because they're relatively inexpensive and easy to install. This type of shower is also fairly easy to keep clean with a few household ingredients. When cleaning a fiberglass shower, avoid using abrasive scrubbing tools that could scratch the surface.

  1. Spray Shower with Cleaner

    After removing all shower accessories and bottles, spray the entire area with a commercial shower cleaner ($2.28, Walmart) or a DIY shower cleaning solution of equal parts vinegar and dish soap. Don't forget the hardware as well; soap scum easily builds up on shower faucets. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean around faucets and in corners.

  2. Let Sit and Scrub

    To remove grime from the shower floor, sprinkle the area with baking soda while it's still wet from the vinegar-dish soap solution. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush.

  3. Rinse and Wipe Dry

    Rinse the entire shower with water, and wipe away excess water with a squeegee or towel to prevent water spots.

shower inset with tile "hi"
Kim Cornelison

How to Clean a Tile Shower

Showers with ceramic or porcelain tiles are durable and low-maintenance, but the grout between tiles can be a magnet for grime and mildew.

  1. Spray Shower with Cleaner

    Spray shower tiles with a commercial tile cleaner ($3, The Home Depot) or a mixture of equal parts vinegar and dish soap.

  2. Let Sit and Scrub

    Wait several minutes to allow the cleaning solution to break up soap scum and hard water deposits, then scrub with a soft-bristled brush.

  3. Rinse and Wipe Dry

    Rinse well. Remove excess water from the surface with a squeegee or towel.

  4. Clean Grout

    To clean grout in the shower, apply a mixture of two parts baking soda with one part vinegar using a grout brush ($3.79, Target) or an old toothbrush. After about five minutes, scrub the grout lines and rinse clean.

Two Person Shower Room with wooden stools
Laurie Black

How to Clean a Stone Shower

Stone showers, including those made from granite, marble, travertine, and other natural stone, require special cleaning methods as the material's permeability makes it vulnerable to scratches and stains. Never use harsh tile cleaners or acidic ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice, as these can damage the stone's surface.

  1. Apply Cleaning Solution

    Use cleaning products specifically designed for your type of stone or a small amount of mild dish soap mixed with water. Gently buff using a sponge or microfiber cloth.

  2. Rinse, Dry, and Maintain

    Rinse clean and dry immediately with a soft towel.

    You should also wipe your stone shower dry after each use. Polish the surface weekly and cover it with a stone sealer twice a year.

frameless contemporary glass shower
Brie Williams

How to Clean Glass Shower Doors

Make your glass shower doors sparkle and shine.

  1. Apply Cleaning Solution

    Warm some distilled white vinegar in the microwave and mix it with an equal proportion of dish soap. Pour your DIY glass cleaner into a spray bottle and coat both sides of the doors.

  2. Wipe, Rinse, and Dry

    After about 30 minutes, use a damp sponge and clean water to wipe away the cleaning solution and dry with a microfiber cloth.

    If you're worried about damaging surrounding stone surfaces, swap the vinegar solution for a mixture of baking soda and dish soap. Apply the paste to the glass shower doors and gently scrub using a non-scratch sponge ($4, Target). Finish by cleaning the shower door track with a soft toothbrush and gentle dishwashing liquid. Rinse well.

modern matte black shower faucet and subway tile
Julie Soefer

How to Clean a Showerhead

You can get rid of mineral deposits and buildup from your showerhead without even removing it.

  1. Soak Showerhead

    Fill a plastic bag with distilled white vinegar, slip it over the showerhead, and secure with a rubber band.

  2. Dry and Polish

    Wait about one hour before removing the bag and turning on the water to flush. Dry and polish the showerhead with a soft cloth.

    Repeat this process about once a month to keep your showerhead free from buildup.

How to Clean a Shower Drain

Fix a slow-moving shower drain with the help of a wire hanger and a few household ingredients.

  1. Remove Drain Cover

    Start by removing the drain's cover and soaking it in white vinegar to remove soapy residue.

  2. Remove Clog and Rinse

    Use pliers to straighten out a wire hanger and make a hook at one end. Carefully lower the wire into the drain and use the hooked end to pull out the clog, repeating as needed until the drain is clear. Run hot water down the drain to flush out any remaining buildup.

bathroom with white subway tiles and green shower curtain
Alise O'Brien

How to Clean Shower Curtains and Liners

Shower curtains and liners can harbor dust, germs, and mold or mildew, but they're simple to clean. Most can be machine-washed; check the instructions on the care tag to make sure. Remove the rings or clips and toss the curtain and liner in the washer on a gentle cycle in warm water. Rehang and let air dry.

Best Shower Cleaning Tools

The right cleaning supplies will make it much easier to scrub away dirt and grime in your shower. For starters, a brush will do a better job than a sponge at loosening soap scum and water deposits. Look for one with a diamond-shaped head ($13.99, Target), which will reach into corners easier than a brush with a flat head. You should also keep a squeegee ($10.99, Target) or an absorbent bath towel handy to clear away excess water from walls and doors after each shower, which helps prevent water spots and soap scum buildup. You can often find squeegees with suction-cup handles that can be attached to the shower wall for convenience.

The best shower cleaner will depend on your shower's material. Certain surfaces require special care, so be sure to use cleaning solutions and scrubbers that won't harm the material of your shower. Daily shower cleaning sprays ($2.99, Target) are a convenient way to prevent soap buildup that works for most materials. Following the manufacturer's directions, spray shower walls after you step out of the shower. Keep in mind that using too much spray causes streaking. Some sprays also contain an oily ingredient designed to repel water and soap; these products should be applied only to shower walls to avoid slippery, unsafe floors.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it safe to clean a shower with vinegar?

    As long as the shower isn't made of natural stone, it's safe to clean with vinegar.

  • How do you clean a walk-in shower?

    Clean a walk-in shower as you would any other style shower, following the guidelines for the material it's made of.

  • How do you rinse shower walls after you clean them?

    If you have a handheld showerhead, use it to spray and rinse the shower walls after cleaning. If not, use a spray bottle to wash away any residue.

Related Articles