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When was the last time you gave your shower a bath? Seriously, aren’t you tired of looking at mildewed grout? Or slipping on a floor slick with soap-scum?
Luckily, there are some easy ways to clean your shower while you’re cleaning yourself. Hey, why not? You’re already au naturel, so there’s no worry about getting your clothes wet. Plus, steamy walls are easier to clean. Here's what you should do during those two minutes after you shower off.
Use a two-minute cleaning routine
- Remove the moisture: Squeegee shower walls, floors and doors after every shower to remove mildew-causing moisture. Then, wipe these areas again with a dry towel to get rid of any last bit of water.
- Clean the tiles: Glenn Angelora, owner of The Grout Guy in Farmington, New York, recommends cleaning tile once a week. His favorite way? Using a Magic Eraser and wiping down damp shower tiles and fixtures while he’s still in the shower. You can also use a well-diluted vinegar/water solution, too. (Don’t use vinegar at its full strength because it is too acidic. And never use it on marble or travertine. For those materials, follow manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.) Or you can do what cleaning coach Leslie Reichert suggests. Simply spray the entire shower weekly with a shower cleaner diluted 10 parts water to one part cleaner. Just spray and let it dry.
- Tackle the grout: No one likes to clean grout but, honestly, it’s easier to tackle mildew it as it crops up than wait until it spreads all over. Angelora recommends scrubbing grout once every couple weeks (or as needed) using a 1:5 vinegar/water mixture. Avoid using bleach on grout because it strips away water repellency, making grout even more susceptible to mildew and staining.
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Be proactive before you shower
- Handle the humidity:
Open the bathroom window before you shower, or run the vent fan during your shower and for 15-20 minutes afterward to reduce humidity.
Leave the shower door or curtain open to allow humidity to escape.
- Use the right products:
Stop using bar soap! Switch to liquid bath products and your shower floor, walls and curtains will stay soap scum-free. Just make sure to store the plastic bottles in a shower caddy or on a shelf with an open bottom. Otherwise, water will collect under them and set the stage for mildew and slime.
Colorful shampoo looks cool in the bottle but the dyes that produce that color can leave stains on worn grout. If shower grout is picking up these hues, try using a shampoo that contains no dye.
- Double up at laundry time:
Your shower curtain liner will always look great if, once a month or so, you toss it in the wash with the towels. Add one-half cup baking soda to the wash water and a cup of vinegar to the rinse water to boost cleaning power. If the liner is made of cloth and is the same color as the towels, it can run through the entire wash and dry cycle with them (unless care directions state otherwise). If it’s plastic, remove it before the spin cycle and re-hang it.
- Seal the grout:
Angelora highly recommends sealing grout twice a year to prevent staining and extend the life of the grout. Apply grout sealer, available at home improvement stores, to dry grout according to directions. Be sure to wipe off any sealer from tiles to avoid leaving a haze.