So you’ve finally got rid of the builders and swept away the dust and dirt, leaving you with a stylish and luxurious shower room. But how long will it be before the shine is gone, the sparkling frames have tarnished, the shower tray is grubby and dirty and the glass doors smeared?
Let’s face facts, your shower is going to get a lot of use in the coming years, and anything that sees a lot of use can lose its shiny, new look. We think everyone should enjoy a little bit of luxury in their bathroom, so we’ve put together some top tips for cleaning your shower to keep it looking good as new and functioning in top condition.
Clean away the soap scum!
Soap and shampoo used regularly in the shower create a soapy scum which leaves a greasy layer across the tiles and glass in the shower. Over time, this layer will get thicker and can be hard to clean. What’s more, it can quickly cause your shower to appear grubby and dirty.
Using a non-abrasive bathroom cleaner, spray down the shower tray and walls and use a moist sponge to wipe away the grime. Avoid using a scratchy sponge as this can damage the finish of your fittings, and don’t use any cleaners that are too abrasive.
Alternatively, you can make your own cleaner using equal part white vinegar and warm water. The acid in the vinegar is perfect for cutting through greasy residue left by shampoos, conditioner and shower gels.
To prevent soap scum build up, spray down the shower unit with warm water, if you’ve got a removable shower head. If not, use a shower spray after every shower, which will break down the soap, preventing it from creating a greasy layer on your tiles and shower screen or, use a towel to wipe down the shower unit and walls.
If you have travertine tiles or any type of natural stone in the bathroom, avoid using a conventional, all purpose bathroom cleaner as these can be too abrasive and damage your tiles – use a neutral cleaner, or one that is specially designed to clean natural stones.
Nothing ages your bathroom quite like blackened mildew in the nooks and crannies of a bathroom.
The damp, moist air in bathrooms can creates the perfect environment for mildew to grow in. Couple this with the porous grout surrounding tiles and you’ve got mildew growing all over your bathroom.
Use a small amount of bleach and a large quantity of warm water (a solution of about one part bleach to 10 parts water) and an old toothbrush to scrub away the blackened mildew. Remember to wash this away with warm water and use a neutral cleaner afterwards to remove the bleach.
A good way to prevent mildew from growing is to open a window to let steam and moisture from the shower dissipate, or leave the extractor fan on if your bathroom doesn’t have a wider. Most extractor fans are connected to the light, so the internal timer will keep the extractor fan running even after the light has been switched off.
If you’re using a shower curtain, pull it to its full width after showering to prevent mildew from growing when the shower is damp. Remember to unhook it and give it a wash in the washing machine every couple of months or so.
Perfect waste pipes
Hair, soap and grease all clog up your pipes – especially in the bathroom that’s getting the most use. Prevention is often much better than the cure, so every couple of months or so, clean the pipes using a drain unblocker, though be sure to find a solution that does not damage chrome finishing.
Alternatively, you can pour baking soda down the plug hole, followed by equal measure of white vinegar. This will foam up in the plug hole and should be left for a few minutes to break down any grease or clogs sitting in the pipes. Wash away with hot water afterwards.
Sparkling shower doors
Water and soap marks are the biggest offenders for causing smeary, smudgy doors. In addition, hard water deposits can leave cloudy marks on the glass. If you want to retain that crystal clear appearance and glittering shine every time you step into your shower room, remember to clean your shower door regularly.
Glass can be tricky to clean, and while most conventional or all-purpose cleaners will work well, a homemade solution of white vinegar, warm water and washing up liquid is particularly effective. The acid in the vinegar is the best thing to cut through oils and grease. Spray the shower door with the solution and wipe down using a good quality sponge. Rinse with warm water and use a squeegee to remove any excess water. You can then buff the shower screen by using a microfiber cloth to remove any streaks or smear patches.
To avoid that warm vinegar smell lingering in the room afterwards, you can add a few drops of essential oil to create a more pleasant scent.
If you’d rather avoid “the big clean” every few weeks, keep your shower clean after every use. Soapy grime and mildew occur by clinging on to wet surfaces. To avoid build-up of soap scum and mildew, simply wipe the shower down with an old towel after each use. We advise spraying the surface with a daily shower spray, which are available in most supermarkets.
Cleaning the door seal
The seal at the bottom of the shower door can also attract a build-up of dirt and soap scum, which can cause the seal to deteriorate if left over time. Most seals can be carefully removed from the door or shower screen.
Once removed, spray with all-purpose bathroom cleaner and scrub with a soft cleaning brush (such as a washing up brush). The bristles will loosen any grime or dirt that’s caught in the seal. Simply rinse away with warm water, and replace for freshly cleaned shower door.
Shower seals tend to be strong and durable, but should you need to replace an old seal that’s beyond cleaning, you won’t struggle to find a replacement.