The one thing we think most of us look forward to after a day out in the winter elements is a long, steamy-hot shower or luxurious soak in the tub.
Busy lives, however, put the thorough cleaning of tubs and showers on the back burner, making spending time in them less-than appealing.
We’ve rounded up 4 brilliant hacks to keep your tub and/or shower looking pristine and oh-so-beckoning.
1. Get rid of the grime on the shower floor
When you take a shower, the hot water and soap do a great job of removing oils and perspiration from your skin.
When you step out, feeling clean and refreshed, that soap you used is back in the shower, mixing with the oils from your body to create a mess on the shower floor.
Over time, especially in fiberglass showers, the soap scum/body oils build up, layer upon layer, until the grime is caked on.
Every professional house cleaner has his or her own special recipe to remove this black, greasy grime off the shower floor.
Some of these recipes work well, others not at all. Here is a surefire method to get off even the most caked on gunk.
- Tide laundry detergent, original powdered formula
- Sponge or rag
Dampen your sponge using water from the sink. Wring it out very well so that it doesn’t drip water.
Pour a handful of Tide detergent onto the shower floor, in the corner. For some reason, Tide is the only detergent we’ve tried that works.
Scrub the pile of detergent in a circular motion. It will spread out as you scrub, so keep moving to a new area.
Add more detergent as you scrub your way around the bottom of the shower. Try not to add too much water as it will interfere with the mild abrasive action of the detergent.
When all of the grime has been removed, rinse the shower stall well.
Warning: It’s critical that you rinse the shower floor extremely well, as the detergent makes the shower floor slippery.
2. How to clean a cultured marble tub
Cultured marble is the result of mixing ground up marble dust with liquid polyester resin. This is then molded into various household surfaces including sinks, countertops and shower surrounds.
Unlike natural marble, which is porous, cultured marble resists stains, making it ideal for use in wet environments, such as the bathroom.
To avoid the build-up of mineral deposits on cultured marble, use a squeegee or soft towel to dry it after each shower.
After thoroughly drying it, spray the cultured marble surfaces with white vinegar. Allow the vinegar to remain on the surfaces for 45 minutes.
Wipe the vinegar from the cultured marble shower stall with a clean sponge dipped in clear water. If spots remain, repeat the procedure.
Never use abrasive products, such as cleanser, or abrasive scrubbing materials on cultured marble.
To restore the shine to cultured marble, the pros at centralmarbleproducts.com suggest using a product such as Gel-gloss, or wax. Follow the instructions on the package and repeat once a year.
3. Clean that grungy ceramic tile
Ceramic tile showers are lovely when they are gleaming clean. To get them that way takes diligence and a good deal of elbow grease, in some cases.
It takes time to train yourself and family members to perform the routine maintenance necessary. Once this becomes a habit, you will avoid having to do a major cleaning or renovation job on your tile shower.
Here’s what you’ll need to get that ceramic tile looking new again:
- Commercial bathroom cleaner
- Alkaline-based tile and grout cleaner
- Ceramic tile and grout sealer
Wipe the ceramic tile dry after every shower. This helps avoid fungus build-up on the grout and mineral deposits on the tile.
Spray a commercial bathroom cleaner, labeled for use on ceramic tile (Bona and Black Diamond Stoneworks are good for ceramic tile), on the shower walls and floors if they have soap scum or body oil built up.
Allow the product to remain for 5 minutes and then wipe away with a sponge. Rinse the ceramic tiles with clear water until there is no trace of the cleaner and then use a soft cloth to dry them thoroughly.
Use an alkaline based tile and grout cleaner to remove mold or mildew from the ceramic tiles in the shower.
Follow the label instructions and apply it at the rate and in the manner suggested. Do not use vinegar as it can dissolve some ceramic tile finishes, according to Mark Donovan, CEO of Home Addition Plus.
Apply a ceramic tile and grout sealer at least every two years.
4. Acrylic tub woes?
Acrylic tubs are common household features with or without whirlpool attachments.
An acrylic finish is glossy and stain-resistant but it isn’t as tough as porcelain, so it requires frequent cleaning and extra care when doing so, to avoid the buildup of soap scum and body oils.
Wipe down the tub after each use with a soft, dry cloth. You can also use a squeegee.
Use non-aerosol cleaners to remove built-up grime. Kohler recommends Lysol Bathroom Cleaner or Tilex Bathroom Cleaner. Do not use an abrasive scrubber on the acrylic tub.
A rag or sponge is ideal. Use the products according to the label instructions, rinse and wipe dry after cleaning.
Maintain the acrylic finish by applying paste wax to the sides. Do not wax the floor of the tub.
Apply the wax as you would if you were waxing a car, in a circular motion. Wipe off the wax after the recommended amount of time and then buff with a soft cloth.