How to clean a shower stall

For my birthday, I asked DH to recaulk the master bath shower stall, specifically where the glass meets the shower bottom. The caulk is icky and no amount of cleaning makes the stain go away.

He decided, instead, to deep clean the entire shower.

Turns out that many aspects of cleaning a shower stall are not that simple.

For the hard water stains on the glass doors, DH recommends vinegar and elbow grease.  He also tried other stuff like something from the store specifically for hard water stains, and he tried barkeeps friend, but that didn’t do its usual magic.

Here’s what he has to say about the plastic shower floor:
After many, many hours of trying random cleaning agents and voodoo, I have verified that The Works (applied vigorously with a stiff plastic brush) will actually clean that junk off the textured shower floor. Sure, it’s a toilet bowl cleaner, and an acid. Who knows why it’s legal to pour such stuff down the drain so it runs to the water treatment plant? But the proof is in the pudding you could eat off my shower floor…because it’s so clean…never mind, bad metaphor.

Nothing, however, works on the caulk.  So he recaulked.

What do you use to clean a shower stall, if anything?

12 Responses to “How to clean a shower stall”

  1. Moom Says:

    Our shower is over a bath tub with a glass partition. A spray cleaner for bathroom tiles and/or window/glass cleaner seems to do quite a good job with a lot of scrubbing. But nothing will deal with mold in caulking.

  2. Mina Says:

    Aren’t you picky, asking for such a birthday gift… :-))
    I use vinegar – I leave it in a jar with citrus peels for a fortnight, so it smells of citrusy vinegar, ;-), actually, the more chemically literate husband tells me about something the cleaning properties of the citrus peels that come off during the marination stage in vinegar, too complicated for me, I am satisfied with the smell. And from time to time, I use good ol’ bleach. Awful to deal with, it assaults all senses, but by god it is efficient.

  3. Ally Says:

    For grout (and I’d assume caulk too) the best thing I have used is a mold and mildew remover from the national allergy supply catalog. It still takes a lot of elbow grease to get something clean with it, but AFTER, it keeps it from coming back. This is how I had the cleanest shower in the dorm back in college. Of course if the nasties is NOT mold or mildew…not sure it would work…

    I’d love to know if anyone has any suggestion of anything milder than a toilet bowl cleaner for shower/tub texturized bottoms – I’m in a rental so I don’t want to use anything too harsh and risk damaging, because I don’t know if what looks to be stuck in the texture is actually soap scum and other horrid stuff, or if it’s that the texture is beginning to have issues itself and it’s part of it coming up or something…

  4. bogart Says:

    Like you, I deploy DH. Unlike you, I don’t ask details.

  5. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  6. rented life Says:

    Stalls make us claustrophobic, We took the door off and stuck the catbox in there so it’s out of the way and use the real tub for baths and showers. I use the magic erasure for that.

  7. Katherine Says:

    For the bathtub, I fill a cereal-sized bowl half-way with white vinegar and microwave it for a minute or so until it is good and steaming hot. Then I squirt in a bunch (almost the same quantity as of the vinegar) of dish soap. I mix it all up, spread it all over the tub with a cleaning rag, and leave it to sit for 20-30 minutes. If there is a place (usually around the drain) where it is extra dirty, I spread the rag over it. When I come back, all I need to do is scrub a little and rinse it all away.

    • Miser Mom Says:

      Good point! I think I’m prone (like many people) to expect cleaners to work instantaneously. But sometimes the chemistry requires a bit of time. Soaking and waiting is one of the techniques I’ve been learning recently. I tell myself, it’s not laziness; it’s science!

  8. chacha1 Says:

    If I scrub my long-ago-tiled apartment shower too hard, the grout flakes off. So I am pretty lazy in there. I give it a squirt with Lysol bathroom cleaner (with bleach), knock off the worst rust stains (old pipes) occasionally, and call it a day.
    Note: in our climate (Los Angeles, desert), mold & mildew are not much of a problem on hard surfaces kept adequately aired.

  9. Debbie M Says:

    Tilex used to work (it’s bleach water).

    I prefer prevention: squeegee after each shower and use the bathroom vent. But the boyfriend takes way more showers than me and doesn’t squeegee. Also, we don’t have a bathroom vent, and the HVAC guys who replaced our A/C and were going to give us a vent changed their mind at the last second and said that would not be possible. Whimps.

  10. badacademic2 Says:

    for the floor, we use lots of baking soda and scrubbing with elbow grease. amazing how it works! and yes, vinegar and water spray on the rest. for caulk stains, we did some hydrogen peroxide on rags siting on it for a while, but caulk is gross and there is really no way to clean the mildew other than replace. i have been wondering though if one of those plants that are good for reducing mold spores would be helpful in the bathroom. or perhaps kill it?


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