Cleaning Hacks for Your Tub and Shower

When your bathtub and shower look grimy, it can send the wrong message. Even if they're technically clean, discolored surfaces, soap scum and mildew are unsightly and appear unsanitary. Turn the situation around with these proven cleaning hacks that make use of simple household materials.

Brighten naturally with lemon juice

For a discolored bathtub or shower stall, a lemon or two and plenty of baking soda can do the trick. Halve the lemon, sprinkle the baking soda on the flat cut side and use that lemon half as a scrubber. Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent, while the baking soda serves as a mild abrasive that gently buffs away grime and stains, especially on a textured fiberglass surface.

Blast away shower door scum with two common ingredients

When it comes to eliminating soap scum from the bathtub, tile and shower doors, this homemade concoction of dish soap and vinegar has won over dozens of home care bloggers. Just heat one cup of vinegar in the microwave and pour into a heavy-duty spray bottle before adding a half cup of dish soap. Swirl to combine. (When the vinegar is warm, it will combine with the soap more easily.)

Paint this simple solution on moldy caulk

The moist atmosphere of the bathroom is a great place for mildew and mold to proliferate, and it especially loves to grow on caulk. If your basic water and bleach spray solution isn't leaving behind bright white grout, it's time to try a stronger bleach solution. In a container, combine bleach and baking soda into a batter, and use an old paint brush to paint the solution onto your grout. Just be sure the room is well ventilated! Cover the pasted surfaces with plastic wrap and wait. The baking soda holds the bleach in place while the plastic keeps it from drying out (and ceasing to bleach). After 30 minutes, remove the wrap and rinse.

Unclog your showerhead

Over time, showerheads can collect mineral deposits and grime, clogging the nozzles and slowing water flow. Fortunately, the problem can often be solved with common household vinegar. Simply remove the shower head from the pipe and place it in the smallest container in which it will fit. Add enough vinegar to cover the shower head and soak it for at least an hour – overnight is even more effective.

Once you've soaked the showerhead, use a toothbrush to give the nozzles a good scrubbing. This will remove any remaining dirt or mineral deposits. Flush it out with water from the inside and rinse the outside, then examine it carefully to see if any of the nozzles are still obstructed. If they are, use a toothpick to remove any leftover debris before reattaching the showerhead.

A bright and shiny tub and shower area make a great impression. Luckily, all it takes is a few simple materials and some elbow grease.

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