Even with all that water running, shower tiles can get really dirty. It's enough to skip the cleaning for a couple of weeks to find it! And you won't discover just build-up dirt, but also a lot of soap scum—or even mold between the tiles!
Don't let your shower become a moldy mess. Clean your shower tiles and grout this way!
What can you use to clean the shower tile?
Choosing the right cleaning product for your tile is crucial to prevent unexpected damages. However, the product you use has to be strong enough to remove the pesky soap scum stains. Not to mention that it has to be completely non-toxic for your household's safety!
In other words:
The cleaner you use for your tile has to be gentle, effective, and safe! Does something come to your mind? You need vinegar!
Use vinegar in porcelain and ceramic shower tiles
Vinegar is perfect for cleaning shower tile and grout! It can dissolve soap scum and hard water stains and work as a mild mold remover and disinfectant! However, every material reacts in a different way to vinegar. Ensure vinegar is safe for your type of shower tile before using it!
How to clean shower tile and grout with vinegar:
To make a DIY tile and grout cleaner, you need white vinegar and water. Fill a spraying bottle with vinegar and water in equal parts, and you are ready to clean!
You also need these tools:
- A tile and grout brush (or a stiff toothbrush)
- An absorbent towel or a squeegee
If your shower has tough mineral build-up, bring these cleaning products:
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
Avoid vinegar in natural stone tiles
Vinegar is an outstanding non-toxic cleaner, but it is not perfect for every type of surface. If you have natural stone tiles (like travertine), it's better to stay away from vinegar. It could easily remove the sealants and even discolor or etch the stone!
Instead, use the cleaner recommended by your tile manufacturer or a trusted cleaner for your specific material. You can find many other options for this chore besides vinegar!
How to clean shower tiles and grout
Once you have your tile cleaning solution ready, cleaning the shower tiles, it's mostly a matter of patience and elbow grease.
You don't need to worry about the process. Learn it here step by step!
Step1. Pre-treat soap scum and hard water stains
If your bathroom is not that dirty, let the hot water run for about 5 minutes. Close the door and windows to let moisture build-up inside the shower. The steam will penetrate the stains and loosen up the grime!
If your bathroom has mineral build-up:
Spray vinegar directly on stained areas and let the hot water run for 10 minutes. As a quick reminder: use only vinegar if you are sure it won't hurt your shower tiles!
Step 2. Apply the cleaner
The next step is spraying the tiles thoroughly with the cleaning product you choose. In most cases, vinegar is the best product to clean shower tiles. However, if you are using another cleaning product, the process is almost the same! Here are some details and considerations.
Cleaning shower tile with vinegar:
Mix half vinegar and half warm water in a spraying bottle. Then, mist the vinegar solution in the tiles (focusing on the grout) and leave it sitting for a couple of minutes.
Step 3. Scrub the tile and grout
Now, it's time to scrub the grime away! Using a tile brush, scrub the soap scum and hard water stains until they disappear. To clean the grout, you can use an old toothbrush. However, ensure the bristles are still stiff enough to remove the grime.
For tough stains, you can apply the cleaner again and keep trying. However, if the grime refuses to go, it's time to move on to the next step!
Step 4. Tough stains? Use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide!
Another inexpensive but effective way to brighten the grout in your shower is with a baking soda paste. To make the paste, you just need to mix three parts baking soda and one part water! Then, add hydrogen peroxide to the paste and stir it up until all components mix well.
You can apply the paste with a rubber glove! Spread it on the stained grout and leave it until it dries. Then, it is enough to wipe and rinse!
Step 5. Rinse the tile thoroughly
Rinsing the tile might seem unnecessary, but it's crucial!
Vinegar won't harm most surfaces… if they are not exposed for long periods! However, if the acetic acid contained in vinegar sits in your shower for a prolonged period, the outcome might be different!
Rinse all the cleaner residue before moving on to the next step!
Step 6. Dry thoroughly!
Drying the tile after cleaning is another crucial but easy-to-neglect step. Drying the tile is needed after cleaning and after each use! Use a squeegee or a clean towel to dry the tile thoroughly!
What can you do to keep the tile in the best shape?
There is no need to wait until the bathroom has mold and soap scum! Besides regular cleaning, you can adopt several practices to help you avoid a grimy shower!
Here are some examples!
Tip 1. Let air circulate inside your bathroom
Saying that you should prevent humidity inside a bathroom may sound absurd. However, it is the only way to avoid mold! You can keep lower levels of humidity by letting the air circulate after showers.
After each shower, leave the exhaust fan working and the door slightly open for 15 minutes!
Tip 2. Remove excess moisture after each shower
Tap water always carries mineral deposits, like calcium and magnesium. When soap and the mineral deposits interact, the resulting product is soap scum! However, soap scum hardens over time, so you can prevent it from building up if you remove it before it solidifies!
Use a squeegee or dry towels (or both) to remove the moisture after each use of your shower!
Tip 3. Reseal the grout every one or two years
Sealants in your shower grout won't last forever! With water constantly running in and frequent cleanings, the sealer will slowly break down. Without proper sealer, your grout is unprotected from moisture, and mold growth might accelerate. Plus, a sealed grout is easier to clean!
And what's the best part? You can seal the grout yourself, and it won't take you much of your time!