Written by Sherrie Cook, Contributing Writer
Cleaning the bathroom can be one of a homemaker's most daunting tasks. There are so many cracks and crevices...and the battle against invisible germs and obvious spores seems never ending. My least favorite obstacle in the bathroom is the shower/tub. (Yes, I would rather scrub the toilet!) It's just so big and has a ton of surface area.
However, a few years ago, I took up cleaning houses to make extra money for my family. It was during that time that I learned a few tools of the trade and have since adapted and incorporated into my standard cleaning routine at my own house.
Tip #1: Clean the tub/shower while you are IN the tub/shower.
Pick a wall and scrub it before you wash yourself. The next time you shower, clean the next wall and so on. Your tub will always be getting clean and you get to rinse off when you're done! (Granted, I never did it this way when I was cleaning other people's houses!)
Tip #2: Keep your tools handy-- ideally in the shower.
The supplies you need are practical and if you can be either tolerant of seeing them every day or creative in hiding them, they can easily be kept in your shower for easy, daily access.
- a scrunchy-scrubby-thingy (top right-most dollar stores sell these 2 for $1)
- an old toothbrush (emphasis on "old" - you won't want to brush your teeth with this one ever again! Mine has a magnet in the bottom which comes in handy)
- natural shampoo or baking soda - whichever method you use for cleaning your hair
- old cup (not pictured)
Another item I love is a squeegee (not pictured). This is great for ridding your walls and floor of standing water which encourages mold and mildew. Not a necessity, but it can be priceless asset to your supply stash!
Tip #3: Use your tools appropriately.
The scrunchy should be used for flat surfaces. The toothbrush should be used in corners, cracks and seams. If you have tile in your tub area, I suggest using the scrunchy first because it will get some of the ick out of small places, but the toothbrush is a necessity for getting into the nitty gritty spots.
Simply add a squirt of shampoo or body wash or sprinkle on the baking soda and wipe and scrub as needed. (Note: More scrubbing may be needed in the beginning, but as you make washing a tub wall a daily habit, it will become a lighter job.) Add more of your cleaner occasionally as you start a different sections of the wall.
Tip #4: Rinse thoroughly and squeegee if you prefer.
This is where the cup comes in handy. Fill the cup with the running shower water and rinse your working area. This helps you to see how thorough a job you have done and puts a bit of a spotlight on those areas still needing a once over.
(Be aware that filling and emptying a cup of water in the shower is not a silent process and should not be attempted while your husband is sleeping in the next room. Not that I've tried that...just sayin'.)
The cup is also a great holder for your tools. If you decide to squeegee the walls and floor, it is advisable to do so after you are done washing yourself and are almost ready to exit the tub. (Also, turn the water off first otherwise, you could find this job never ending.)
That's it! You're done! Using only products that already touch your body on a regular basis! (OK, well, maybe not the squeegee...) No foul odors or hazardous fumes, just good clean tubs and showers.
Below you can see my success with this method. The first shot is the "before" and the second picture is the "after". This scrub session took less than a minute and I left a lot of gunk behind to make my point. The grout will probably need a little bit more work, but I'm told this particular mold had been growing for over 2 years. I purposefully left the mold on the left to show the drastic change. (This may or may not be my own 35 year old shower in need of cleaning and repair, but regardless no friendships were harmed during the writing of this post.)
How do you clean your bathtub or shower? Have you ever cleaned it while in it?
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