CLEAN LIKE A PRO:
How To Clean Showers Like A Pro
Whether you are a homeowner or a cleaning professional, I think we can all agree that cleaning showers are one of the most tedious and time consuming tasks. So we asked professional cleaning business owners how to clean showers efficiently and effectively, and how they are able to implement that with their employees and clients. You'll learn
- How to get rid of soap scum, water stains, mold & mildew from your showers.
- How to select the proper cleaning products
- Safety tips for you and your shower when handling stronger cleaning chemicals
Below you'll find two great contributions from the pros on how to clean showers professionally. For the illustrated version check out the Professional Cleaning Guide To Cleaning Bathtubs & Showers. Start cleaning like a pro today!
How We Clean Showers At MaidPro
At MaidPro, we’ve learned the key to removing hard water, soap scum and mildew from showers with as little damage and fatigue as possible is taking the time to properly identify the specific soils and surfaces before just diving in and scrubbing. Different soil types and surfaces require different chemicals and cleaning tools. Most importantly, what works on one soil type can actually make other soils worse, so simply put not all dirty showers are created equal.
First - Identify What You Are Trying To Clean
- Hard water is usually chalky white deposits of calcium and magnesium on shower glass and tub rings, often in the shape of dried water droplets and drip patterns. Red or green rust stains are also part of the hard water family, as the iron that causes these stains is another chemical that is common in hard water.
- Mildew and Mold are usually slimy on the surface with colorful stains underneath that are typically black, green, or pink and grow where moisture lingers longest in the shower, such as unsealed grout lines that absorb water.
- Soap scum is a crusty waxy film that is made when the chemicals of hard water, calcium and magnesium, mix with soap. The textured nature of the scum also helps trap bacteria, body oils, dead skin cells, and more, giving it a slimier and more 3D feel than just simple hard water deposits.
Select The Appropriate Shower Cleaner
- Hard water minerals (calcium, magnesium, and iron) all dissolve in acid. For the safety of the cleaner and the shower surfaces, select the mildest acid possible that still yields quality results. In our experience, Bar Keeper’s Friend, which is powdered Oxalic acid, is very safe and effective and also provides strong yet surface gentle scrubbing power.
- Mildew and Mold need to be whitened with an oxidizer to temporarily remove the stain. Bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide (like Tilex or Lysol Power & Free) are both effective for cleaning shower grout, but short lasting, as mold growing inside infected grout with continue to spread to the surface unless the water source is removed by re-sealing the grout. It is very important not to apply oxidizers like bleach to rust and iron deposits, as they will actually make the rust stains more vibrant and harder to remove.
- Soap scum responds well to acids, just like hard water, but all the other soils trapped in the scum mean you must add detergents and degreasers to break through and lift all the oils and dirt. Cleaning soap scum with just acids like vinegar without adding detergents like dish soap will lead to poor removal and needles elbow grease. We’ve found P&G Pro Line Comet Disinfecting Bathroom is a great soap scum cleaner, as well as an excellent and safe combination of detergents and gentle acids to power through the toughest soap scum.
Use The 2 Stage Scrub Process For Efficient Cleaning!
Once the correct product has been selected, the procedures are very similar. Our 2 Stage Scrubbing Process ensures that we are cleaning thoroughly, while also working in a practical and energy saving way.
- First, determine how durable a shower surface you are cleaning. If the shower is a delicate material like marble or travertine, you cannot use acids or abrasive, so specialty products will be required.
- Presuming the surface is durable, apply the correct soap and allow it soak for at least 10 minutes or per manufacturer’s directions. This is critical to making sure the soap has enough time to have desired chemical reaction. Dissolving calcium, whitening mold, and breaking apart soap scum all take several minutes, especially if the soils are thick from neglect.
- After the correct soaking time, select a gentle broad scrubbing tool, like the back of a non-scratch scrub sponge, to quickly rub down the shower walls to loosen and wipe off all the easily removed soils. This is not the step for deep scouring, so use broad, overlapping circles to quickly emulsify soils over a large area.
- After a quick, gentle scrub down, rinse the walls and see what stubborn soils still remain. Apply more cleaning product to those target spots and scrub with a more abrasive tool. We recommend using an iron handle scrub brush or tile and grout detail brush for a great shower tile cleaner. This is the time to also scrub important details like the seams around bathroom fixtures, tub jets, corners, and caulking lines.
- After the second scrub, rinse again and dry the shower tiles with a quality microfiber towel, like the Buff Microfiber Towel. Drying is an especially critical step when fighting hard water and soap scum, as the rinse water provides a new dose of hard water chemicals to re-deposit on the freshly cleaned shower. Drying with microfiber ensures the least residue, which also allows chrome and smooth tiles to shine their brightest.
Why we do it this way:
Doing it this way ensures we are being efficient, effective, and safe. We take time to select the correct cleaner to reduce surface damage, fatigue, and needless surface wear from over scrubbing. We use the gentlest yet effective soaps and tools to extend the lifespan of the bathroom surfaces and increase cleaner safety. Employing strong caustic acids, heavy abrasives, and sharp scraping or scouring tools all take years off surfaces’ usable life, damage the environment, and should only be used as rare shock treatments in the cases of extreme neglect. Or simply put, Less is More!
Our 2 stage scrub process greatly reduces the needless expenditure of energy heavy scrubbing areas that don’t need it. It also reduces the wear on the shower tile and grout that is being needlessly scrubbed as well, extending the life of grout sealants and tile appearance.
KEY PRO TIPS
- Correctly identify soil type & shower surface. What chemical cleaners & tools work on one type, may damage or make another worse.
- To effectively & efficiently remove soap scum use a combination of acids & detergents.
- Start with gentler soaps and scrubbers to preserve the quality of your shower surfaces. Use stronger cleaners & tools in extreme cases only.
- To save you time & energy, use 2 stage scrubbing process. This ensures you are attending to the most needed areas.
TOOLS WE USE
How We Clean Showers At Maid By Design
Minimal Hard Water Stains When Cleaning Glass Shower Doors
- First apply a phosphoric acid cleaner like Grip, on the scratchy side of a non-scratching sponge to apply the product onto the glass.
- We use a rinsing cup full of water (when a sprayer is not available) with the sponge to loosen the cleaner then pour water onto the glass until all the cleaner has been rinsed off.
- The last step in cleaning shower doors is to use a squeegee to dry the glass and leave it sparkling clean.
Minimal Soap Scum On Shower Walls.
We use Hydroxipro half strength and a Magic Eraser to scrub the walls, then rinse. Together these 2 products make for a great soap scum remover combination.
Mold & Mildew In Shower Grout
If you detect mold and mildew in a shower, use a grout brush with hydroxipro to get any surface mold off. Next we leave a small amount of bleach from a bleach pen behind.
For Heavy Buildup Of Soap Scum & Hard Water Stains In Showers
- With the scratchy side of the sponge we layer Grip onto all shower walls and glass doors. Let sit at least one hour.
- With a magic eraser, plastic scraper and Hydroxipro half, we scrub and scrape all soap scum and water stains off walls and glass. Then we rinse with water, squeegee the glass doors, dry the floor with a microfiber towels.
Why we do it this way:
In the house cleaning industry efficiency is very important to save the customer money and get the job done as quickly as possible. It is also important to keep the hard work down to a minimum, so we don’t wear our technicians out. I have found that using a phosphoric acid cleaner can accomplish both of these tasks. The acid can get through the scum and dissolve the hard water quicker than anything I have used. Saying the word acid makes some people cringe, but if you are knowledgeable in its use you should have no problem. The acid we use does not cause harm when getting on the skin, if you rinse the area thoroughly. You must wear eye protection.
Be careful when using bleach! Bleach is a corrosive that can damage fabrics and when inhaled can cause lung problems and can cause eye irritation (use safety glasses). We use it in as small of doses as we can, when we find mold in a shower we clean it as best we can and leave a small line of bleach from a bleach pen behind.
KEY PRO TIPS
- Use phosphoric acid cleaner makes getting rid of stains of glass shower doors quick and easy.
- Let phosphoric acid cleaner sit for 1 hour on all shower surfaces, to ensure it has the desired chemical reaction.
- After cleaning heavy shower mold and mildew, leave a small line of bleach on it from a bleach pen.
TOOLS WE USE