You come out of your shower smelling and feeling fresh, but the soap scum, hair, and grime you leave behind can leave your shower basin a mess. Combine that with the mineral deposits if you have hard water and you can be stuck with all sorts of stains and films that are tough to remove. Working from the gentlest to the strongest cleaners, you can find the right mix of strategies to clean and refresh your shower basin.
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How to Clean a Shower Basin
Step 1: Remove Items From the Shower
Clear out your shampoo, accessories, and other items in the shower before you start cleaning. If it's a nice day, open the window to allow fresh air in the bathroom. Keep the door open and turn on the exhaust fan for ventilation.
Step 2: Clean Above the Basin First
Clean the shower door and shower walls first if you're doing a full-shower cleaning. Working from the top to bottom of the shower saves you work. If you start with the basin and then do the walls, the gunk from the walls will wash down into the basin and might force you to reclean it.
Step 3: Turn on Hot Water
Clean your shower after you've taken a steamy hot shower, or turn on the hot water for a few minutes to create steam in the bathroom. This helps loosen the gunk on the shower basin to make cleaning easier.
Step 4: Start With Simple, Gentle Cleaners
Start cleaning with the least corrosive or abrasive cleaning method you can find. Dish soap cleans off soap scum and is gentle. Sprinkle dry dish soap onto a sponge and moisten with water or add liquid dish soap to warm water to create a soapy cleaning solution. Use a sponge or soft-bristled brush to work the cleaner into the basin and scrub away grime. Letting the cleaner sit on the basin for 10 minutes or longer helps loosen the stuck-on gunk, making it easier to scrub. Rinse the shower basin well, and move on to additional cleaning methods if necessary.
Step 5: Clean Hard Water Stains
Remove the hard water deposits so you can get at the deep dirt in the shower floor. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to 2 cups of water and dip a sponge in the solution. Rub the vinegar mix into hazy yellow areas. Most of the hard water deposit will be at the drain on a shower. Rinse the shower and let it dry.
Step 6: Tackle Other Stains
Use an eraser sponge on stains in the tub. Try it dry first, then add enough water to just dampen the sponge. Go over dye marks, dirt, and rust spots. It's a gentle, effective cleaning tool that will remove many types of stains.
Step 7: Scrub With Baking Soda
Sprinkle baking soda over the floor of the shower. Squeeze lemon juice on the dry soda until you can make a paste. Scrub it in with a sponge or cleaning brush and allow the cleaner to sit on the shower basin for at least 10 minutes. Rinse off the cleaner, and the floor will be brighter and less dingy. You can do the same treatment with salt instead of baking soda.
Step 8: Clean With Non-Chlorine Bleach
Pour non-chlorine bleach onto the floor of the shower if you need a stronger cleaner. Never combine bleach with other cleaners, especially vinegar and ammonia, as the reaction creates a toxic gas. Even if you rinse the vinegar you used before, adding bleach shortly after can create a reaction. Add a little water and swirl it around the bleach. Use a sponge to cleanse the floor of the shower. Allow the non-chlorine bleach cleaner to work for 30 minutes. Rinse the shower well.