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Every shower starts pristine and gradually moves past its prime. It can be heartbreaking looking at the black, mildewed closet that used to be a place of cleanliness and joy once upon a time. At some point you’re going to decide you simply can’t live like this. You’re going to have to break out the rubber gloves and soap and get to scrubbing that shower until it glows.
Fortunately, the homeowner with a mind for cleanliness has a wealth of do-it-yourself recipes to create the perfect, cheap cleaning solution that will get your shower looking its best in no time. Here are a few tips for creating the best concoction for the job.
Vinegar as a cleaning solution
Your first best friend when creating a homemade cleaning solution is vinegar. You’re going to want white vinegar, preferably a cheap variety. You don’t want to waste the good stuff on faucets and shower heads. A cup or so of vinegar mixed in with at least twice that amount of hot water will form a basic cleaning solution that can take care of simple messes. If the stains persist, you’ll need to step up your game.
If your problem is mold and mildew, common issues in older shower enclosures, try a bit of tea tree oil. Ten to twenty drops of the stuff mixed with warm water (no vinegar this time) should form a good mildew-remover. Spray it on the offending areas and let it sit for five or ten minutes, then simply wipe it all away.
If that doesn’t work, fall back on the vinegar option, this time adding a little baking soda or borax to the solution. This should thicken the liquid and get it foaming a little bit so it’ll really dig into the caked on mold and dissolve it. And if you’re really willing to pull out all the stops, add a splash or two of dish soap to the mix. It’ll get everything lustrous and shiny, and it’ll smell great to boot.
Sacrifice an old toothbrush
If your shower has tiling, sometimes dirt and mold can cake on in the cracks between the tiles. In these situations a basic sponge and spray bottle won’t cut it. You’ll need to sacrifice an old toothbrush to get the job done. Spray your solution in between the cracks and get scrubbing. It’s slow and tedious work but the results are great. It’s hard work getting things clean, but it’s worth it.
Remember, tea tree oil, vinegar, and baking soda should take care of most messes in the shower. Even things like water spots and mineral build up on faucets can be washed away with a splash of this mixture and a little scrubbing. This is a dirt-cheap alternative to store-bought brands that works just as well. Of course, if you don’t have the ingredients handy, you can always spring for the real stuff. But the thriftier among us will find this deal irresistible. There are always other uses for vinegar, baking soda, and oil, after all.