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5 Smart Tips to Clean Shower Tiles Without Scrubbing

The shower area is one of the areas where dirt can accumulate incredibly quickly. Without regular cleaning and maintenance, those shower tiles will get dirtier and dirtier each time you take a shower.

But let’s face it, no one willingly spends half a day scrubbing shower tiles; they are notoriously labor-intensive to clean, especially if it’s been a while since you last scrubbed them.

But here’s the thing, cleaning the shower tiles, especially those moldy grout lines, doesn’t have to be time- and effort-consuming. You don’t even have to scrub the tiles to keep them pristine, shining, and protect you from possible health issues.

We have five smart cleaning tips to help you clean and maintain the shower tiles with minimum effort. No endless scrubbing is necessary!

cleaning shower tiles

Why Are Your Shower Tiles Dirty?

Before discussing the best cleaning hacks and tips, let’s find out why dirt accumulates so easily on your shower tiles. After all, you take a shower to get clean, so it almost feels like a paradox that shower tiles can become so dirty.

But here are some primary causes of your dirty shower tiles.

  • Dirt and Dead Skin Cells

When you are showering, you’re actually spraying dirt around the shower area. While the water does wash the dirt off of your body, those same dirt particles still accumulate on the walls and contribute to grime buildup. Not to mention that you are sometimes washing particularly dirty items in the shower, like slippers and shoes, and sometimes even dishes. Or, in some cases, you wash your pets in the shower.

  • Soap

Soap is meant to clean you up, but remember that you also need to rinse it off of your skin with water thoroughly. The same thing goes with your shower tiles. Any kind of detergent, including the bar of soap you use while showering, can create a thin film on the tile surface when not rinsed thoroughly. It can then create more soap scum and grime buildup that can feel impossible to remove.

  • Hard Water

Another reason why you may have dirty shower tiles is because of hard water. If there is an excess amount of minerals in the shower water, it can cause an ugly buildup on the shower tiles known as soap scum. You often see hard water damage as white, flaky buildup around the showerhead, on the tiles surrounding the showerhead, or on the shower floor directly beneath where the shower water falls.

5 Smart Tips How to Clean Shower Tiles Without Scrubbing

Now that we’ve discussed the reasons why dirt builds up on your shower tiles,  it’s time to get rid of it the easiest way possible. No scrubbing needed!

Here are five smart cleaning tips for cleaning the shower tiles without a drop of sweat.

1. White Vinegar Solution

White vinegar is an all-around home cleaning agent, which can clean your shower tiles naturally (and without you hurting your back from scrubbing). Make a DIY cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of whatever vinegar you have at home and distilled water.

Fill a spray bottle with your white vinegar solution and spray it all over the shower tiles, even the ones that don’t look like they are dirty. Don’t skimp, and make sure you’ve sprayed each corner and crevice, especially those with unmistakable signs of dirt buildup and mold.

Leave the vinegar solution to sit on the tile surface for at least 10 minutes, 30 minutes for the very stubborn dirt. After waiting the required amount of time, rinse with a generous amount of water to wash away all dirt and vinegar remnants.

2. Vinegar and Dish Detergent

The vinegar’s acidity content and the natural cleaning properties of your dish detergent works well in getting rid of the oily grime buildup on your shower tiles.

Mix equal amounts of dishwashing detergent and vinegar, then warm it before putting the solution in a spray bottle. Use it to spray on the shower tiles, making sure you have covered every surface.

Leave the cleaning solution untouched for at least an hour, then rinse it off with water. It will work like magic, cleaning out all of the grime buildup and stubborn tile stains.

3. Baking Soda Paste

Cleaning the tile surfaces is easier than getting rid of dirt buildup from the tile grout. If the vinegar and dish detergent weren’t enough to clear out dirt embedded in the grout, apply a generous amount of baking soda around damp grout lines to make a paste.

Let the baking soda dry out for a couple of minutes and rinse with water. This solution can clear out sticky limescale and dark spots in the tile grout without scrubbing and scratching the tile surface.

4. Baking Soda + Hydrogen Peroxide

If the baking soda paste isn’t enough to get rid of stubborn dirt and dark spots, adding hydrogen peroxide to the mix will get the job done faster and more efficiently.

Mix an equal measure of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to create a cleaning paste. Apply it on stained tiles and grout lines. It’s quite potent and will clear almost everything in its wake, including very stubborn soap scum stains and dark grout spots, leaving your shower tiles clean and shiny.

5. Alkaline Cleaners

Cleaning shower tiles without scrubbing don’t have to cost anything. Most of the DIY cleaning solutions above use ingredients you might already have at home.

But if all else fails, there are store-bought alkaline cleaning formulas designed to get rid of mold and mildew specifically. You’ll most likely need to use it on the tile grout, which is often the most difficult part of the shower to clean.

Use the cleaning solution as recommended by the manufacturer, and don’t forget to wear proper protection.

What to AVOID When Cleaning Shower Tiles

When you have dirty shower tiles, naturally, the first thing on your mind is to clean them. But before you reach for harsh chemicals and acids, make sure you’re using the most effective, and the safest, cleaning solutions available.

Some cleaning items and formulas may be effective in getting rid of dirt and stains from shower tiles but they can also be too harsh, causing the deterioration of the tile surface.

Avoid Using Bleach or Ammonia

Bleach and ammonia are harsh chemicals present in many cleaning solutions. They can get rid of the most stubborn dirt and stains on almost any surface, including shower tiles. But if you want to keep your tiles shiny and in pristine condition for a long time, steer clear of store-bought cleaners with bleach or ammonia. Besides affecting the quality of the air inside the shower, they can also discolor the tile grout.

Avoid Leaving Acids For Too Long Before Rinsing

Acid cleaners, including the vinegar solution and hydrogen peroxide, do a very good job cleaning stains and dirt buildup on shower tiles. In most cases, these cleaners aren’t harmful and won’t damage the tile surface. But remember two things: always dilute the vinegar and don’t leave the peroxide on the tiles too long before rinsing.

The tiles might survive, but acids can attack the tile grout, degrading it over time.

Keep Your Shower Tiles Spot Free!

Cleaning the shower tiles should be a regular occurrence. As long as you shower there and expose the tiles to water, then dirt and mold will eventually form on the shower tiles. But there are also some ways to keep your shower tiles cleaner for longer periods:

  • Use a water softener to prevent magnesium and calcium buildup on shower tiles.

  • Switch to a bar of soap that gives less residue. Changing to liquid soap is also a good idea since it doesn’t leave any soap scum.

  • Run the water after every shower to prevent dirt from drying and setting in.

  • Spray vinegar and water solution on the shower tiles two to three times a week to prevent dirt buildup.

See, keeping your shower tiles clean and shining doesn’t have to be an arm-breaking chore. There are so many simple cleaning hacks to maintain clean shower tiles without scrubbing.

Mandy Phillips

As a frequent contributor to top US magazines and publications in the home improvement niche, Mandy has been known for sharing her expertise on how to clean, organize, and decorate bathrooms.

Additionally, Mandy has immense experience offering lifestyle tips and tricks to her readers.

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At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

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