Behind the soap dish and in the farthest corners of your shower, the grime starts to grow. It’s not your fault, it’s just an annoying feature of showers around the country. You know what the solution is – a very long cleaning session – but who has the time for that?
Your shower keeps you squeaky clean day after day, so it’s time to return the favor. These no-scrub shower cleaning hacks will help you get that gleaming shine with minimal effort.
We have a range of options for you, from natural and homemade shower cleaners to quick no-scrub chemical cleaners that you can buy on Amazon in just a few clicks.
How to Clean Shower Tiles and Grout (No Scrubbing)
Scrubbing doesn’t always equal cleaning. When the dirt is caked on so much, only a strong solution can break it down before it can even be removed. Oven cleaners are a great example of this – you need to let the solution sit on the grease for a while to break it down, before you simply wipe it off.
No-scrub shower cleaners work in the same way. They use a strong solution that breaks down the grime, kills the bacteria and mold, and dissolves soap scum stains. Then you need to wipe it down with a cloth or rinse it over with the shower.
The best shower-cleaning solutions are acidic, which will help to neutralize bacteria and break down stubborn stains. Some solutions are more acidic than others. You can also mix and match.
Important note: although many of these shower cleaners consist of safe ingredients you can find around your home, they are still pretty acidic and may cause minor skin irritation. So, always wear gloves when handling these ingredients and ensure that every last drop is removed once your shower tiles are clean.
3 Best Home Liquids for Cleaning Shower Tiles
These are three great cleaning solutions that you can use to clean shower tiles, whether they’re on the bathroom floor, the walls, or by the shower unit.
We selected these three as the best cleaners because we have found them to be the most effective. However, there are plenty of other options if you don’t have these to hand – see Other Liquids You Can Mix With below.
WD-40 is a multi-purpose product used for greasing nuts and bolts. If your door hinge is a little squeaky, a squirt of WD-40 does the trick. Check the garage or shed, as households often keep this handy cleaning liquid by the DIY tools.
You can use WD-40 to clean all parts of your shower, including the tiles, glass, and even the showerhead. Compared to some purpose-made shower cleaners, WD-40 is quite gentle and has a subtler aroma (although it’s still not exactly pleasant).
The official Australian website for WD-40 even recommends it for cleaning showers!
How to Use WD-40 to Clean Shower Tiles
The best way to use WD-40 to clean shower tiles is to use it daily. Not only will it remove stains with just a wipe, but regular cleaning can prevent mildew from building up again.
Use a microfiber cloth or even just an old rag to clean. Spray a few squirts of WD-40 onto the rag and wipe it over the shower tiles. If you have more stubborn dirt or stains on grout and hard-to-reach areas, spray it on and leave for 5 minutes (or more) before wiping off.
Vinegar is excellent for soap stains and scum, particularly on tiles. Although it doesn’t smell great, it is completely safe and even healthy. If you can eat it on your fries, then there’s no reason you can’t use it to clean your bathroom.
So, if you want a homemade shower tile cleaner that’s free of harsh chemicals, vinegar is a great way to go. Basic white vinegar is the most cost-effective vinegar for cleaning your shower. You theoretically could use apple cider vinegar or any other type of vinegar, however, they’re often more expensive and sold in smaller bottles (for consumption rather than cleaning).
How to Clean Shower Tiles with Vinegar
Unlike chemical cleaners, baking soda (see below), and WD-40, vinegar doesn’t foam up or create any kind of lather.
There are two ways to use vinegar to clean shower tiles:
- Spray vinegar directly onto stains, let it soak for a few hours, then wipe off with a cloth,
- Combine and dilute the vinegar with a surfactant (an ingredient that creates a lather) such as soap or detergent, then spray onto the tiles and other shower components.
The more you dilute the acid with soaps and water, the less effective it will be as a no-scrub cleaner. If you use a very weak vinegar, you might need to put in a little effort and scrub to lift the stains off!
Our recommended ratio is 1:1. Use equal parts vinegar and detergent. You can also add a few drops of vinegar to baking soda (don’t worry, it’s supposed to fizz) using the method below.
Baking soda is a very popular household ingredient for cleaning. Your grandparents may even have used it to clean their teeth! It’s true that baking soda can be an effective cleaning agent and may help you to lift stains off your tiles.
The texture of baking soda is naturally gritty. Even when combined with water to form a paste, it will still feel a little rough. This makes it great for scrubbing clean tiles, as the motion of scrubbing will enable the grit to reach every tiny crevice.
If you want to use baking soda to create a no-scrub cleaner, it’s best to mix it with another ingredient. Hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and even some brands of bleach are all popular combinations.
How to Clean Shower Tiles with Baking Soda
There are a few ways to use baking soda to clean shower tiles:
- Mix baking soda with a little water to create a paste, then apply this to stains. It is particularly great for cleaning grout but works best on small, confined areas. You would need a lot of baking soda paste to clean a whole shower – save this method for smaller, tougher stains.
- Combine a few teaspoons of baking soda with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Spray the mixture directly onto the tiles, let it soak, then wipe off. How much baking soda you should use depends on how large your shower tile area is.
- Combine detergent or your favorite shower cleaning liquid with a teaspoon or two of baking soda. This is a great way to boost the efficiency of a store-bought shower cleaner if it isn’t doing the job well enough by itself.
If you find that the baking soda isn’t lifting stains well, then leave it to soak on the shower tiles for longer. If you can muster the energy, try giving it a gentle scrub with a shower cleaning bristle brush.
Other Liquids You Can Mix With
Most acidic cleaning agents are suitable for use on shower tiles. Here are some of the most popular household liquids, in case you don’t have vinegar, baking soda, or WD-40 to hand.
Bleach is not a very nice cleaner to work with. The ammonia smell is deeply unpleasant and you’d best be careful you don’t get any on your clothes! However, bleach is a very effective cleaner for your shower tiles and grout if you have problems with mold, mildew and are worried about bacteria. Bleach is a highly effective disinfectant.
It’s important not to mix bleach with other cleaning products unless both the bleach and cleaning products specifically say they can be mixed on the labels. Otherwise, the mixture could create fumes that are quite toxic!
To use non-chlorine bleach to clean shower tiles, apply the bleach to the shower tile surfaces and leave the room for 15 minutes. When you come back, thoroughly rinse the bleach off (and the mold/grime with it) so all the surfaces are sparkling clean and bleach-free. You may also want to open a window and keep the room well ventilated, as bleach produces a very pungent chemical aroma.
Hydrogen peroxide is particularly effective for cleaning the grout between your shower tiles. It can also be mixed with baking soda, for extra stubborn stains. If you just have a normal amount of grime clinging to the grout, then spray on hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for 5 minutes. You should then be able to wipe off the grime with minimal effort.
We’ve also tried mixing our hydrogen peroxide with the juice of a whole lemon, which seems to have more of a whitening/brightening effect!
If you do want to get your hands dirty while cleaning the grout between tiles, then a toothbrush is the best tool (use an old one or buy one especially, as you cannot reuse it afterward).
Hydrogen peroxide can be purchased at Walmart, CVS, Target, and most big grocery stores. You can also find it on Amazon if you need it delivered to your door.
This video will also give you an idea of how to clean grout (with a scrubbing method). Although the narration is very robotic, the method does actually work.
When you want your cleaning detergent to lather or remove grease as well as grime, a detergent is what you need. You can use any detergent you like. So long as it foams up and it’s mixed with a powerful cleaning agent like baking soda, it will do the trick.
We recommend dishwashing detergent because it’s a safe ingredient and it’s found in every home in the US. It’s so easy to come by! It doesn’t matter which brand you use.
Add a few squirts of liquid detergent to your baking soda paste or vinegar. You can also add a small amount of water to help the homemade cleaner spread easily, but don’t add too much or you’ll dilute the acid and it will be ineffective.
One final note – borax is a powdered detergent enhancer or alternative. It can be a good addition to your shower cleaner. Use it just like you would a dishwashing detergent, with a little water to dissolve the powder in.
The Best Chemical No-Scrub Shower Cleaners
You can find shower cleaners that are designed to be so potent that you don’t even need to scrub them. Our top-rated picks are:
- Wet & Forget Weekly Shower Cleaner – spray on in the evening and wash off in the morning.
- RMR-86 for Mold and Mildew – idea for the bathroom floor as well as the shower area.
- Method Plant-Based Shower Cleaner – spray on to protect from stains and mildew, with a great scent.
What is the easiest way to clean a shower tile?
Spray on an acidic shower cleaner (or try a baking soda/vinegar mixture) and let it soak until the grime just wipes off.
How can you clean a shower without scrubbing?
You need to use a strong acidic cleaner that is chemically abrasive, so it breaks down the dirt and disinfects the surface just by being in contact with it.
Which is the best homemade shower cleaner?
Baking soda paste with vinegar is a tried and tested homemade shower cleaner. You can also use small amounts of bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
Is bleach safe to clean a shower?
Bleach is not a nice cleaning product to use, although it is effective. Use non-chlorine bleach, make sure the room is well ventilated (open a window so the fumes can escape), and ensure every last trace of bleach is washed away before you use the shower again. You should also wear gloves if you are touching/scrubbing the bleach directly.
Can you clean a shower with vinegar?
Yes, vinegar is a weak acid and will do a good job of cleaning your shower. Use a vinegar and baking soda mixture to lift tougher stains.