Mold and Mildew No Match for Magic Tub and Shower Potion

The only thing better than figuring out for myself how to do things cheaper, better, and faster is when I get to teach these tips and tricks to my readers. Teaching a simple DIY potion to treat shower mold and mildew to Mike was the best ever. His response just made my day.


beautifully clean white shower 083016

Dear Mary: I can’t thank you enough for telling us about your magic shower and tub cleaner. I live in moldy ol’ Florida and I have a tile shower in my older home.

I used to bleach it every 10 to 14 days and by 14th day it would be pretty bad—I’m talking mold and mildew. Since using your magic formal, I’ve bleached only one time this whole summer.

I squirt the shower down two to three times a week and OMG! It’s so easy and well worth it. Love your articles. Please continue to keep us informed. Thanks again. You saved my life. Sincerely, Mike


Dear Mike: I am laughing because I’m tickled by your excitement. The stuff really is like magic, isn’t it! I know that so many readers are chafing at the bit to know more about this secret concoction that has saved your life (it saved mine too, so I know how you feel). I call it my Magic Tub and Tile Soap and Scum Remover but maybe we need to add Shower Mold and Mildew to that label as well. Whatever, it is truly magical.

I suggest readers read the original column to get the specific details. But for those who can’t wait, here’s a quick reminder of the recipe. Into a large spray bottle, pour 1 cup blue Dawn dishwashing liquid; add enough white vinegar to fill the bottle to within an inch of the top. Done.

To use: Shake to mix and spray away. Spray the walls, the floor; fixtures, glass doors, shampoo caddy, and every surface inside the tub and or shower.

If the soap, scum, mold, and mildew are shall we say, “well developed,” leave it overnight. In the morning, gently scrub with a sponge, Scotchbrite, or brush. You’ll be smiling when you realize it is all soft, melted, and easily rinsed down the drain. Tough spots might require a good stiff brush the first time.

Once it’s clean, spray it down once a week. Or make up a batch of my No-Rinse Daily Shower Cleaner. Either way, just spray, wait a few minutes and rinse. That’s it. No squeegee required and behold, no water spots either!

Dear Mary: We are trying to frugalize every detail of our lives so we can live on one income. How do you recommend cleaning dry-clean-only clothing items like men’s suits and blazers? Katy

Dear Katy: Your letter made me stop and think about the last time I dry cleaned. It’s been so long I can’t remember. But that doesn’t mean I don’t share your high standard when it comes to the look of professionally cleaned and pressed clothes.

While many clothing items marked “Dry Clean Only” can very successfully be hand-washed, men’s suits and blazers would NOT be among them. However, if you exercise good care, these items can be professionally cleaned far less frequently than you might think.

Some fabrics like wool and cashmere must be dry cleaned but it is not good for them to be dry cleaned often. Instead, you should hang those items, especially suits, sports coats, and blazers outdoors for several hours out of direct sunlight every month or two. That will refresh and renew those natural fibers.

If you practice good personal hygiene and are careful to deal with spots right when they happen, dry cleaning these suits and blazers once a year should be sufficient.

I still enjoy that just-pressed from the dry cleaner look for everything from my husband’s shirts and slacks to my clothes and linens, too. My Rowenta DG8520 Perfect Steam is a dry-cleaner steam iron and does an amazing job. It paid for itself in short order because, as I said, I cannot remember the last time I paid a dry cleaner. I do press my husband’s suits and blazers with it, but am very careful to use a pressing cloth with the machine set to the proper temperature.

By the way, I love your word frugalize! May need to borrow that from time to time.


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7 replies
  1. Anne Marie says:

    Sadly, the MTTSSR does not work for the hard water build up where I live. I have left it on my shower area for a week (we were out of town) and the calcium build up was still there after scrubbing and rinsing. It does a great job of cleaning the mold and mildew in our downstairs shower. In general it is a great cleaner.

  2. Rebecca says:

    I have used Dryel (or similar products) for years in addition to my steamer. The bottle of cleaner & pad work great for spot cleaning stains on ties & suits.

  3. Patricia A Weiser says:

    I have very successfully washed my cashmere sweaters for years, even in the machine. On delicate of course, short wash, gentle spin dry. Then just lay them out to dry. Haven’t ruined one yet.


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