A sink and a mirror

How to Make Your Own Powerful Tub and Shower Cleaners

The only thing better than making things myself is when what I make turns out to be cheaper, better and faster than something I might buy in the store to accomplish the same goal. Learning how to make powerful tub and shower cleaner rocked my world. I have a feeling it’s about to rock yours, too.


A sink and a mirror


Quite possibly one of the best tips to ever land my mailbox arrived more than 20 years ago. It was from a loyal reader who is a professional property manager. He handles rental apartments in a college town, and lots of them. As an apartment is vacated, his job is to see that it is thoroughly cleaned and made ready for the next occupants. 

This reader told me that the biggest challenge is always the bathroom, specifically the tub and shower. He kindly left specific details to my imagination but let me know that “gross” is not strong enough to describe what he often finds.

And that’s when he gave us his super magical potion—the only product he uses to return showers, tubs, tile, enclosures, faucets, and doors to their sparkling clean and sanitized selves. 

Tub and Shower Soap Scum Cleaner

I have never found a commercial tub and shower cleaner that comes close to this homemade product. Tub and Shower Soap Scum Cleaner is like magic and I’m not the only who thinks so. I’ve had thousands of responses over the years from my readers who were as astonished as I the first time they used it.

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  • Blue Dawn
  • White vinegar
  1. Pour one cup blue Dawn into a 32-ounce spray bottle (1/2 cup Dawn if you are using a 16-ounce bottle).
  2. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with white vinegar.
  3. Apply sprayer top; shake gently to mix.

To use: Open a window to make sure the area to be cleaned has good ventilation. Spray liberally on the tub, shower, floor, walls, fixtures, and doors. Allow to sit from 30 minutes up to overnight, depending on the severity of the problem. Just close the door and walk away.

All of the offensive scum, gunk, mildew, and grime will break down and become soft and gooey. Simply rinse it away.

For especially challenging situations—or if this is the initial treatment—use a sponge or brush to gently scrub the surfaces before rinsing.

Caution: Do not use on stone, marble or granite, which are porous materials treated with a sealant. Vinegar is acetic and will damage that sealant, dulling the surface over time.

MORE: How to Remove Yellow Sweat Stains—It Really Works!

Daily Shower Cleaner

While  Tub and Shower Soap Scum Cleaner works really well—it’s simply amazing—it’s not something you are going to want to use for daily maintenance. Instead, use this Daily Shower Cleaner to keep your shower sparkling clean.

  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap, like blue Dawn
  • 1 tablespoon dishwasher rinse aid, like Jet-Dry
  • 2 cups water
  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a large spray bottle (24-ounce or larger). Mix gently.
  2. This no rinse, no wipe, no scrub shower cleaner spray is safe to use on glass, glazed tile, stone, tubs, doors, and shower curtains. The gentle formula contains no bleach, ammonia or harsh chemicals and it won’t scratch surfaces or leave behind a dull residue.
  3. Store your daily shower cleaner in a dark cupboard, as hydrogen peroxide begins to break down quickly in the presence of light.

To use: Just before you step out of the shower, spray the walls, doors, fixtures, curtain with Daily Shower Cleaner and walk away.


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7 replies
  1. bestreviewexpress.com says:

    This is an excellent article. I am very pleased to read your article, It gives me some great Information that I’m looking for. I was searching for the shower cleaners, and this is a fantastic blog about shower cleaners. I hope you have a good knowledge of It. Thanks and keep sharing 🙂

  2. Hector says:

    I tried this cleaner and it did the job well except that I can’t get the tile grout and the caulking around the tub remove. Also the cup you mention is it a kitchen cup like to measure flour?

  3. Rachelle Morgan says:

    Are these safe to use on acrylic tubs? I have a new acrylic tub and the instructions said to clean with Ivory dish soap. We are noticing a gray film on the bottom of the tub. What can I use to clean it?

  4. Jeannie says:

    I love this stuff! I also dilute it down with water and use it for an everyday shower spray. I always have these ingredients on hand, too.

  5. Deena Costley says:

    It’s the only bathtub and shower cleaner I’ve used for the past 2 years. If built up gunk doesn’t easily rinse away, spray again, let it set for 15 min, then wipe with a Mr Clean sponge. No scrubbing…ever.


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