Barb asked: How do I keep shower walls clean? We have hard water, and I like to use car wax on our shower walls to keep the walls cleaner longer. Is there a home remedy solution that I can make in place of car wax?
Hard water and soap scum are common problems in showers. Thankfully, there are a variety of natural methods that can be used to remove it and keep your shower looking great. Choose from the list below to find a cleaning solution that works best for you. If car wax works well, but you want to avoid the chemicals in commercial products, see our recipe below for homemade car wax.
Ways to Clean Shower Walls
When your shower needs cleaning, there are several natural products you can choose from to remove soap scum or just generally clean. These products are all-natural disinfectants, and each has other properties as well that make it an excellent choice for shower cleaning. Vinegar works particularly well at removing limescale (mineral deposits left by hard water). Baking soda is a mild abrasive, which can be particularly helpful for removing soap scum. Ammonia is the strongest option, making it a great choice for the most stubborn stains or build-up. Select the cleaner you need and follow the instructions below to use it.
You Will Need:
- Cleaning solution: (select one)
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Spray bottle
- Soft cloths/sponges
Ways to Keep Shower Walls Clean:
- Ammonia: Mix one part household ammonia with two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the surface of the shower and wipe away with a soft cloth or sponge. Repeat as necessary. Ammonia can have strong fumes, so be sure to keep the room well ventilated.
- Vinegar: Begin by warming up the vinegar in the microwave. Pour it into a spray bottle. Spray it onto the shower surfaces, then wipe it away with a clean cloth.
- Baking Soda: Mix baking soda and water together to form a paste. Rub the paste onto the surfaces of the shower. Allow the paste to sit on the surface for 30 minutes. Moisten a soft cloth or sponge with water and wipe the paste away.
Making Your Own Car Wax
Applying wax to the walls of the shower can help to prevent the build-up of soap scum. If you’d like to prepare your own wax using natural ingredients, there are a variety of recipes available online. Here is one to consider. Apply the wax to the shower walls 1-2 times per year for the best results.
You Will Need:
- 4 tablespoons carnuba wax
- 1 cup linseed oil
- ½ cup vinegar
- 2 tablespoons beeswax
- Double boiler or saucepan
- Heat resistant storage container
Steps to Make Your Own Car Wax:
- Begin by adding all of the ingredients to a saucepan or double boiler.
- Heat the mixture over low heat.
- Stir the mixture as it heats through until everything is melted and combined.
- Pour the mixture into a heat resistant storage container.
- Allow it to cool.
- When ready to use, spread it onto the surfaces with a lint-free cloth.
- Moisten a clean cotton cloth with vinegar and use it to polish the wax to a great shine.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Using a squeegee or cloth to wipe the shower walls after each use will prevent the build-up of soap scum. This can be done even in showers with waxed walls. Just a quick swipe with the squeegee or cloth will suffice. A side-to-side stroke is considered the proper way to squeegee, working from top to bottom. Always overlap your strokes by about half an inch.
- Some soaps cause more scum than others. If you are finding a lot of soap scum build-up, consider switching to a different product. A vegan soap is a great option, as it is the lye or animal fat in soap that usually causes the most scum.
- If car wax is not available, furniture wax can be used in its place.
- Make sure that any wax you use does have any petroleum distillates in it as they are carcinogenic.
- Use caution not to wax the bottom of the tub/shower or any areas where the slippery surface may be dangerous.
- Never spray wax onto a shower wall as it can drip down to the shower floor. Only apply wax using a cloth.
- Applying wax to the shower walls is safe if done correctly, but if you are especially concerned about slipping, a non-slip mat can be put on the shower floor.
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Cleaning by Mary Findley and Linda Formichelli
- Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest