By Carol Benton | Updated Mar 18, 2022 4:55 PM
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A long, hot shower is one of life’s simple pleasures, and using an effective shower tile cleaner can contribute to that experience. Dirty or moldy shower tile promotes an unhealthy home environment because bacteria, fungus, mold, and mildew grow on the tile’s surface.
Below, learn about the characteristics of the ideal cleaning products for various types of shower tile as well as the solutions that tackle specific cleaning challenges. Discover the best shower tile cleaner to meet your needs and keep your tile spotless.
From the numerous options on today’s market, shoppers can select products to clean grout and shower tiles according to the specific needs and conditions that exist in their bathrooms. For example, if the growth of mold and mildew is a problem, special cleaners are available to tackle the problem. If the shower tiles are made of natural stone rather than ceramic or porcelain, cleansers formulated for stone are on the market as well. Keep reading to learn about the factors to consider when searching for the best shower cleaner.
Shower tile cleaners are available in several forms, including liquid spray, foam, powders, gels, and pastes. For ease of use, however, the sprays take first prize.
Spray foams cling to the vertical surfaces of shower walls, allowing the cleaning ingredients to break down dirt, soap scum, mineral deposits, mold, and mildew on the tile before the foam dissipates or drips. Liquid sprays also are effective, coating surfaces while dispersing the product from a nozzle.
Product directions typically indicate spraying the cleaner on the tile and allowing it to set for 2 to 5 minutes to provide time for the ingredients to interact with the dirt, soap scum, mold, and mildew. After waiting, rinse the area with clean water and wipe with a damp cloth or sponge. Complete the task by wiping with a dry cloth to bring out a pleasant sheen on the shower tile surface.
Before choosing the best shower cleaner, it’s important to first learn the type of tile that’s installed. Because ceramic and porcelain are the most commonly used materials in shower tiles, products that treat these materials appear frequently. They’re formulated to clean the tiles without damaging the finish or the underlying material.
However, some shoppers may have shower tiles made from marble, quartz, granite, travertine, or other natural-stone materials. Using a run-of-the-mill shower tile cleaner on natural stone tiles can damage the material, so experts advise using a shower tile cleaner specially formulated for natural stone.
Shower tile cleaners feature different formulations for specific purposes. For example, to kill bacteria, fungus, mold, and mildew in the shower, some cleaners contain bleach. On the other hand, health-conscious and environmentally aware users can opt for green, all-natural cleaners with no harsh chemicals.
Additionally, hard water that contains calcium, magnesium, and lime can cause a mineral deposit buildup, and some shower tile cleaners are formulated specifically to remove these stains.
The listed product descriptions include the surfaces on which they can and cannot be used. Consider the surface materials in the bathroom, and select cleansers that work well across a wide range of materials, and complete multiple cleaning tasks.
No cleaner is suitable for every surface. However, if a cleaner is versatile enough to clean not only the shower tile but also numerous additional surfaces, it saves both time and money.
For the safety of family members, guests, and the person doing the cleaning, also consider the toxicity level of specific ingredients in shower tile cleaners. Although bleach may be harmful when inhaled in large quantities, the amounts of bleach and disinfecting agents in shower cleaners are generally not at harmful levels. However, if still concerned, open windows, activate exhaust fans, and ventilate the bathroom before using any product that contains bleach or disinfectants.
Some users may avoid surfactants in cleaning products because of the possibility of skin irritation. And environmentally conscious shoppers often avoid products that contain phosphates due to their harmful effects on natural water sources. Those who wish to avoid chemicals in cleaning products may want to consider all-natural shower cleaners, which rely on plant-based ingredients to clean.
The products included in our list of top picks represent optimal choices for cleaning shower tile, grout, and other bathroom surfaces. Manufactured by well-known, reputable companies, they demonstrate value, safety, and effectiveness.
Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer not only cleans shower tile but also multiple other bathroom surfaces. This cleaner works on ceramic and porcelain tile to remove soap scum, dirt, grime, and calcium and lime deposits. Use it to clean shower doors, vinyl shower curtains, sinks, and toilets.
For best results, shake the can before and during use to activate the cleansing foam. After spraying it on, wait 2 minutes to allow the foam to penetrate into the dirt. Then wipe the foam from the tile surface with a clean, damp cloth or sponge. Alternatively, rinse the sprayed area with clean water and wipe dry or let the surface air dry.
The acidic foam in ZEP shower tile cleaner breaks down soap scum and dissolves dirt and hard water stains from shower walls, including the grout between tiles. Also use it on the tub surface, sink basin, and chrome faucet handles.
ZEP is safe and effective on most ceramic and porcelain tiles, acrylic, fiberglass, laminate, and Corian surfaces. It’s not safe for marble, granite, terrazzo, and natural stone. For best results, test the product on a small area to evaluate its efficacy before general use.
Spray ZEP onto ceramic or porcelain shower tiles and leave it for 2 to 3 minutes. Wipe with a clean, damp sponge and follow up by rinsing with clean water. The cleanser removes dirt, scum, and stains, leaving a fresh scent.
With bleach as an active ingredient, Clorox Tilex destroys the bacteria that cause staphylococcus and streptococcus as well as the fungus that leads to athlete’s foot. Additionally, it kills 99 percent of common household bacteria along with the mold and mildew that grow in damp bathroom environments.
Spray Clorox Tilex on shower tile and wait 5 minutes to let the cleanser penetrate the soap scum and mineral deposits. Rinse and wipe to reveal the clean, disinfected surfaces. In addition to glazed and unglazed ceramic tile, this cleaner is safe for grout, vinyl, fiberglass, and plastic.
The sprayer’s proprietary Smart Tube technology allows consumers to use every last drop of the cleaner. No scrubbing is required, and Clorox Tilex leaves no residue.
Mold and mildew grow in damp conditions such as those in showers, causing unsightly stains and unpleasant odors. Breathing in mold and mildew can cause respiratory problems.
This spray cleaner comes out of the bottle in a thick foam that doesn’t drip. It clings to vertical shower tile walls, penetrating corners and crevices. The bleach, along with other active ingredients in the foam, breaks down the mold and mildew. Wipe it away with no need for scrubbing.
In addition to cleaning mold and mildew from shower tile, Kaboom cleans dirt, grime, and soap scum. Use it on multiple bathroom surfaces, including shower doors, vinyl curtains, porcelain sinks, counters, and no-wax floors.
Made of cement, limestone, and color pigment mixed with water, grout seals out moisture from the substrate and keeps the tiles from moving and cracking. Like ceramic tile, grout can become dirty and coated with soap scum, mold, and mildew, so using the best grout cleaner can help when it’s time to tackle this chore.
This foaming cleanser from CLR breaks down dirt, soap scum, and deposits from calcium and lime in the water. It’s registered with the Safer Choice Program of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), signifying that it’s a safer alternative to cleaners that contain bleach, phosphates, and ammonia.
In addition to shower tile, CLR Brilliant Bath Cleaner works to cut through dirt and deposits on shower doors, white grout and caulk, porcelain toilet bowls and sinks, stainless steel, fiberglass, and more. It should not be applied to colored grout, vinyl, glass mirrors, wood, painted surfaces, and plastic laminates.
For health-conscious and environmentally conscious shoppers, this all-natural cleaner from Better Life presents a viable alternative to cleansers that contain chemicals. The ingredients are plant-based and biodegradable, and membership in the Leaping Bunny program certifies that the product is never tested on animals.
The Better Life cleaning formula contains no synthetic dyes or fragrances. Additional substances that don’t make the cut include sodium lauryl, laureth sulfates, petroleum solvent, parabens, ethers, alcohol, and ethoxylates. Better Life products don’t contain harmful or hard-to-pronounce chemicals.
Use this cleanser safely on shower tile walls, grout, tubs, sinks, shower curtains, and doors, as well as on toilet seats and bathroom fixtures. Better Life products contain tea tree and eucalyptus oils to leave behind sparkling-clean surfaces along with a pleasant scent.
This cleaner from Granite Gold works well, not only on ceramic tile but also on shower tile made from natural stone materials, including quartz, marble, travertine, granite, and more. While many shower tile cleaners are not formulated for natural stone, this one is.
Regular use of Granite Gold prevents the buildup of soap scum, hard water deposits, mold, and mildew on shower tile, tub surrounds, and bathroom fixtures. It achieves deep-cleaning results without ammonia or phosphates and leaves a streak-free, clean surface that reveals the stone’s natural beauty. Simply spray this liquid cleaner on natural stone shower tile, rinse, and wipe it down.
Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer is a long-time go-to cleaner for ceramic and porcelain shower tiles, and its effectiveness keeps it at the top of the list for busy users who demand quick-acting and thorough cleaning products. For those on a budget, ZEP Power Foam Tub and Tile Cleaner provides excellent results at a reasonable price.
To choose the best shower cleaners, we read 13 articles pertaining to cleaning products for bathroom applications. We found information about the best cleaning methods and materials to ensure that the shower environment is healthy, safe, and clean. Additionally, we surveyed five buyer’s guides that suggest viable choices in shower tile cleaners and read product descriptions for 16 different options.
We assembled a list of products that not only offer value, strong cleaning power, and ease of use, but also described cleansers that clean grout as well as tile, destroy germs, kill mold and mildew, and leave a pleasant aroma.
To keep the bathroom looking and smelling fresh, experts recommend regularly cleaning shower tile with a safe and effective product. As an added benefit, consistent cleaning protects the health of all household members. The answers to these frequently asked questions may help you get started with your new shower tile cleaner.
Remove the showerhead and soak it in equal parts water and white vinegar. Clean the shower caddy and replace worn-out accessories. Clean the shower curtain or doors along with the tile, grout, drain, and caulking.
Many professional cleaners use green products, including white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, castile soap, and borax.
Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer and ZEP Foaming Shower Tub and Tile Cleaner require only spraying, rinsing, and wiping, with no scrubbing necessary.
Flush your eyes with clean, running water for 15 to 30 minutes, keeping your eyes open as much as possible. If the eye burn is severe, seek medical treatment or call 911.
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