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How do I keep my shower clean and sparkly without harsh chemicals?

(17 Posts)
neverquitesure Fri 21-Sep-12 10:21:19

18 months ago we moved into a house with a septic tank and I am having a nightmare keeping the shower looking clean!

We can use mild cleaning products but nothing like bleach or my old favourite Lime Lite. We do have a water softener fitted, but are still getting limescale build up, particularly on the glass doors. We also have some very unattractive orangy-black discolouring of the grout between some of the tiles.

I just can't seem to shift it. Plus keeping it looking even semi respectable is eating up hours of valuable time that could be spent mning playing with the children. Help!

Japple Fri 21-Sep-12 11:18:32

We fill an empty bottle with 1/2 Vinegar and 1/2 Hot water.Shaking the bottle
well, we Spray every tile and faucet.Then we wipe the whole shebang down
with a thick,clean the kind that Wal-Mart sells here in the States.
If the Top faucet (the shower head) gets grotty looking-Take an airtight bag
Made of Plastic (Ziploc type); fasten it around the shower head,load it with your
Vinegar Mixture,(shake well first)-Tape it with duct tape or something...and let
The whole thing Sit for about 8-10 hours.Rinse and dry the faucet off the next
day.I use a soft little toothbrush on the connections as I am wiping it dry.Jill.

PigletJohn Fri 21-Sep-12 12:06:30

save up for a water softener?

Surely the "bathroom cleaner sprays" are safe with septic tanks, as you use so little? I believe they usually contain citric acid which is good for removing limescale.

marge2 Fri 21-Sep-12 12:09:53

oooh Japple - what kind of vinegar?

LoveMyBoots Fri 21-Sep-12 12:15:48

Use white vinegar (clear liquid), easily available from supermarkets. Works well on limescale, and nontoxic.

neverquitesure Fri 21-Sep-12 13:14:50

Brilliant, thank you all. I will try the vinegar and water.

Piglet - I do use the milder cleaning sprays but they only seem to work on the tiles and not so well on the grout and shower door (which has to be cleaned with a soft cloth). We do have a water softener that services the whole house which I suppose is why it only builds up very slowly. I dread to think what I would be like without one!!

Japple Fri 21-Sep-12 14:11:40

Plain old White Vinegar.

Longtalljosie Fri 21-Sep-12 20:54:12

Buy a squegee - Lakeland sell them - and use it on the shower door each time you shower

Acumens100 Fri 21-Sep-12 20:57:14

White vinegar. You can buy it in giant 5l and 10l jugs from places like Wilkinsons and Home Bargains, or online.

PoppyWearer Fri 21-Sep-12 20:58:02

Squegee, and then make sure everyone uses it religiously.

millimurphy Fri 21-Sep-12 21:05:36

Shower doors and tiles - as a cleaner I would use a squirt of washing up liquid and a sponge scrubber - scrub and then dry with an old clean rag. Try distilled vinegar for the orange/black grout.

neverquitesure Sat 22-Sep-12 16:49:11

Have purchased white vinegar today. No squeegee yet, think I shall have to find one online or wait until my next trip to The Big City (Norwich blush)

I will let you know how it goes...

neverquitesure Sat 22-Sep-12 17:51:47


It has worked beautifully on the glass and all the tiles & chrome etc are gleaming. Far better than the ecover spray and the general purpose bathroom sprays I normally use. It didn't make much of an impact on the grout (which I now realise is actually silicone sealant that the previous owners have, for some reason best known to themselves, used over the top of some of the grouting confused) I have sprayed some neat vinegar onto those bits and shall return later.

I think I will have to pick a new cleaning time though as I clean our bathroom whilst the DC have their bath (obviously excluding the bath itself) and the smell was rather strong!

Otherwise it has been a great hit. Thank you!

Longtalljosie Sat 22-Sep-12 21:31:21

I was thinking about your water softener system - are you sure it's working correctly? I'm sure you shouldn't have these problems if you have one?

neverquitesure Sat 22-Sep-12 21:39:08

Hmm it is rather archaic. It does have a few testing kits with it so perhaps I need to read the manual and work out how to do that! I had wondered before actually but since it chugs through salt at a normal rate I was hoping all was ok. Perhaps not.

PigletJohn Sun 23-Sep-12 05:47:35

Silicone sealant does get stained if mildew grows on it. You can buy sealant remover from places that sell sealant, and a mould-resistant grade.

I have never been good at applying sealant neatly but there are some notched triangular non-stick plastic tools that are said to make it easier.

neverquitesure Sun 23-Sep-12 07:48:07

Yep it's probably mildew sad The house was built in the 70s and I think the shower was probably installed with it! The doors and shower unit have been replaced but the tiling and tray seem original. The sealant has been badly applied (very 'bobbly') and I suppose the water sits in the uneven bits. It's not too bad but it just seems grubby looking.

The shower will be replaced when we can afford it and I was hoping to avoid regrouting or siliconing but looks like it might be unavoidable.

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