The Most Effective Homemade Cleaner In My Arsenal

by Jillee
3 Materials
45 Minutes

Until you've tried this cleaning solution, you don't *really* know how clean your tub or shower can actually look!

Having a clean shower feels wonderful. Unfortunately, if there’s one cleaning task I used to put off the most, it was cleaning the tub and shower. All of that gross mildew and soap scum was overwhelming and it felt like it took forever to clean! And it never ended up feeling or looking as clean as I’d have liked, even after repeated scrubbing.

After a while, I started to suspect that our hard water combined with the soap scum to form an impenetrable layer of super-scum that couldn’t be cleaned. (Not true in the slightest, but it made me feel better at the time!)

I eventually read about an easy homemade shower cleaner that promised to erase tough stains, soap scum, and hard water deposits. And it wasn’t just one person’s opinion; I saw dozens of rave reviews for this cleaner all over the web!

I was still skeptical, but was willing to give it the old college try (especially since I already had the ingredients on hand.) Read on to find out why this has become one of my favorite homemade cleaners!

The first time I tried it, I mixed up a batch and sprayed it liberally around the tub in my boys’ bathroom, which needed some serious help at the time. I let the spray work its magic for an hour or so, and then wiped it down with a sponge and rinsed everything off. And I was honestly shocked!

This cleaner had done what so many other bathroom products had failed to do. It had managed to penetrate that stubborn, grimy, super-scum layer to reveal the clean, shiny surface underneath. I didn’t even know it could look that clean!

I’ve now been using this magic soap scum remover for years now, and I’ve never gone back to any other method or cleaner! Here’s how you can make (and use) my favorite homemade shower cleaner.

My Homemade Shower Cleaner and Soap Scum Remover

To make this powerful shower cleaner, measure out equal amounts of Dawn soap and white vinegar. (Somewhere between one and two cups of each should be plenty.)

Heat the white vinegar in your microwave until hot, then pour it into a spray bottle.

Pour the Dawn soap into the bottle and then put the lid on and gently shake to mix.

How To Use

Spray liberally around your tub and/or shower. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to an hour, then scrub (if needed) and rinse well.

When using this cleaner, make sure your bathroom is as well-ventilated as possible. Turn on the fan and open any windows because this stuff is POTENT.

It smells strongly of vinegar right after spraying it, but the smell dissipates quickly after rinsing. If you really can’t stand the smell of vinegar, you could throw a bandana around your mouth and nose while you’re using the cleaner. (But the result is well worth it, I promise!)

Why It Works

This homemade shower cleaner works so well because it’s two cleaners in one! White vinegar can eliminate odor, dissolve tough messes, and remove stains, and do about a hundred other things too.

Dawn dish soap cuts through stubborn grease and grime like nobody’s business, and it has almost as many uses as vinegar. The soap also makes the homemade shower cleaner thicker, so it clings to the walls and floor of your tub and shower, rather than running right down the drain.

Happy cleaning, and enjoy your sparkling tubs and showers! :-)

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 46 questions
  • Lily Lily on Jan 25, 2023

    I shall try but what is the point of heating the vinegar up before mixing, please explain what chemistry is behind it. Thank you!

  • Sheri Kerr Sheri Kerr on Feb 15, 2023

    Does it have to be Dawn, or can it be any dish soap?

  • CharlyCRNA CharlyCRNA on Mar 21, 2023

    Does this mixture have to be used while it is hot or can it be used even after it cools?

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2 of 93 comments
  • Sheri Kerr Sheri Kerr on Feb 15, 2023

    If this works as well as the shaving cream tip, I'm in. I hate cleaning the shower in our bedroom. This will probably be another tip I text to my girls.

  • Millie Millie on Mar 20, 2023

    I’ve tried every method that I could find and still have a little water stains on my shower doors. I used the vinegar, Dawn and everything that Ali could find on the internet. We have very soft water so I don’t know if that’s part of the problem. I am going to heat the vinegar and try it this way. I keep a really clean shower but the doors didn’t get cleaned for a couple months followed shoulder surgery. I guess those water spots still stained even though my husband used the squeegee.