Homemade Shower Cleaner

posted by Andrea | 02/1/2012

A few weeks ago, I shared how I keep our showers clean in about 10 minutes a month. I mentioned that although I try to use mostly homemade cleaners in and around our house, I still hadn’t found a great homemade cleaner for the shower.

Well, after that, I got a bunch of emails with different “recipes” for homemade shower cleaner; and although I was skeptical, I decided to try a few of them out.

Anyway, after experimenting these past 2 weeks (yes, our shower is now extremely clean) I’ve picked my favorite… and it’s REALLY simple!! 

Recipe for Homemade Shower Cleaner

Thanks to Anna for sending me this “recipe”!

Step #1: Pour 1-2 c. of white vinegar into a plastic spray bottle

Step #2: Heat it up in the microwave until very warm. {you do NOT need to reheat it every time you want to clean your showers}

Step #3: Pour 1 T. of Dawn dish soap into the spray bottle.

Step #4: Put the top of the spray bottle on and gently shake until they are combined.

That’s it!!

Just 2 simple ingredients and about 5 minutes of your time and you have a very inexpensive, homemade shower cleaner that works wonders on soap scum and smells great too!

NOTE: This cleaner is also great for removing greasy buildup in the kitchen!

Do you have any other great homemade cleaning recipes?

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Filed under: CleaningGoing GreenLife



  1. Kristen


    Do you know if this will hurt / damage my marble tile shower. Its been a long time since I have cleaned it because I am afraid to use cleaner on it that may ruin the marble!!


    Andrea Reply:

    I’m honestly not sure Kristen — I have no experience with real marble and I would hate for you to ruin it on my account! I’d Google “How to clean marble” or ask an expert :)


  2. Colleen


    You could always test it on a ‘scrap’ piece of marble and see! I am making this right now to clean my shower and kitchen cabinets!


    Linda Reply:

    Colleen, never use acidic products on marble as it damages it. You may just have to scrape your surfaces or talk to an expert.


  3. Joyce T.


    I have been using this “recipe” to clean our bathrooms (shower/sink/toilet) for about a year! It is wonderful, leaves evrything shiny clean.
    The recipe I was originially given specified to only use the blue Dawn. Don’t know why that is, but have followed it religiously!


    Sandy Reply:

    The recipe I had first heard of also called for baking soda. Does anyone know about this and if it works better? And yes, Joyce it called for only “Blue” Dawn.


    Jamie Reply:

    The green and blue dawns both work equally well. Baking soda does make it work better, BUT it’s really hard to mix vinegar and baking soda(gets really fizzy, might explode your bottle). I use this same cleaner, and I just sprinkle baking soda on the tough spots and then spray.


  4. evi


    Living in Europe, Dawn-dishsoap isn’t an option for me – do you know if this works with ANY dishsoap? I just found your blog and really like it, the shower-cleaner sounds nice – our showerwall will be replaced in a couple of months because of SEVERE meldew and this time, we will have it put up by a professional so that the desaster with the current wall won’t happen again. Still, I want to do everyhing right and try to keep it super-clean – and your cleaner sounds awesome, I am a huge fan of vinegar and it’s endless uses…
    all the best from the other side of the Atlantic, ;->


    Melissa Reply:

    I watched an episode of “How clean is your house” yesterday. The ladies said to get the good dish soap not the cheap stuff. They are from the UK. They use lots of homemade products on their shows.


    Hester Reply:

    Ooooh! I LOVE the two ladies from How clean is your house …. Haven’t seen it in ages, though, can’t get it here. But indeed, they do use a lot of homemade stuff. :)


  5. Donna


    I’ve tried this and it does work wonderfully on the shower (btw: I’ve used Lavender Dawn, as well as blue, both work exactly the same). My issue is that I’m going through spray bottles like crazy! The handles keep getting stuck, I’m guessing because something is clogging up the pumping mechanism. I can use a bottle for one, maybe two uses, before it stops working entirely. Anybody else having this problem? What bottles are you using that keep working time after time? I purchased bottles at the store specifically for mixing your own soluntions, and they just aren’t working. I love the cleaner, but I need help finding a spray bottle that can handle it. Help!


  6. katie bobbitt


    how do you rinse this recipe,it just keeps bubbling and i feel like nothing is is rinsed clear


  7. Jennifer


    Don’t use concentrated dish soap with this recipe. It’s very, very hard to get everything rinsed if you do! I use original Dawn for this and it works great. I learned by error not to use the concentrated, I tried it even cutting the amount of soap in half and it was still very difficult to get all the soap rinsed off. :)


  8. BJ


    Why do you have to heat the vinegar?


    Sandy Reply:

    BJ, I would say it so the solution will be more fluid. I made a similar one to this and it did not call for heating and wouldn’t spray at all. I ended up doing a by hand application which was not time efficient at all. Don’t know, just guessing.


  9. Dumblabrat


    I have been using vinegar and dish detergent for ages. In fact I have found that by simply drying the shower cubicle off when finished I really only need to use the cleaner once a month as it is the build-up of soap scum that causes the problem.


  10. Debbie


    Did you ever find a solution? I’ve had the same problem, my plastic bottles continually break too. It is SO frustrating!


    Jim Reply:

    Debbie….Turn your atomizer upside down and spry WD40 in the piston cylinder and that should solve your sprayer problem Jim


  11. Margaret


    Vinegar us an acid , si it may be ‘eating’ the bottle and spray mcchanism. Make what you will use, or keep any remainder in a glass jar. Be sure to rinse bottle and let clean water course through the spray mechanism by putting it in a glass ofclean water and spraying several times


  12. Kristie


    We get the heavy-duty spray bottles from Target. Also, I put the soap in 1st and then the vinegar (which is boiling when I stop the microwave), which seems to melt the soap and help it mix better. *Note: do NOT use any old cheap spray bottle if you choose to get the vinegar this hot… the first one I tried melted the bottle. :-p


  13. Diane


    The difference in the colors of Dawn is that the blue Dawn is phosphate free, the others are not. This is what makes it a safer product and why it can be used to bathe your pets (and ducks/birds after oil spills) in addition to clean just about everything! Love this recipe!


    Andrea Reply:

    wow — I never knew this Diane! Thanks for sharing!


  14. moya


    I have only three cleaning agents for everything as I am allergic to most . I use baking soda(bread soda) washing soda sometimes call soda crytals and white vinegar. I forgot one more. I have to damp dust everything as i have asthma so i use a damp cloth with a few drops of lavender oil – makes the house smell fabulous and keeps all insects at bay. Thats it!!


  15. Cathy Hammoud


    This was GREAT! I used about 2T of Dawn Ultra and 2 cups of heated vinegar. The gunk was coming off the stall as I was spraying!! Thanks for the recipe!!


    Andrea Reply:

    glad you liked it Cathy!


  16. Debora Peterson


    You know if a spray bottle doesn’t work the best…you can put the 2 ingrients in a dish cleaner (you know the one with a tube to fill up with dish soap with a sponge at the end) You can buy replacement sponges. and then you can do double duty and also save water by cleaning the shower while you are showering! Might as well i always get soaked anyways just cleaning the shower!!!!


    Andrea Reply:

    oh my word — this has to be one of the best ideas ever! I’m sharing on my facebook page right now! You’re a genius!


  17. April


    I LOVE this cleaner!! I’ve used this a few times now and love the look of my shower each and every time! Thank-you!


  18. Liane


    Our shower is cultured onyx. So basically it is a gel coated solid surface material that is fairly impervious to getting gunky. It it over 20 years old and looks like new. I have a three part approach to keeping it that way, and which does not include any cleaning at all!

    First, ban bar soap. Yeah, it’s cheaper but it is harsh on the skin and it leaves scum on everything. Use liquid soap.

    Second, cover the shower pan or tub with a layer of old towels and clean the walls of any residue of soap. I like Gel-Gloss. Finally apply a good coating of automotive polish. My favorite is Eagle One Wax As You Dry. I like it because it does not stink, and because you only need to do it once a year or so. It allows the water to bead up, just like on a car.

    Third, buy a good squeegee and use it after every single shower. I got mine at Target and it hangs from a suction cup hook that came with it.

    If you have tiles in the shower, I have no suggestions except make sure the grout is well sealed and that you dry the tiles with a towel after you use the shower. It takes a few minutes, but it is worth not having to spray with stinky stuff with chlorine. Chlorine alse eats grout so the problem of mold is actually exacerbated as the chlorine eats away the grout it makes for easier access for more mold and mildew.

    Other anti mildew tactics I have employed include upgrading the cheap bathroom exhaust fan with its puny 3 inch exhaust pipe with a larger ducted fan (quieter also) and leaving the window open when I can to dry the shower. When I am home alone I don’t even shut the bathroom door.


  19. Heather


    I like to save $ by letting my vinegar do double duty.
    I have a hand held clothes steamer that has to be cleaned by heating up white vinegar in it to remove the hard water residue that prevents the element from heating the water. Instead of wasting the vinegar when i’m done I use it for other cleaning.
    Since this calls for heated vinegar I am going to try using the vinegar from the steamer cleaning in this recipe.


  20. Erin


    What about using this homemade solution and scrubbing? You can’t just spray it. You have to scrub to get the scum off.


  21. Denise


    I have tried this twice now, and it does not work for me.


  22. Dora


    I’ll try, thanks for sharing with us!


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