How To Clean Shower Tiles Without Scrubbing

Everyone wants a clean shower, but none of us want to spend time scrubbing it. What if I told you there was a way to make your shower tiles shine without breaking your back? It sounds too good to be true, but you really can clean shower tiles without scrubbing.

How To Clean Shower Tiles Without Scrubbing

This article will give you the best tips and tricks for cleaning your shower tiles without scrubbing them. I’ll also tell you why your shower gets so dirty in the first place and let you know what products you should never use to clean your shower.

How To Clean Shower Tiles Without Scrubbing

Having a sparkling clean shower without scrubbing sounds like a dream come true. In reality, there are a lot of great tools and products that can make cleaning your shower tiles a breeze.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to get rid of grimy shower tiles without breaking a sweat.

baking soda and vinegar

1. Start With the Mildest Cleaner First

When you have a cleaning project to tackle, do you tend to reach for the harshest chemicals first? If so, you might actually wear down the protective coating on your tiles and make them more vulnerable to mold and mildew.

Instead of grabbing the bleach every time you clean the shower, try a gentler cleaning solution like baking soda and vinegar. This combination still packs a serious punch without the risk of causing permanent damage to your tile.

2. Grab Your Steam Cleaner

Steam cleaning is an eco-friendly way to clean and sanitize your shower tiles. Make sure you remove any loose dirt like hair or pet fur from your shower to avoid clogging your steamer, then steam your shower with a nylon brush attachment.

Work your way from top to bottom, so you don’t recontaminate a clean area with dirty water, and rinse your shower every few minutes so dirt won’t get stuck in the grout.

3. Clean Your Shower More Often

It makes sense that the more frequently you clean your shower, the easier it will be to get the stains off your shower tiles. I like to keep a bottle of cleaner in the shower so I can spray it as soon as I’ve finished washing up.

I use a homemade cleaner that uses a cup of water, ½ cup of clear vodka, and a few drops of essential oil, but you can also buy daily shower spray at the store if you don’t want to make it yourself. 

In addition to spraying your shower down daily, you should thoroughly clean it twice a week. This will help to keep soap scum and mildew from building up and make it easier to get sparkling clean shower tiles without scrubbing.

4. Use The Right Tools

Having the right tools for the job will make your life easier every time. The best tool for cleaning shower tiles and the glass doors that many showers have is a squeegee.

Using a squeegee to distribute and remove cleaning solution will help you remove grime from your shower walls without breaking a sweat. 

To clean with a squeegee, just spray your cleaning solution on the tiles and run it across the shower horizontally, then vertically. Let the cleaner stand for 5 minutes to break up the dirt, then rinse your shower with warm water.

Finally, dry your shower with your squeegee by running it horizontally, then vertically from top to bottom. This will help remove streaks and spots and will help keep mildew at bay.

5. Keep Your Shower Dry Whenever Possible

We all know mold and mildew thrive in moisture, but we don’t often consider how our showering habits can cause them to build up on the tile.

The first thing you can do to improve drying time after your shower is to ventilate the room by turning on the fan in your bathroom when you get into the shower.

Let the fan run until the humidity is out of the air. 

You can also use a squeegee when you’ve finished washing up. This might sound like a hassle, but it only takes about 2 minutes to get the excess water off your shower walls. If that 2 minutes can keep me from scrubbing to clean my shower tiles, I’ll consider it time well spent. 

If you use a daily shower spray as I do, you should apply that first, then squeegee it to avoid spots and streaks when the tiles have dried.

6. Seal Your Grout

sealing grout on shower tiles

This step isn’t for the shower tiles themselves, but I know from experience that cleaning grout can be both difficult and time-consuming. To keep your grout looking its best without needing to scrub it with a toothbrush, you can apply a tile and grout sealer every 6 months or so. 

You’ll need to choose the right sealer for the job. The best grout sealer to use in humid areas is a penetrating sealer because they let small amounts of latex or silicone material seep into the grout to keep moisture out.

If you have unglazed tiles, you’ll want to apply the sealer to both tiles and grout using a sponge, but if you have glazed tiles, you can use a brush applicator since the glaze on the tiles will prevent the sealer from sticking to them. 

Apply the sealant slowly to ensure full coverage. Allow it to set for 10 minutes, then wipe any dry sealer off your shower tiles. Let the sealer dry for about an hour, then apply a second coating.

Let it set for 10 minutes before wiping off the excess sealer, let it dry for an hour, then apply the last coat. Allow the coat to set, and wipe off anything that got on your tiles. Finally, let it stand for 24-48 hours according to the instructions on the bottle.

Although applying sealer can be somewhat time-consuming, it will significantly reduce the effort you’ll need to put into cleaning your grout and will keep mold spores from growing inside it.

7. Use Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide

To use this simple cleaning method, just mix up a paste that is equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Apply the paste to your shower tiles and let it stand for an hour.

When the time is up, rinse your shower tiles, then dry the shower with a squeegee to remove water spots.

8. Make A Paste With Baking Soda And Distilled Vinegar

If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide or prefer not to use it, you can make a cleaning paste with baking soda and distilled vinegar instead.

Create a paste by adding a few drops of vinegar to baking soda until you’ve reached your desired thickness, then spread the paste onto your shower tiles.

The mixture will bubble, but that’s okay; that’s why it works so well to break up soap scum and mildew. Let the mixture dry for about 30 minutes, then spray it with vinegar.

Let it stand until it stops fizzing, then wipe it off with a clean cloth. Rinse your shower with warm water to remove all the baking soda and vinegar, then dry it with a squeegee to prevent streaks and water spots.

Related: Cleaning Matte Porcelain Tiles.

What To Avoid Using On Your Shower Tiles 

Now that you know the best ways to clean shower tiles without scrubbing, let’s look at some things you shouldn’t use to clean them.

avoid using these cleaners on tiles
  • Anything abrasive: You shouldn’t use abrasive tools or cleaners on shower tiles because they can remove the shiny, protective coating. Not only will your shower not look as nice, but it can also allow mold spores to grow inside the unprotected tile.
  • Bleach or acidic cleaners: Harsh cleaners can erode the protective coating on your shower tiles. It’s okay to use products that contain bleach or even bleach itself if you dilute it properly, but applying straight bleach to your shower can ruin the tiles. If you decide to use an acidic cleaner, rinse it thoroughly and sprinkle baking soda over it to neutralize the acid when you are finished.
  • Oil-based cleaners: These cleaners can seep into the pores in your grout and encourage the growth of mold and bacteria. They can also leave your shower a slippery mess which could lead to accidents.

Common Causes of Dirty Shower Tiles

Now that you have some tips on cleaning your shower tiles quickly and know what types of products to avoid using on them, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons your shower tiles get dirty in the first place.

  • Mold and mildew: These nasty substances build up in your shower because they thrive in dark, humid environments. It takes less than 48 hours for mold to grow, so make sure you clean your shower regularly to avoid it.
  • Hard water: Hard water leaves iron and calcium deposits all over your shower tiles, leaving dark, ugly stains. You can prevent hard water stains by keeping surfaces dry, using a mineral-fighting cleaner like vinegar, cleaning your shower frequently, and investing in a water softener.
  • Soap scum: Soap scum forms when the magnesium and calcium particles in tap water combine with soap. Homes with hard water are more susceptible to soap scum than other houses because there are higher concentrations of mineral deposits in the water. Soap scum becomes harder to remove the longer it sits, so cleaning your shower frequently will go a long way to prevent this unsightly issue.

What’s The Best Natural Way To Clean Shower Tiles?

If you don’t like to use chemicals to clean your home, you’re in luck. There are a lot of excellent natural solutions that can help you clean your shower tiles quickly and easily.

My favorite natural solution for shower tiles is the DIY shower spray I mentioned earlier. I like it because it works well, and I can change its fragrance depending on my preference.

I usually use lemon essential oil because it smells great and has antibacterial properties, but sometimes I like to mix it up and use lavender oil instead. 

If you don’t want to go out and buy essential oils, you can use a mixture of baking soda and distilled vinegar instead. Hydrogen peroxide also penetrates deep into dirt particles and renders them invisible, so it’s excellent at removing ugly stains.


Cleaning shower tiles without scrubbing sounds like something that’s too good to be true, but if you use the right tools and cleaning solutions, you can have a sparkling clean shower without breaking a sweat.

The key to having a clean shower without having to scrub like crazy is to clean it frequently. My favorite way to accomplish this is to keep a daily shower spray in the shower and use it when I’m done washing up.

After the solution sets for a bit, I run a squeegee over it to remove the remaining solution and dry the shower tiles to keep streaks or water spots from forming. 

To avoid disturbing the protective coating on your shower tiles, use the mildest cleaning solution first and work up to harsher cleaners only when necessary. If you have to use heavy cleaners, avoid ones with abrasive materials and rinse your tiles thoroughly after cleaning them.

Shauna Stone

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