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Despite popular belief, cleaning the shower doesn’t have to be a negative experience or take more than a few minutes. By experimenting, researching, and adopting some changes in my routine, such as with these 17 time-saving tips to clean your shower, I learned the importance of cleaning smarter instead of harder.
Because of this, I have been able to cut my time and effort in half. I also learned that it’s sometimes more about having the right tools, perspective, and approach rather than the chore itself being the actual issue.
1. Consider a Shower & Tub Brush
Most people dislike cleaning showers because of all the bending over, awkward reaching, squatting, and other uncomfortable positions that go alongside cleaning a stall or tub. Then there’s the added bonus of getting to use good old-fashioned elbow grease to scrub everything down, often only using a small sponge or brush.
It can be tiring, sometimes backbreaking, often wet, usually messy, and highly annoying. These days, I often think about how all of that work, effort, and even the methodology involved, doesn’t make sense to do. Still, it’s how most people tend to do it because it’s all they know.
What we’re currently using: Oxo Tile & Tub Scrubber
Shower brushes eliminate many of these issues, from getting wet to the backbreaking positions and typical elbow grease required. This is largely thanks to the longer, often extendable handles, which help you to reach low and high areas with ease. They give you better leverage and move more like a mop rather than a sponge. The result? They’re extremely fast and easy to use, adding further to their popularity.
Tub and tile brushes are great for people who have joint problems and bad backs or hips. They’re also great for petite individuals and tall people alike, and even those who just wish the task could get done faster.
Best of all, benefiting from having one doesn’t have to break the bank either. Usually, the less expensive options do just as good of a job as the powered and more expensive choices.
2. Use a Handheld Shower Sprayer
Ever since I installed my first handheld shower sprayer, I haven’t looked back. In fact, I vowed never to have a shower stall or tub again without a sprayer in it. Why? Because it saves me a lot of time and effort. It also keeps me from having to rinse it all down with a bucket or tiny cup. That alone is probably the biggest part about cleaning a shower that I used to dislike so much!
Believe it or not, sprayers can be quite affordable, and installing them can be extremely easy to do. You usually only need a wrench, a little online research if you’re unsure, and some Teflon tape. You can even benefit from them if you’re renting. Just re-install the original showerhead once you’re ready to move out and take the handheld unit with you.
Of course, they’re also great for bathing yourself, pets, and kids as well.
What we’re currently using: Moen 26112 Engage Magnetix Six-Function 5.5-Inch Handheld Showerhead with Magnetic Docking System.
3. Consider Prevention & Consistency
Cleaning your shower more often when you already hate doing it may sound nuts. However, it’s actually a lot easier and more manageable to do. Plus, you get the added benefit, including psychologically, of having a cleaner space on a more consistent basis.
When you clean your shower—or any space, for that matter—more frequently, there’s usually a lot less to clean. What might take you 15 or 20 minutes will likely only take you 5 minutes or less. Plus, the more often you do it and build up a routine, the more effortless it becomes. This is more so the case as you find the best approach and tools to use.
By cleaning more frequently, you’re essentially just doing prevention cleaning, or a once-over wipe down. Maintenance prevention cleaning requires a lot less elbow grease, which can be a great incentive. After all, most people would likely prefer to do less work on the same task instead of more.
4. Invest in Microfiber Cloths
We love to use our E-Cloth microfiber cloths both in the bathroom and the rest of the house. They reduce our paper towel and cleaning product consumption since they work with just water alone. They also seem a lot more efficient at just about everything, from cleaning glass to picking up debris, from dirt to coffee grounds.
One way to do prevention cleaning to not to let the water dry naturally on surfaces once you’re finished showering. One popular way to do this for glass, as an example, is to use a squeegee. However, we prefer to use microfiber since it’s faster and allows us to dry other items, like fixtures and trim. In fact, using microfiber on surfaces can be considered multitasking. After all, it’s technically cleaning and drying the surface at the same time. This is why we prefer them over regular towels, cloths, or old rags.
5. Have More Than One Cleaning Method
Sometimes it helps to have more than one method for cleaning, including with the shower. I like to do faster maintenance cleanings about every week or so, using just water and a microfiber cloth. It’s an effective way to clean since high-quality microfiber can trap dirt, debris, and also up to 99% of bacteria. My favorite part: it’s also a method that’s extremely fast and easy to do.
I also try to use my shower brush and soap ever so often, and may even do a deep cleaning with traditional products every quarter or so. This is mainly because I’m old-fashioned but also like to mix things up a bit every now and then. Sometimes, it’s also just for the sake of further prevention and better peace of mind. I also think it’s helpful to counteract my occasional rebellion, including against myself. This is generally when I feel I have to do something a certain way and decide I don’t want to do it. Having more options helps and makes it a little more entertaining.
6. Consider Your Environment
Water hardness and the products you use while showering can affect how often you’ll need to clean. It may also affect what kind of cleaning products and methods will work best. However, you can learn how to avoid unnecessary cleaning steps by preventing certain issues in the first place.
For instance, if hard water is your may concern, look into descaling products such as CLR or even vinegar. Some find that using shower filters that filter specific minerals can be a great way to cut back on buildup. As mentioned before, drying surfaces before the water has a chance to dry can significantly help as well.
7. Clean as You Shower
While it may sound odd, cleaning as you shower can be highly efficient and also great for procrastinators. I’ve been doing this for several years and find it really useful. After all, you’re already in there and getting wet—why not kill two birds with one stone?
You can use a shower shut-off valve to help conserve water, which is inexpensive, easy to install, and can sometimes be included on specific showerhead models. I may choose to clean the entire stall at once or just one wall per day, depending on my mood. Keeping a sponge inside the shower can be helpful, too, since I can simply grab it if I feel up to it.
What’s great about cleaning the shower as you’re in it is you can even multitask, such as by letting your hair conditioner sit for its recommended 3 minutes (seriously, does anyone actually do that regularly?). Or go for the full-on spa and deep conditioning experience, shower cap and all, cleaning as you wait. On some occasions, I even cleaning the shower as I’m doing my weekly hammam body exfoliating, once the shower’s steamed up a bit.
Decluttering items in your shower is a great way to save some considerable time on your cleaning routine. With fewer things to move around, you’ll spend far less time and effort lugging things back and forth and more time focused on finishing up sooner. Plus, having fewer items in your shower can also feel more relaxing and less stimulating, even on a subconscious level.
If you tend to horde products, consider switching them out on a month-to-month basis or as needed, and put them away when not in use. This will reduce unnecessary clutter, all while helping you to use whatever products you may have forgotten or don’t want to waste. You might also learn what may or may not be working for you and can avoid purchasing what doesn’t again in the future.
9. Clean Grout with a Powered Cleaning Brush
Cleaning grout, whether in the shower or on the floor, might just top the most-disliked list due to the amount of scrubbing involved and having to deal with a bunch of tiny lines at the same time. Fortunately, there’s one way to speed things up. It’s not just using the right cleaner product but also a good-quality powered brush.
Our top-favorite pick is the Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber due to its affordability, durability, versatility, longevity, and fast oscillation. These brushes typically work a lot better for most products than manual or regular electronic toothbrushes, or even manual cleaning brushes, likely due to their design. After all, they’re made to clean grout and tough-to-reach places, rather than the delicate enamel of our teeth. We love using them around our home for kitchens, baseboards, and other tasks too.
10. Polishing Cloths
Using car and glass polishing cloths is likely the #1 way to get the ultimate shine on glass, mirrors, and other reflective surfaces throughout the home. Best of all, you only need a little bit of water and a microfiber cloth before finishing up with a polishing cloth for the best results. Goodbye, smelly glass cleaner!
If you decide to use one after a shower, and if the glass isn’t too wet, you might be able to skip the microfiber and dry your glass and fixtures with just the polishing cloth—particularly if you use one that’s designed for cars, such as the Norwex Car Cleaning Cloth, which I like to cut down into smaller-sized pieces.
The cloths always make our home look beyond clean and get a certain sparkle that I’ve not seen with any other product so far. This is why I love using the E-Cloth Glass & Polishing Microfiber Cleaning Cloth wherever I can. They also seem to be the main thing that draws compliments from people who drop by, whether they’re service people or guests. I always try to use one before people visit if I’m looking to impress them a bit, which also helped us sell my mother’s home recently.
Using a polishing cloth kind of cracks me up sometimes, because throughout the majority of my life, including well into my adult years, I never once imagined I’d be hearing people compliment me on how clean and beautiful my home was—whether from strangers or people I knew. In fact, it still surprises me to this day and several years later, and probably everyone else who’s known me for a while. Not that I’m complaining, but it still feels a little odd sometimes. Polishing cloths are definitely one of the reasons how that all started.
11. Tackle Mineral Deposits with Nylon
If you have hard water and shower glass that’s prone to mineral buildup, using a sponge with nylon on it, or a nylon-like cloth, can work well along with descaling products. I sometimes even use an old hammam, Korean “Italy” cloth, or Japanese exfoliating towel if in a pinch to find something.
I like to keep a nylon sponge near the shower, just in case I want to quickly clean something as I’m in there, such as a glass panel or two. This is also when I like to use vinegar-based products for moderate buildup concerns, whether it’s concerning mineral or soap buildup.
12. Don’t Like the Smell of Vinegar? Try These Dupes
Vinegar works great in the shower for descaling. However, since I’m not exactly crazy about the smell of vinegar nor find using the regular stuff convenient for every situation, I often prefer products like Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Vinegar Gel, or my apple cider vinegar shampoo (external, unaffiliated product page), since they help to soften minerals along with the hot water from the shower itself. I especially like to work with them if I don’t want to use harsh chemicals, particularly as I’m showering.
For extremely heavy-duty cases, powered nylon devices may work better than sponges or cloths, such as a drill-powered brush or similar. Again, if you have extremely hard water, try to dry your glass after each shower rather than waiting to address it later.
13. Find Motivation
Sometimes the best method for cleaning a shower—especially if you struggle with consistency—is finding the right motivation. This can be anything from making things a little more fun or treating yourself afterward, which I cover more in the next tips.
However, it may even be something as simple as acknowledging why you’re doing it in the first place and putting a positive perspective on it. For instance, are you cleaning because you have to, or because you choose to and love the way things feel when they’re clean and tidy?
14. Turn It Into a Timed Challenge or Game
Timing yourself can be a fun way to hustle during any cleaning routine. More so if you’re competitive and like games.
You can do this stopwatch style and try beating your previous record or that of another household member. It can even be fun to try to finish in x-amount of time, using an actual timer. You may even want to try tossing in another task that’s quick to do if you have time left or you might choose to stop early.
Added Benefit to Timing
After timing myself for a few months, I was genuinely surprised to learn how much I used to overestimate tasks. This was more so the case with the amount of time and difficulty I thought would be involved.
I almost couldn’t believe how overthinking or hyping things up so much in my head was actually a big reason why I procrastinated so much with cleaning in general–or maybe life in general. What I often hyped up and procrastinated on—typically because I’d assume it would take forever—would only take…oh, 4 minutes.
It’s also why I felt so incurably lazy, and for so many years when that wasn’t really the case. I just needed to rethink it and get a new perspective. Learning that even gave me a new perspective on other areas of my life, which were later touched upon with books I started to read on habits and productivity.
I also found out how much I could get done in a short or specific amount of time, which also helps with procrastination problems while boosting productivity. It would even be a realization that helped me in other areas of my life, too.
15. Reward Yourself
You can create good habits and turn less desirable tasks into better pastimes by rewarding yourself and acknowledging the effort. This can be done with something as simple as a mini spa day or eating that pint of ice cream you’ve been denying yourself.
If you’re tired of cleaning, try skipping all but the minimal cleaning during the following day. On days where you break a sweat, you could even count it as exercise and skip heading to the gym or going on that extra walk. Cleaning counts, too!
16. Distract Yourself
When in doubt, distract yourself. Sometimes cleaning the shower can suck because it’s boring. Try to liven things up, such as by listening to good music, your current audiobook, learning a language, listening to an online course, or even checking out your favorite Youtube channel or Netflix documentary.
Just avoid anything that will cause you to stop to watch it rather than continuing to clean. Maybe save that stuff for the reward instead. For instance, with Youtube or Netflix, make sure it’s a show that you can listen to rather than watch. Self-improvement, Ted Talks, educational clips, sermons, or even Independent news channels can be great for this. There are even cleaning channels available on Youtube, where you can clean along with people.
17. Try All of the Above
If you’re not sure what to start with, or really don’t feel like cleaning that shower, think about doing several things simultaneously.
As an example, I love multitasking by cleaning with a facial or hair mask on for a little spa-like incentive. I often time myself and always like to listen to an audiobook, music, or whatever wonkiness I’m into at the time with some wireless headphones—especially during my morning routine. You can even “time” yourself by chapter, video length, or segment.
Either way, I feel less deprived and more like I’m gaining something when I multitask with something I enjoy doing, and I really love having that moment to myself each day. It’s when I can enjoy some of the things that I probably wouldn’t feel I had time to do otherwise, even while being productive, including during my quick bathroom and shower cleaning routines.
Last month, as an example, I started re-learning Spanish and “read” several audiobooks just in the last 30 days. Some of those books included The Magnolia Story and Atomic Habits on Audible. Technically, I wound up reading or listening to more books in one month than I read in 2019, just from doing things around the house.
While trying these 17 time-saving tips for cleaning your shower faster can be a great place to start, a lot can come down to personal preference and circumstances. This is why it helps to take the time to test things out to see what works and what doesn’t. It’s also good to remember that it’s usually more about prevention, working smarter instead of harder, working with more consistency, and using the right tools.
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What’s your favorite hack or trick for cleaning the shower? Or, better yet, your favorite audiobook, because we need some new titles up in here! Let us know down below!