How to Make a DIY Natural Shower Cleaner to Keep Residue at Bay

An assortment of simple cleaning materials for the bathroom including baking soda, natural bristle scrub brush, soft cloth and scrubbing sponge.

Want to DIY your own shower cleaner? I had a look around the interwebs and found a recipe that really works.

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Keeping the shower clean can be a challenge, especially if you live in an area with hard water quality. With a few simple ingredients though, you can make your own DIY natural shower cleaner that will get the job done. Not only will it save you money, but it’ll also help reduce the amount of harsh chemicals you use in the household, which can be harmful to you and the environment.

Read on if you’re interested in natural ways to clean the shower!

Common Bathroom Cleaning Challenges

There are several common issues we all encounter in the bathroom: soap scum, limescale, mould and mildew. These can all be difficult to remove and tend build up over time if not addressed regularly.

Soap likes to leave a residue on the walls and floor of your shower, as well as in the sink and bathtub. The result is a dull, grimy, icky-looking film.

Mold and mildew thrive in moist environments like the bathroom, and can be difficult to remove the longer it’s allowed to fester.

Another common problem in the bathroom is the buildup of limescale and mineral deposits caused by hard water. Hard water can leave unsightly white spots and streaks on shower walls and doors, making it difficult to keep your bathroom looking clean and sparkling. To combat this issue, it’s important to tackle your limescale regularly.

If you have hard water like I do, you might even want to invest in a water softening shower head or a filter. I bought an inexpensive head on Amazon and it has really helped with the limescale in my shower stall. It also saves a tremendous amount of water!

Ingredients for DIY Natural Shower Cleaner

All of the above issues are a nuisance (and can be gross), but the good news is that you don’t always have to reach for abrasive chemicals to get your bathroom fixtures spic and span.

Regularly using a DIY cleaning solution based on vinegar can help keep limescale, mildew and soap scum buildup at bay. There are lots of other benefits of DIY cleaners, too, such as the cost factor and general safety.

To make a DIY shower cleaner, you only need a few basic ingredients. You likely already even have these on hand, but if not, pop them on your shopping list: baking soda, plain vinegar and, if you like, an essential oil such as lemon, eucalyptus, pine, or tangerine.

Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that helps remove the soap scum and mildew. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can really cut through tough grime and mineral buildup. And an essential oil like citrus or tea tree simply adds a fresh scent to make the cleaning process a bit more pleasant for you.

In addition to these three ingredients, you will also need a spray bottle, scrubbing brush or sponge, and gloves. I really recommend the latter because I wasn’t wearing any when I did my trial cleaning below, and vinegar really is not good for your skin!

If you are repurposing a spray bottle you already had on hand, make sure to also rinse it out before concocting your homemade cleaner for the shower.

Basic Recipe for DIY Natural Shower Cleaner

Once you’ve gathered everything you need, combine your ingredients in your clean and empty spray bottle. For my mixture I used approximately:

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • A few drops of essential oil (again, this is optional and has no effect on cleaning power)

Mixing vinegar with baking soda causes a bit of a chemical reaction, so don’t be alarmed if your potion bubbles – it’s normal. If you’re worried, then add part of your ingredients in very slowly and give the solution a swirl before adding in the rest.

Don’t use this solution on marble or any other natural stone!

It’s suitable for porcelain fixtures, chrome/stainless steel, and regular tiles. When in doubt, always test your solution on a small, inconspicuous area of your shower or bathroom before using it on the entire surface.


  1. In a spray bottle, mix together the baking soda, white vinegar, and water.
  2. Add in the essential oil, if desired.
  3. Swirl well to mix.
  4. Spray the solution on the walls and floor of the shower, the tub, bidet, sink, and/or any other fixtures, and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
  5. Scrub the surfaces with a cleaning sponge (I like the ones from ScrubDaddy).
  6. Rinse the everything thoroughly with water.
  7. Dry the surfaces with a clean microfibre rag or paper towel.

That’s it! By integrating this DIY natural shower cleaner into your weekly cleaning schedule, you can prevent mould from building up on your grout, as well as keep soap residue and scale at bay.

Additional Natural Ways to Clean a Shower for Specific Cleaning Challenges

There are lots of DIY cleaning recipes on YouTube and around the web. Here are another two recipes I found for specific cleaning challenges around extreme soap and mildew buildup, which look promising:

For removing heavy, old soap scum

  • Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with 1/4 cup dish soap in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution on the soap scum and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Scrub the area with a scrub brush and rinse thoroughly with water.

For combating stubborn mildew

  • Mix 1/4 cup of bleach (sodium hypochlorite) with 500ml of water in a clean spray bottle. Make sure you’re in a ventilated room and wear rubber gloves when handling bleach.
  • Spray the solution generously to the affected area and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then use a scrubber on it.
  • Rinse the area with water and polish dry with a clean microfibre rag or paper towel.

Final Thoughts on DIY Cleaning Solutions

My shower stall is impossible to photograph, but I used the recipe for the DIY natural shower cleaner on my sink and this is the before and after:

I think it worked quite nicely! And if I had had my glasses on when I was cleaning, I would have noticed that the grout behind the sink is still dirty ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Hey, nobody’s perfect. Next time I clean, I’m going to use the solution on all those mosaic tiles, too.

All in all though, the soap residue and scale were a cinch to wipe away after I sprayed the solution and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

To sum up, by using simple ingredients like baking soda and white vinegar, you can create an effective DIY cleaner for your shower. These cleaners save you money and let you skip the harsh chemicals, while effectively tackling common cleaning challenges like the ubiquitous soap scum and sneaky mildew. Give the recipe a try and let me know if it worked for you, too!

A yellow rubber-gloved hand squeegeeing a glass shower door. Caption reads tough on grime and easy to make: DIY natural shower cleaner.
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