7 Best Shower Cleaners for a Sparkling Clean Tub
From the drain to the doors to the tile to the floor, we got you covered with the best shower cleaner for every tub surface
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According to data from the EPA, the average American’s shower lasts about eight minutes. And according to Harvard Health Publishing, about 66% of Americans shower daily. That means that some people spend just over 48 hours each year in the shower—yep, two full days. We’d say that merits using some effective shower cleaner products to keep that space clean.
But how to pick the best shower cleaner for the bathroom? According to the experts we asked, it’s all about assembling the right arsenal of cleaners for the individual’s specific needs. And it’s about understanding that cleaning a shower is not just about cosmetics—it can be a matter of safety, too.
“Mold in showers, or elsewhere in the home, can create a cascade of health issues,” says Marilee Nelson, an environmental toxins expert and co-founder of Branch Basics, which makes plant- and mineral-based cleaning products. “And nearly everyone has experienced the plight of mold and mildew build-up on tile grout. It’s particularly common in showers and tubs where the combination of soap scum and moist warm air create the perfect breeding ground.”
Enjoy the cleanest shower possible—whether yours has tile floors and glass doors, acrylic walls, a porcelain tub or any other material—with the best shower cleaner for each job.
The best shower cleaners
- Best overall: Stardrops “The Pink Stuff” Miracle Bathroom Foam Cleaner
- Best budget: Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer
- Best multipurpose cleaner: SC Johnson Family Guard Disinfectant Cleaner
- Best natural glass cleaner: Aunt Fannie’s Glass & Window Cleaner
- Best tile cleaner: Zep Shower Tub and Tile Cleaner
- Best shower floor cleaner: Stardrops The Pink Stuff Miracle Cleaning Paste
- Best drain cleaner: Mrs. Meyer’s Probiotic Drain Maintenance Liquid
Best overall shower cleaner
Stardrops “The Pink Stuff” Miracle Bathroom Foam Cleaner
When searching for a shower cleaner that does it all, choose this not-so-humbly named Miracle Bathroom Foam Cleaner, part of the globally beloved The Pink Stuff line of cleaning products from the British company Stardrops. As a multi-surface cleanser, you can use it on, well, every surface of the tub and shower to power off dirt and limescale.
“Couldn’t wait to try it out on my bathtub, with a lot of soap scum build up many years in the making,” writes one 5-star Amazon reviewer. “Had tried bleach and other products. Bleach was too harsh and strong odor. However, this product—I sprayed it on and use a sponge with a light abrasiveness, and the soap scum came off. This saved me a ton of money, no more need to reglaze tub.”
- Works on multiple surfaces
- Makes fixtures shine
- Non-drip foam allows for targeted, precise cleaning
- Over 6,800 ratings, averaging 4.3 stars, on Amazon
- Some users find the spray pump hard to operate
Best budget shower cleaner
Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer
Scrubbing Bubble’s Mega Shower Foamer is comparable to The Pink Stuff Bathroom Cleaner in terms of its multi-surface capabilities, except that it costs less, making it an excellent budget-friendly option. This cleaner cuts through soap scum and pink slime and leaves your shower clean—though for best results, you’ll want to leave it for at least five minutes—or longer—to break down the grime.
“I have very hard water with my well and it will leave the orange yuck you see in the pictures,” writes happy Amazon reviewer Carolyn Gassner. “I sprayed this and left it for 30 minutes and came back to just literally wipe—no scrubbing needed and my shower looked new again!”
- Attractive price
- Works on many different surfaces
- Pleasant scent enjoyed by most
- Almost 900 ratings, averaging 4.6 stars on Amazon
- May need extensive time to sit in order to work well
Best multipurpose shower cleaner
SC Johnson Family Guard Disinfectant Cleaner
If you’re more the type who doesn’t want any specialty cleaning products at all, SC Johnson’s Family Guard Disinfectant Cleaner may be your one-stop shop. Though not specifically for the shower, it works well on shower tile walls, grout and fixtures. You may also use it on laminate vanity tops, toilet seats, quartz counters, sink bowls, doorknobs and so on. As a disinfectant, it kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses on nonporous surfaces when used as directed. It’s a true multipurpose cleaner, in other words.
What’s more, it’s well-suited for cleaning showers in households with anyone easily susceptible to allergic reactions. The Family Guard line of cleaners is safe for people (and pets) affected by fumes of traditional cleaning products, and that’s appreciated even more in the close confines of a shower stall.
- Works on multiple surfaces throughout the home
- Clinically proven to kill viruses including cold, flu and COVID
- Safe to use around allergy sufferers, kids and pets
- Pleasant scent is not overwhelming
- Not effective on hard water stains or well-established grime
Best natural glass cleaner
Aunt Fannie’s Glass & Window
Like all of Aunt Fannie’s products, this glass cleaner features vinegar as its star ingredient, so no need to worry about some of it getting on the skin while cleaning the glass doors of a shower or the bathroom mirror.
One 5-star reviewer, Erin C., sums up the sentiments of many: “After trying many glass cleaners, this is the only product that has worked. I’ll never purchase any other glass cleaner.”
- Vinegar-based ingredients
- Works on grout and tile as well as glass
- Streak-free finish after wiped with a clean cloth or squeegee
- Nearly 1,000 5-star ratings on Amazon
- Some people don’t like the vinegar smell
Best tile cleaner
Zep Shower Tub and Tile Cleaner
Tile can be pretty dirty stuff for two reasons: First, the grout is like a magnet for grime, and because it’s recessed, it is one of the hardest material to reach with a rag or brush. Second, many types of tile have texture to them, which presents countless little ridges, nooks and crannies into which soap scum, dirt, and even pink slime or black mold take hold.
The Zep tile cleaner has an acidic solution that penetrates into built-up deposits of soap, rust and hard water stains formed by mineral deposits, so they all lift off grout and tile with less elbow grease.
- Breaks up tough established deposits of soap scum, rust and more
- Minimal scrubbing required for effective cleaning
- Works on hard water stains
- Over 1,700 5-star ratings on Amazon
- Reviewers complain the bottle is prone to leaking
Best shower floor cleaner
Stardrops The Pink Stuff Miracle Cleaning Paste
Again, Stardrops isn’t too humble with its product names, but once you put The Pink Stuff Miracle Cleaning Paste to work on the shower floor, you may just find it near-miraculous yourself.
This abrasive-yet-no-scratch paste breaks up even months-old deposits of soap scum that’s leaving a film all over the tile, river rock or other material, and it whisks away rust and hard-water buildup. Grab a good scrub brush and add some elbow grease for the full effect.
- Breaks up hard water stains, soap scum and more
- Works on many surfaces, from metal to ceramic to fiberglass
- Won’t leave streaks or scratches
- Over 176,000 ratings, averaging 4.4 stars, on Amazon
- Some shoppers say it’s awkward to scoop out
Best drain cleaner
Mrs. Meyer’s Probiotic Drain Maintenance Liquid
Ironic, isn’t it, that the shower is where a person goes to get clean, yet the shower’s drain may be one of the dirtiest spots in the whole house? It’s almost best not to think about the hair, soap and body wash residue, skin cells and all the other debris down there. “Shower drains are cumbersome to clean because of frequent use, and thus require regular cleaning,” Nelson says. “This often scares people away, but there are easy ways to get the job done.”
For example, with this probiotic drain cleaner from Mrs. Meyer’s, just pour a generous dose of this liquid down the drain now and then. Because the solution is fortified millions of microscopic probiotic “helpers,” it keeps eating away at buildup in the drain long after the fluid has run down, reducing odors and cleaning the pipes. For particularly clogged drains, Nelson suggests you “first loosen clogs using a wire or drain-cleaning contraption.”
- Cleans and speeds up slow-running drains
- Continues to prevent buildup after application
- Pleasant scent and odor-reducing
- Made with 88% plant-derived ingredients
- Free 30-day returns
- Certified cruelty-free
- Does not work on fully clogged shower drains
What to consider when buying a shower cleaner
When buying a shower cleaner for the bathroom, the main factors to consider are the types off surfaces that need cleaning. In some cases, you may be able to get away with a multipurpose cleaner, but certain materials will benefit from more targeted cleansers. For example, if the bathroom boasts plenty of tile, get a product that cleans tile and tile’s best buddy, grout. If you have large glass doors, purchase a dedicated glass cleaner, not just a multipurpose cleaner.
It’s also important to think beyond the shower itself. If the home has hard water, look for a cleaner noted for its ability to break up mineral deposits. If there are household members sensitive to harsher chemicals, go for a natural cleaner.
Keep the bathroom in better shape for longer and reduce the level of intensity of cleaning sessions with some daily upkeep. “Getting into little habits after each shower helps cut down on buildup and more extensive messes down the road,” says Jill Koch of Jill Comes Clean. “Some habits include squeegeeing doors after each use to prevent soap scum and hard water buildup and keeping the shower liner open to air out, as well as keeping the fan on for a while after use to prevent mold.”
Types of shower cleaners
We included several different types of shower cleaners here, but the three primary categories of cleaner worth noting:
- Foaming cleaners: These are shower cleaners that spread out far and wide, covering tile and grout and flooring and fixtures. When left to rest, foaming cleaners slowly break apart stubborn deposits of grime, soap scum, rust, mold and more. They aren’t effective on glass but work well on most other surfaces of a shower.
- Multipurpose cleaners: A multipurpose cleaner kills off viruses and bacteria that may be lurking in the shower. Many multipurpose cleaners work well on glass, too, but may not be as effective at breaking up stubborn deposits.
- Glass cleaners: For a streak-free, brilliantly clear glass shower door, use a dedicated glass cleaner. The pro tip: First hit the doors with a foaming cleaner, let it sit and then wipe it away. Rinse, dry and then use the glass cleaner.
How we found the best shower cleaner
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
What do I need to deep-clean a shower?
For a true deep clean, grab a scrubbing brush, a squeegee and plenty of clean, lint-free rags. You’ll also need some patience and elbow grease while working from top to bottom. Make sure the last step is drying the walls and floor.
How do you get rid of mold in a shower?
If the shower has a significant mold issue, you may need to use a harsher, bleach-based cleaner. We don’t recommend those for more casual cleaning, but there is a time and a place for them. Make sure there is proper ventilation when using bleach and that it sits for a while before scrubbing at the mold. If the mold remains even with bleach and scrubbing, consider calling in a mold-abatement professional.
“Once mold sets into the grout or caulking, it is nearly impossible to remove without a professional service or regrouting/recaulking the area,” says Koch. “Stay on top of it and clean any dark grout spots as soon they appear and keep the fan on a while to help fully dry it out.”
What’s a natural product to use to clean a shower?
While we featured several shower cleaners made predominately with natural, safe ingredients, there are always ways to go even more natural. The cheapest way is to try making your own shower cleaners using vinegar, baking soda and water. This approach may not work for a true deep clean, but for maintenance cleaning, it should serve most showers.
“Consider spraying an after-shower spray along the walls and floor after each use to help cut down on buildup,” Koch says. “An easy DIY after-shower spray is one cup of water and a half cup of rubbing alcohol.”
- Marilee Nelson, an environmental toxins expert and co-founder of Branch Basics
- Jill Koch of Jill Comes Clean
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