Daily Shower Mold, Mildew, and Soap Scum Prevention

My shower. A source of relaxation…unless marred by mold, mildew, and soap scum!

This is not a sexy subject, but it is an important subject!  If you have ever tried to bring a shower back from the clutches of mold, mildew, and/or soap scum, you know just how frustrating and elusive it can be.  You also know that there are lots of products out there, many of which just don’t work or at least they didn’t work for me.

If you have a natural stone shower, well then, sorry about your luck.   Many of the products that will remove the mold, mildew, and soap scum (which I will abbreviate to MMSS) can’t be used on natural stone!

Eek! Mold has found its way into the grout lines of the shower.

I feel your pain.  I realized about a year ago that suddenly I had a real mold and mildew issue with my natural stone shower in the master bath.  Although I regularly cleaned the shower, mold and mildew were taking over.

I started trying anything and everything to combat the issue.  I used lots of products that were available locally.  I tried a steamer.  I even tried bleach (which shouldn’t be used on natural stone).  Nothing was working.

Oh so gross! Mold and mildew seemed to grow overnight!

Finally, I did get the issue under control.  At the same time, I realized that my shower also had a soap build-up.  I battled and won that problem as well.

Surely, I wasn’t missing cleaning this many spots!

 

Here is what I learned that you need to know.  Most of the time mold and mildew grow and thrive when these conditions are present:

a.    Moisture
b.    Darkness
c.    Low to no ventilation
d.    Dirt and debris such as oil, grease, dead skin cells, and hair

Showers generally have all four of these issues going on, and they can’t be prevented.  However, they can be minimized!

To keep mold and mildew at bay, do the following:

a.    Dry your shower with an E-cloth shower cleaning cloth pack (microfiber cloths) from top to bottom, including glass, metal, showerhead, floor, etc.  While drying, keep moving the water toward the drain…down and out.  Not only do the cloths absorb the moisture, but they also collect bacteria and debris.  Touch every surface of the walls and floor with the cloths.  Dry under bottles, razors, combs, etc.  DO THIS EVERY DAY AFTER THE LAST SHOWER IS TAKEN.

Chemicals are not necessary.  Just use really good microfiber cloths. If you use another brand of microfiber clothes, make sure they collect bacteria and are of a heft so that they are absorbent.

Once the cloth becomes soaked, wring it out over the drain so that the water collected leaves the shower.  Although the shower will not be perfectly dry, most of the water will be removed when you do this.

b.    If you don’t have time to dry the shower, use a product such as Method Daily Shower Spray Cleaner which is for use with a wet shower.  It will prevent MMSS from forming.  It is formulated to spray on a wet shower and to let it dry.  It is safe for sealed natural stone, but it is probably best to test it in a small area first.  It can be used on ceramic tile.

If you are wondering why I dry my shower instead of spraying this each day, I like the fact that all the surfaces in the shower get touched each day.  This keeps minerals from staining the metal and calcium from building up on the shower head and body sprays.  I also prefer to add as few products as possible to the shower.   Wiping the shower down is cheaper and just more straightforward.

c.    Prop the door open or leave the curtain open for a few hours after drying to let light in and allow air to circulate.  DO THIS EVERY DAY AFTER EACH SHOWER.  If you are in such a hurry that you can’t dry the shower nor spray it with the Method Daily Shower Cleaner, at least let air circulate so that it dries faster.

d.    To prevent soap scum, switch to liquid soaps instead of bar soaps.  Liquid soaps are less likely to form a soap scum build-up.  Soap scum is made of fatty acids that are an ingredient in bar soaps which combine with minerals from the water and dead skin cells to attach to the walls and floor of the shower.  Look for body wash, shower gel or liquid soap instead of traditional bar soaps.

Although it is time to re-caulk, the grout and stone are much cleaner than the original photos.

These things may seem like a lot, but they are really easy.  The daily wiping down of the shower takes five minutes or less and provides a mini arm workout.  After all I went through to get my shower clean, it is well worth a few minutes a day to prevent MMSS from happening again.

In upcoming posts, I will cover how I got rid of the MMSS problems in my shower as well as what to do every month and every year to keep your shower in tip-top condition.  Even if your shower is suffering with MMSS, taking the steps above will stop it from getting worse.  Start today!

Much better!

If you want to see my video on my daily shower cleaning routine, click here.

This post is not sponsored by manufacturers of the products mentioned.  They are products I use and am pleased with their performance.

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