01 of 05
Scrub & Fix Less, Enjoy More
There might be a few folks who thrive on the work involved in keeping a shower space pristine. I'm not one of them. It isn't just that the wiping, squeegee-ing and spritzing of harsh cleaners is tedious, time consuming and possibly toxic; it's that this routine needs to be repeated EVERY SINGLE DAY, possibly more frequently if several household members use the same bathroom. Then, there's the maintenance: if the water slows to a dribble or the drain backs up, you'll need to make repairs, and that just doesn't strike me as a relaxing shower experience.
If you're embarking on a bathroom remodel, you can opt for some smart choices now that will reduce your future clean-and-fix routine. But if you're making the best of the shower you've got, don't worry: check out these tips to minimize the drudgery, avoid the nasty chemicals and keep your shower clean, happy and healthy:
The sleekly sophisticated shower above features Kohler's "Margaux" hardware.Continue to 2 of 5 below.
02 of 05
Choose Easy-Care Faucet Finishes
Matte and oil-rubbed hardware lend drama and sophistication to a bathroom design. But textured finishes like these also tend to hold on to stains and mineral buildup. If you're replacing your showerhead and faucets, consider an easier-to-clean chrome or satin nickel style, such as the Hampton fixtures pictured above.Continue to 3 of 5 below.
03 of 05
Minimize the Grout
Do you get really grouchy when you have to clean the grout between your shower tiles? Perfectly understandable. It's a tough job, and scouring like mad with abrasive cleaners can make it worse, eroding the grout's surface and creating cracks that trap icky mold and dirt. Give your grout a little TLC by tossing out the chemical cleaner and switching to baby shampoo mixed with some water and applied with a soft nylon brush. And if you're remodeling your bathroom, you might want to reconsider those penny tiles for the shower. Opt instead for a stone or solid surface with minimal seams, or large-scale porcelain tiles set very closely together.Continue to 4 of 5 below.
04 of 05
Hands Off the Drain Cleaner
While commercial drain cleaners are good at clearing plugs, the fumes are nasty and repeated use can damage your pipes. You can mix up a homemade alternative that is both safe and effective.
Installing a new shower? You might want to consider a linear shower drain, such as the one pictured above. These modern-looking styles not only pair well with large tile, but there's also less grout to clean.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Go With the Flow
Does your shower seems a little sluggish? Before you blame your plumbing, take a look at the showerhead itself. If you live in an area with hard water, there's a good chance that mineral deposits are gunking up the spray jets. Before you reach for a chemical cleaner, you might want to try this kitchen cupboard solution first.
If it's time to replace your showerhead, choose one with a WaterSense label and a finish that won't tarnish or show spots.