A regular scrubbing is a must.

By Jillian Kramer
March 23, 2020
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Cleaning your bathtub and shower isn't an easy task. There's a lot of surface area to cover, after all, and it can take real elbow grease—and a lot of muscle—to get the job done. It's no surprise, then, that so many people avoid the task, putting off any scrubbing until visible soap scum has accumulated on the surface.

But soap scum isn't the only thing that collects on bathtubs and showers. According to Mary Cherry, the owner of Evie's Cleaning Company, water deposits and skin cells meld with soap and, in a humid environment, breed mold, mildew, and bacteria—things you definitely don't want in your space. Plus, those water deposits can degrade your surfaces and hardware, including your faucet, handle, and showerhead, which can mean you might have to replace them more often.

Ultimately, cleaning your bathtub or shower weekly is the ideal cadence to keep these issues at bay. To do so effectively, "start by removing all the products you have—shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and so on," advises Ricky Regalado, founder of Rozalado Services and Route. Then, spray the area with a cleaning solution from top to bottom, covering all surfaces, he notes.

Related: The Safest Way to Clean Your Bathroom Surfaces

Cherry adds that the type of cleaner you choose should be dependent on the surface you have. For example, "tiles made from stone, like marble or travertine, need special cleaners," she explains. "That means you shouldn't use anything acidic or abrasive, like vinegar." And when you scrub, steer clear of melamine sponges, Cherry warns, since they are abrasive and can cause damage.

Before you resort to using all that muscle, look for a formula that allows you to spray and walk away. "Letting the product sit on the surface and work its magic means less work for you," she says.

Lastly, when you're cleaning, be sure to remove your shoes before stepping into your bathtub or shower to prevent introducing new bacteria onto the surface. You shouldn't, however, go barefoot. "You don't want to get all of the scum, germs, and bacteria on your bare feet, especially if you have a cut," says Cherry, who advises placing towels under your feet to both protect them and help you avoid slipping and falling.

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