Updated: October 12, 2016
Shower Cleaner Reviews:Cleaning the shower is almost up there with cleaning the toilet in terms of gross jobs around the house. Our shower does become pretty dirty and dingy after a month or so with soap scum and residue on the walls and sliding doors. For years I was the type of guy who would suck it up and clean the shower with lots of chemicals in the air and on my hands. The job usually took about 30 minutes, but at least the shower would be clean. My wife introduced me to some newer cleaners that are meant to keep the shower clean (once it's already clean). You just spray on the solution after every shower and it will keep the soap and shampoo residue from forming in the corners and hard to reach areas. In theory, this sounded great, so I gave it a try. Our floor still gets some excess scum on it, but the walls and doors are definitely cleaner for longer periods of time than before. My only thought is "Am I saving any time in the long run having to spray the shower for a minute after each use versus cleaning it thoroughly for 30 minutes at the end of the month?". It does seem easier to spray the shower area after every use and then leave it instead of having to get into the shower with all those chemicals and give it a good cleaning once a month.
Buying Guide - The one drawback to these daily sprays is the fact that sometimes you will forget to spray and it won't get done. Not like that's a big deal, but over time it could make it so you have to do a big shower cleaning anyways. My chemical cleaners of choice have been Tilex, Kaboom or Scrubbing Bubbles and they do a good job if you let them sit for about 15 minutes and then start scrubbing away. The worst part are the fumes from the chemical sprays that literally could knock you out if you stay around them long enough. Also, you need quality cleaning gloves to keep the chemicals off your hands and fingers as well. I have tried cleaning the shower without gloves before and my hands suffered for a few days with raw, irritated skin. No matter what, always use a fan in the bathroom or shower area when doing any cleaning that requires sprayed on chemicals. If you don't circulate the air, you could become light headed or dizzy. Besides the traditional bathroom cleaners that people use, we found several sites that listed "shower cleaning tips" and homemade cleaning remedies that may be worth trying for those that are super sensitive to cleaners and chemical sprays. There is an advance product from Scrubbing Bubbles that you place in your shower that automatically sprays all 4 walls/doors for you. It's expensive and the refills are pricey as well making this more of an investment. The early feedback on sites like Amazon.com and Epinions is that this product is more hype than true cleaner. Consumer Reports did a test of the automatic shower cleaner from Scrubbing Bubbles and 8 of 11 testers found no significant improvement in their showers after using the device for 1 month. If you don't have the muscle power to really scrub, then the Scotch Brite Tub & Tile Scrubber can help with the cleaning. The handle extends up to 28 inches and the head is flexible enough to get into small, tight corners. The scrubbing pad is disposable so once you have scoured the mildew and soap scum, you can through away the pad. Great on tile and other bathroom surfaces. You want to stay away from abrasive cleaners that might damage your tile or shower. Many of the cleaning supplies we found mention that you should try them first in a small section of the shower stall to see how they perform and make sure they aren't damaging your tile. Some mold and stains require bleach cleaners so be careful when using those products. A natural shower cleaner from the Seventh Generation brand, like Green Mandarin Leaf, not only removes soap scum but it also helps prevent it. They say you should use it daily for the best results. What about products like Kaboom Shower, Tub & Tile Cleaner that you may have seen on TV infomercials late at night. Kaboom claims to clean porcelain, ceramic, stainless steel, fiberglass, concrete, brass, and acrylic plastic surfaces. It sells for around $6 for a 22 oz bottle. Much like the other shower cleaners, results are mixed. Some people complain about not getting all areas completely or having to scrub too hard and it's just not worth it. We tried finding comprehensive tests for shower cleaners in Good Housekeeping or Consumer Reports magazine but nothing came up. Those magazines do periodic reviews of particular brands or products, but no head to head comparisons or ratings that we could find. You are left to word of mouth from neighbors or friends and what you can read online at sites like Amazon or Epinions.com. Drugstore.com did have a few reviews on their selection of shower cleaners that was at least somewhat informative. Browse the best selling shower cleaners here.