It’s better to keep your shower clean than to wait until you can’t ignore the mess anymore, but that doesn’t make sticking to a regular cleaning schedule any easier. Whether you like to clean as you go or just want an easier way to scrub down the walls, consider keeping a dish wand — you know, the kind where you fill the handle with soap (sometimes called a dishmatic)— in the shower so you have no choice but to use it.
Any dish wand will do, but the brush type with stiff plastic bristles has a few advantages over the sponge type. Sponges never quite dry out all the way in a humid bathroom environment, which can breed gross mildew and mould; plus, bristles are better at scrubbing. As for the cleaning solution itself, plain old dish soap is the way to go. For a little extra cleaning power, TikTok user (and professional house cleaner) Vanesa Amaro recommends mixing in some plain white vinegar. It’ll also make the suds easier to rinse away, so you don’t have to worry about leaving streaks on your freshly cleaned glass shower door.
If you can’t deal with the smell of vinegar at all, try adding a small amount of bleach instead — a teaspoon or two in a handle full of soap is plenty. Just don’t use both: Bleach and vinegar react to form chlorine gas, which is extremely irritating to mucous membranes.
This hack makes bathroom cleaning much easier. If you notice a bit of grout discoloration or a ring stain on the tub from a can of shaving cream, you can clean it right away. Plus, regular light cleanings will help prevent serious mould buildup, saving you a lot of hassle in the future. Best of all, if you already use one of these brushes in the kitchen, you don’t have to spend a dime: When it’s time for a new brush, just pop the old one in the shower. Even if you have to buy one just for the shower, they’re well worth the $5-$10 you’ll spend, and should last years.
This article was originally published in July 2012 and was updated on April 28, 2021 with updated links and to meet Lifehacker style guidelines.