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How to Avoid Mold, Mildew & Soap Scum Build-Up In The Shower

Posted by Hammond Knoll on Jun 24, 2021 12:00:00 AM


The #1 tile, grout, and natural stone maintenance problems we battle daily are in residential showers.

And it really doesn't matter if it's a newly-installed shower or one that has been professionally cleaned – when it's not maintained properly, mold, mildew and soap scum will take over, rapidly.

Before you know it, the sparkle and shine are gone, leaving you in a losing battle. You're forced to have the shower professionally cleaned sooner than you'd expected after a new install.

Showers are so challenging because they're in an environment of constant high humidity, soaps, lack of ventilation, and sometimes, well water.

Let's look at the three most common issues that that cause mold, mildew, and soap scum to build up in your shower.

Professional cleaning services are necessary for regular deep cleanings, but there are some things you can do to head off issues in-between visits from the pros.

Mineral Deposits

Water (especially well water) contains microscopic minerals. When beads of the water adhere to the sides of tile and then evaporates it leaves behind mineral particles.

Over time, these particles build up and will cloud glass doors and obscure the shine on tile. The mineral deposits are as hard as a rock and removing them can be very challenging.

The Solution for Mineral Deposits 

Use a soft rubber squeegee after each shower to remove excess water from walls and shower doors. A synthetic chamois cloth can also be used.

The goal is to remove as much water from the shower walls as possible, which will reduce mineral deposits from forming.

 

Soap Scum

Soap scum or soap residue left after showering will build up and become nearly impossible to remove with normal cleaning. (You can think of it as adhered concrete!)

The residue from soap scum and body oils provide a “yummy” food source for bacteria and mildew to grow. When you see the orange or pinkish discoloration in a shower, it is quite likely coming from the bacteria growing on top of the soap scum.

The Solution for Soap Scum

Showering without soap is the best solution – but not an option, no matter how much your children tell you it is.

The best soaps to use are body washes which don't contain the paraffin that bar soaps do. Switching to a liquid or gel body soap is the best option.

Mildew and Bacteria

These two perpetrators are very common whether a shower has tile or glass. And, like their friend, mineral deposits, they're the result of moisture and humidity.

Obviously, this is a challenge because...well, showers.

And, to add insult to injury, mildew comes in several assorted colors: black, orange and red. Lovely.

The Solution for Mildew and Bacteria

The best preventative for mildew growth is to keep moisture and humidity in the shower to a minimum.

Not allowing the shower walls or floor to stay wet for a long period of time will dramatically reduce mildew growth and re-occurrence.

Using a chamois cloth or a squeegee (as recommended above) to remove  the additional water off walls and doors is your best bet to keep the mildew and bacteria from taking over.

Also, leave the shower door open to provide as much ventilation possible.

Take Back Your Clean Shower

Plan on having the pros come in on a regular basis to give your shower a deep clean.

But, in-between, follow these tips to keep things clean.

Being proactive with maintenance prolongs the length of time before a professional cleaning is needed. It will also save you money by avoiding restoration costs.

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