One of my least favorite household chores is cleaning my shower. I’m embarrassed to say I wait as long as possible, which is probably why I don’t like doing it! I need to be more vigilant about a good weekly cleaning. One reason I detest the chore is because we have really, really hard water and it can be very hard to scrub off all the soap scum and hard-water buildup. That coupled with not having a window in my bathroom, means my shower is more susceptible to mold and mildew. Ugh. I hate even talking about this! But you get it, right? We all have our particular cleaning nemeses and mold and mildew are mine.
I stopped using bleach to clean mold and mildew last year. In our previous home, the basement bathroom could get nasty quickly. I had a mold specialist come over and check to make sure it wasn’t dangerous to our health. It was impossible to keep on top of it even with weekly cleanings. Anyway, he told me not to use bleach anymore because it only kills surface mold and causes it to come back bigger and badder than before. Now, I don’t know if that’s true or not. He recommended a really expensive antimicrobial spray. And I thought, “There has to be a better, cheaper, and more effective natural solution.” So I did a ton of research and do you know what I finally landed on? White vinegar. As plain and cheap as can be! Adding tea tree oil give is an extra antifungal boost, and the orange oil to this DIY mold and mildew spray makes it smell nice.
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon tea tree oil
- 10 drops orange essential oil
- We all know oil and water don't mix. So I shake the bottle really well before I spray it. It works for cleaning and for a daily shower spray to help keep all those thing I mentioned at bay.
Another great solution is a natural bleach alternative like this one. I’ve also read that equal parts denatured alcohol (like cheap vodka) and water with a little tea tree oil can also be very effective. I’ll try that one out and report back. But for right now, all you do is fill up an empty spray bottle with white vinegar, add the tea tree and orange oil, shake it up, and start spraying. Completely non-toxic, safe and inexpensive. Three things I like the cleaners I use in my home to be. One last thing, you might need to let the vinegar sit for a while if there’s a big buildup.