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6 tips to remove lime and dirt from the shower

Naia Carlos Naia Carlos
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The bathroom should be one of the most spotless rooms in the entire house. After all, this is where the residents go to keep clean. However, stains like lime and black mold can make creating a hygienic space a challenge. Bathtubs and shower areas are particularly prone to these problems, so every homeowner should know how to clean the bathroom regularly. While maintenance is a must, the process is quite simple and easy. Here are our six handy tips for cleaning lime from bathroom tiles and the rest of the shower area.

Why clean lime and black mold

However elegant a shower area is – and they can get pretty opulent in modern homes – dirt can definitely affect it. There are two types that can be a problem in the bathroom. One type is lime, a mineral that builds up through time due to the sodium, magnesium and other chemicals in the water. It seeps through screens, taps or tiles, creating a grubby layer that keeps the surface from shining. While cleaning the lime is an aesthetic issue, it’s also functional because its buildup can prevent faucets or hinges of screens from working properly.

Another type of dirt that can build in the bathroom is black mold, a living bacteria that can actually be a health risk to the residents. This is why it’s important to clean mold off the shower area as soon as possible. 

While it's tricky to figure out how to clean both lime and mold from the shower, there are several tried-and-tested ways to do so regularly. First, it's important to start with the right materials.

Cleaning substances: ammonia and hydrogen peroxide

minimalistic Bathroom by Azulev
Azulev

Serie Senses

Azulev

Cleaning shower trays and tiles can be very difficult, but both of these methods are very effective in removing black mold that usually accummulates here. There are significant differences between the two, though. For one, ammonia is a toxic product, while hydrogen peroxide is not. The former is also available in drugstores and the latter is sold in pharmacies. Each also offers a different function: ammonia is usually used for tiles and glass, while hydrogen peroxide is appropriate for removing mold in any surface.

While there are differences, the method of application of both substances are very similar: sprayed on affected surfaces, dried and wiped with a cloth to fully clean the area.

Vinegar and salt

modern Bathroom by Studio TO
Studio TO

Small Bathroom Redesign

Studio TO

It’s a well-known secret: vinegar is the best anti-calc product around. In fact, many lime cleaners in the market includes among its ingredients vinegar. In the shower, lime is most visible in the screens, although it also accumulates in the faucets and tiles. Cleaning these with vinegar, salt and water is simple: mix the three, soak a cloth in the mixture and wipe the surfaces with it. Quick, cheap, easy and effective, this is a great way to sterilize the shower area anytime you notice any kind of dirt buildup.

Deep cleaning with hydrochloric acid

For deep cleaning, nothing works quite as well as hydrochloric acid also known as muriatic acid. This is a very strong substance, so utmost care is needed when handling it. This strength make it a good option for cleaning lime and black mold from bathroom tiles.

When using hydrochloric acid, make sure there is as much ventilation in the area as possible. Never touch the acid directly and always wear gloves. Don’t forget this as you make the mixture of three parts water for one part of hydrochloric acid. When applying the solution on any surface, be careful to do so without splashing. Then, clean the area well with a brush and let it sit for around half an hour. Afterwards, wash it with plenty of water, let air dry it for a little bit, and then dry it more thoroughly with a clean piece of cloth.

Other cleaning methods

minimalistic Bathroom by Empresa constructora en Madrid
Empresa constructora en Madrid

Tabiques traslúcidos en plato de ducha

Empresa constructora en Madrid

We’ve mentioned some of the most common cleaning materials and methods for cleaning the bathroom, but there are other options. Detergent and natural fungicides like tea tree oil can remove both lime and mold from the shower, although it’s not as effective in actually killing the mold. The fungi will likely remain in the tiles – latent and invisible.

If the mold situation in your bathroom gets very bad, don’t be afraid to seek the help of professionals to help you remedy the problem and completely exterminate the bacteria.

Use preventive measures

Finally, remember that prevention is the most effective cure. Black mold is a natural consequence of moisture. Since the shower is constantly a wet area, the entire bathroom is a prime area to grow mold. It’s quite inevitable, but one preventive measure is being attentive after showering and not leaving the curtains free to create small puddles on the tiles. Using borax or boron salt to clean can also prevent the development of mold spores. Grapefruit seed extract also does the trick. Finally, be alert of the spots where mold constantly occurs. If it’s always in the same spot in the bathroom, it might be a plumbing problem that a plumber can help you fix.

Now that you know how to remove lime and mold from the shower, check out our tricks on how to make your bathroom tiles new again.

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