We updated this article in March 2022 to add more information about the featured products, based on extensive testing done by the Good Housekeeping Institute. Our original top-rated picks, selected by the GH Cleaning Lab remain the same. We also added shopping tips to help you find the best shower cleaners for your home.
Cleaning the bathroom is probably not high on your list of favorite household chores. The tub is awkward to reach into, the shower is painstaking to scrub and the tile gets dirty in no time at all — and oh, those cleaning solution fumes! But if you want to spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying a sparkling shower stall or bathtub, there are dozens of excellent tools and cleansers to make your life easier.
Here in the Good Housekeeping Cleaning Lab, we have found some of the best shower cleaners on the market including sprays, scrubbers, gadgets and mold removers that make this dreaded chore much easier to tackle on a daily basis. For $25 or less you too can get rid of the buildup and simplify your bathroom cleaning routine. Here are our top picks to clean every nook and cranny of your shower and keep it looking spotless, year-round.
Our top picks:
- Best Shower Cleaner for Mold & Mildew: Microban 24 Hour Bathroom Cleaner and Sanitizing Spray
- Best Shower Cleaner for Tile & Grout: CLR Brilliant Bath Foaming Action Cleaner
- Best Shower Cleaner for Hard Water & Limescale: CLR Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover
- Best Aerosol Shower Cleaner: Breathe Bathroom Cleaner
- Best Long-Reach Shower Cleaning Tool: OXO Good Grips Extendable Tub and Tile Scrubber
- Best Shower Cleaning Squeegee: Casabella Clip-On Squeegee
- Best Combination Shower Cleaner & Scrubber: Mr.Clean Magic Eraser Bath Scrubber
- Best Shower Glass Protectant: EnduroShield Glass Treatment
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Best Shower Cleaner for Mold & Mildew
24 Hour Bathroom Cleaner and Sanitizing Spray
As soon as a surface is touched (even immediately after cleaning it!) bacteria starts to grow. But that’s exactly why Microban’s bathroom cleaner — a GH Seal star — is so exciting to us. Like all the products in the Microban 24 Hour line, it not only sanitizes and disinfects surfaces when you clean them, it also puts down a protective barrier to keep bacteria from growing for up to 24 hours. In Cleaning Lab tests, this spray cut through tough soap scum, didn’t leave any damaging residues and, because it’s EPA-registered, we’re confident that its 99.9% germ-killing claims are accurate. To maximize its mildew- and mold-preventing powers, apply it to clean, hard surfaces every seven days and any soft surfaces (read: shower curtains) every 28 days.
- Sanitizes and disinfects
- Keeps surfaces bacteria-free for up to 24 hours
- Controls mildew growth with regular application
- Doesn’t provide 24-hour protection against viruses
Best Shower Cleaner for Tile & Grout
Brilliant Bath Foaming Action Cleaner
If you have white grout to brighten, there’s nothing that works better than CLR Brilliant Bath cleaner in our experience. Spray it on, let it sit for a minute or two then scrub. In our tests, stains not only disappeared quickly, but as the grout dried, it continued to get whiter and whiter. This cleaner also effectively removes soap scum from tub and tile surfaces. It dispenses as a foam, so it clings well to vertical surfaces for better penetration, instead of quickly running down walls like thinner liquids do.
- Works with minimal scrubbing
- Continues to whiten grout as it dries
- Only for white grout
- Doesn’t remove rust
Best Shower Cleaner for Hard Water & Limescale
Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover
High levels of magnesium and calcium minerals can turn water “hard” — and when hard water droplets dry on surfaces like tile walls and shower heads, the minerals stay behind, leaving spots or, worse, a white, crusty buildup known as limescale that can clog plumbing. To remove hard water stains and dissolve limescale residue on a variety of household surfaces, try CLR’s Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover. To use on your shower head, mix equal parts cleaner and warm water, then submerge your shower head in the solution for no longer than two minutes. Scrub away the loosened deposits with a soft brush and rinse with cold water.
- EPA Safer Choice-certified
- Can be used on a variety of surfaces
- Works on rust stains
- Severe buildup may need additional applications
Best Aerosol Shower Cleaner
If you prefer using aerosols over trigger-spray cleaners for the fine, wide mist they dispense, Breathe’s bathroom cleaner offers those benefits without the harsh hydrocarbon propellants that give some aerosol cleaners a strong chemical smell. Instead, this GH Seal star uses nitrogen — a major component of air — to dispense the cleaner out of the can. Not only does this eliminate the smell, you also won’t be left with a partially full can that suddenly stops spraying. In our tests, we found a little went a long way. Lightly spray a small area with a fine mist and wipe clean. For heavy soil, leave it to work for a minute or two then use a soft brush to scrub away deposits.
- EPA Safer Choice-certified
- Works quickly
- Over-spraying in a confined area may cause irritation
Best Long-Reach Shower Cleaning Tool
Good Grips Extendable Tub and Tile Scrubber
Skip awkward kneeling and climbing to scrub hard-to-reach spots in your shower with this extendable scrubber. It extends to 42 inches long and has a scrubber head that pivots to clean any angle with a pointed tip for getting deep into corners. Replacement scrubber heads are available, and the handle has an opening to hang it from a hook for easy storage.
- Pivots to any angle
- Head is replaceable
- Pole is sturdy and grip is non-slip
- Needs to dry thoroughly before storing
Best Shower Cleaning Squeegee
The best way we’ve found to keep a shower spotless is to wipe water away daily. It only tasks a few minutes to give tiled walls, tubs or glass doors a quick pass with a squeegee post-shower, and the payoff is huge. The Good Housekeeping Cleaning Lab likes Casabella’s clip-on silicone squeegee because it grabs water in a single pass and clips onto the showerhead or door handle (so you won’t forget to use it!). If the last person showering for the day squeegees it down, mold and mildew will be virtually nonexistent, majorly cutting down on cleaning time.
- Clips to shower head or door handle
- Comfortable to hold
- Silicone grabs water and glides smoothly
- Blade is on the small side
Best Combination Shower Cleaner & Scrubber
Magic Eraser Bath Scrubber
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are longtime Good Housekeeping Seal stars because of how convenient they are to use and how well they clean a myriad of household surfaces — and the brand’s Bath Scrubbers are no exception. The sponges contain the same microscrubbers as the original Magic Erasers, as well as foaming cleansers that dissolve soap scum on glass, tile and tub surfaces. Just wet the sponge, squeeze it to activate the foam and clean. We’re fans of the all-in-one ease — no need for a separate cleaner and brush!
- Convenient to use
- Has cleansers built into the pad
- Can be difficult to store after use
Best Shower Glass Protectant
Glass Treatment Kit
If you’re looking to clean less often, you can treat shower surfaces with a protectant to repel hard water, soap scum and grime. We like EnduroShield Home Glass Treatment. In our tests, we found it very easy to apply and it successfully repelled water, so post-shower squeegeeing was easier, too. To use, apply this long-lasting treatment to glass shower doors after cleaning to help them stay crystal clear — then, the next time you clean, you’ll be able to skip the tough scrubbing. The manufacturer claims one application lasts for over three years, but it’s easy to refresh it should you need to.
- Prevents spotting and filming
- Easy to apply
- Also works on car and home windows
- Very large glass showers may need more than one kit
How we choose the best shower cleaners.
In the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, we evaluate shower cleaning products by first assessing them for safety. We first scan labels for appropriate eye and skin irritant warnings and confirm the product is registered with the EPA — an assurance that it will actually eliminate the bacteria and viruses it claims to. Then we look at how well sprays dispense and how sturdy scrubbing tools are. Finally, while there is an industry-standard recipe for creating artificial soap scum, we prefer to test on the real thing by placing the products in consumer testers’ homes to see how well they remove the soapy build-up, limescale and mildew stains that form naturally in everyone’s bathrooms.
For shower cleaning tools like this Casabella squeegee, we assess how well the tool contacts the tile when removing water and how comfortable it is to hold during cleaning.
When testing sprays, we apply them according to label directions and assess how easily it cuts through and removes grime. We also check how easy it is to rinse and if it leaves any residue behind.
What to look for when shopping for the best shower cleaners
✔️Cleaning formulas: Read the label of any cleaner you’re considering to be sure it lists the soils you want to remove so it delivers the level of clean you expect. Some are formulated to remove stains and whiten grout but not actually kill mildew or disinfect. To dissolve soap scum and tackle hard water stains, look for an acid — often lactic acid — in the ingredient list. Finally, check that it’s safe for the surfaces you want to clean. Most shower cleaners are not recommended for use on natural stone like marble. Always follow any safety precaution on the label and let products sit for the recommended time to sanitize and disinfect.
✔️Cleaning tools: Scrubbers and brushes with extendable handles provide the most reach with minimal bending. Angled heads make cleaning corners easier and replaceable heads mean you don’t have to toss the entire tool when the pad wears out. Shower cleaning tools should also be easy to rinse clean and store.
Why trust Good Housekeeping?
The Good Housekeeping Institute Home Care and Cleaning Lab provides expert tips and reviews on all things cleaning. Carolyn Forte brings over 40 years of experience a as consumer products expert to her role as Executive Director of the Home Care and Cleaning Lab. She has deep analytical testing and editorial writing expertise in categories like washers, dryers and vacuum cleaners, cleaning products and all things and tips needed to keep a home clean and organized.
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