Homemade Shower Spray Recipes + Door Track Gunk Fix

If not maintained on a regular basis, the shower area can get pretty filthy–real fast. It’s not only buildup of dirt and body oils, but also residue left behind from beauty products like shampoos and soaps.

The best way to make the job easier is to apply a solution to the tile/walls on a daily basis, preferably right after showering. Most can just be sprayed on and then left or washed away. Some people have squeegees just for this task and swipe down after every use. This helps prevent film and product buildup as well.

I’ve listed a few quick & easy recipes below, it’s such a snap to whip up your own cleaners and they cost just pennies a batch…so why not!

For Curtains: These need regular washing too or mildew will make an appearance (a quick cycle in the washing machine will do the trick, check label care instructions).

For Glass Doors: These can also get grubby quickly (usually with a layer of film) so regular TLC is required as well. I’ve added some tips below for this chore, suggestions for nasty conditions too.

Recipes (Tile, Tub Surround)

Daily Treatment:

1/3 C. rubbing alcohol
1 C. water

  • Mix in a spray bottle and shake. Put all over surface, no rinsing required.

Tile and Grout:

*Also see this page for more.

1/2 C. of baking soda
1/3 C. of ammonia
1/4 C. of white vinegar
7 C. of water

  • Combine all the ingredients in a labeled bottle and shake. Put on surface then wipe off with a damp sponge. Do not combine with bleach.

Borax Booster:

3 C. hot water
1/2 C. Vinegar
1 TBS Dish Detergent
1 TBS Borax

  • Mix together in a bottle, shake then apply to area as needed.

If there’s quite a buildup you are contending with, a softscrub might be just the ticket. See this page for a couple DIY options.

Door Maintenance:

*Published February 14, 2007 and moved to this page for better organization

If it’s just a regular job you need to do, simply pour vinegar in the tracks, soak for a few minutes then rinse (if it’s a stubborn mess, leave longer).

Watch that the drain holes aren’t clogged with gunk, you want the liquid to flow out easily. Also lay towels on the bathroom floor along the bathtub to catch any overflow.

If it’s a gunk and mildew disaster on your hands, you can try the following tips…

First wipe out as much as you can, then stuff the drain holes with small, tight wads of toilet paper or chunks of paper towel. Pour preferred grime buster solution (listed below) in the track to completely cover without flowing over, then allow to soak for an hour or two.

Loosening Up The Grime:

  • Coca-Cola
  • Denture Tablets (dissolved in warm water)
  • Bleach & Water

After soaking, unclog the drain holes and allow everything to flow out. Rinse well with hot water. Then get your tools out and dig into the little corners and crevices. See below for some tools to try.

Tools That Help:

  • Track & Grout Brush
  • Old Toothbrush
  • Q-tips
  • Handheld Steam Cleaner
  • Screwdriver and rag to dig into grime corners

If things are really bad:

  • Remove the doors to do a thorough cleaning job. Instructions can be found at WikiHow.


  • I don’t know how the above solutions will react with all the various metals and finishes used for hardware, please test first before using to ensure they (or the finish) won’t be damaged.

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    • john

    watch out for vinegar for daily shower spray. It is acidic and may break down the tile grout

    • Dottie

    I clean several homes for people, I have recently found a solution for showers and tubs. I bought a couple of the body scrub gloves and I take all the old shampoo that I and others have bought and did not like and pour it on the gloves get in the shower and scrub away the scum. One can purchase the the cheap shampoo from dollar stores ect. It work great and leaves a great shine. I have on occasion where there is a lot of buildup of soap scum sprinkle some e baking soda on the gloves and it give a little scouring action.

      • Kelly Scott

      Great idea!! I will try that. Thank you.

      • Loen

      Thanks, Dottie for spreading your creative and experienced advice to us. :o)

      • Sharon

      What a clever idea! Thanks.

      • Deb Hanson

      One time I discovered this idea when a bottle of shampoo had tipped over in the tub, when I finally found it and cleaned it up, the difference was amazing!!

      • Gina

      That’s what Flylady says to do; just use cheap shampoo.

    • Carolyn

    Has anyone made the shower spray? I’m wondering if the dish detergent is like liquid dish soap or the detergent you put in a dishwasher?

      • Cathy

      I have!!! Recipe: 1/2 hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 C Rubbing Alcohol 1 Tablespoon Cascade dishwasher rinse, and finally, a teaspoon or tablespoon of Dawn. Add water gently to top of spray bottle, (32 oz). put on sprayer top. Gently turn over a few times to mix. Love it! Keeps the shower clean and shiny without scrubbing or rinsing! Start with a clean shower. And do it after hubby has his shower (and before I shower) or he will complain about it being slippery.

      Should cost pennies a day! If used once a day. Cleans and antiseptics!

      Oh yes, store under counter (out of light) when not using. Hydrogen peroxide reacts to light. (That’s why it comes in dark bottle.)

    • Patsy

    Does anyone know if the shower spray cleaner should be mixed and used one batch at a time. I ask because I notice the recipe calls for hot water. If not all used will it be effective at a later date?

    • Jamie moody

    Hot water is to make sure it mixes well, I make mine with vinager, lil dish soap,water. It seperates and you just have to shake it before each use. I reuse a fabreze bottle. holds about 2 cups of mix.

    • Danielle

    Does anyone know about the alcohol/water daily shower spray? I’m afraid to break down caulk seals or grout. I used the dishwasher soap recipe and nearly ruined all my dishes, so i want to be careful. We just had a new shower done. Has anyone tried the alcohol on a long term basis?

      • joan

      could you share which dishwasher soap nearly ruined your dishes? What happened? I am just starting to make my own products and would appreciate any info you have about what is good, or safe. Thanks Joan

    • Cassie

    Does anyone have a recipe for showers if one has a tub that the water has left residue that is nearly impossible to remove..a spray that you could spray on and leave and that will gradually remove all the residue..thank you for your time and kindness,,take care God bless you and your loved ones,,,Cassie

      • Cami

      Not sure if you’ve found a solution yet, but here’s what works great for me. On porcelain, metal or ceramic (not sure about plastic), all you need is straight white vinegar and some paper towel strips. Spray the mineral buildup area (hard water stains) with the vinegar, place paper towel strips over the affected areas, spray again and let sit overnight. Before you remove the paper towels, give them another quick squirt of the vinegar, and use the towels to scrub any leftovers. If it’s really bad, it may take a couple of treatments. Hope this helps!

    • Anne

    So what, exactly, is the benefit of mixing vinegar and ammonia? One is a base. One is an acid. When mixed, they make salt water. Why not just use salt water? Any thoughts?

    • julie

    Does anyone know if this works to get the bath tub crayons off my tub that has been there awhile?

    • Shelleigh K

    I used the warm vinegar mixed with Dawn, let it cool a little after I made it. Sprayed down my entire shower, doors and shower floor (that never looks clean, DH is a mechanic + 16y/o fiberglass shower = yuck!) and left the mix on for about 40 mins, give or take. It has a strong smell of vinegar, no duh, but all the previous chemicals I have tried had pretty strong smells, too. I just left the fan on and the door open. I returned, sprayed down the shower with my handheld sprayer, and the shower looks as clean as if we just installed it!! I was shocked! NO SCRUBBING!! The dawn helps with the grease plus thickens the vinegar so it will stick to vertical surfaces. The heating of the vinegar allows the Dawn to mix well, it doesn’t have to be heated for every use. I used nearly the entire bottle the first time, now I only have to use a little once or twice a week.

      • barbara schuster

      Thank you Shelleigh, I’m going to try it.

        • Jess S

        so glad you posted this! getting first house soon and hubby works at power plant, which means coal dirt ( i know how you feel with dirt sticking to shower). have to try this in our current bathroom too. (with my parents, mom wants the shower clean after we leave)

    • elaine

    hi julie

    use the vim cream, not the gel one, it can eat the crayons

    use a nylon scrub


    • Stacie

    Don’t use any recipe with vinegar and baking soda both in it. They neutralize each other, so you waste both. Like the first recipe, I would suggest omitting the vinegar.

    • kate L

    I have just killed my neck from scrubbing off mildew and soap film on my ceramic tiled shower (with grout. The corners, the floors, all of it. I’m looking for a daily spray recipe (maybe borax, vinegar, water? not sure what ACTUALLY WORKS) to prevent the stuff from coming back. HOW DO OLDER people do this????????
    Thanks in advance folks!!!
    Kate L.

    • Connie W.

    Kate L, Haha! Yes, I’m 60 and still have to clean the tub— who else??… No one else! Oh, my Baaack! What do 70 year-olds do anyway?! =) We have trouble with hard water deposits, plus Soap Scummm. When I try using the Vinegar on the tub sides, it mostly Runs down— I’m going to try adding Dawn or Ajax dish soap to it, like Sheilleigh up there suggested… Maybe it will Stick better! Anything’s better than Store-bought!

    • Connie W.

    Kate L., I saw a Daily Use spray-formula for tubs— at the Top of this Page; haven’t tried it yet— Good Luck! I also read where some used Hydrogen Peroxide with Rubbing alcohol & a squirt of Dawn & water, in a Spray bottle… somewhere on this cleaning site!

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