How to Clean a Shower with Vinegar

Most likely, you bought the white vinegar in your house for cooking purposes.

While white vinegar is a great ingredient in your food, it’s also a great cleaning agent when used the right way. It can give you sparkling surfaces in your bathroom when applied to the floor, walls, windows and also in unclogging the drain and shower heads.

The advantage of using white vinegar over other solutions is its naturalness. You won’t worry about toxic sediments or harming the environment when you use it. Here is how to use this great ingredient for a clean shower.

How To Clean A Shower Head with Vinegar

A clogged showerhead limits the flow of water even if the pressure isn’t at fault. Your showerhead may experience a restricted flow of water due to the buildup of lime sediments. This gunk, will build up and finally clog shower head nozzles if not removed.

You can prevent calcium buildup in your shower by buying a hard water filter. Cleaning the showerhead with white vinegar is also a good way to decalcify and unclog the openings.

Here’s how to clean a shower head with vinegar:

  1. Remove the showerhead from the piping system then soak it in white vinegar for six hours.
  2. Remove it from the vinegar then shake it thoroughly.
  3. Dip it in clean water to do away with the vinegar on the surface.
  4. Rejoin it with the piping system then open the showers to flush out the loose gunk.

If you can’t unscrew the showerhead from the pipe then you can simply fill a plastic bag with white vinegar then tie it around the showerhead.

Wait overnight then remove it and open the shower to flush out the loose dirt. Make sure to rinse the rest of the shower head of the vinegar afterward.

This procedure can be applied to taps with calcium buildup and limescale.

How To Use Vinegar To Clean Shower Floor

large bottle of vinegar

The floor to your shower will quickly build up dirt and grime from soap, hard water, and grease from our bodies. Simply scrubbing the floor with soap or a disinfectant does little to clean it no matter what material it is made of.

The kind of dirt on the shower floor requires using white vinegar and other ingredients to completely wipe it off. For this procedure, you will need the following:

  • 240ml of ammonia
  • 120ml of white vinegar
  • 60ml of bicarbonate soda
  • 3.7l of warm water.

Here are the steps to follow to sanitize your shower floors with vinegar:

  1. Mix the ammonia, white vinegar, baking soda, and warm water together.
  2. Dip a cloth in the mixture and use it to wipe the floor thoroughly.
  3. Rinse it afterward with plenty of water.

For better results when cleaning ceramic tiles, reduce the ammonia by half to 120 ml. Also, 60 ml of borax does a better job on ceramic tiles than bicarbonate soda. It is a better replacement.

Cleaning Shower Walls with Vinegar

Most showers have ceramic tiles covering either the lower part or the whole wall. These tiles are put in place to catch the soapy water and preserve the wall in the process. Other walls can be made of glass, paint or other suitable material.

Depending on the material your bathroom wall is made of, use white vinegar in the following ways to keep them sparkling clean:


For ceramic tiles on your wall, use a mix of 120ml ammonia, 120ml of white vinegar, 60ml borax (or 60ml bicarbonate soda), and 3.7l of water. After mixing these items, put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it evenly on the wall. Use a sponge to evenly wipe the dirt off the tiles then rinse with water afterwards.


For glass walls, spray some white vinegar on a newspaper then wipe the mirror with it in repetitive motions. Once you have covered the whole mirror, get a piece of dry newspaper and further clean the mirror with it.


There are various types of paints and finishes such as eggshell, satin, flat, gloss, and semigloss. For bathrooms, the most favored finishes are glossy and semigloss and they are often made from latex- or oil-based paints.

No matter the finish, always use a non-abrasive sponge or piece of cloth to avoid destroying the paint. And, while vinegar is a great cleaning agent, keep it away from rubber surfaces such as seals and hoses made of this material. It may eat it away as it reacts with rubber. For this reason, do not use white vinegar on latex.

To clean painted walls, use the non-abrasive sponge dipped in white vinegar then used to slowly wipe the wall. You can also spray the vinegar on the wall, wait for 15 minutes then wipe it clean. You can mix the vinegar with other ingredients but it is effective on its own.

Drainage And Sinks In The Shower

Perhaps the one area where white vinegar has found great use is in unclogging bathroom drainages and sinks.

For this task, you will need to combine it with baking soda for the best results. After gathering the two ingredients, follow the steps below for a happy drain:

  1. Pour a jug of hot boiling water directly into the bathroom drain or sink.
  2. Pour 120ml of baking soda in the drain and wait for 10 minutes.
  3. Add in 120ml of white vinegar and hot water then cover the drain/sink.
  4. Wait for 10 minutes then flush the drain with hot water.

This method explains the use of baking soda and white vinegar. You can also use a mix of ¼ cup of borax, ¼ cup of salt and ½ cup of white vinegar (a cup is 240ml).

Another way to clean the sink or drain is to simply mix the ingredients in hot water, pour it down the drain and cover it for 10 minutes. Complete the process by flushing the drain with hot water.

Windows And Mirrors

Windows and mirrors made of glass benefit from using white vinegar as it leaves them crystal clear.

You can either use a newspaper sprayed with white vinegar to clean the window/mirror, or you can spray the vinegar unto the window/mirror then dry it with another dry piece of newspaper.

Pro tip: if you want to keep the glass free of fogging as it comes into contact with the steam, use eucalyptus oil with the second newspaper piece.

Shower Doors

Shower Doors

Your shower doors also get dirty from the soap scum and other types of dirt they come into contact with.

If you do not want to clean your shower doors with WD-40, white vinegar is a great substitute you can bank on.

You have several options when it comes to the use of white vinegar in cleaning these doors:

  • Spraying the door with white vinegar then wiping it clean after 15 minutes is the first option.
  • You can also use a sponge dipped in white vinegar to clean the doors. Ensure that you have wrung the sponge to retain very little of the vinegar before wiping the door.
  • You can mix the white vinegar with water in equal parts then use it as stated in either of the two options above.
  • You can mix ½ cup of white vinegar with a cup of ammonia and ¼ cup of bicarbonate soda in 3.7 liters of water. This mixture can be used as stated in either of the first two options.

You will have the best looking shower door after these procedures.

Safety Precautions

While vinegar is generally a mild substance, there are are some precautions to take note of to stay safe when using it.

The fact that it contains up to 18% acetic acid is a sign that it can have undesirable results when it comes into contact with some items.

Here are the precautions to watch out for:

  • Vinegar wears out rubber and should thus not be used to clean rubber surfaces or valves.
  • Vinegar reacts unfavorably with bleach and ammonia. In the areas where ammonia is used, mix the vinegar with water before adding in the ammonia to avoid the reaction. Toxic gases are emitted when they mix.
  • Vinegar dissolves glue especially when it is still fresh. Contact between the two should this be avoided.
  • When left on marble or metal surfaces, vinegar may eat away at them. For this reason, always wipe all the vinegar off after using it to clean these surfaces. Glass does not suffer the same fate however.
  • Given vinegar’s ability to dissolve calcium, avoid contact between the two. This means keeping vinegar away from your teeth at all costs.
  • Avoid using vinegar on waxed surfaces as it dissolves the wax. Thud, if your bathroom wall has been waxed, do not use vinegar when cleaning it.

These directives will keep you and your household safe when using vinegar around the home.