I have been making my own homemade shower cleaner for years, but I wasn’t always using the best ingredients… so I made a few tweaks to my original recipe and created a powerful homemade shower cleaner using just 3 ingredients.
For years, I used a DIY Shower Cleaner made with dish soap and vinegar. And it worked amazingly well. Check out the results!
Pretty good, right?!
However, as the years went on, I became more aware of the ingredients I was using in my homemade cleaners. In the original recipe I used Dawn dish soap. (Don’t get me wrong, I actually think Dawn does a great job cleaning and cutting through grime, but if you check out the EWG website, Dawn dish soap gets a D rating.) So, I made a few tweaks to my original homemade shower cleaner recipe, and that’s what I’m sharing today.
What You Need to Make Homemade Shower Cleaner
Ingredients Needed for DIY Shower Cleaner
IMPORTANT: This Homemade Shower Cleaner cannot be used on stone due to the acidic nature of the vinegar.
- Vinegar– Vinegar has natural antibacterial/antifungual properties which makes it great for use in homemade cleaners.
- Sal Suds– I found Sal Suds just a couple years ago, and fell in love with it. Sad Suls is created by Dr. Bonner’s, but unlike Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (which is used for personal care), Sal Suds is an actual cleaner “made with plant-based surfactants and natural fir needle and spruce essential oils”… and it gets an A rating from the EWG.
- Essential Oil (Optional)- I love adding essential oils to my homemade cleaning products for extra cleaning power. For this homemade shower cleaner, I make sure to add Tea Tree essential oil because it has antibacterial and antifungal properties. If you are unsure where to buy essential oils, check out this post to help you find a brand that works best for you.
Supplies Needed for Homemade Shower Cleaner
Using glass when working with essential oils is ideal because certain essential oils will actually break down plastic.
How to Make Homemade Shower Cleaner
The recipe below is created for a 16 oz. spray bottle.
This homemade shower cleaner recipe is incredibly easy to make.
Then add 3/4 cup vinegar and give it a gentle stir.
Once mixed, add in the Tea Tree essential oil (The amount will vary depending on if you are adding additional essential oils… See below.)
Tea tree essential oil does not have the most pleasant scent, so feel free to add drops of other essential oils as well. Technically you can add up to 72 drops of essential oil to keep this at a 1% dilution rate, but that’s a lot of essential oil. I would recommend using about 20 drops, but feel free to add more if you’d like. Here are a few other essential oils that are great in the cleaning department and add a pleasant scent.
I used equal amounts of tea tree, lemon, and orange as Sal Suds already has fir needle and spruce essential oils.
Stir in the essential oils and then pour the shower cleaner into a glass spray bottle.
Prior to trying any cleaning product, it is strongly recommended that you test the product on a small, inconspicuous area to make sure there is no change to your finish (other than getting it cleaner). Please see our disclaimer statement for more details.
When ready to use, simply spray down your shower and allow the solution to sit for 30 minutes.
If the solution has been stored, give the bottle a gentle shake prior to application.
After scrubbing, rinse down the shower with warm water.
Remember to thoroughly rinse your brush (if you choose to clean with a brush vs. scour pad) as many contain plastic bristles… and again, Tea Tree will break that down over time.
Homemade Shower Cleaner Results
Ready to see how well this shower cleaner works? I decided to do a side by side comparison. I put a strip of painter’s tape down the center of my shower floor and sprayed the homemade shower cleaner on half the floor, waited 30 minutes, scrubbed, and rinsed.
These are the results!
First, I’m disgusted by how gross our shower floor was, and also amazed at how well this shower cleaner worked!
Common Homemade Shower Cleaner Questions
Can I use dish soap in place of the Sal Suds?
As mentioned, I used to make this recipe with Dawn dish soap, so yes you can certainly replace the Sal Suds with Dawn if you prefer. However, big word of caution! Some “natural” dish soaps contain sodium carbonate (washing soda) or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). You remember 4th grade science class, right? Mixing baking soda and vinegar is going to cause problems with pressure building up in your spray bottle, which will eventually cause the solution to leak out. So make sure you check the ingredients on your dish soap before mixing it with vinegar.
Do I have to add essential oils?
Nope. That is totally up to you. Sal Suds actually has a very pleasant scent with the added fir needle and spruce essential oils, so you certainly don’t have to add additional essential oils. They do, however, add a little more cleaning power and scent to the mix.
I heard Sal Suds contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Doesn’t that cause cancer?
I actually looked into this claim because I am trying to use the safest, most effective ingredients in my homemade cleaners; I certainly don’t want to add a known carcinogen! First, Lisa Bronner wrote an entire post on SLS used in Sal Suds, addressing the claims about it being cancer-causing, which you can read about here. Okay, but Lisa Bronner probably wants her products to look good, so how do we know SLS is really okay to use? I found an article titled “Human and Environmental Toxicity of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Evidence for Safe Use in Household Cleaning Products”. It addresses everything from ocular and dermal irritations to carcinogenicity. After doing my research, I feel completely comfortable using products containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.
Homemade Shower Cleaner
- ¾ Cup Sal Suds
- ¾ Cup Vinegar
- Essential Oils (Optional)
- Glass Liquid Measuring Cup
- Spray Bottle for Storage
- Dish Brush or Scour Pad for Cleaning
- Combine Sal Suds and vinegar in a glass liquid measuring cup. Gently stir.
- Add essential oil of your choosing. Stir. See post for some great essential oil options. (While you can add up to 72 drops, this would be excessive. I would go with 20 total drops.)
- Pour the mixture into a glass spray bottle.
- To use, spray onto floors, walls, and doors of shower. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Scrub and rinse.