My goal today is to give you 4 easy tips to maintain your shower and minimize your exposure to unnecessary chemicals. Healthy shower care is really the same as eating your broccoli, going to bed early and drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day. It may be a bit boring but when done it can be a huge boost to the value, health and care of your home and family.
Lets start first with the soap scummy and hard water facts.... In our showers, we splash about hair care and body care products. These "left overs" land on our shower walls and floors. They then bind with the minerals in our water, creating what we have all come to know as SOAP SCUM! To add to this, when moisture is available and there is a food source such as hair, skin and soap scum, then we will have MOLD! And finally, if we let our water dry on our shower walls and glass doors we will have what is known as HARD WATER DEPOSITS!
Because of these three common soils in a shower, a whole industry has been created to make bold cleaners able to remove Soap Scum, Mold and Hard Water Deposits with a single squirt.
Those shower cleaners to tend to be very aggressive, reactive- when mixed with other products, acidic or high alkaline, abrasive and are often toxic!! They have to be, as soap scum, mold and hard water deposits are tough customers. But most of the materials that make up our showers: Grout, natural stone, fiberglass, acrylic ... tend to be pH sensitive and scratch sensitive! Here is the break down... the cleaners we use in showers are often detrimental our health and the health of the materials in our showers. For example: Acids break down grouts and stone; abrasives scratch surfaces; high alkaline damage sealers.
More important than our shower materials are the people in the shower???? The air flow in showers tends to be very low and as you are cleaning, you are nicely tucked away behind glass doors and shower curtains. Which means the aggressive, reactive and sometimes toxic products are filling your lungs and landing on you and they have no place to go but linger!
Have I painted a scary enough picture? It wasn't hard, it is the life of a shower! But wait don't fret, there is good news behind all these worries. An Ounce of Prevention in a shower does wonders!!!
A number of years ago, we were visiting one of our customers. She had a beautiful dark brown, polished marble shower. It was impeccable!!! And it was over 5 years old!! When we asked what she did to maintain she looked puzzled and said... "well I rinse and dry after every use" So simple, but this little act of rinsing and drying a shower does more to maintain it than all the products sold combined!!!!! That day was one of those Ah Ha moments of obvious clarity. Since then we have added to her simple but incredibly effective system and you will find our 4 tips listed below:
4 Incredibly effective tips to a healthy and long lasting shower:1. Ventilate: When starting shower/bath turn on exhaust fans and run for 45 minutes to remove moisture from bathroom. This steps removes moisture and poor air. (Make sure your exhaust vents are actually working. Test by holding a piece of toilet/tissue paper up to vent. It should be drawn up to screen.
2. Rinse: After every use, rinse down the walls. Get a hand held shower head and rinse off your soap. Squeegeeing alone isn't enough. When you squeegee, the soap is just redistributed to the lower area and into any low spots-like grout joints. This will give mold food and create a build up of soap scum.
3. Dry: If you have already rinsed the walls then go ahead and squeegee or dry with a towel or shamee. This extra step further removes soils and keeps the moisture/mold and hard water deposits at bay.
4. Clean with neutral - mild products: The beauty of the preventions steps of vventilating, rinsing and drying is you will not have much to do on cleaning day. When you do clean, go ahead and turn on your exhaust fans again, then use a neutral cleaner to do your cleaning. Diluted dish washing liquid works pretty great. We also sell a fantastic neutral and highly concentrated stone and tile cleaner. Finding these neutral cleaners takes a bit more work because our cleaning industry does not normally tell us the pH of our cleaning products. When in doubt please contact us and we will give tips on finding good neutral products.
The little effort will be worth it in creating a healthy shower and home.
The biggest concern I come across is convincing the whole family to start rinsing and drying their showers. In our house the rule of thumb is last one to take a shower does the rinsing and drying. Still adding preventative care to your home is a change. And I understand how tough changing family habits can be but give it a try for a while and see if this new habit isn't worth a lot to minimize your families chemical exposure and minimize those repair /replacement costs to your family budget.
As always, wishing you all a healthy and happy home,
Residue Free and Healthy Home Care Specialist