Cleaning Tub Enclosures

Keep your tub enclosures clean and tidy to help prevent the growth of mold and fungus by following tips like these.

Most of us enjoy the use of a clean bathroom or shower area. A sparkling ceramic tub enclosure allows us to bathe in leisurely fashion with a sense of appreciation for our hygienic surroundings. With minimal but consistent effort, you can climb into a clean shower or bath every day.

First, make it a habit that you don't leave anything more than you truly need lying in the enclosed area. Used washcloths or other cleaning implements like sponges or brushes should be kept in a shower caddy rather than left on the floor of the tub enclosure. Pick up soap stubs, razors, and other accessories when you are done bathing and be sure to remove discarded clothing or jewelry to prevent the accumulation of a mess.

Immediately after bathing, wipe up shampoo or conditioner spills, soap residue, or anything else that is likely to form a solid puddle when it dries. These will be easier to remove while wet, and you may need only a piece of tissue rather than a cleaning sponge or cloth. Plus, you may be able to prevent slips and falls, especially of elderly family members.

For the weekly cleaning, remove all items from the area so that the enclosure is bare and accessible. If you have noticed traces of mold or mildew on the walls or in the tile cracks, you can spray the area with an anti-fungal cleaner, but be sure to open the windows for adequate ventilation. Let the product sit for the amount of time recommended before removing it. You also can mix a solution of bleach water (check the proper balance of water to bleach on the bottle) in lieu of a commercial cleaner for sanitizing the tile. Test the blend in a corner of the enclosure first to be sure it doesn't fade or stain the tile or ceramic surface.

Use a non-abrasive cleanser on a soft cloth for wiping the walls of the enclosure. Start at the top so the drips can run down where you can catch them later. When you have soaped up the entire area, rinse it thoroughly to remove soap scum. Wipe off the fixtures and shower caddy if one is hanging in the enclosure. Allow the enclosure to completely air-dry before closing the enclosure door. Inspect the metal rim (if you have one) for signs of rust and treat these with an anti-rusting solution to prolong their use.

Remind family members not to bathe in the enclosure if they have harsh substances on their bodies. These include cement, paint, asphalt, or other chemicals or products that may damage or stain your enclosure. If possible, the person should bathe in a basement shower or run the hose over themselves (leaving some clothes on while outdoors) before getting into the enclosure for a regular shower or bath. Inspect and clean the enclosure immediately after a particularly challenging scrub of this sort to remove crumbs, stains, and other potential problems.

Don't let children jump or throw things in the enclosure even when it is not in use, which can help to prevent chips and cracks.

© High Speed Ventures 2011