The Best Shower Tile Cleaner for a Sparkling Shower, Tested

An effective shower tile cleaner helps to provide a safe and enjoyable shower experience.

Best Overall

A spray bottle of Lysol Power Bathroom Foamer Cleaner on a white background.

Lysol Power Bathroom Foamer Cleaner

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Best Bang for the Buck

A spray bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer Trigger on a white background.

Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer Trigger

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Best for Killing Germs

Three spray bottles of Clorox Plus Tilex Mold & Mildew Remover on a white background.

Clorox Plus Tilex Mold & Mildew Remover

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A long, hot shower is one of life’s simple pleasures, and using an effective shower tile cleaner can contribute to that experience. Dirty or moldy shower tile promotes an unhealthy showering environment because bacteria, fungus, mold, and mildew grow on the tile’s surface. Regular cleaning is the best defense against this grime; however, not all shower tile cleaners work for all surfaces or stains. To find the best products for cutting through these different types of buildup, we researched 15 highly rated shower tile cleaners and then tested the top seven cleaners. 

Keep reading to learn how each cleaner performed in our hands-on testing and which product is the best shower tile cleaner for tackling specific cleaning challenges.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Lysol Power Bathroom Foamer Cleaner
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer Trigger
  3. BEST FOR MOLD AND MILDEW: Clorox Plus Tilex Mold & Mildew Remover 
  4. BEST FOR CLEANING GROUT: Black Diamond Ultimate Grout Cleaner
  5. BEST FOR HARD WATER SPOTS: CLR Brilliant Bath Foaming Cleaner
  6. BEST NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Better Life Tub and Tile Cleaner
  7. BEST FOR NATURAL STONE: Granite Gold Shower Cleaner
A person holding a spray bottle of Lysol Power Bathroom Foamer Cleaner after spraying it on shower tile during testing.
Photo: Katie Barton for BobVila.com

How We Tested the Best Shower Tile Cleaners

To narrow down our list of 15 of the best shower tile cleaners to the top seven cleaners for hands-on testing, we began by researching average customer ratings, prices, and brand reputation. We also considered specific cleaning situations, ensuring we chose products that could tackle soap scum, hard water spots, mold, and grout, as well as delicate natural stone surfaces.

We spent 3 weeks testing the products on a ceramic tile shower with dark gray grout and a plastic tile shower with white grout. First, we mimicked soap scum by creating a mixture of soap and water and allowing it to dry on our shower tile. Then, we applied each shower tile cleaner to determine how effectively it could remove the mixture. We also tested the ability of applicable products to eliminate mold and hard water spots and to clean grout. 

Finally, we logged our test results in a rubric survey in which we rated each cleaner on its ease of use, effectiveness, scent, and value. We then tallied these results to award each product an overall rating.

Testing Stats

  • Products tested: 7
  • Hours spent testing: 5.3
  • Tests performed: 11
  • Average price: $10.22

Our Top Picks

These top picks represent some of the best shower tile cleaners on the market today for cleaning shower tile, grout, and other bathroom surfaces. Manufactured by well-known and reputable companies, each cleaner demonstrates effectiveness, safety, and value. 

Best Overall

Lysol Power Bathroom Foamer Cleaner

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 5/5; Scent 3/5; Value 5/5

Product Specs 

  • Volume: 32 ounces
  • Consistency and application: Foam spray
  • Recommended surfaces: Glazed ceramic tile, shower doors, tubs, vanity tops, sinks, chrome fixtures

Pros

  • Cuts through limescale and soap scum on most hard, nonporous bathroom surfaces
  • Thick foam makes it easy to spot-treat buildup on shower tiles
  • Can sanitize, disinfect, remove limescale and soap scum, or prevent mold growth, depending on usage

Cons

  • A somewhat harsh chemical smell may be offensive to some users

Lysol Power Bathroom Foamer is a spray cleaner that provides thick foaming action to cut through even the toughest soap scum and limescale. It can sanitize and disinfect bathroom surfaces, plus repel future mold growth and soap scum buildup. This cleaner is safe for glazed ceramic shower tile and most other nonporous bathroom surfaces, including tubs, sinks, shower doors, chrome fixtures, and vanity tops. 

The cleaner was a top performer in our limescale and soap scum tests. We sprayed it on our shower tile walls and allowed it to sit on the surface for 1 minute before wiping it with a microfiber cloth. As we wiped with the cloth, all the soap scum and residue came off easily, and our tiles looked spotless. We also tested this cleaner on a laminate vanity top, sink, tub, and chrome faucet. It removed toothpaste splatters, hard water spots, and other bathroom grime.

Lysol Power Bathroom Foamer sanitizes a surface in 30 seconds and disinfects in 10 minutes. We appreciated that we could use this product to clean regular messes and kill nasty bathroom germs. However, we didn’t like the somewhat harsh odor. While the scent wasn’t unbearable, it wasn’t pleasant either. We ventilated the room during use to dissipate the chemical odor.

Get the Lysol shower tile cleaner at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.

Best Bang for the Buck

Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer Trigger

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 3/5; Effectiveness 5/5; Scent 4/5; Value 5/5

Product Specs 

  • Volume: 32 ounces
  • Consistency and application: Foam spray
  • Recommended surfaces: Glazed ceramic tile, glazed porcelain, chrome, countertops, sealed stone, shower doors, tubs, grout

Pros

  • Cleans multiple surfaces, including tile, grout, showers, tubs, and countertops
  • Foam penetrates soap scum and dirt, making it easy to wipe away messes
  • Removes hard water spots, calcium, and lime deposits without excessive scrubbing

Cons

  • Inefficient spray nozzle causes an unwieldy foam spray
  • Not recommended for acrylic, brass, natural marble, or unsealed stone surfaces

Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer cleans not only shower tile but multiple other bathroom surfaces. This cleaner works on ceramic and porcelain tile to remove soap scum, dirt, grime, and calcium and lime deposits. Use it to clean shower doors, vinyl shower curtains, sinks, and toilets. 

We first used this product to tackle soap scum buildup in our tiled shower by spraying it on the surface, allowing it to penetrate for a few minutes, and then wiping it clean with a microfiber cloth. The product cleaned the surface effectively, leaving our tile free of soap scum and hard water deposits. We also used it to wipe down our laminate countertops and shower curtain liner. The rainshower scent was pleasant, without overwhelming fumes. 

However, we found the adjustable spray nozzle to be a serious drawback. The spray foam is intended to cover grime and soap scum in all directions, with instructions indicating to hold the bottle 15 inches from the surface before spraying. Even when we followed these instructions, the spray went everywhere, including on our hands. While this cleaner made our list of top picks because of its exceptional cleaning power and versatility, we recommend wearing gloves while using it.

Get the Scrubbing Bubbles shower tile cleaner at Amazon, Lowe’s, Walmart, or Target.

Best for Mold and Mildew

Clorox Plus Tilex Mold & Mildew Remover

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 5/5; Scent 3/5; Value 4.5/5

Product Specs 

  • Volume: 32 ounces
  • Consistency and application: Liquid spray
  • Recommended surfaces: Glazed ceramic tile, grout, vinyl, fiberglass, tubs, countertops, sinks, no-wax floors, shower doors

Pros

  • Kills common household bacteria and fungus, plus mold and mildew
  • Can remove mold and mildew in as little as 5 minutes without scrubbing
  • Safe for multiple bathroom surfaces and different types of shower surrounds

Cons

  • Contains bleach; must take proper safety precautions and ventilate the room during application
  • Areas with more stubborn mold or mildew buildup may require scrubbing

With bleach as an active ingredient, Clorox Plus Tilex Mold & Mildew Remover destroys the bacteria that cause staphylococcus and streptococcus, as well as the fungus that leads to athlete’s foot. It also kills 99 percent of common household bacteria, along with the mold and mildew that grow in damp bathroom environments. This cleaner is safe for use on ceramic tile, grout, vinyl, fiberglass, and plastic. 

Clorox states that this product can “eliminate stains before your eyes.” We’re always skeptical of these types of claims, so we were shocked to see mildew gliding off the tile within 15 seconds of spraying the cleaner on our shower. In addition to our ceramic tile shower, we used Clorox Plus Tilex on a fiberglass shower, which was in much worse condition. We sprayed it all over the orange-colored mildew buildup and allowed it to soak for 5 minutes. Then, we used a shower scrub brush to successfully remove the stain, requiring only light elbow grease from us.

This cleaner delivers on its promises, working exceptionally well on mold and mildew. It does contain bleach, so be sure to properly ventilate the room during use and take proper safety precautions. 

Get the Clorox shower tile cleaner at Amazon (3-pack), The Home Depot, or Walmart.

Best for Cleaning Grout

Black Diamond Ultimate Grout Cleaner

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 5/5; Scent 5/5; Value 4.5/5

Product Specs 

  • Volume: 32 ounces
  • Consistency and application: Liquid spray
  • Recommended surfaces: White and colored grout

Pros

  • Acid-free formula is safe for all white and colored grout
  • Lifts dirt, grease, oil, and soap scum from grout within 3 minutes
  • Safe to use on all types of tile, including natural stone surfaces

Cons

  • Doesn’t remove mold or limescale from grout lines due to the acid- and bleach-free formula

When cleaning a tile shower, you’ll also want to consider the best way to clean grout. Many bathroom cleaners will remove mold, soap scum, and hard water deposits on grout, but not all can eliminate years’ worth of dirt buildup. Black Diamond Ultimate Grout Cleaner is formulated to dissolve dirt, grease, oil, and soap scum from grout lines. Its acid-free formula is safe for all types of tile, including natural stone. 

We first used this product about a year ago on our ceramic tile bathroom floors. The light gray grout had turned a dingy orange color and needed a refresh. A spray of this cleaner and a light scrub took our grout from disgusting to like new. Since then, it has been the best grout cleaner we’ve found. This time, we used the cleaner on our dark gray shower grout. We sprayed it on, let it sit for 3 minutes, and then scrubbed it with a grout brush. This product removed soap scum and left the grout lines sparkling fresh.

Black Diamond doesn’t indicate a particular scent for this cleaner, but it has a light, fresh smell. It’s also compatible with steam cleaners to make light work of grout scrubbing. Because this product is acid- and bleach-free, it won’t remove mold or limescale.

Get the Black Diamond shower tile cleaner at Amazon or BD Stoneworks.

Best for Hard Water Spots

CLR Brilliant Bath Foaming Cleaner

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 5/5; Scent 3/5; Value 5/5

Product Specs 

  • Volume: 26 ounces
  • Consistency and application: Foam spray
  • Recommended surfaces: Ceramic tile, plastic, porcelain, stainless steel, sealed granite, white grout, shower doors, fiberglass, sinks, toilet bowls

Pros

  • Dissolves lime, calcium, soap scum, and dirt on many bathroom surfaces
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safer Choice certified; does not contain bleach, ammonia, or phosphates
  • Thick foaming spray makes it easy to coat shower walls and spot-treat problem areas

Cons

  • Not suitable for colored grout, marble, or painted tile surfaces
  • Harsh smell may be offensive to some users; room ventilation may be necessary

CLR Brilliant Bath Foaming Cleaner breaks down dirt, soap scum, and calcium and limescale deposits. It’s registered with the EPA Safer Choice Program, signifying that this product is a safer alternative to cleaners that contain bleach, phosphates, and ammonia. 

In addition to shower tile, the cleaner works to cut through dirt and deposits on shower doors, white grout and caulk, porcelain toilet bowls and sinks, stainless steel, fiberglass, and more. However, it is not safe for use on colored grout; vinyl; glass mirrors; wood; natural stones; plastic laminates; and painted, coated, or sealed surfaces. 

We used this product on our plastic tile shower with white grout. The foam came out thick when we sprayed it on, making it easy to coat the shower walls. The cleaner did smell harsh, so we had to open a window to ventilate the room. We let the product sit for a few minutes before wiping it with a damp microfiber cloth. As we wiped the cloth, all the hard water spots and soap scum disappeared from our shower walls. The CLR cleaner was also one of the best bathtub cleaners during our testing, leaving our tub sparkling clean. 

Get the CLR shower tile cleaner at Amazon (2-pack), The Home Depot, Walmart, or Target.

Best Natural Ingredients

Better Life Tub and Tile Cleaner

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 4/5; Scent 4/5; Value 5/5

Product Specs 

  • Volume: 2-pack of 32-ounce bottles; 64 ounces total
  • Consistency and application: Foam spray
  • Recommended surfaces: Ceramic, porcelain, stainless steel, fiberglass, acrylic, and chrome

Pros

  • Made from plant-based, biodegradable ingredients with a natural tea tree and eucalyptus scent
  • Safe for use on multiple bathroom surfaces, including shower walls, toilets, tubs, and most fixtures
  • Natural ingredients and no harsh fumes make this cleaner safe for daily use

Cons

  • Not as effective on soap scum and hard water deposits compared to chemical cleaners
  • Not suitable for marble, granite, and other natural stone materials

For health-conscious and environmentally conscious shoppers, this all-natural cleaner from Better Life presents a viable alternative to chemical-based shower tile cleaners. The ingredients are plant-based and biodegradable, and membership in the Leaping Bunny program certifies that the manufacturer never tests the product on animals. This cleaner is safe to use on shower tile walls, shower doors and curtains, grout, tubs, sinks, toilet seats, and chrome fixtures. 

Of all the shower tile cleaners we tested, Better Life Tub and Tile Cleaner had the best scent, devoid of any harsh chemical smell. Its natural tea tree and eucalyptus fragrance was refreshing, and we didn’t have to ventilate the room while cleaning. The foaming spray effectively removed weekly buildup and light soap scum from our shower tiles. Unfortunately, it couldn’t tackle moderate to severe soap scum or hard water deposits like chemical-based cleaners.

We also used this cleaner in other spots around the bathroom—like the toilet seat, sink, and chrome faucet—and appreciated the versatility. It’s an ideal daily cleaner. However, if you need to cut through old soap scum, lots of hard water deposits, mold, or mildew, you may need a more potent product.

Get the Better Life shower tile cleaner at Amazon (2-pack) or Walmart.

Best for Natural Stone

Granite Gold Shower Cleaner

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 4.5/5; Scent 4/5; Value 4/5

Product Specs 

  • Volume: 24 ounces
  • Consistency and application: Liquid spray
  • Recommended surfaces: Granite, marble, travertine, quartz, ceramic

Pros

  • Phosphate- and ammonia-free cleaner specially formulated for natural stone shower tile
  • Repeated use helps to prevent future mold, mildew, and hard water deposits
  • No harsh smell; light citrus scent leaves the shower smelling fresh

Cons

  • May not remove mold, mildew, and severe soap scum buildup

Granite Gold shower tile cleaner works well on ceramic tile as well as shower tile made from natural stone materials, including quartz, marble, travertine, granite, and more. Regular use of this cleaner prevents the buildup of soap scum, hard water deposits, mold, and mildew on shower tile, tub surrounds, and bathroom fixtures. It achieves deep-cleaning results without ammonia or phosphates and leaves a streak-free, clean surface that reveals the stone’s natural beauty. 

We tested this product on our ceramic tile shower, spraying it on the shower walls and wiping it with a soft microfiber cloth. The cleaner effectively cut through regular buildup and light soap scum without issue. We also applied it to more stubborn soap scum and hard water deposits, which took repeated applications and lots of elbow grease to eliminate these tougher stains.

Granite Gold shower tile cleaner emits a light citrus scent with no harsh chemical smell. We didn’t need to ventilate the room during use. Overall, this shower spray proved handy as a daily cleaner, but shower tile with severe buildup will likely require a stronger product, a shower scrubber, or a lot of elbow grease.

Get the Granite Gold shower tile cleaner at Amazon or Granite Gold.

Jump to Our Top Picks

A person using the best shower tile cleaner and a brush to clean tile grout.
Photo: Katie Barton for BobVila.com

What to Consider When Choosing a Shower Tile Cleaner

Given the many available options, shoppers can select products to clean grout and shower tiles according to the specific needs and conditions that exist in their bathrooms. For example, if mold and mildew growth is a problem, special cleaners can tackle that particular issue. If the shower tiles are made of natural stone rather than ceramic or porcelain, cleaners formulated for stone are available as well. Keep reading to learn about these and other important factors to consider when searching for the best shower cleaner.

Type of Cleaner

Shower tile cleaners are available in several types, including liquid and foam sprays, powders, gels, and pastes. For ease of use, however, the sprays take first prize. 

Foam sprays cling to the vertical surfaces of shower walls, allowing the cleaning ingredients to break down dirt, soap scum, mineral deposits, mold, and mildew on the tile before the foam dissipates or drips. Liquid sprays also are effective, coating surfaces while dispersing the product from a nozzle.

Product directions typically indicate spraying the cleaner on the shower tile and allowing it to set for 2 to 5 minutes so the ingredients can interact with the dirt, soap scum, mold, and mildew. After waiting for the appropriate time, rinse the area with clean water and wipe with a damp cloth or sponge. Finally, wipe the area with a dry cloth to bring out a sheen on the shower tile surface.

Type of Tile

Before choosing the best shower cleaner, it’s essential to first know the type of tile in your shower. Because ceramic and porcelain are the most commonly used materials in shower tiles, tile cleaners that treat these materials are common. They’re formulated to clean the tiles without damaging the finish or the underlying material. 

However, some shower tiles are made from marble, quartz, granite, travertine, or other natural stone materials. Using a run-of-the-mill shower tile cleaner on natural stone tiles can damage this material, so experts advise using a shower tile cleaner specially formulated for natural stone.

Purpose and Performance

Shower tile cleaners feature different formulations for specific purposes. For example, some cleaners contain bleach to kill bacteria, fungus, mold, and mildew. Alternatively, health-conscious and environmentally aware users can opt for all-natural green cleaners with no harsh chemicals. 

Additionally, hard water that contains calcium, magnesium, and lime can cause a mineral deposit buildup, and some shower tile cleaners are formulated specifically to remove these stains. 

Versatility

Product descriptions for shower tile cleaners include the surfaces on which you can and can’t use them. Consider the surface materials in the bathroom, and then select a cleaner that works well across a wide range of materials and completes multiple cleaning tasks. 

No shower tile cleaner is suitable for every surface. However, if a cleaner is versatile enough to clean not only the shower tile but several other surfaces, you’ll save both time and money.

Toxicity

For the safety of family members, guests, and the person doing the cleaning, consider the toxicity level of specific ingredients in shower tile cleaners. Although bleach may be dangerous when inhaled in large quantities, the amount of bleach and disinfecting agents in shower cleaners is generally not at harmful levels. However, if you’re still concerned or the smell is bothersome, open windows, activate exhaust fans, and ventilate the bathroom before using any product that contains bleach or disinfectants.

Some users may avoid surfactants in cleaning products because of the possibility of skin irritation, and environmentally conscious shoppers often avoid products that contain phosphates due to their harmful effects on natural water sources. If you want to avoid chemicals in cleaning products, consider all-natural shower tile cleaners that rely on plant-based ingredients. 

FAQs

To keep a bathroom looking and smelling fresh, experts recommend regularly cleaning shower tile with a safe and effective product. As an added benefit, consistent cleaning protects the health of all household members. The answers to these frequently asked questions may help you get started with your new shower tile cleaner. 

Q. How do you deep-clean a tile shower?

Remove the shower head and soak it in equal parts water and white vinegar. Clean the shower caddy and replace worn-out accessories. Clean the shower curtain or doors, along with the tile, grout, drain, and caulking.

Q. What do professional cleaners use to clean showers?

Many professional cleaners use green products, including white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, castile soap, and borax.

Q. What is the best no-scrub shower cleaner? 

The Lysol and Scrubbing Bubbles shower tile cleaners require only spraying, rinsing, and wiping, with no scrubbing necessary.

Q. What should I do if a shower tile cleaner gets into my eyes? 

Flush your eyes with clean, running water for 15 to 30 minutes, keeping your eyes open as much as possible. If the eye burn is severe, seek medical treatment or call 911.

Meet the Tester

Katie Barton has over 10 years of experience in product writing, has tested dozens of cleaning products, and has authored hundreds of articles for major media outlets. Her cleaning and organizing advice has been featured on GOBankingRates, Realtor.com, Yahoo!, Cabin Life, and more. She takes an unbiased approach to product testing, using each product multiple times or for several days/weeks to determine efficacy. Her goal is to help readers decide which products are worth their hard-earned money and which fall flat.

Additional research provided by Carol Benton.

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Katie Barton

Contributing Writer

Katie Barton is a home improvement freelance writer based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. She has been writing for the Bob Vila team since July 2022 and specializes in topics such as cleaning, organizing, and gardening.

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