Homemade green shower cleaner

*recipe updated 02/2013*

A while back, I reviewed store-bought green bathroom cleaners, and then later revealed my ongoing battle with our old, old, old bathroom grout. It gets mildew really easily because it is no longer sealed in any way. Old, old, old.

At the time, I was using one of the Tilex-type shower sprays to keep the old, old, old grout in our shower from getting all moldy after showers. After a while I became a little suspicious about what exactly was in that spray, so I started attempting to make my own.

Per the “vinegar is amazing book“, vinegar is a good mold killer. For a while I was using just vinegar and water. I began adding a few tablespoons of Wave Jet natural/biodegradeable dishwashing aid (it’s like Jet Dry, only the natural version – that’s an affiliate link) to keep it from streaking. I found this solution to still allow some mold to grow, especially on the cloth shower curtain liner I had substituted for our previous plastic liner. Also, Christian was always complaining about how the shower smelled like pickles.

Then, just the other day I started reading some green cleaning web sites talking about tea tree oil and how it has natural bleaching powers. I actually like the way tea tree oil smells – is that weird? So I went to a local natural food store and got a bottle of tea tree oil and added that to the mix.*

Here is what I’ve been using so far and I believe it is actually the most effective so far:

Jenny’s Homemade Green Shower Spray

24 oz spray bottle
1-2 tablespoons Wave Jet Rinse Aid (buy here, affiliate link)
10 drops tea tree oil
white vinegar – just a few tablespoons
11 oz hydrogen peroxide*
water – fill the bottle the rest of the way

Shake it up before spraying on the shower each time. I spray shower walls and tub directly after using the shower, and the solution is also safe for white cloth shower liners. Do not inhale or let it come in contact with skin (see notes, below).

It smells like tea tree oil more than vinegar now that I’ve adjusted the recipe. I like the way it smells!


* As of late 2009, I added food grade hydrogen peroxide to the mix to help bleach out previous mildew stains. It also seems to help prevent mildew on the cloth shower curtain liner. However, mixing hydrogen peroxide and vinegar creates a solution that should NOT be inhaled or sprayed on skin, so don’t get too close and make sure to dilute with plenty of water as instructed!

3 thoughts on “Homemade green shower cleaner

  1. Sandra B says:

    Jenny, the tea tree oil will also come in handy for baby stuff. I put a couple of drops on a cloth wipe and toss it in the diaper pail (for dirty cloth diapers) to keep the smell down. I also sprinkle a few drops in the baby’s cool mist humidifier to make the nursery smell nice.

    I found some oil at Whole Foods that also has lavender in it. Between that and the lavender and eucalyptus scent in the Burt’s Bees diaper rash cream, my baby boy smells like a flower shop! Hey, he’s too little to protest and I like it.

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