I can’t put a finger on the precise age I was when the cleanliness of my shower screen started to bother me. But I do know that at some point I stopped being chill about it and started to stress out about limescale, streak marks, and general perfection. You know how Renata Klein screams about money in every episode of Big Little Lies? That was me, but specifically about shower screens. I live in a third-floor apartment and the bathroom has no windows, so even raking a £1 Ikea squeegee over it after every shower and spritzing on every kind of antimicrobial spray just doesn’t keep it clean or streak-free. It doesn’t help that water in London is known as ‘hard’ — meaning it has a high level of calcium and magnesium compounds, which cause limescale.
But I found a solution. A few months ago I was given a Karcher window vacuum by my mum, which, well, clue’s in the name: It’s a vacuum, for windows, or any kind of glass or tile, actually. Mum was given one by her sister last Christmas; it was a bit of an odd gift, but we are a notoriously hard family to buy for. She liked it so much she got me one because, as a Northerner, she comments every time she visits on how different the water is down here. Karcher are a German company that specialise in high-pressure hoses, and while this yellow device might not win any awards for aesthetics, it’s become my go-to tool in keeping my shower clean. Think of it as a squeegee on steroids.
Because it’s motor-powered it sucks all the moisture off any given surface, which is better for preventing limescale build-up. Manual shower cleaners like those Ikea squeegees can end up with you just pushing the water/soap marks around, but this gets rid of any streaks effortlessly.
It sucks up excess water so you can also get rid of mirror condensation in no time, and you can use it to clean bathroom tiles or kitchen counters, too; anything with excess water, really. Gently running it down surfaces — top to bottom works best, at about a 45-degree angle — is oddly soothing, and you can clean roughly 45 surfaces on one charge. Now everyone in our family has one, but, you know, our shower screens are really clean. So if you’re coming round mine for dinner, please notice.
Another Strategist-Approved (Oddball) Shower Cleaner
Here’s another Strategist-approved weird-but-it-works shower cleaner. Maxine writes: ‘The first time I used these, attaching them to our lime-green power drill, I was terrified. Maybe I would scratch the tiles, or maybe the brushes would spin out of control.
‘But my concerns melted away as quickly as the soap scum. I started by spraying the tiles down with our regular shower cleaner, then I attached the flat, round brush to our power drill and fired away. The drill did all the hard work, scrubbing faster and harder than I ever could by hand, and the results were noticeable even after the first pass. All the built-up grime had basically disappeared, though I did a second round just to be sure. The nylon bristles were gentle enough that I couldn’t find a single scratch afterward. Giddy with success, I swapped in the smaller brush to clean around the drain, followed by the rounded one to go deep into the corners. That initial deep-cleaning was almost two months ago, and I’m still riding high, basking in my gleaming tub and squeegeeing the excess water off the tiles after every shower to keep it that way.’
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