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5 Gross Things in Your Shower, and What to Do About Them

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It's an especially cruel irony that the shower is one of the filthiest places in your bathroom. While you may be tempted to ignore the problem until your lease is up or your family's in town, doing so actually means that you're washing yourself with mold. Oh, I'll explain that one -- and many more gross-out items.

To find out more about all the terrifying things lurking in your shower, read on.

1. The shower curtain
Let's start with the more obvious things that are making your bathing space totally disgusting, like that nasty shower curtain that's covered in moldy spots. Even the ones that bill themselves as "mold-free" will eventually develop a fungal growth that will turn plastic shower curtains into something resembling Gorgonzola. Keeping the shower curtain closed will help -- when the material folds back on itself, water will become trapped, making a welcoming home for mold and mildew.

Clean it up: Leave the curtain dangling on its rod, treat problem areas with a bleach-based spray cleaner, and use a sponge to scrub away mold and mildew; wash it in the machine using cold water, a small amount of detergent, and ½ cup of either bleach or white vinegar; or (let's level here) buy a new one.

2. Glass shower doors
"Shows what you know, lady! I don't use a shower curtain -- I have glass shower doors."

Okay Mister, now it's your turn! Glass shower doors are notorious for developing a patina of soap scum that creates a milky, cloudy appearance. In time, that soap scum will breed Serratia marcescens, which is a science-y term for that pinkish-orangeish bacteria so commonly found in bathrooms. Also, it's just ugly! To prevent soap scum and water spots from building up on glass shower doors, use a squeegee to wick away water and product run-off after showering.

Clean it up: This is weird but true: dryer sheets like Bounce can be used to scrub soap scum away. Wet the sheet and ball it up to use it just like you would a round net scrubber.

3. The walls
Just as with the shower curtain, your shower walls are probably streaked with soap scum which, over time, will lead to the development of mold, mildew, and bacteria. This is especially true of tiled showers, where porous grout likes to hang on to funky-looking spores.

Clean it up: A heavy-duty mold and mildew eliminator like X-14 will make short work of removing unsightly growth without requiring scrubbing on your part.

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Credit: Flickr/karen

4. The tub
Go take a good look at your tub or the floor of your shower. What do you see there? A brown ring around the tub? Black marks where your dirty feet have stood? Hairs galore? The tub itself will get really grimy over time, which is annoying since it's the place you go to get clean!

Does water back up because of a slow-moving drain? Fix that. Backed-up water will leave behind product buildup that will make a mess of your tub.

Clean it up: Fill the tub with very hot water, add a large scoop of oxygenated bleach like Oxo Brite, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Drain the tub and use a sponge to quickly scrub away any residual buildup.

5. The tub mat
Rubber tub mats can help to prevent slipping in the shower, but they come at a cost. When was the last time you looked underneath that thing? Go ahead, I can wait.

Gross, right? Covered in mold and slightly slimy? Yuck, eew, nasty, gross gross gross!

Clean it up: Just like with grout, use a mold-and-mildew-eliminating spray to clean tub mats. Allow the cleaner to work for about 15 minutes before scrubbing with a sponge and rinsing with very hot water.

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It's an especially cruel irony that the shower is one of the filthiest places in your bathroom. While you may be tempted to ignore the problem until your lease is up or your family's in town, doing so actually means that you're washing yourself with mold.