Stubborn stains can be beaten without a constant scrub-brush struggle. Kitchen and Bath Ideas magazine suggests putting these tips to work.
To remove stains, coat the tiles with a thick paste of scouring powder and water. Let the paste stand for five to 10 minutes, scrub with a stiff-bristle brush or nylon scrubbing pad, rinse well and wipe dry. To facilitate the process, use scouring powder with a bleaching agent and hot water.
If stains remain, apply undiluted bleach. Let stand for at least five minutes, rinse well and dry. Once the tiles are clean and dry, protect the grout with an acrylic sealer or lemon-oil furniture polish.
To clean hard-water residues, use a commercial tile cleaner or a homemade solution of water and vinegar in equal parts. Test any cleaning solution in an unobtrusive place first.
Don't throw away soiled plastic shower or window curtains. Toss them in the washing machine instead. Use regular agitation and spin cycles, warm water (100 degrees), your regular laundry detergent and chlorine bleach.
To keep the plastic pliant, use warm water in the rinse cycle. The curtains can be tumble-dried on the no-heat cycle. To reduce abrasion, add dry towels to the load and allow to tumble for five to 10 minutes before hanging.
Use a non-abrasive or mildly abrasive scouring powder or a diluted liquid all-purpose cleaner. Check the label to determine if the product is safe for fiberglass or plastic laminates.
For soap residues, apply a full-strength liquid cleaner or scouring powder with a sponge, and allow the product to stand for a minute before gently rubbing. Dry after rinsing.
Vinegar or a lime-removing product will help dissolve hard-water deposits.
The simplest way to avoid heavy-duty cleaning is to wipe the surfaces with a towel after each use. This prevents soap and hard-water deposits.