Tackling The Shower --and Don't Forget To Sing


July 06, 1991|By Rob Kasper

&TC Just as there are many paths to happiness, there appear to be many ways to scrub a shower.

You can put on special shoes to do the job. Or put on rock music. You can scrub the area between the shower tiles with a brush that is supposed to clean an electric razor. Or you can clean the tile with kerosene.

I found this out recently when several readers called in and passed along advice on how they cope with the ugly parts of life, specifically with battling mildew in the shower stall.

A woman who wished to be known only as Marion said she straps on special sneakers before she cleans her shower. She wears them not out of a sense of tradition. Instead, she wears them to protect her feet.

"If you don't wear the sneakers you'll get dishpan feet," she said.

Once she puts on those sneakers, the mold is done for. She sprays the shower walls with a cleaner called Tilex then waits half an hour, then washes the walls off with cold water using a hand-held shower spray.

The hand-held shower spray is crucial, she said, because it allows you to rinse the walls off without getting water all over you.

If you don't have a hand-held spray, Marion said, you'll just have to live with a dirty shower.

Jim Richardson said he relies on rock music to help him in the battle against shower mold.

"I play it loud, something to really get the muscles moving. Something that lets you pour your energy into the scrubbing," he said. Alas, the rock-away-the-mold technique provides only temporary relief, not eternal sanitation.

"I still hate scrubbing the shower," Richardson said, "and the mold always comes back."

Not so in the home of Jerry Howard. Thanks in part to a small plastic brush that she stole from her husband's electric razor kit, mold has been banished.

The brush, which is designed to clean the electric razor, is also the perfect size to attack the mildew between the shower tiles, she said.

A toothbrush can also be used as a weapon against the growth, she said, provided the rounded end of the brush has been removed.

She said her husband has already performed the necessary surgery on one toothbrush. Probably because he wanted to get his razor brush back.

The cleaner that Mrs. Howard uses in a coordinated attack with her brushes is Soft Scrub with bleach, she said.

Frank DeMasi, on the other hand, said he uses kerosene. He puts a small amount of kerosene on a rag, rubs it over the shower tile, then washes it off with a sudsy soap and water solution.

It is a method he picked up from a buddy at an industrial chemical company.

The kerosene cuts through the film that builds up on shower walls, he said.

He cautioned that when working with this aromatic and flammable liquid, you should keep the windows open.

And you shouldn't smoke.

I am not entirely sure which of these methods I am going to use to attack my shower stall.

I suspect I am going to combine them.

I'll wire myself up with my kid's Walkman tape player. I'll put on some old sneakers. I'll use a cleanser with bleach, and a truncated toothbrush. And I'll open all the windows.

Now that I have all the correct shower scrubbing techniques, all I need is the motivation.

I'll scrub that shower, soon. Maybe next Saturday.

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