Homemade Automatic Shower Cleaner Refills

 Posted by on May 6, 2009  Add comments  Tagged with:
May 062009

When I was on bedrest for 6 weeks, during my pregnancy with Cakes, my husband was in charge of running the household.

He didn’t realize what a big job it would be – cooking, cleaning, bill paying, laundry, child care, errands. The volume of work was a bit overwhelming for him. One day he came into the living room, where I was sprawled on the couch like a beached whale, and said, “I hate your job!

I felt sorry for him. It was no easier for him to do my job than it would be for me to do his, and I felt especially bad because I couldn’t help him with anything, and he had to wait on me hand and foot. We decided that because we couldn’t afford to hire a full-time cook, maid and nanny, we should take steps to make things easier.

We had a coupon, so one of the first things we did was purchase an automatic shower cleaner, to help keep the tiny, hard-to-clean, corner shower in our master bath clean. Some people say that these cleaners don’t work, but in our particular shower, it works like a charm. We never have mold or mildew problems anymore! The problem is that every time I have to shell out 4 bucks for a refill that is probably 75 percent water, it makes me mad. Not to mention that all of those plastic bottles aren’t so great for the environment.

I decided that if we were to continue using the shower cleaner, I needed to come up with a cheap way to make refills on my own. The first step was to figure out how to get the cap off the empty bottle, which has little childproof-type teeth. I must have messed with that stupid cap for a half hour, before I finally turned to my husband for help. He simply squeezed the bottom of the cap while turning, and had it off in about 5 seconds. Duh.

Then I tried to figure out what was in the cleaner itself, but Scrubbing Bubbles is pretty tight-lipped about this. I couldn’t find any ingredient information on the bottle or their web site, so I went to the store and read the labels on the daily shower cleaner spray bottles. I determined that I basically needed a mold and mildew inhibitor (IE bleach), a detergent, something to cut through oils and soap scum, and something to promote sheeting action, so that the shower door would dry clear, without water spots.

I’ve been using the following recipe for the last two weeks, and it seems to work great!

For a typical 34-ounce refill:

3/4 c rubbing alcohol
3/4 c hydrogen peroxide
10 drops dish detergent
1 1/2 capfuls (about 3 tsp) rinse aid (I use Jet Dry)
Fill to top with water.

When you go to put the refill back in the unit, you’ll need to put a piece of masking tape over the hole in the cap, so that it doesn’t leak all over. The tape makes a new seal, which will be punctured when the refill is inserted.

These refills cost about 94 cents. So now I can enjoy the benefits of my shower cleaner without steam coming out of my ears.