Almost “Natural” Bathroom Tile Cleaner

It is not easy to find cleaning items here like we were able to find in the states. Lime-a-Way which cleans the hard water build up off your shower tile is not something that I have found on our supermarket shelves. Not sure what it would do to the delicate balance in our septic either, so if I did find it I am not sure that I would buy it. But the tiles just look so dull, I needed to find something that would bring them back to the original state.

We have hard water, this combined with soap, shampoo, cream rinse and shower gels make for a really ugly build up on our white shower tiles. So I went on-line to find what I could make to get my shower tiles looking sparkly clean again. Here is the recipe I made and used this morning:

  • 1 liter of white vinegar
  • 3 oz of liquid dish detergent lemon scented
  • 8 fresh squeezed lemons (strain before adding to spray bottle) approx 6 oz of juice

Mix well and put it into a spray bottle. (I used an empty foam spray bottle from a commercial product shown in the photo below). Spray on to cover the tiles and allow to sit for 5 minutes to 15 minutes depending upon the build up. Spray again if it starts to dry before you are ready to remove. Use a sponge to wipe the tiles and then rinse with clean water. I did not need to scrub as the combination of these items did a great job.

San Clemente 2.19.2013 003

First the fresh scent of the lemons makes the room smell wonderful, second it cleaned all the soap scum and hard water deposits off the tiles and they are shiny, just like new. I don’t think something this natural will harm my septic.  But just in case I will be adding brown sugar and yeast to my septic system this afternoon.

Hope it works for you as well as it cleaned our tiles.


17 thoughts on “Almost “Natural” Bathroom Tile Cleaner

    • Hola Karen, I love using vinegar but for cleaning windows I use alcohol it drys faster and the place does not smell like vinegar ha ha be well and say hi to Michael for us, N

    • John and Mary, I hope it works as well for you as it did for me….if you need any of the lemons to make it just let me know the tree has a few more on it and we will share with you. Nancy

    • Deb, not sure if I would use this on the floors, I would think using lemon juice would attract ants etc…only the shower walls and floors when you are going to flush with water…I am telling you it worked really great and no SCRUBBING yahoo!!! We had problems with water in Dolega, but here once it is in our cistern we are all set, so far the municipality has continued to give us water each weekend so we are good…hope for your sake it comes back on soon, N

      • Never thought of that. But, the film from the hard water on our tile floors is difficult to get off. I wonder if I could rinse the floors with water after I wash them with the lemon solution? We have a dribble of water, now. They only have one shut-off valve when they work on the water lines. Sigh. So, when they fix the lines, everyone south of Moyogalpa is waterless. Good thing we have a big lake in our front yard. At least we can flush the toilets by hauling buckets of water from the lake.

        • Deb, I guess you could do that and then maybe mop it down twice with clear water see if that helps…I found a product here that puts a shine on the floor like wax without the slipping and yellowing. I used the same type product in Panama so maybe you can find it where you are. It is called Polwax it comes in a gallon white jug with a blue label…I will take a picture and send it to your email address. Nancy

  1. I’m new to this wonderful blog. I use Carnauba Cleaner Wax manufactured by Turtle Wax. It is an automotive product, but it removes the soap scum build up on bathroom tiles and glass shower doors. My shower stalls are nearing 40 yrs old but they look like they are brand new.

    I use this about every three to four months, because I find that soap scum builds up fast and then hardens on the surface making its removal very difficult. After its use, I do not use the shower for about 24 hours, and then there is a lingering odor for about three days.

    Within the next few years, I want to relocate to Ecuador. In the meantime, I’m taking Spanish classes and due dliigence about the amazing country in general. Have lots to learn but with wonderful blogs like this one, I’ll be an informed new resident once I arrive there.

    • Hi Pat, I am not sure if we can find that product here, but it sound like something that would save us time in the long run so I will add it to my shopping list when we go to Portoviejo next trip. We lived in Miami and South Miami back in the 70’s and I can kick myself for not taking Spanish lessons at that time. With all the Cuban’s living in South Florida I am sure I would have picked up the language then…Good luck with your classes. Nancy

  2. Thanks, Nancy, for your reply. New subject matter here and one that I’ve not had much success finding on line. ASSISTED LIVING and/or RETIREMENT CENTERS FOR SENIORS. This is one of the reasons I want to relocate to Ecuador with its lower cost of living and good health care. Assisted living costs in Oregon have gotten to be an average base rate of $4 to $5,000/month with $100 per add on for medication administration, etc.

    I’m not needing those facilities now, but down the road of life it is imminent. This is part of my due diligence in making a final decision to relocate.

    Would love to participate in an open forum here.

    • Hi Pat, I think I have heard that Cuenca has assisted living facilites you should join some of the Facebook groups and see if anyone has more information for you. I have not heard of any on this part of the coast…We have always felt that we would hire someone to live in to help when we need that assistance…I hope you find folks who can answer your questions, Nancy

      • Hi Nancy, Have been to Facebook bloggers from Cuenca but have found very little on the subject matter. Did, however, find one bloggers in Cotacachi who cited the case of an elder gentleman who could not remember his ATM secret code number to access his own $$$ nor phone numbers to reach relatives in the States. Other ex pat friends had taken up a collection for his food and care in the interim. So sad!! Little was stated what was wrong with the ailing senior, but I suspicion vascular dementia or the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease. These are conditions that most people under the age of 70 do not want to talk about. Why–because these conditions are never going to afflict them? WRONG. I, too, thought as much until my Mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia and a few years ago my husband as well. His was caused from a hemmoragic stroke (brain bleed deep in the brain), resulting in a disabled husband who is now completely dependent on me. I am now the sole marriage partner in charge of everything. No fun! What I would like to tell others is the fact these conditions are not easy to live with as a caregiver or wife. And, further, these conditions need to be addressed now – not later. Occluded veins and arteries can be helped with diet, medications and exercise. Many would questions, “how do I know my veins and arteries are occluded? A simple head to toe life screening may save your live and prevent the staggering shock to a healthy spouse. We had the opportunity years ago for each of us to have one of these screenings, but I had an attitude then of what I didn’t know wouldn’t hurt me. Bad attitude of what I call ‘stinking thinking’. Now, I’m living example of that bad attitude with 24/7 custodial care of my honey. Could I have prevented this from happening. You bet!!! I could have thrown away the *** frying pan and have been more aggressive in serving only broiled and/or bbq’d, baked, or boiled foods (white fleshed meats only). More leafy green vegetables and fruits – 5 servings per day. Whole grains only – no rice or potatoes – less carbohydrates, and white sugar. And, certainly not the rib eye steaks that he demanded. All fried foods, in my opinion, bear a naughty word. I cling to the hope that I will one day get to Ecuador as a single woman seeking adventure in a new culture. I have the genes of longevity, but do have a concern about full time care when that time comes for me. Until my arrival there, I enjoy reading how others are finding the ‘joy’s of living outside the USA. Blessings, Pat

        Date: Sat, 3 May 2014 00:07:01 +0000 To:

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