One thing I vowed when we built our home a few years ago was that I’d do my very best to always keep the bad smells away from important places. 🙂
I have mostly lived in very old homes in my life, so I am familiar with that old musty smell + unpleasant lingering bathroom odors. I’ve often asked myself, “Why does it smell bad?”
I have always wondered if I started from scratch in a brand new home if I could potentially keep the freshness going if I tried really hard.
So this new home (we built 3 years ago) is my chance!
I Wasn’t Sure How to Keep It Clean at First
All I knew was that this was my chance to get it right from the very beginning!
In my old home I would sometimes looks up online “How to make a shower smell good” or “How do I get my shower to stop smelling like mildew?” And I didn’t want to need to do that even once in this home!
After working really hard at keeping my bathrooms smelling amazing (especially when it comes to toilet seats and shower stalls), I am confident in saying I’ve found some methods that work.
I’ve written before all about bathroom scents in general, but I thought it would good to dedicate an entire post to the SHOWER because it’s an important part of keeping your bathrooms smelling nice!
In my other post (linked above), I was talking mostly about bathrooms WITHOUT showers. In this post, we’ll talk about bathrooms WITH showers.
I’ve found some great ways to ensure my showers have a pleasant scent. It’s not super difficult, but it does take some consistent effort!
Easy Ways to Make Your Shower Smell Good
I’ve found that staying on top of your bathroom cleaning routine goes a long way in ensuring gross buildup stays away.
If I learned anything from living in older homes over the years, it’s that build up is way easier to prevent than it is to get rid of!
Here are the things I recommend doing to have a clean bathroom all the time:
1) ADDRESS SOAP BUILDUP ONCE PER WEEK
I know some companies advertise a daily solution that you spray on your shower walls to prevent soap scum, but that seems over the top AND it’s a bunch more unnecessary chemicals in your home.
We clean our showers once per week with a grime fighting bathroom cleaner like Scrubbing Bubbles and make sure to rinse with hot water.
If you see mold or mildew buildup in your grout or corners of your shower, you can use a product like Tilex from Clorox to tackle it.
Whatever you do, don’t let your shower stall go a long time without being scrubbed down. The best way to maintain a clean shower is to stay on top of cleaning in the first place, and this is probably the first place I would focus.
If you can prevent soap scum in the first place, you won’t have to deal with it later on.
2) CLEAN THE INSIDE OF YOUR SHOWER CURTAIN (IF YOU HAVE ONE)
I find that a shower with a bathtub seems to get more dirty and stinky than one that has a stall only. I can only guess that is because of the curtain.
You can clean a shower curtain with just soap & water if it’s not too grimy.
If it’s a little beyond that, you can use the same Tilex product mentioned above OR make your own simple solution with dishwashing liquid + bleach (get those instructions here >>)
Addressing this on a weekly basis is a great way to prevent mildew from growing on your shower curtain.
3) DO NOT LET STANDING WATER ACCUMULATE
I can’t stress this one enough!
We have one of those ledges in the shower where you set shampoo, conditioner, and razors, etc. And those items are inside of a bucket of sorts.
Every time we take a shower, water accumulates in the bottom of the container with the items inside and it gets YUCKY really quickly.
I make sure to empty out the water in the container and wipe it down once a week or so. If I don’t, it gets really and musty smelling.
Most importantly, if you have one of those doors that slides on a track, make double sure to clean the tracks once a week. If you don’t, they will gather up gunk faster than you can imagine!
If you can’t get to the tracks with a larger brush, then I recommend using a toothbrush to get to the harder to reach places.
Another place water can sit is around the drain. Seems counterintuitive doesn’t it, it’s supposed to drain the water, not gather it. But that little lip around the edge can get scummy and stay wet and get one of those pink rings around it. Scrub that down at least once a week to keep it fresh.
4) SWITCH OUT TOWELS EVERY 2 DAYS
This one was very surprising to me. Growing up, we would use towels for forever before washing them. I don’t know why, but I never noticed the foul smell that emanates from days old used bath towels!
I find that after you use a towel twice, then it starts to not smell as fresh. Recently laundered towels have a fresh scent, so use this to your advantage!
By switching out your damp towels every other day, you’ll not only get RID of something that potentially smells bad, you’ll ADD something that smells nice! Bonus!
If you really want to boost the scent of your towels, I found the MOST AMAZING SMELLING laundry detergent.
You’re gonna laugh but the way I found out about it was one day when I was taking tennis lessons, I kept smelling the best scent ever every time one guy would run by.
Luckily, I knew his wife well enough to ask why his clothes smelled so good and she turned me onto the loveliest laundry detergent called Glamorous Wash in the Diva scent.
Now, I won’t lie – it’s rather expensive! So I got a bottle and keep it in the laundry room for use on things that really need to smell good like dressy outfits and towels! 🙂
After you get over the sticker shock, grab a bottle and give it a try. I promise you will LOVE it, and it will quickly become your favorite scent. At the very least, use it on your guest towels and you will get so many compliments!
5) CLEAN THE SHOWER HEAD
I’d say this is the least important of all the spots to clean, but it still matters. If you clean your shower head once a week or every other week, it will stay pretty nice looking (and shiny, too!)
Your main concern here is the brown, gray, or green gunk that will accumulate around the edges if you don’t clean it well. If you do see some of that pop up, then use a small brush to clear it out. When this happens, I like to use a cleaning solution that contains bleach to kill the bacteria and help prevent more from accumulating.
Simple Ways to Add Lovely Scents in Your Bathroom
Even though I think actually having a clean shower is the best way to have a good smelling shower & bathroom, there are things you can do to add to the great scent in there.
I’ve noticed when we do these things consistently, our bathroom smells better than ever:
- Put on your perfume or cologne in the bathroom – This introduces sweet smells that you know you like, and adds to the overall great scent of the room.
- Use a nice smelling shaving cream – I’ve had bad scents and good scents when it comes to shaving cream. You know the difference it makes! Let a nice one help you out here.
- Use nice smelling shampoo & conditioner – It’s a good idea to use products that you love. You might not even need any kind of air freshener if you already take a daily shower and use good smelling products!
- Place a luxury diffuser on your bathroom counter – My favorite line is from Achipelago Botanicals (it has some of the best bathroom scents I’ve ever smelled), but there are so many lovely fragrances out there. Here’s a list of some amazing options I found on Amazon >>
- For a natural solution, use a diffuser – Diffuse your favorite essential oils a little bit each day, perhaps as you’re getting ready in the morning.
- Add a few drops of essential oil on hand towels or on a fake plant. I have a fake flower bouquet in my bathroom that is perfect for this.
Try a homemade air freshener. You could keep a small spray bottle full of it in your cabinets below the sink and use it once a day or so. An air freshener with natural ingredients may be the best thing if you are sensitive to chemicals.
How to Freshen Up Your Overall Bathroom Smell
As I mentioned before, I wrote a blog post a while ago all about ways to make a smaller bathroom smell good, especially the toilet bowl. Give it a read if you’d like additional tips for battling unpleasant odor in your bathroom! >> 5 Ways to Make Your Bathroom Smell Good All the Time
Simple steps make a huge difference toward having a great smelling bathroom smelling all the time, especially if you develop a simple weekly cleaning routine.
If you’d like to hear all about my absolute favorite air freshener of all time, then you might like this post as well >> How to Make Your Stinky House Smell Like a Spa
Good Luck Keeping Your Bathroom & Shower Nice & Clean!
I hope this post helped teach you how to make your shower smell good . Keeping bad odors at bay in your master bathroom and guest bathrooms takes some work, but the easiest way is to stay on top of the cleaning tasks each week.
A good rule of thumb is that your bathroom should be cleaned completely each week or the grime will begin to build up on you, and there is definitely a point of no return!