I Cleaned My Shower Using a Grapefruit — Because TikTok Told Me To

updated Dec 2, 2020
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Credit: Sarah Crowley

I’m all for bringing my favorite pantry ingredients to the bathroom. You heard that right: Kitchen essentials like baking soda, white vinegar, lemon, and even salt are some of my favorite cleaners. And I use them frequently on every surface — including my kitchen counters and appliances, my bathroom floors, and my shower door. So when I stumbled across this TikTok suggesting I use citrus and sugar to clean the shower, I wasn’t that surprised. 

In my head, the shower-cleaning hack made perfect sense. Because it’s acidic, citrus is a great way to cut through grease and oil — like shower crud, which is primarily composed of oils from your body wash and skin. And because sugar is coarse and somewhat abrasive, when you sprinkle it on a grapefruit wedge, you could end up with what seems to be a perfectly-shaped cleaner for your shower floor and walls. Also, let’s be honest: Who doesn’t want their shower smelling like a citrus grove? It goes without saying I was down for the challenge. 

Credit: Ashley Abramson

Like the video suggests, I quartered a red grapefruit, covered the flesh in table sugar, and found the parts of my shower that most needed a spa treatment. The shelf where I keep my shampoo and body wash had a bit of rusty-looking residue on it, and the corner by the glass door had some pink-ish soap scum. I used the grapefruit on both, and I admittedly enjoyed the process. The citrus wedge bent and contoured against the edge of the shelf, trailing a bit of juice behind as I cleaned (just like a sponge!). I was both hopeful and hungry!

Credit: Ashley Abramson

Sadly, however, the end result left something to be desired (and, quite honestly, a big mess to be cleaned up). Not only did the DIY grapefruit-sugar sponge not erase any of the residue I set out to clean, but it also left tons of flesh for me to remove from the tub after the process. (I would have left it for my next shower, but my kids and I take a lot of baths.) I’m all about trying out new eco-friendly cleaning tips, but not when they leave me with more work than I started with.

The only plus of the experiment: I got to snack on the rest of the grapefruit, and my shower did smell amazing, just as the TikTokker promised. But next time, I think I’ll keep the grapefruit in my fruit bowl.