Do drill brushes really work for shower scum/mildew?
November 20, 2016 9:30 AM   Subscribe

So, the shower grout is getting very mildewy despite my best attempts to clean, scrub, brush, etc. The bathroom is not ventilated particularly well, which only compounds the problem. I've seen these amazing "Drill Brushes, advertising effortless, "manly" cleaning. Do they actually work? Will it clean the grout without damaging the tiles? Has anyone tried one?
posted by greatgefilte to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Works great, we use some bleach diluted to 10% in a spray bottle and a brush similar to these. Ours is a mandrel that goes in the drill chuck and then pads Velcro on there. Grout lines get nice and clean. We still use an Oxo good grips brush like a toothbrush to get into corners. It's possible if you've got old or cracked or damaged grout to knock pieces out, so start gently.
posted by fixedgear at 9:47 AM on November 20, 2016

As an aside, my bathroom gets little ventilation and porous parts (grout, ceiling) have had mildew. I bought one of these 'window vacuums', and after every shower I run it over the tile and shower screen to suck away the water. It takes probably 30 seconds, but it's made a big difference to the amount of condensation in the bathroom. (It's also great on windows too.)
posted by essexjan at 9:58 AM on November 20, 2016

I use my electric toothbrush with old brushes I keep in a jar expressly for these kind of tasks.
posted by srboisvert at 2:01 PM on November 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

In a a similar situation, we used diluted bleach (3 to 1) to clean plus a fan to blow out the fumes, plus a dehumdifier to prevent mildew. Worked great!
posted by cnc at 3:18 PM on November 20, 2016

We* used one once. It did an ok job. What worked better and easier was Barkeeper's Friend (the foaming version). I've also used BF as a thick paste left on for a while and then rinsed off.

By "we", I mean I encouraged Mr. Super Squirrel to display his manly grout-cleaning efforts while I watched and supervised.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:29 PM on November 20, 2016

I have been reliably informed that bleach will only kill the surface mold and leave its "roots" uninjured. Altering the pH is a good way to kill it permanently - vinegar will do it, then leave it a few days and bleach the top. That'll help with your growback.
posted by Jilder at 6:22 PM on November 20, 2016

I once bought a consumer version of this at Target once (made by Mr. Clean, I believe) and it worked really well. It was rechargeable and had a few different exchangeable heads.

I was sad when it died and wished they still sold them. I might have to try this one.
posted by tacodave at 1:28 PM on November 21, 2016

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