This story first appeared on the Strategist U.K., our recently launched, Brit-specific shopping-recommendation site. Since the squeegee is also available here, we’re publishing this for our readers on this side of the pond.
I can’t put a finger on the precise age I was when the cleanliness of my shower screen started to bother me. But I do know at some point I stopped being chill about it and started to stress out about limescale, streak marks, and general perfection. You know how Renata Klein screams about money in every episode of Big Little Lies? That was me but specifically about shower screens. I live in a third-floor apartment, and the bathroom has no windows so even raking a $1 Ikea squeegee over the screen after every shower and spritzing on every kind of antimicrobial spray just doesn’t keep it clean or streak free. It doesn’t help that water in London is known as “hard” — meaning it has high levels of calcium and magnesium compounds, which cause limescale.
But I found a solution. A few months ago, I was given a Kärcher window vacuum by my mom, which, well, clue’s in the name: It’s a vacuum for windows, or any kind of glass or tile, actually. Mom was given one by her sister last Christmas; it was a bit of an odd gift, but we are a notoriously hard family to buy for. She liked it so much she got me one because, as a northerner, she comments every time she visits on how different the water is down here. Kärcher is a German company that specializes in high-pressure hoses, and while this yellow device might not win any awards for aesthetics, it has become my go-to tool in keeping my shower clean. Think of it as a squeegee on steroids.
Because it’s motor-powered, it sucks all the moisture off any given surface, which is better for preventing limescale buildup. Manual shower cleaners like those Ikea squeegees can mean you’re just pushing the water and/or soap marks around, but this gets rid of any streaks effortlessly.
It sucks up excess water so you can also get rid of mirror condensation in no time, and you can use it to clean bathroom tiles or kitchen counters, too — anything with excess water, really. Gently running it down surfaces (top to bottom works best, at about a 45-degree angle) is oddly soothing, and you can clean roughly 45 surfaces on one charge. Now everyone in our family has one, but, you know, our shower screens are really clean. So if you’re coming round mine for dinner, please notice.
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