Introduction: Refill Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner for $1.00

Picture of Refill Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner for $1.00

Refills for the Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner retail for $3.89 each. I will show you how to refill your unit for $1.00!

Step 1: Buy a Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner

Picture of Buy a Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner

I'm a male college student, living in a house with 3 other male college students... One of our worst problems is cleaning. The shower has commonly grown so much mold that we usually felt much cleaner just not taking a shower. Thankfully, my roommates girlfriend bought us the Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner.

The thing works like a charm, attach it over your shower head, and once a day, just push the little blue button and close the shower curtain... after a few beeps the automated little maching shoots shower cleaner all over the walls and tub.

We haven't had to clean the shower yet in over 1.5 months!

Step 2: Refills

Picture of Refills

The automatic cleaner works great, but with all great things there is a catch..

Each refil tank only lasts for about 20 pushes of the button and then you have to go to the store and buy a new refill canister for about $3.89.

Here is a picture of the refill container.

Step 3: Being Cheap, I Found a Better Solution

Picture of Being Cheap, I Found a Better Solution

Well... not wanting to spend $3.89 I went to my local dollar store and found this cleaner.

It's clear and is a daily use product just like Scrubbing Bubbles cleaner. It's even almost the same size and contains 32oz. of fluid rather than 34oz.

Step 4: Refill Your Old Refill

Picture of Refill Your Old Refill

Now that you've got the liquid, it's time to get it into the old refill container.

The refills have a screw on cap that when you un-twist feels like a child safety lock. It isn't. Just keep unscrewing and it will pop off.

Now pour in your $1.00 cleaner into the refill.

If you examine the cap on the container you will see that a new refill doesn't have the hole punctured. That's so when you flip the refill into the automatic shower cleaner it doesn't spill out, the shower cleaner punches the hole.

To solve the problem, just take your shower cleaner off the shower head and flip it instead of the container!

Now put the unit back on your shower head.

Step 5: Enjoy Saving Money and Not Cleaning Your Shower!

Picture of Enjoy Saving Money and Not Cleaning Your Shower!

Now just sit back and enjoy!

Your shower will stay clean and once you've bought the actual unit the total cost savings per year is great.

If you bought the name brand refills it would cost you $71.00 a year to keep your shower clean if you used the unit once a day.

Now you can keep your shower clean for $18.25 a year and you never have to do any actual cleaning!!!


nemxwasp (author)2017-01-21

Thanks! Recently I haven't been able to find the refills, turns out they discontinued the automatic shower cleaner so this will help me keep it going till it breaks.

loretta powers (author)2016-10-20

Fantastic! the nearest store to me is Publix and it is always out of stock. This saves me gas money from going to other stores to find it. Thank you

KennethK37 (author)2016-06-02

The hardest part is FINDING the shower cleaner. No store has them and all online outlets are out of stock.

aviator79 (author)2016-05-31

What about just using a product like Zep Shower Tub and Tile Cleaner?

JenniferL67 (author)2015-10-13

Oh, and Daily Shower Cleaner thru Shoprite, and probably other stores, could be used as that refill, or just spray it after the last shower in the morning, or whenever you shower. Seems to be working, but again start w a clean shower.

JenniferL67 (author)2015-10-13

Mold can be tougher than just using the fan, you need to clean it and stains. I tried lots of methods, finally Mold Armor 2x mold and mildew stain remover. Helped my shower, even the ceiling. But clean it in a few stages or the fumes can be uncomfortable. It is the best product for that I have found, spray, let sit, and rinse, sometimes do again for last bits. Great, yes chemical, product that works.

JOHNY17 (author)2015-09-24

to stop mold you need a dry non humid shower - leave your doors open and turn on a smal fan for 1 -2 hours daily ....

BenRumson_NoNameCity (author)2014-04-23

Why not simply drill a refill hole in the bottom of the container and then plug the hole with a simple cork or rubber stopper of an appropriate size?!

dww400 (author)2009-07-19

What do you do when the hole on the bottom keeps getting bigger each time its put back on and the cleaner leaks out in a few hours.

gkitf16 (author)dww4002010-04-21

 I found a way to replace the original white foam seal on the bottle which is punctured by the sprayer when a new bottle is put in. I used 1/16" thick neoprene rubber to make a disc to fit inside of the the bottle cap. Getting the cap off takes some effort, press down hard and unscrew it. Poke the original seal gently out with a pen cap,etc. Lay the seal on the neoprene, trace and cut a disc, which should be 1-1/16" diameter to fit inside the cap. I actually cut mine with a cutting die, but scissors will work too. In the center of your disc, punch a 1/8" diameter hole for the sprayer fitting. This makes a tight but stretchable seal over the connection. Refill the bottle with your fluid, screw on the cap. Turn the sprayer upside down, plug in the bottle, and flip right side up. Done, no leaks!

cat25A (author)gkitf162013-09-07

Thank you for your wonderful advice. I couldn't get the cap off the bottle until I came across your suggestion---which worked. I also happened to have a piece of neoprene to use in place of the foam. The neoprene worked like the charm and my bottle doesn't leak at all. For the cleaning solution: I used 3 tablespoons of bleach, filled the remaining half of the container with vinegar and the other half with filtered water. The vinegar solution initially smells, well "vinegary," after spraying but soon dissipates. Everything appears to be working well and I'm so glad I have a cheaper way to operate my shower cleaner now. The bottle I was using was leaking, but he neoprene solved that problem. The cheapest I could find the Scrubbing Bubbles refills were at $5 plus each; the solution I mixed probably cost me at the most $1. Thanks for your help. Couldn't have done it without you.

akimbo m (author)2006-10-20

From reviews online, there were many question about the effectiveness on this cleaner. For example that it doesn't get rid of moud and midew. Any comments about this?

tjosephcarter (author)akimbo m2010-04-05

 If you start with a clean shower, it works pretty well.  If you start with a not so clean shower, it takes time to work well.  If you start with a gross shower, forget it.  Get some gloves, some abrasive cleanser, and a sponge with a scrubbing pad and clean it yourself.  THEN use the sprayer.

I have not yet tried dollar store or other alternative chemicals in the sprayer yet.  It seems that the ideal mod here is to permanently install some sort of tank with a wide-mouthed screw-top opening that is easily filled.

tinker234 (author)tjosephcarter2012-03-01

your product your using could i use a homemade cleaner in it

pamelahowell (author)akimbo m2008-06-19

we've been using the regular cleaning solution (scrub&bubbles;) that came with our starter pack since 4/10. i cleaned the mildew-y grout with bleach solution just before installing the unit, and we do press the button daily...but i've still had to bleach the grout at least once every 2-3 weeks by hand in spots. it'd probably work better if i always moved the shampoo bottles etc off of the rim of the tub before pressing the button, but that's a pain in the *&$ i still do the bleach thing as needed. i just may try to refill with a cheap bleach/water/tiny bit o cleanser solution. THANKS for the suggestions!

vatosupreme (author)akimbo m2006-10-20

I think these work better when the shower has been cleaned of mildew.... Use a cleaner with phosphoric acid... a standard mildew cleaner... You have to scrub the mildew with a brush... Its smells nasty but gets the job done..... Once you have killed the mildew mostly, this seems to do a good job of keeping the shower clean. Also, It helps to have a fan in the bath or leave the window cracked after steaming up the bathroom.. If the shower can air out it minimizes the mildew problem..

it says on the box the shower doesnt need to be cleaned first, i got one last week, the first day i sprayed my self in the eyes, it didnt even burn, so it must not be very effective.

Man speak for yourself. I got hit in the eye when it came thru the gap in my shower and it burned plenty but stopped quickly. I still flushed my eye to be sure. I didn't clean first and the mildew that was on the grout is almost entirely gone. Still have some hard water stains in the lower corners, but they're fading. FWIW - if you buy this at Costco you get 3 refills for the same price as the startup kit at the grocery store.

FIXA (author)akimbo m2006-10-20

what vatosupreme said... It needs one good cleaning before you start using it... then it just maintains that nice clean...

mfiset (author)2011-10-02

I will simply drill a small hole on the refill bottle and fill it with a small funnel without ever removing it, so that way the seal will never get bigger or leak.

sgtfarrar (author)2011-01-21

If you have a PH testing kit and some muriatic acid you can make a cleaner that works better then CLR. On top of that a gallon of muriatic acid will cost you about 3.00 and once mixed to a PH of 3 will provide shower cleaning solution that will last 6 months or more. Most peoples dirtry showers are due to calcium build up from water that has a PH of 6 and above. Calcium will solidify on hard surfaces at that or higher ph levels. Having water with a PH of 3 will disolve the hard water on the surfaces. Also mildew won't grow in that low a PH. WARNING! Don't do this without a PH tester or you may find that metal item in the shower are being eaten away.

boozjee (author)2009-09-13

Any cheap shampoo works great. Just add a few tablespoons to the bottle of water and snap it back into place. I clean my husband's shower about once a month and I don't even have to scrub anymore.

fleetsidebob (author)2009-08-30

Great idea. I did the same and used Arm and Hammer "Clean Shower" product. It's designed to spray on and leave, just like the Scrubbing Bubbles. It's a lot cheaper. To replace the foam cap seal, I used high density foam, the kind often used to wrap fragile items. I used the old seal as a pattern and cut one to fit the cap. That way it doesn't leak and is pierced easily when you put it in the dispenser. Maybe Johnson Wax will get the idea and start selling refill size containers. Think of the money saved and space at the landfill too.

Stevioberosona (author)2009-07-26

Dance with who brung ya.

Stevioberosona (author)2009-07-26

Yes it's D.I. water, but it's also something else (other than a little polyproplylene glycol or some analog of that) that amazingly inhibits mold without putting free radical chlorine in your bathroom air or eating your marble. The advice to not be in there when it goes off should still be well-heeded. Dow funded a bit of research on it, the rest got done otherwise. The other green alternative might be to keep Chinese Guinea Fowl around to eat bad insects and mold that arise, like the butterfly-house facilities do. But then how would you get that reverse gear alarm sound?

cleansweep (author)2007-05-03

I have used the shower cleaner for a year. Now the thing beeps on its own, when no one has pushed the button. I have replaced the batteries, and dried out the insides, but nothing helps. The thing still works, but also beeps by itself throughout the day. Any ideas how to fix this?

jdfay (author)cleansweep2007-06-05

Call 1-800-558-5252 and explain the problem you will have to furnish the code stamped on one of the little ears next to the battery compartment visible with the unite upside down it should start with a letter and about 5 numbers they will send you a coupon for a new unite. They never asked me for a date of purchase or sales receipt.

iPodGuy (author)jdfay2009-05-22

1. Buy a unit from the store 2. Call and give the number like you said. 3. Get coupon 4. Return unit to the store & get refund 5. Get a new one with the coupon Presto! A free shower cleaner!

swartley3ga (author)iPodGuy2009-06-05

I like the way you think lol I could use a free shower cleaner! this works with other electric toothbrushes as well lol

ac1D (author)cleansweep2007-10-11

I had the same problem. What I did is, open it, and add a switch for the battery--That way, i switch on, press the button, switch off.

get to da parakeet (author)2008-10-05

guys this is a great instructable but the automatic cleaner is a rip off. now i may like Dukey, but this is a non working product that wastes money for 1.batterys 2.cleningfluid. don't buy it. it doesn't clean your shower and is very loud. annoying huh?also i read if it touches your skin with fluid,it will irritate your skin.i made a better shower cleaner for 100$. i know your saying it is dumb, but cleans mold out of my mom's shower. she is happy. also, i create my own fluid. this cleaner has a timer. you don't have to press a thing. it also doesn't run on batterys. ya plug it in to a special plug i made. it is the best thing i ever made. the scrubbing bubbles DOES NOT WORK. HOMEMADE: YES IT WORKS

Why don't you post an instructable on your homemade shower cleaner?

mark11photography (author)2009-05-09

I've been doing this for the better part of a year - replacing the batteries as needed. There is a giant bottle of 'Tilex' that I've been using to refill the scrubbing bubbles and it seems to work fine. I think it ends up being about $2.50 per refill instead of $7 ($CDN$).

Utahtabby (author)2009-04-24

Bleach kills mold, so I am guessing the fluid used is a 1 part bleach to 10 parts water mixture. But don't ever mix bleach with ammonia -- it makes a gas that will kill you. Bleach has to be bought new because it disintegrates in 6 months or so and turns into water. So only buy a jug the right size to use up within 6 months. Bleach will not get rid of hard water limescale, which is MY problem. I tried refilling my automatic shower cleaner using vinegar & water and the vinegar (acid) ate through the mechanism and it all drained away and the cleaner machine would never work again, so don't try THAT.

watsonma (author)2009-02-08

I have cut a hole in the top end and poured various shower cleaners . . . the problem seems to be that 1) other cleaners don't work as well, especially on the mold and mildew (yes I've tried a bleach solution and 2) some shower cleaners seem to deteriorate the spraying mechanism on the unit and then you are in the position of having to shell out for another sprayer. I've decided that for the $3.00 for the bottle it's cheaper than paying someone else to clean the gross bathtub and I certainly don't want to do it myself!

raesy (author)2008-12-31

Great idea. I did have trouble getting the screwable top off. Be persistent. I had used bleach and water or vinegar and water. The first smelled bad and the second did not clean very well.

chuCraft (author)2008-11-24

Great idea! I bought a shower cleaner that was a little more than your replacement, but still $2.00 cheaper than the official refill 2-pack. To those who've had trouble getting the cap off: Try grabbing the cap with a towel around it so you don't hurt your hand.

Chiefjen83 (author)2008-11-21

I would love to give you a hug! thank you so much! I have been trying to figure this out for month!

onethindime (author)2008-08-22

I couldn't get the cap off mine, so I got a mustard squirt bottle- the yellow kind that you might use at a picnic. I filled it up with cleaner and squirted it through the little opening in the cap. I had to repeat this process a couple of times, but it didn't take long and got the job done.

dstoeck (author)2008-08-08

What about punching or drilling a hole on top of the bottle, fill the bottle, then put a stopper in it? That's what I'm thinking of doing. I can't, for the life of me, get that darn cap off!

amazongoddess (author)2008-07-05

Good idea... I am a mom of three...I have three men in the house besides me and this was the easiest way my daughter and I could get the men to pitch in...LOL. It was just so on a budget you know. I am giving this a try.

winterlichia (author)2008-06-09

I was also able to muscle off the cap and refill with liquid soap. Has anyone's visitors ever thought it was bath soap and sprayed themselves on purpose? My brother did! We all had a good laugh afterward!

spiderx (author)2007-01-10

call me stupid if you want, but wouldn't it be easier to make a hole in the bottom of the bottle and fill it that way? Just cut open the bottom of the bottle, put the cleaning solution back in the dispenser and fill it up....

tennesseyanky (author)spiderx2008-05-31

The makers thot of that too and they made it indistructible. I came down about 2 inches(from the bottom, when turned upside down) and cut a v shaped hole and I put my solution in with a funnel, then dry the surface and put a piece of duct tape over the hole. Creates the suction. While we are being cheap, here is my recipe. 1 oz Dawn, 2 oz fabric softner, 1 cup white vinegar and fill it up with water. That is what they get for charging so much for the dadgum refill. :)

buddysfa (author)spiderx2007-02-23

I think this can't work becase the bottle has to be pressurized.

008 (author)2008-05-20

You guys must have some super special units to have these problems. I unscrewed it with my hand, put in whatever bathroom cleaner I have available (I like Lysol mildew remover diluted 10:1), screw it back on and it works just fine. You spill a few drops when putting it back in, so what? The unit is still weak enough that I need to manually spray the far end of the tub every now and then, so I pretty much gave up on it and spray the entire tub down myself. Since we have a window mid-tub I might find a way to mount it there instead and let the unit spray more evenly.

Meleon (author)2008-05-12

I use a method to refill similar to Buddysfa. First I take the empty bottle and flip it so the cap is up. I squirt 10 shots of a mold/mildew cleaner directly into the hole (hold it up against it). I then take 2 flexible straws (the flexible kind kids get at restaurants) and connect them by folding a "v" in one end of one straw and pushing it into the end of the other straw. You end up with one long straw with the flexible ends at either side. Then I fold another "v" in one of these ends and stick it into the small hole of the container. (The "v" is created by flattening a 1/2" section of the end and folding in half.) I take the other side and place it up to the faucet and adjust the water and straw so the water begins flowing into the bottle. The "v" allows air to escape while the bottle is filling. When it is full I let the cap dry and put one 3" piece of tape from one side of the cap over the hole. Finally I put another piece of tape around the grip of the cap and over the 1st piece and put it back in the holder. Works like a charm and is simple to do.

Norbo (author)2008-02-25

I have another option. I cut off the top of a 2 liter pop bottle, I cut a small hole in the top of an empty scrubbing bubbles $3.89 refill, then I siliconed the pop cap on top of the hole, then I used a funnel and filled it with a $2.00 shower cleaner from family Dollar. Now all I have to do is remove the cap, put in the funnel and fill it up and put the cap back. I have pictures

gitemstevedave (author)2008-01-20

I utilized this instructable, due to my hard water. After trying a multitude of ways to seal the bottle after removing the cap, including wax paper, o-rings, etc... , I finally have a solution. I took a piece of what I was told is boat cover vinyl. I cut out a circle that matches the top of the bottle itself. I placed this back in the cap, and marked the center point, where the pointy thing from the unit pierces the original paper would go. I then pulled it out, and after using a o-ring for a sizing guide, made a hole in the material with a leather punch. I made the hole smaller than the piercer thing, because I wanted it to create a seal. I can honestly say it works amazingly. I think if I had access to a sheet of rubber gasket material, it would accomplish the same task. Just my 2 cents. I also re-fill with Method from Target, and it does wonders to help clean the orange tint my shower has due to my well water.

BuddyK (author)gitemstevedave2008-02-10

I found that if I use a channel lock pliers the top of the bottle comes off easily. I just refill it and put the sprayer unit on top of the bottle, flip it right side up, and it works great. I have not had to create any type of vacuum other than the natural vacuum that occurs when I flip the unit upright. So refilling take very little time. I have never had the liquid run out this way and I save a ton of money refilling the unit myself.

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