8 neat ways to clean with shaving cream

Yep, you can use shaving foam to clean a sofa...

 Mustard Velvet 3 Seater Sofa in a modern industrial style living room - Swyft
(Image credit: Swyft)

Did you know you can clean with shaving cream in almost every room of your home? Shaving cream may not be what comes to mind when you think of household sprucing, cleaning upholstery, mirrors and more, but you'll be pleasantly surprised by its powers to refresh everything from your best sofa to your bathroom tiles. 

Whether you're planning your annual spring clean, or want to try shaving foam on a couch to see if the rumors are real... Give this unsung cleaning hero a go and we promise it'll be worth it for your home and your budget.

How to clean with shaving cream

Shaving cream has so much to recommend itself in the world of cleaning. And it comes with the endorsement of Lynsey Crombie, of The Queen of Clean (opens in new tab) fame.

She praises shaving foam as 'a great inexpensive cleaning product due to its combination of soap, moisturisers, and other protective ingredients.' Her top tip?

'Don’t buy an expensive one', because 'a little goes a long way.' Even a basic, shaving cream from Amazon (opens in new tab) or your local supermarket will do the job.

It's time to deep-dive into specific areas of your home that you can clean with shaving cream, to perfection.

1. Use shaving foam to clean a sofa

Have you heard the hype of using shaving cream to clean a sofa? It's real and, not as out there as you think. The foam consistency of shaving cream makes it a great alternative upholstery cleaner, since you can really work it into the textiles using a brush, sponge, or cloth. It will be sage to use on pretty much any fabric, and even on a leather sofa, thanks to its conditioning ingredients like lanolin and glycerin (which you'll also find in leather cleaners). 

2. Use shaving cream to clean your a bathtub

A tiled bathroom with freestanding bath and shelving

(Image credit: Tile Club)

How? And why? Well, if you're cleaning a tub, have a corner bathtub, or even just a bad back and a deep tub, you may not want to do all that leaning over. So, this is where shaving cream comes in handy. 

Spray liberally over a mop or broom and scrub your tub then rinse! This is much more efficient than trying to cover the entire tub with a cloth and spray.

Actually, you can use shaving foam to clean all your bathroom surfaces – the sink, the tiles, tile grout, and stainless steel fixtures. It's like a foam version of your all-purpose bathroom cleaner

3. Use shaving cream to clean mirrors

No mirror-cleaning product? Shaving cream will work a treat to clean a mirror – just spray some on a soft basic microfiber cloth, from Amazon for example (opens in new tab), and wipe thoroughly for a streak-free finish. 

Oh, and, of course, you can use it to clean windows, too – just buy a squeegee (opens in new tab) instead of a cloth to make the job easier.

4. Use it as a toilet cleaner

Yep, shaving cream is an excellent alternative to regular methods of cleaning a toilet! Again, thanks to its creamy consistency, it adheres much better to the grime on your toilet bowl than a cleaning spray. It's actually quite similar in action to commercial toilet cleaners, just with slightly different ingredients. All you need to do is spray some on your toilet cleaning brush and scrub away! The alcohol in the shaving cream is particularly beneficial, as it kills bacteria while cleaning. 

You can use it to clean the toilet brush itself, too. 

5. Use shaving cream to clean air vent covers

Cleaning air vent covers is never fun because they're so awkward, and they get really grimy, which often makes cleaning sprays ineffective when trying to clean in between the slats. This is where shaving cream and an old toothbrush come in very handy... 

You've guessed it: spray some over the toothbrush and work away at the dirt stuck to the air vent cover. If you can take it off for a rinse afterwards, that's even better. 

6. Use shaving cream to clean kitchen cabinets

Dark and moody kitchen with

(Image credit: Burbidge Kitchen Makers)

Yes – shaving cream is safe to use on painted doors! It works very well for removing food stains and fingerprints from cabinet doors. So, if you're wondering how to clean kitchen cabinets and don't want to ruin the paintwork, shaving foam is a pretty safe bet. Just use a microfiber cloth to help you. Oh, and you can use it on other painted furniture, too.

7. Clean a mattress with shaving cream

If you've been looking for an effective and safe way to spruce up your best mattress, shaving cream might just do the trick. Spray liberally and work into any stains with a sponge, brush, or cloth. The great thing about cleaning a mattress with shaving cream is that it evaporates quickly, so you won't need to wait for ages for your mattress to dry. 

Top tip: Test your shaving cream first – to make sure you don't mind the smell. It's likely that the fragrance will linger for a little while, so you don't want your sleep interrupted if you find the smell unpleasant or too strong. 

8. Use shaving cream as a carpet cleaner

A neutral living room with carpet and plants

(Image credit: Carpetright)

Stain on your carpet and nothing handy to remove it? Spray on a little of the shaving cream, work it in with a cloth, let it sit for half an hour. Dampen the cloth and remove any residue. You may need to repeat this a few times when cleaning a carpet if the stain is a tough one.

While the best carpet cleaner is ultimately the long-term solution to clean carpets, you may be surprised by the power of your average shaving cream to remove the odd spill, especially if you're getting red wine out of carpet...

Why is shaving cream good for cleaning?

If the idea of using shaving cream, from Amazon (opens in new tab) or a supermarket, to clean around the house still sounds a little out there, you may change your mind when you've learned about the ingredients of typical shaving cream. The ingredients in most shaving creams include:

  • Lanolin (a waxy substance that helps create the dense, emollient texture)
  • Glycerin (a skin-conditioning and lubricating ingredient)
  • Triethanolamine (a very effective surfactant)
  • Stearic acid (A component in soap-making that helps create the lather)
  • Benzyl alcohol, which has both softening and anti-bacterial properties

These simple ingredients, used in shaving cream formulae for decades, combined give shaving cream its soft lather, its skin-softening effect, and the anti-bacterial effect in case of a cut. 

When you translate these ingredients into household cleaning language, you've got yourself a perfect gentle cleaning product – that also sticks to surfaces, which is very handy if you're trying to clean something that's slippery, hard to reach, or something you don't want to absorb the cleaner too easily. Oh, and did we mention that it's typically very gentle, so you don't need to worry about ruining an expensively finished item of furniture? Ideal whether you're spring cleaning a house from top to toe or just tending to a streaky mirror...

Anna is Content Editor at Real Homes. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. At Real Homes, she covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design. 

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