If it weren’t for my homemade soap scum remover, we’d have to remodel the bathroom. I mean it.
Like many homes built in the last thirty years, the shower in our master en suite bathroom is a glass enclosure. Those walls and sliding doors act like magnets for soap scum. If I’m not diligent about keeping them spotless, they make the entire bathroom look awful.
Fortunately, this easy homemade soap scum remover powers through the grime without scrubbing. It also costs just pennies to make.
Homemade Soap Scum Remover
Why Does Soap Scum Build Up?
Soap scum is the result of calcium and magnesium particles in water combining with the oils and other ingredients in soap. The harder your water is, the more likely soap scum will occur.
Not sure if you have hard water? If you have soap scum, you probably do have it, since soft water contains salts that prevent buildup.
Unfortunately, most cleaning products don’t completely remove soap scum from glass doors, tubs and showers. Over time, that can lead to tough stains that make bathing an unpleasant experience.
Is Soap Scum Harmful?
Every time you use soap and water, a new layer of soap scum forms over the existing one. These layers trap skin flakes and other organic substances, producing microbial biofilm that includes harmful bacteria.
When water hits the soap scum on your shower walls, this bacteria bounces onto your skin and becomes airborne in steam.
So, yes, it can be harmful. Fortunately, this homemade soap scum remover easily gets rid of it and treats the bacteria, too.
Homemade Soap Scum Remover Recipe
Be careful if you’re climbing into the shower to do this. Liquid dish soap is slippery! If your shower doesn’t have safety handles, you might want to use a long-handled floor mop to wipe the walls.
You will need:
- Dawn Original liquid dish soap
- White vinegar heated until VERY hot
- An empty spray bottle (I use these.)
- Add equal parts VERY hot vinegar and Dawn dish soap to the spray bottle. To do my shower, I need 1 cup of each.
- Heavily spray the shower door or surface that you want to clean. The solution will cling. That’s good.
- Let sit at least 30 minutes. Overnight is even better.
- Rinse well while wiping with a microfiber cloth.
This soap scum remover is not for use on granite, marble, or other natural stone surfaces. (Related: Homemade Granite Cleaner Recipe.)
Still Seeing Spots?
If your glass shower enclosure looks etched with hard water spots, the problem is most likely mineral deposits, not soap scum.
To get cloudy shower walls clean, scrub them with a damp stainless steel pad and baking soda. (Related: Homemade Soft Scrub.) Rinse well afterward. Once it’s dry, use this Homemade Soap Scum Remover for a sparkling shower that looks like new.
How to Prevent Soap Scum
Use a homemade shower cleaner daily. Keep soap scum, mold, and mildew away with this daily homemade shower spray. Spritz it on glass shower doors, walls, and even the tub. You don’t even need to use a squeegee.
Switch to body wash. Synthetic soaps like body wash don’t contain the organic fats that bar soap does. As a result, they’re less likely to create soap scum.
Soften your water. A water softener system removes the calcium and magnesium ions in water. Softened water cleans more effectively, and produces less buildup and limescale.
Wash shower curtains monthly. Soap scum builds up on shower curtains, too. Wash them using your machine’s delicate cycle using a cup of baking soda but no laundry detergent. Add a clean towel to the load to act as a scrubber.