Cleaning Tips For Removing Soap Scum
Of all cleaning we do on a weekly basis the number one cleaning issue we run across is Soap Scum! It doesn't matter how clean your keep your house, kitchen, bathroom etc. soap scum seems to always be there. Most all of my customers complain about it and ask what the best method is to get rid of soap scum.
To start with lets discuss what soap scum is and why it seems to mysteriously appear in our bathrooms, kitchens and anywhere you use water and soap.
Definition: Soap scum is a white or gray filmy layer that covers the surfaces around our showers, bathtubs, and sinks. Soap scum can be found on shower curtains, bathroom fixtures, bathtubs, shower doors, tiling, and more.
Soap scum is actually formed thanks to minerals in tap water that combine with soap and dirt to create a layer of scaliness over the surfaces in our bathrooms. Those with mineral filled hard water are much more likely to have soap scum buildup. Soap scum can be difficult to remove if it's left for too long, because it continues to build up each time the area around it is used. Soap scum that is left to build can sometimes combine with mold or mildew and have other discolorations and odors.
Also Known As: limescale
Back to getting rid of the soap scum after we shower, do dishes etc is a task. The last thing you won't to do is ignore it and attempt to clean it later on! Getting rid of soap scum can really be a challenge and is not something to be ignored or it will just get worst over time!
How to Remove Soap Scum On Your Own
with good maintenance soap scum usually ( I highlighted this part because this is not always the case.) will just wipe away, but as with most of us time gets away from us and you can’t find the opportunity to clean which is usually why you call us or another cleaning company in your area.
Soap scum almost seems like concrete when it has not been cleaned on a regular basis. It can find its way on walls, tubs, shower curtains, and under hair care containers leaving stains in its wake. The last part we see quite often. ( Be sure to clean under your hair care products and soaps regularly. )
Once it has hardened and sat for it a while soap scum becomes almost impossible to remove and clean and makes our jobs almost impossible as well!
The best thing I have found to beat soap scum once it has hardened is a magic eraser! If your like me and do not like using magic eraser, get over it lol. They work!
I had a customer recently tell me she thought those were just a scam and didn't think they would work but after showering her the improvement of her showering after using a magic eraser and cleaning it she was extremely impressed and thanked me repeatedly.
Below is some info I found on another blog, http://www.housecleaningcentral.com that I found very useful and interesting.
Homemade Soap Scum Removers
Note: If any of the cleaning products you purchase contain bleach or ammonia as an additional cleaner, remember these two are highly toxic when mixed together so be extra careful when using either of these so not to accidentally use them together. This is something we are very serious about.
There are many methods and products available for getting rid of soap scum once it has built up. Some of the products we’ll be mentioning might already be in your home.
If they are, that’s great, no extra trip to the store. And no getting sidetracked and then talking yourself out of cleaning it up.
Note: Keep in mind soap scum can be tough to clean- really tough, so if the first cleaning product you try doesn’t work, don’t give up, just move on to the next one.
Lemon oil (as in lemon furniture oil) will clean well and also prevent further build up.
- Apply the lemon oil with an acrylic scrubby in a circular motion.
- Wipe away with a soft cotton cloth.
Cloth baby diapers work well for this. Not only will this clean but it will leave you with a fresh scent.
Borax works well as a scouring powder instead of harsher, chemically toxic cleaners.
- Just pour the Borax on a sponge and apply to the soap scum with a touch of water.
- Circular motions when cleaning soap scum always work better than the back and forth motion many of us use. This can help with some of the tougher jobs.
- Rinse well when done.
Baking soda is another non-toxic abrasive that can be used in the bathtub, use in the same manner as the Borax.
- Just sprinkle the Baking Soda on the soap scum with a touch of water.
- Scrub in a circular motion.
- Rinse well when done.
- Follow it up with pouring a cup of white vinegar down the drain to clean the drain.
Spray and Wash ™
Some people swear by laundry stain removers like Spray and Wash ™.
- Spray the spray and wash liquid on the soap scum.
- Leave the spray and wash on the soap scum and leave for 15 minutes.
- Rinse well.
Powdered laundry detergent works well as a non-toxic cleaner.
- Make a 50/50 paste of laundry detergent and water
- Work the paste into the soap scum and leave on for 15 minutes.
- Scrub in a circular motion.
- Rinse well when finished.
Straight white vinegar can be just as effective at removing soap scum. It's a mild acid and natural deodorizer.
- Just spray full strength white vinegar with a drop or 2 of liquid dishwashing detergent on the stain.
- Rub lightly to distribute the cleaning solution
- Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Scrub with a plastic scrubby to work away the soap scum.
Ammonia works on the worst soap scum build up but you must wear gloves to protect your hands. Be sure to rinse well and keep the kids away from the ammonia while you’re working.
- Mix 1/2 cup of ammonia to a gallon of water.
- Spray on the stain.
- Let the ammonia work on the stain for 5 minutes
- Scrub, and rinse well to wipe away the soap scum.
To sum it up it is best and easiest to just do regular cleaning and prevent the soap scum from forming in the first place. Below are some great tips to prevent soap scum from forming.
Preventing Soap Scum
Another way to approach the idea of getting rid of soap scum is not only to clean it after it has shown up but to halt or slow its appearance with precautionary measures.
Here are some additional ways to work around soap scum, tackling the problem from a different angle.
Switch to Liquid Soap
Switching to liquid soap is great way to prevent soap scum from forming to begin with.
That would be the easy way out lol.
Since liquid soap is not solid it won't stick to surfaces when it dries. But of course, since you are here most likely it is to late unless your one of the lucky ones trying to prevent from having the hard work of removing the concrete off your shower!
Keep this cleaning tip in the back of your mind if you want to avoid having to chisel off soap scum in the future.
Use a Squeegee on the shower, tub and specially the glass shower doors after ever shower!
A squeegee always helps after showering as it can remove most of the water from shower walls and the shower door.
You can pick these up at a dollar store and put one in each bathroom.
Wax the Walls
This one I had not heard about and found on another blog site. But, Waxing the walls and hard shower doors with regular car wax I have read will make the water bead up and slide off, preventing soap scum build up. This makes since of course but I have never thought about it.
They say this should only be done about once every six months and will also work on the counter tops.
Another great product that works well for any problem that water runs on like your walls, shower doors and even shower curtains is Rain X. This is an automotive product, it can be found in most grocery stores within the automotive section.
And of course you can get it in an automotive store. The main purpose of this product is to cause rain water to bead on car windows.
But also works well in the shower.
One trick that is easy to use, has many purposes and most people have around there house is Epsom Salt. To keep the soap scum from attaching just add a bit of Epsom Salt to the bath water every time you bath. It easily dissolves into water, not only helps prevent soap scum but it great for your body as well.
Something about the salt keeps the scum from attaching and will also help soothe away those aches and pains from a long day!
This is another tidbit that I did not know! When you use baby oil in the shower, spread a bit on the shower doors to keep them scum free. This type of application will help rebuff and repel soap scum, making it harder to cling to the walls.
Just remember that baby oil makes the shower very slippery so reconsider if you have young ones who may slip slide their way around the tub.
Hopefully these tips will come in handy and also to save you some time. Areas that collect soap scum, like showers walls, baths and glass doors are hard to always keep perfectly clean.
It is always good to have different options and there are many tricks of the trade that can help you on your way.