Best Tips for Dealing with Soap Scum

If you have a bathroom, you are going to be dealing with soap scum at some point. For many, it becomes one of their main nemeses in the fight to keep the bathroom clean and pristine. Often, it’s one of the hardest battles to win, and if you aren’t careful, you might find that it takes over your tub, shower, and sink. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do that will make soap scum vanish.

taking a shower can lead to soap scum

What Is Soap Scum?

We’ve all seen it, but we might not all know what soap scum truly is and why it can be such a problem. Soap scum is the cloudy buildup of white residue that sticks onto and stains your sinks in the vanity, tubs, and showers. It’s made from calcium stearate, magnesium stearate, and other materials that, when mixed with hard water, cause soap scum to form.

The longer you leave the soap scum, the thicker it can become. It will create an unpleasant look in the bathroom that will be difficult to clean if you don’t take care of it right away. You should also consider using the tips discussed later to help prevent soap scum from occurring in the first place.

Related: How to Protect Wood Bath Vanities from Moisture

what is soap scum

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How to Get Rid of Soap Scum?

Soap scum can be a source of embarrassment and frustration. It can often feel like you are fighting a battle that you can’t win, especially if you’ve waited too long to get started. When you have thick, ugly soap scum staring back at you, and the usual cleaners you are using don’t work, you might want to throw in the towel. However, there are products you can buy and recipes you can make that can help you deal with all of your soap scum problems.

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how to remove soap scum

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What are the Best Cleaning Products to Use on Soap Scum?

You can find a range of premade remover cleaner products on the market that are geared toward soap scum. Scrubbing Bubbles is a popular option not just because it’s a well-known brand, but because it is easy to use, and it works well. It’s available online and in grocery stores.

Some of the other products to consider include Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for soap scum, Pink Stuff, and Scotch-Brite Swift Scrub. If you need to remove soap scum from a mirror or the glass on shower doors, Rain-X Shower Door X-Treme Clean works well. For fiberglass, Bring It On! is a good option. CLR Pro can work wonders on tiles.

As you can see, there are plenty of options that might be a good choice for you to consider. Before you make your decision, though, you will want to keep a couple of things in mind. First, make sure that you are choosing an option that will work well on and not damage the surface you need to clean. Second, check out some reviews to see what actual customers are saying about the products.

squeegee cleaning soap scum off shower door

What Homemade Cleaners Can be Used on Soap Buildup?

However, you might not want to spend money on all of those manufactured cleaners. It can be expensive. Additionally, you might be concerned about some of the chemicals that are used in those products and would instead prefer a greener solution. If you like the idea of DIY cleaners, here are some options you can use.

Combine an equal amount of vinegar and water to a spray bottle, along with one tablespoon of dish detergent. This is a simple recipe that can work. Be sure to mix it up well, and then spray it directly onto the soap scum. Let it sit for 15 minutes or so to dissolve and let it go to work. You can then use a scrub brush with soft bristles to remove the soap scum, rinse it with water, and dry it.

You could also use vinegar and baking soda to help you remove the soap scum. Put a cup of baking soda into a bowl and then slowly add in some vinegar. You want to add enough that you can make a paste. When the mixture settles and is no longer fizzing, you can take a sponge or a cloth and add it to the shower or tub. Again, you will want to let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then, use a soft sponge to wipe it away. Rinse it with water and let it dry.

These are simple, cheap, green methods you can use to remove the scum from your shower or tub. You may want to try these before you opt for those more expensive products discussed earlier.

Related: 5 Bathroom Makeover Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

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How to Prevent Soap Scum?

Now that you have taken the time and put in the work to remove the soap scum from your bathroom, what do you do now? Do you just wait for it to build back up and then clean it again? While that’s what some people might do, it’s the wrong answer. Instead, you need to be sure you are properly maintaining your bathroom going forward. This will make dealing with the scum easier.

Although you won’t be able to prevent it from forming, the better you do with maintaining the bathroom the easier it will be to clean. You should clean the bathroom at least once a week and be sure to focus on the soap scum. Here are some other tips that can help to reduce the issue.

First, consider switching from bar soap to some type of liquid soap or body wash. The way the bar soaps are formed with certain fatty acids, they are more likely to cause the buildup of soap scum when they encounter hard water.

If one of the reasons for the buildup is that you have hard water in your home, consider getting a water softener. It will help to reduce soap scum, and it tends to be better for appliances that use water. It can also help to soften your skin and hair.

With a little work and some prevention, you can finally be the winner in the war against soap scum.

Related: 10 Tricks to Create a Spa-Like Bathroom

large double sink bathroom vanity with glass shower and no visible soap scum