How to Remove Soap Scum





Introduction: How to Remove Soap Scum

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We've all seen it. The unseemly hard water and soap scum nastiness that not only leaves glass and tile looking dingy and lackluster, but also uninviting. Sure, there are a ton of products that promise to rid the layers of deposit plaguing your bathroom with loads of harsh chemicals, but as it always does, the scum and hard water marks will return. I'm here to tell you that you no longer need to wear a gas mask while cleaning your shower or bath, and that the process will leave your lavatory looking immaculate not to mention revitalized.

By the way, did I mention the stuff we're going to use you probably already have lying around?

Let's get it started!

Step 1: Method 1

For this method, all you need is a slightly damp dryer sheet (even if its been through the tumble a couple times, it'll still work!)

Simply rinse the dryer sheet with some tap water, ring out any excess water, and begin to wax on wax off (Mr. Miyagi certainly knew what he was talking about). A bit of elbow grease, and you'll begin to see the soap scum and hard water deposits disappear. Rinse with water depending on how thick the layer of scum is.

Why this works?

Who knows. But it works something awesome!

Step 2: Method 2

For this method, you will need Pam cooking spray. That's right. Read that first sentence again. Whowouldathunk? You might also use some dish soap afterwards.

Shake the can of cooking spray, and standing about 6 inches away, begin lightly spraying your glass and tile. Allow to stand for 5- 10 minutes (if you leave it on much longer, it'll get goopy and more difficult to remove), then either rinse with plain ol' water or with soapy water, depending on how thick your scum is.

Why this works?

The long list of oils in the cooking spray helps to break down the soap and lime particles, leaving behind a streak free revival of your surfaces.

Step 3: Before & After

Look at that difference! You can barely tell that there's glass there at all because it's so spotless!

Just a quick note on the two methods; although cleaning with the dryer sheets is super easy with hardly any cleanup, it does not achieve the spotless clean that the cooking spray method does, albeit messy.



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    18 Discussions

    My niece used to clean condos for extra money and she picked up a few cleaning tricks. For cleaning soap scum from showers/tubs, she swears by a 50:50 mix of dishwashing liquid and white vinegar (she claims it HAS to be "blue Dawn", but I'm skeptical about that part). She told my mom, who tried it and swears by it, so I made up a small test batch (1/2 cup each), and my wife tried it out and said it worked great. Apparently, you just spray it on and use a damp cloth to spread it around, wait about 30 to 45 minutes and then rinse it off.

    I'm going to give these a try & report back. Tried apple cider vinegar, room temp., but not white - didn't do much but you could see a little improvement. Tried a Brillo pad with zero success. Clean Shower works OK if used regularly but still have a problem. I think soap scum & roaches are the only two things that would survive a nuke.

    As a person who believe boathroom hygiene is really important, this cleaning tips are relly helpful.

    Good tips if you already have soap scum but my favorite tip is to use shower gel instead of soap—you don't end up with soap scum.

    As much needed additional income ive clean more than my share of thick soap scum off of tile and glass when doing move out cleaning. I havent tried your methods but plan to give them a try. I've always cheated a bit and use EZ OFF no fume oven cleaner in the blue can. I start at the bottom and work my way up holding the can about 10 to 12 inches from the surface I want the scum off of. Keep a nice steady pacesnd pattern, covering all areas needed. Then wait about 15 minutes and using a damp cloth begin to wipe it off. I always start at the top and work fown for this part. I've been using it for quite a while and its safr to use on those fiberglass surrounds as well. There realky isnt anyscubbing to it which i love considering there's usually so many other things that will require my strength to scrub.

    I was going to say that after 6 yrs my no #1 problem is solved


    4 years ago

    Will these cleaning methods work in a tub? That's where you will find the toughest soap scum fortress.

    I also wonder if the tub would become slippery with the sheet method.

    1 reply

    For a tub, use a paste with baking soda and a little water then use it as a scrub - cleans our tub up in NO time!

    Never tried either of the above, because white vinegar never fails me. Heat some vinegar in the microwave. Not boiling hot; you don't want to burn yourself. Then either add it to a spray bottle and spritz the soap scum or dip a cleaning rag into the bowl and wipe the soap scum. Leave it on a minute before wiping off if you've really got a lot of soap scum. Only PITA drawback is going back to reheat the vinegar when it cools off. The heat is definitely needed to make this effective. The vinegar smell dissipates very quickly. And the vapor from heating the vinegar will also clean your microwave! works the best...just the paper and nothing else.

    By golly I'm glad I stumbled into this advice, looking for those measuring tips. I have a motorcycle with battery problems and the new battery came today. the bike has been rained on and sprinkler spotted. I just bought rubbing compound to clean it, possibly using that 0000 steel wool as suggested along with it. I live in an apartment that has two laundry room and scored a pile of used cling rags, I've got Pam too so it's off to the car wash soon. Thank You. ~:- }

    Will try this... Thanks for sharing :-D

    Haven't tried 2nd method. The 1st one works superbly. It also worked well on the upper surface of our range hood. Will save me a huge amount of work.

    I have had good luck using 0000 (super fine) steel wool to remove soap scum from glass. It will not scratch the glass unless you use excessive pressure or a coarser grade of steel wool. I have had it remove stuff that would not come off with other cleaning chemicals.

    You don't need any chemicals to remove soap layers from your bathroom surfaces. Just use hot water to clean them, then wipe them dry with a chamois leather like great-greatgranny did a hundred years ago.

    I wonder if the pam spray would leave behind a hydrophobic layer of oil that would prevent scum from sticking in the first place... It is a non-stick spray after all.....