Removing stubborn soap scum, even years of soap scum, and hard water stains can be a dirty, frustrating job. But the good news is that with some simple tips and tricks, and this homemade soap scum remover, it doesn't have to be!
In this post, you'll learn the best way to remove soap scum buildup from not only your bathtub, but your shower walls, glass shower doors, and other bathroom surfaces using this homemade cleaner. So read on and get ready to have a sparkling clean bathtub in no time.
It also works much better than a magic eraser which gives less than acceptable results in my experience and can be annoying to clean up especially once it starts to break apart.
Of note, no scrubbing is required, usually, unless you have quite a bit of soap scum build-up to get rid of. In that case you may need to use a bit of elbow grease and I'll give some tips for that later on in this post.
- Clean Spray Bottle - I use either a good quality plastic spray bottle or this glass spray bottle
- 4 ounces (½ cup) of White Vinegar
- 4 ounces (½ cup) of Dawn dish soap or other good quality liquid soap (dish soap)
- Scrubbing Wand (optional)
- Microfiber Cloth (optional), clean cloth, or clean towel
- Rubber Gloves (optional)
*It's important to use equal amounts of vinegar and dish detergent
- For use in the empty spray bottle: Measure out 4 ounces of vinegar and heat in a microwave for about 30 seconds. DO NOT OVERHEAT! Keep in mind that the smell of vinegar will be noticeable and can be a bit potent.
- Once the vinegar is heated carefully pour it into the spray bottle. I like to use a funnel for this task.
- Add 4 ounces of the dishwashing liquid.
- If a total of 8 ounces seems like a bit too much or too little, make any amount you think will do the job using equal parts vinegar and dishwashing liquid for the best results.
- Place the lid on the bottle and shake thoroughly.
- Next, spray the surfaces you wish to clean and let the mixture sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Once the time has elapsed scrub (if necessary) or wipe off the
cleaningsolution and rinse thoroughly focusing on the shower floor. Next, stand back and enjoy the glow!
*To maintain your clean shower and bath tub I recommend using a daily shower spray after every shower. The best product I've found for this is this is Method Daily Shower Cleaner. It's a great way to prevent annoying white film from accumulating and will help to cut future
The disgusting picture above is of my bathtub, shower surfaces, and tub walls.
Hideous, I know, but look at the shiny afters!
Why It Works
Vinegar is a natural acetic acid and that's what makes it so good for
Adding Dawn makes it that much more powerful. The full recipe for Dawn isn't readily available. It is known that Dawn contains chemical compounds that reduce the surface tension of a liquid. When that liquid is dissolved, grease and ickiness are gone!
What Surfaces Can This Mixture Be Used On?
This effective mixture will clean soap scum from the following surfaces:
Shower door (glass doors), tub, shower curtain, shower walls, and other bathroom surfaces with the exception of the below surfaces which are ONLY an example of surfaces this should not be used on. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendation for your particular surfaces.
Because of the acidic nature of vinegar, I would avoid using this
What Causes Soap Scum?
This is the burning question, right? Soap scum happens when you have hard water and the minerals in the tap water combine with soap, primarily bar soap, and dirt to create soap scum. Regular tap water naturally contains harmless minerals, such as calcium and magnesium which interact with the dirt and body oils that the soap is trying to wash away binding together and forming soap scum.
Can you spray this on your shower curtain?
Yes, you can spray the soap and vinegar solution on shower curtains. Once sprayed allow it to work for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with clean water. I prefer using warm water or hot water for rinsing since it seems to work better than cold water.
Can you add baking soda to this recipe?
No, you cannot. The
Do I have to use a spray bottle?
I personally think using a spray bottle is much more convenient to use as it's easy to apply the cleaner to the various bathroom surfaces I'm
Will a microfiber cloth help to clean my surfaces better?
Once I allow the mixture to set on the surface I'm
If using a microfiber cloth should it be wet or dry?
Microfiber works best when it's dry. The microfibers are what do the actual
If I don't want to use a microfiber cloth will any clean cloth work?
Yes, absolutely! I use microfiber because I prefer the durability of the cloth and the extra scrubbing power that a microfiber cloth provides.
Do I have to use distilled white vinegar?
You don't. I've been in a pinch and used apple cider vinegar and gotten the same great results.
Best DIY Soap Scum Remover
- For use in the spray bottle, measure out 4 ounces of vinegar and heat in a microwave for about 30 seconds. Once the vinegar is heated carefully pour it into the spray bottle.
- Add 4 ounces of the dishwashing liquid. Place the lid on the bottle and shake thoroughly.
- Now, spray the surface you wish to clean and let the gel sit for about 1 hour. Once the time has lapsed, scrub or wipe off the cleaning solution and rinse thoroughly. Next, stand back and enjoy the glow!
- If using the wand, follow the above directions but use 2 ounces of vinegar and 2 ounces of Dawn dishwashing liquid.
What are some of your favorite ways to use Vinegar (or Dawn)? I'd love to hear your tips.