The best soap scum remover and tub and shower cleaner ever!

Homemade Soap Scum Remover with Vinegar
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Dishwashing liquid and vinegar in a spray bottle - the best homemade shower cleaner

One of my biggest cleaning hurdles has been keeping my bathtub free of soap scum.

We have very hard water where I live and there are 5 people in my family and 1 bathroom. That makes for a lot of showers and baths and a lot of soap scum.

I have used ready-made cleaners in the past and they worked but not that great, plus they cost more and they contain chemicals.

Homemade Soap Scum Remover That Really Works!

I was a little skeptical when I kept seeing this homemade shower and bathtub cleaning recipe show up but it was so inexpensive and easy to make I thought I’d give it a try.

When I originally posted this cleaning tip over 7 years ago, I used the Aldi brand of blue dishwashing liquid and it worked perfectly fine.

Large bottles of Heinz Cleaning Vinegar and Dawn Dishwashing Soap and a scrubbing wand

I now use Dawn, I buy the big containers from Sam’s Club now, and it does work just a tad bit better but if you want to try it without Dawn, give it a whirl. You’ll still like the results. 

One caveat, there is a fairly strong vinegar smell while doing this and if that scent bothers you, turn on your bathroom fan or open a window. The smell clears up quickly so no worries about any lingering aroma. 

Dirty bathtub with soap scum
Best DIY Soap Scum Remover
Yield: Enough for at least 4 Tub and Shower Cleanings

Best DIY Soap Scum Remover

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $1.00

The best soap scum remover and tub and shower cleaner ever. There are only two ingredients in this Homemade Soap Scum Remover with Vinegar and it works great to not only remove soap scum but to clean your tub, shower, and glass doors. It works!


  • See above for tools!


For use in the spray bottle, measure out 4 ounces of vinegar and heat in microwave about 45 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.

Did you try this?

Please leave a comment below or share a photo on Instagram and tag #thehowtohome to let me know!

This disgusting picture is of my bathtub before. 

Hideous, I know, but look at the afters! 

Why It Works

Vinegar is naturally acidic and that’s what makes it so good for cleaning. The acid counteracts build up, including soap scum, and works to dissolve it away.

Adding Dawn makes it that much more powerful. The full recipe for Dawn isn’t readily available but it is known that Dawn contains chemical compounds that reduce the surface tension of a liquid and when that liquid is dissolved, grease and ickiness are gone!

What are some of your favorite ways to use Vinegar (or Dawn)? I’d love to hear your tips.

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Happy Cleaning!