With every steamy shower, you’re adding a new layer of soap scum to your tiles. You may not notice the first time, or even the fifth, but eventually your shower tiles will be caked with a hard-to-fight milky white substance. Soap scum isn’t exclusive to the shower – you’ll also find it on bathtubs, shower doors, sinks and mirrors. Learn how to become a soap scum ninja with these cleaning tips and banish this evil scum from your bathroom for good!
Soap scum is difficult to clean partly because it’s hard to define. It’s a mixture of mildew, mineral deposits, hard water, soap talc and body oils. Some cleaners only tackle one element, leaving a filmy residue and an easy base for soap scum to build upon. When you’re purchasing an over-the-counter cleaner, buy one with a high acid concentration, like vinegar or lemon. Acid cuts right through soap scum’s high fat content, cleaning the surface. A great over-the-counter soap scum cleaner is Lime-A-Way, which can be found for less than $3 at Wal-Mart.
If you’re looking for a green alternative, try one of these options:
Lemon Juice - Spray lemon juice liberally on the soap scum and let it sit for about a minute before scrubbing. The acid will break-up any scum so it will be easier to wipe away. Rub the lemon-scented soap scum with an abrasive sponge, and the film should come right off. To learn more lemon tricks read: When Life Hands You Lemons, Clean Your Microwave.
White Vinegar - Vinegar is a simple and cheap acidic cleanser. Dip paper towels into white vinegar and stick them to the shower walls. Let them sit for 30 minutes. The vinegar should break up the scum so you can use a brush to scrub it away.
Once it’s gone, keep soap scum away:
2. Always pull the shower curtain closed. Mildew grows quickly in the dark moist folds of your curtain. Ewww.
3. Wash your shower-curtain liner in the washing machine with a mild detergent. Even vinyl and synthetic liners can be machine-washed.
4. Open your bathroom windows and doors to decrease moisture levels and increase air circulation.
Remember, regular maintenance is the best way to tackle soap scum. If you quickly wipe down your tile walls after each shower, you’ll save yourself hours of time tackling soap scum!