Do you find cleaning your shower a chore? Of all tasks required when cleaning your bathroom, the shower seems to be the one which elicits the most consternation. From glass screens that simply won’t sparkle to mould to soap scum, cleaning your shower properly may be the bane of your life. But it doesn’t need to be!
Eliminating mold is one thing, and not too difficult, even if it’s a job you need to stay on top of. Soap scum can be more challenging.
What is Soap Scum?
Common on showers, bathtubs, and sinks, soap scum is the filmy, white or grey layer that sticks to fixtures, shower screens and curtains, tiling, and other surfaces. It forms when soap is used in hard water, and it is the result of the minerals magnesium and calcium in the water combining with the paraffin wax in soap. If allowed to build up, soap scum becomes very difficult to remove and may combine with mold or mildew. Soap scum is most visible on glass shower screens.
How to Prevent Soap Scum Build-up
- Use a soap-free liquid body gel cleanser in preference to bar soap in your bath or shower (it’s better for your skin, too).
- Frequently cleaning your shower (and bathroom) is a critical step to preventing soap scum build-up.
- By applying car wax to clean surfaces, you can inhibit the formation of new soap scum build-up.
- Every time you shower, wipe down the surfaces with a dry rag or squeegee.
- Sprinkling Epsom salts in your bathwater is not only great for your body; it also prevents soap residue from clinging to your tub and sends it down the drain.
3 Natural Ways to Clean off Soap Scum
There are commercial soap scum removers available; they usually do a good job but you must use them at least weekly. You need to follow the instructions to the letter and be patient – they take time to work properly.
There are several ways to remove soap scum, and fortunately, you can do it without using harsh chemicals.
- Mix 1-part white vinegar with 1-part grease-fighting dish washing liquid detergent in a spray bottle. (You may add some lemon juice or a few drops of essential oil for a fresh, pleasant fragrance). Shake it vigorously. Spray your shower surfaces and close the shower screen door to enable the solution to set. It will drip back into the shower recess. Scrub the surfaces by hand with a dry cloth after 30 minutes and dry them completely.
2.Mix both borax or baking soda with water to form a thick paste. As these are naturally abrasive, they are effective shower cleaners. Apply the paste over the glass shower screen and other surfaces with a damp sponge or cloth, and scrub to loosen the soap scum. Rinse thoroughly, then dry the surfaces completely.
- Cloudy ammonia is another effective soap scum remover. You will need to wear rubber gloves and ventilate the bathroom by opening a window and/or turning on your ventilation fan. Mix 1-part cloudy ammonia with 3-parts water in a spray bottle and shake it well. Spray the surfaces and use a robust scrubbing brush on the soap scum surface to loosen and lift the scum. Rinse clean, and make sure that all of the ammonia solution goes down the drain. Dry it completely with a cloth or old towel.
6 More Tips for Cleaning your Shower
- Leave your bathroom door open when you are not showering. This will encourage air flow and prevent mould, mildew, and other dampness issues.
- Do not clean your bathroom (or elsewhere) with vinegar or ammonia at the same time as you use chlorine-based bleach. This will create extremely toxic fumes which can be very hazardous to your health and well being.
- Keep the spray bottle with your preferred cleaning solution in your shower and give the glass and tiles a quick scrub after every use and before you turn the water off. Rinse with the running water and completely dry it afterwards.
- Choose liquid body wash rather than a bar of soap. Liquid soap has a different reaction with hard water than solid soap and it is easier to rinse. It is also gentler on your skin.
- Avoid oily products in your shower, such as special conditioners, and clean your bath after every use if you use bath oils.
- If you have issues with hard water, seek advice to address this.
Follow these tips and be diligent about cleaning your shower frequently. The more you do, the easier and quicker it will be, and you’ll enjoy a sparkling clean bathroom in no time.