soap scum

In the shower this morning I had an ironic epiphany of sorts. It’s odd that the bar of soap you use in the shower causes soap scum, requiring you to buy different soap to get rid of the soap scum. Wouldn’t it be more logical to make the bar of soap so that it doesn’t leave soap scum? It’s a case of corporate power in your very own shower, for if they followed my suggestion, the soap scum cleaning industry would be out of a job.





  1. It’s not really odd that soap causes soap scum. It’s just what happens to it chemically when it mixes with hard water. There’s a nice explanation of the chemical reaction that causes it at about.com.

    Soap scum remover most certainly isn’t a soap, or it wouldn’t be able to remove soap scum. I don’t know what’s in the stuff you bought, but many of them are based on phosphoric acid. I don’t think that would be very pleasant to wash yourself with.

    What you want, rather than a soap, is a synthetic detergent that doesn’t form insoluble precipitates in hard water! Then there’d be no soap, and no soap scum, and you’d still get just as clean.

      » Comment by Levi on September 6, 2002 @ 6:53 pm
  2. You have rained on my blessed irony with science.

      » Comment by dan on September 7, 2002 @ 12:47 am
  3. If it was really blessed, how come it could get rained on? Wouldn’t truly blessed irony be immune to rain? Or is that part of the irony of it all?

      » Comment by Levi on September 7, 2002 @ 12:55 am
  4. Oh the cursed irony.

      » Comment by dan on September 7, 2002 @ 1:03 am
  5. rrrrrrriiiggghhttt. I learned from my Navy days that using Zest helps cut back on the soap scum problem in the shower. Think of it Dan, you could still use “soap” and be givin’ the finger to the man at the same time! Can you believe that they actually have a FAQ for Zest soap? It truly is a wonderful thing.

      » Comment by jason on September 7, 2002 @ 1:00 pm
  6. Jason! Aren’t you supposed to be out honeymooning or something?

      » Comment by Levi on September 7, 2002 @ 4:03 pm
  7. the problem is soap scum for you guys but i learned, we chose natural soapsand shampoos

      » Comment by katie on February 23, 2003 @ 4:02 pm
  8. you guys are weirdos

      » Comment by poop on March 21, 2003 @ 11:55 am
  9. Look who’s talking, poop.

      » Comment by dan on March 21, 2003 @ 12:09 pm
  10. The soap is not your problem it is your water. To understand what causes soap scum you need to understand the science behind soap. Soap scum is formed when the calcium and mineral ions in hard water binds with the soap. This causes an insoluble compound that precipitates to form the scum you see. Soap actually softens hard water by removing the Ca2+ ions from the water.

    If you have hard water you may use a water softener to remove the hardness. Salt is mixed with water. The Na+ ion from the salt replaces the Ca2+ ion, but this causes the water to be too salty for drinking. Water that has been softened should be used only for laundry and bathing.

    There are two types of water hardness, temporary and permanent.Temporary Hardness is due to the bicarbonate ion, HCO3-, being present in the water. This type of hardness can be removed.Permanent hardness is due to the presence of the ions Ca2+, Mg+2, Fe3+ and SO4-. This type of hardness cannot be eliminated.

    Thus it isn’t the soap or soap makers that is the problem it is the water source.

      » Comment by Soapy Lady on April 13, 2003 @ 1:49 am
  11. well at least now I know how to get clean without leaving a scummy mess. use zest and then take a chemistry class

      » Comment by poop on April 13, 2003 @ 7:47 pm
  12. Damn! A soap scum message board? Well… I have a clear vinyl shower curtain…talk about soap scum looking scummy! I’ve tried several different citric/phosphoric acid based “soap scum removers” and none are all that great. I just sponged down my clear vinyl shower curtail with straight CLR and it reduced it by about 60-70%, but I want something to make it as pristine as the day I bought it!

      » Comment by Joseph on April 14, 2003 @ 12:12 pm
  13. I have what is supposed to be clear glass doors in my showers and they are horrible to keep clean. I have tried many different types of cleaners to remove it but haven’t had any luck, I even tried using a steam cleaning machine, did nothing….anyone have any suggestions on what I can use?

      » Comment by vanessa on April 14, 2003 @ 4:49 pm
  14. Do you remember what cleaners you used? I’ve found that you often have to leave the cleaner on the doors for a half hour or so to let them break down the soap scum.

    By the way, wouldn’t it be unpleasantly revealing to have clear shower doors? I prefer the non-transparent types myself. :)

      » Comment by dan on April 14, 2003 @ 5:25 pm
  15. I was trying to clean my glass shower doors and finally used a razor blade on them. The soap scum came off like magic.

      » Comment by creede on April 19, 2003 @ 8:57 am
  16. hey- i am in chemistry now- and just performed an experiment on soap scum removers- i found that using Scrubbing Bubbles Aerosol worked the best- hardly any work and it washes off- and just take a damp sponge to it- but who knows? i also did a half-ass job on it!! hope it helps—-?

      » Comment by erica on May 1, 2003 @ 7:52 pm
  17. I am working on the door using the various cleaners on the market! I even tried the steam cleaner with wire bristles. The scum is coming off little by little! I have taken the scum covered knob off and would like to try soaking it overnight. Does anyone know what to soak it in? I am going to try vinegar!

      » Comment by Roberta on May 3, 2003 @ 9:54 pm
  18. Soap scum is caused by teenagers.

      » Comment by tryin' hard on May 22, 2003 @ 1:07 pm
  19. Ditch the bar of soap and opt for shower gel and a manly blue poof to apply it with. No residue will be left behind. Plus, you’ll get lightly exfoliated. BONUS!

      » Comment by Renee on May 23, 2003 @ 10:44 am
  20. Hello Everyone.
    What if I told you I could come to your house and remove the soap scum from your shower glass
    and even your tub and or fiberglass etc. etc.
    What would it be worth to you?
    I would remove it without chemicals or tools such as razor blades.
    Okay how about I tell you I have a cloth that
    I guarantee will remove it for you with just
    very little elbow grease. If you feel it does not
    work you send me back the cloth and I will refund
    your money minus shipping cost.
    So throw away your chemicals and use this cloth
    and if you love it, which you will tell all your friends about it.
    Send me 20.00 dollars and I will mail you a cloth back asap.
    Thank you
    John (What have you got to lose but soap scum)

      » Comment by John on August 10, 2003 @ 9:21 am
  21. What have you got to lose but soap scum?

    $20.

      » Comment by dan on August 10, 2003 @ 11:03 pm
  22. I can buy at least 20 washcloths for $20. They seem to work well as anything else. Or else I can get my own rags for free as I get rid of old clothes.

      » Comment by poop on August 11, 2003 @ 2:05 pm
  23. I am doing a science project on soap scum & i cant find ANYTHING on it this sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      » Comment by chris on September 30, 2003 @ 5:48 pm
  24. I suppose the solution would be to use soft water instead of normal hard tap water… but does anyone know a solution to preventing soap scum that isn’t as time consuming and/or expensive? By the way, does using soft water with soap scum removers work better than using normal water, or is it just the same?

      » Comment by Squeaky clean on October 1, 2003 @ 2:42 am
  25. 20 BUCKS FOR A MAGIC CLOTH? hmmm … it could work…

      » Comment by huh? on October 1, 2003 @ 2:43 am
  26. no no no no no no no no no I want to know the reall answer about soap scum and how it gets there??????????

      » Comment by no on October 6, 2003 @ 5:06 pm
  27. I’m doing a report and if anyone really wants to help me… i need to find why does soap scum form and what is the best tile cleaner to use to get it off! e-mail me if you have the awnser @ TDSAsivadall4@aol.com

      » Comment by Ally on October 26, 2003 @ 5:19 pm
  28. The link below indicates it’s tallow that causes the scum. Looking at it on my shower wall it definitely looks tallowy. I’m switching to liquid soap to see if it helps.

    http://www.showertimeusa.com/Nosoapscum.htm

    I have had some luck scrubbing it off with baking soda, but it does require some elbow grease if you’ve let it accumulate for a few years… It works well on the glass shower door.

      » Comment by Chris Quartetti on November 8, 2003 @ 2:23 pm
  29. Don’t use the shower.

      » Comment by Earl on November 15, 2003 @ 11:50 am
  30. I’ve found that using Shout and a sponge (not a brush) will clean a shower curtain quite nicely. Squirt the Shout on there, and rub it around with the wet sponge, making sure to cover all areas. It’s easy if you’re standing in the shower–you can put your foot or hand against the inside of the tub to hold the shower curtain taut while you sponge it. There can also be scum on the other side of the shower curtain, near the bottom and on the edge that’s near the faucet. Obviously this works better as a maintenance sort of thing–every 6 months or so–before things really get out of hand.

    And BTW, I’m using Zest in my new fiberglass shower and if that’s the least scum-causing soap around, then we’re all in trouble. It’s a mess.

      » Comment by Debbie on November 20, 2003 @ 12:02 pm
  31. In reply to lady with clear glass shower doors. Try using some baking soda on a cloth dampened with water. It is just enough of an abrasive to cut the scum, but not scratch the glass. Rinse with water and wipe with clear amonia water and dry with a towel for sparkling clean glass!

      » Comment by Bob on December 6, 2003 @ 10:36 pm
  32. What should be put in the wash water to wash a grungy shower curtain liner in the machine?

      » Comment by jcm on December 15, 2003 @ 6:57 am
  33. YOU CAN PLACE THE SHOWER CURTAIN LINER IN THE MACHINE FILLED WITH HOT WATER AND BLEACH…
    LET IT SOAK AND USE GENTLE CYCLE. IT WILL REMOVE BLACK AND PINK MOLD.

      » Comment by SJD on December 15, 2003 @ 11:35 am
  34. Mr. Clean Eraser works great on soap scum! It doesn’t take too much elbow grease to use either. Dawn dishwashing liquid on a sponge works almos as well.

      » Comment by Carla on December 26, 2003 @ 11:21 am
  35. If you had cleaned your showers a little every day the problem wouldn’t be so bad!

      » Comment by heres an idea on December 28, 2003 @ 10:47 am
  36. If you had cleaned your showers a little every day the problem wouldn’t be so bad!

      » Comment by Anonymous on December 28, 2003 @ 10:47 am
  37. Pink Mold?

      » Comment by Renee on December 28, 2003 @ 8:10 pm
  38. My best soap scum remover so far is vinegar mixed with Ajax lemon dishwashing liquid & scrubbing with a nylon scrubber. It takes work, but it gets things clean. For the bottom of a tub, you can use about a quart of vinegar, a little dishwashing liquid, and hot water and let it soak. After a couple of hours, drain, hit is lightly with a scrub brush and rinse. That part is easy.

      » Comment by Linda on January 2, 2004 @ 12:07 am
  39. Comet bathroom cleaner…nothing works better. Spray on…wait 10 minutes, and wipe off. I think it is the citric acid in it that does it.

      » Comment by Steve on January 8, 2004 @ 10:25 am
  40. I’ve read that there is a stage 1 and stage 2 in the existence of soap scum. It says that at stage 2, the molecular structure of the glass is sort of eaten away by the scum, thus making it really impossible to be removed. I hope this isn’t true.

      » Comment by clark on January 25, 2004 @ 10:17 pm
  41. Where did you read that?

      » Comment by dan on January 26, 2004 @ 7:37 am
  42. I read it at CRLs website. They have this CRL Water Spot Remover.

    http://www.crlaurence.com/ProductPages/C/C2020_6698.html?Origin=#MoreDetails

    “Stage I Corrosion is defined as glass with light corrosion, with little or no damage to the glass. Stage II Corrosion occurs when the deposits are no longer on the surface of the glass, but have started to break down the molecular structure of the glass, leaving an etched or white haze on the glass after the stain has been removed. CRL Water Spot Remover will not repair glass with Stage II Corrosion.”

      » Comment by clark on January 26, 2004 @ 5:32 pm
  43. ..and CRL also has this CRL Bio-Clean Water Stain remover that “effectively removes soap scum and mildew from glass” BUT for Stage 1 corrosion only.

      » Comment by clark on January 26, 2004 @ 5:36 pm
  44. which tile cleaner removes soap scum the best?

      » Comment by ?????????? on January 29, 2004 @ 6:22 pm
  45. I thought it was CLR for Calcium, Lime and somting eles. CLR was recomended to me.
    Ive never heard of CRL
    Anyone had luck with either.
    Thanks

      » Comment by bob on February 1, 2004 @ 9:00 pm
  46. R is for Rust!

      » Comment by Levi on February 2, 2004 @ 9:32 am
  47. An effective (and pleasant) way to prevent soap scum in bath tubs is to put a small amount of Ivory liquid dish soap, (not dishwasher soap), in your water as it runs. It makes a great bubble bath and the tub was soap scum free. It is gentle and worked!

      » Comment by Jo-Anne on February 3, 2004 @ 2:30 am
  48. I LOVE USEING COMET BATHROOM CLEANER.I HAVE USED IT FOR ABOUT 5 YEARS NOW.EVERYONE SHOULD TRY THIS PRODUCT.YOU CAN BUY IT FOR THE COST OF $2.79 AT WALMART.

      » Comment by TINA on February 17, 2004 @ 12:16 pm
  49. Below is from NC State’s Family and Consumer Sciences page at http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/fcs/housing/pubs/fcs397.html

    Hard-water marks, soap scum

    Paste made of white vinegar and baking soda; let stand, then rinse
    or
    1 teaspoon Calgon in gallon water, rinse well
    or
    2-4 tablespoons trisodium phosphate in gallon water, then rinse

      » Comment by DCSmooth on February 19, 2004 @ 3:05 pm
  50. This site was hilarious. I’ve prided myself with having a very clean house and I admit freely that I hate cleaning the shower. I just used 1/2 a bottle of CLR on my shower, the most expensive shower cleaner at Walmart, and am thoroughly DISGUSTED. The first time I used it I was pleased enough to buy it again. Now, I’d just as soon try the vinegar. I too had glass shower doors. I was so distraught over the uncleanliness of them that I finally removed them, put up a shower pole and nice curtain, and replace the liner with a $2.33 one at Walmart once a month. I suppose we could be considered OCD but there could be worse.

      » Comment by Sue on March 1, 2004 @ 6:34 pm
  51. You have to let CLR soak before it does any good. The longer it soaks, the less work you have to do. Sometimes you have to do it a couple of times if the deposits are thick.

      » Comment by Levi on March 1, 2004 @ 11:40 pm
  52. can someone help me? im doing a project on soap scum and i can’t find very much info on it, can someone give me a good site about soap scum???

      » Comment by megz on March 3, 2004 @ 5:10 pm
  53. ACTUALLY I WAS LOOKING FOR PICTURES FOR MY SONS SCIENCE PROJECT AND COULDNT HELP READING SOME OF THE COMMENTS..LMAO…IVE BEEN CLEANING HOUSES ALL OF MY LIFE(35) AND I RAN ACROSS AN ACCIDENT THAT HAS HELPED EVER SINCE…TAKE CHEAP SHAMPOO AND PUT IT ON A RAG ….WIPES THE SOAP SCUM RIGHT OFF..AND THAT ADVISE IS FREE UNLESS YOU REALLY WANT TO GIVE UP 20.00 ROTFLMAO…….

      » Comment by Carol on March 11, 2004 @ 9:20 pm
  54. Uh oh, Carol’s going to need some cosmetic surgery to have her hindquarters reattached.

      » Comment by Levi on March 11, 2004 @ 9:55 pm
  55. Hey –

    I found this page and it actually had some activity, so I’m going to post what I learned about scum cleaning.

    Citric acid is it. I tried a cleaning test with everything in the house and the things that worked best contained citric acid.

    I used bathroom cleaners (Mr. Clean – a thick blue liquid) and toilet bowl cleaner (A new kind – gel style) that contained citric acid and it cleaned the scum better than anything in the arsenal.

    So – I was looking for a strong citric acid cleaner and that’s how I found this place.

    Citric acid cleans hot tub scum, too.

    See ya! On the hunt for the strongest citric acid based cleaner I can find. If all else fails, the Mr. Clean Bathroom cleaner that is a thick blue liquid that smells like hell is going to be fine.

    With any of them, let it sit for a bit, wipe again and let sit and then wipe off – you’ll save elbow grease and it won’t cost ya $20 for a pooprag.

      » Comment by ScumBuster on March 17, 2004 @ 3:51 pm
  56. TRY A PRODUCT CALLED “ELIMINATE”. AVAILABLE AT LOWE’S OR HOME DEPOT. SPRAY IT ON, LEAVE A COUPLE MINUTES, RINSE OFF. ITS SAFE AND NOT SMELLY.

      » Comment by Anonymous on March 18, 2004 @ 3:42 pm
  57. HEY! love the site. everytime I get out of the tub, I rinse it out with cold water, then spray it with windex; then b4
    I take the next bath, I rinse. This keeps the scum down. I also like Comet Gel. Love the scent. Windex seems to help shower doors. DIRTEX, streak fee glass cleaner (I get it at Home Depot) is a terrific product. The best cleaner I have ever used. Years ago, when I was a bartender in New Orleans, we cleaned the glass and mirrors with newspaper. Yep, for true. Clean them off with windex (or any spray glass cleaner), then use crumpled-up newspaper! Streak free! Has something to do with the ink. Cuts right through the yellow grime from cigarette smoke. Try it and let me know what you think, Take care!

      » Comment by Nancy on March 20, 2004 @ 10:25 pm
  58. This is going to be a LOT to read, but hope some of it will help someone. First of all, I think I know what the “rags for $20″ are above.– check at either of the home shopping sites- QVC or HSN. Can’t remember which site carries them, but they are special cloths and were very impressive. Lots of testimonials from viewers calling in saying they work on everything perfectly. They cost about $15 or $20 for 3 of them and the demo person and also the callers said they last for a long long time. Just used water with them!! Now I want to try them! As for cleaners,– for frosted shower doors, try “Scrub Free for Soap Scum” spray. Have used it at least 12 years. (“Scrub Free for Mildew” spray works great on Mildew.) For clear glass doors, wipe with Bon Ami on a sponge, then rinse. It works. For ceramic tile shower floors, I spray “Orange Glo” (NOT Orange Clean)– let it sit for awhile, soap scum will scrape off nicely. Be carefull to go over with a mild cleanser then rinse with water when finished cause it will be slippery afterwards. Orange Glo is beautiful for wood cupboards etc. too. (It is a wood cleaner, but I saw the infomercial where they used it on both.) I think Dow Scrubbing Bubbles is still the best for tubs. I have a couple other great helpful hints– to wash windows inside and out around the house, put a little (maybe either Joy or Dawn) dish soap in a bucket, then just dip a squeegie sponge in it and quickly wash window, then reverse squeegie to the rubber blade side and start at top and swipe to bottom in one straight stroke. Keep repeating top to bottom across all of window quickly. (I find it best to do on a cloudy day.) I do our 2 story house windows outside (20 very large ones and the kitchen doorwall) in 45 minutes! Carry a small hand towel to wipe water from edges of windows if need be. I bought the squeegie and an extra long extension pole for the second floor windows at Home Depot. You will never mind doing windows again it’s so fast! (Learned that tip from a professional window cleaner.) Another great tip–If you ever saw the infomercial years ago about a product called “Quick and Brite”- that stuff is AMAZING! Check for a web site to purchase from if you don’t have a store that sells it near you. (If you have babies in your home this is what you want to be using throughout your entire hosehold to clean if you’re concerned about toxic fumes. My 2 “babies” are in their 20′s now, so this all comes from years of experience trying products.) I bought the “Quick and Brite” years ago to use on my ‘material’ covered kitchen chairs-follow directions-you wouldn’t believe how clean they turned out! Like brand new! (We priced having them recovered, was going to cost about $1,000.00. The Quick and Brite ran about $40.00 at the time!! And I still had a ton of product left.) My parents went home and immediately ordered it too after seeing the results. Comes with a tub of paste (that’s what I used on the chairs, also good on laundry problems) and also a bottle of liquid concentrate you dilute down. The company gives you a list of cleaning problems and what to use which on. (Safe to use liquid in Microwaves etc.) I also used the paste in the wash machine to clean my kitchen valances and the colors came out like new also. Great great product to say the least. Thank you all for reading this, I sure hope I helped some.

      » Comment by mom on March 24, 2004 @ 8:15 am
  59. Soap Scum has to be the biggest pain in the butt. Who wants to hop in the shower and see nasty soap scum i know i don’t so my suggestion to all of you to get rid of soap scum, is to stop having a conversation about soap scum and clean it off. i am sure there is something out there that will work. you are all wasting your time talking about soap scum. Debate about something else!

      » Comment by Emily on April 4, 2004 @ 3:59 pm
  60. Emily: Who’s debating anything? All I see are comments discussing how to remove soap scum, which is easier said than done.

      » Comment by dan on April 6, 2004 @ 9:30 am
  61. CAN YOU PLEASE PUT MORE INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET ABOUT DAWN DISH SOAP AND PALMOLIVE DISH SOAP. THERE IS NOTHING AND I HAVE A SCIENCE FAIR TOMORROW. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

      » Comment by Sarah on April 7, 2004 @ 4:36 pm
  62. I really wish I had seen this site earlier, as there are great suggestions. I used the Scrub Free for soap scum with bleach on someones shower yesterday and it left lovely yellow streaks down the frosted stripes (only seen from inside the shower). Has anyone had this happen and been able to fix it. I am assuming it is the bleach in it.

      » Comment by Rebecca on April 16, 2004 @ 12:24 pm
  63. Never mind I just reread the bottle and it says to not use it on frosted glass shower doors to avoid discolouration. That’s what you get for not reading the fine print. I’m a loser!!

      » Comment by Rebecca on April 16, 2004 @ 12:31 pm
  64. NO PICTURES!! Boo!

      » Comment by Anonymous on May 25, 2004 @ 1:49 pm
  65. i love this site cleaning houses for living soap scum on shomer doors listerine mouthwash works great iv herd but have not used it yet bounce dryer sheets you take a used one wipe over door ill try it but listerine works and smells clean most people dont read directions first most cleaners say put on let sit for x amount time everyones in a hurry good luck

      » Comment by pat on June 6, 2004 @ 9:40 pm
  66. has any of you guys ever heard or tried Ritec’s ClearShiled? It’s supposed to give the glass some sort of protective shield against mildew and it can be applied even to sandblasted glass, stained glass, etc.

    for those who are familiar, i would appreciate your opinion.

    Their site is at http://www.ritec.co.uk

      » Comment by jojo on June 7, 2004 @ 12:41 am
  67. ok folks i tried the used bounce dryer sheets and belive it or not they work i wiped it down the glass and you could see the soap scum come off i did then windex one the doors the other showeri didnt have to try it i needed 3 sheets per shower

      » Comment by pat on June 8, 2004 @ 5:53 pm
  68. someone told me that if you can ever get all of the soap scum off the shower doors to use rainex (for cars) to keep the soap scum from coming back.

      » Comment by Anonymous on June 11, 2004 @ 8:15 am
  69. im sure rain ex will wqork or even better turtle wax you can do whole bathroom with it but must be clean it puts hard shell you do it 2or 3 times a year works great esspicaly on a new bathroom will keep it looking new

      » Comment by pat on June 11, 2004 @ 8:59 pm
  70. Griot’s Garage (www.griotsgarage.com 800-345-5789) carries a product called Glass Polish & a Fine Glass Polish. I purchased some 3 years ago and it works great on soap scum and water spots on shower doors and chrome hardware. Have had my shower doors 16 years and the glass looks new after using the stuff, takes a little bit of elbow grease but works. An 8 ounce glass polish is $12.95 but a little bit goes a long ways. I tried putting on some Rainex yesterday after cleaning them….hope it extends the time inbetween cleanings.

      » Comment by John on June 11, 2004 @ 11:25 pm
  71. Dear Pat, what kind of turtle wax did you use? I believe there is a paste like form and another like in a liquid form. Thanks. Appreciate your help.

      » Comment by jojo on June 20, 2004 @ 11:22 pm
  72. i have used both liqid and paste the liquid qorks easyier they both work well it keeps bathroom looking like new

      » Comment by pat on June 21, 2004 @ 9:09 pm
  73. Thanks, Pat. I will definitely try your suggestion.

      » Comment by jojo on June 24, 2004 @ 10:50 pm
  74. Professional house cleaner for 10 years. I use “Ring Be Gone” on tubs & fiberglass showers to remove heavy duty soap scum. Melts off with little to no scrubbing. Makes stained toilet bowls look like new too. Also use “Stain Bully” for soap scum. Guaranteed!

      » Comment by The Cleaning Lady on July 15, 2004 @ 10:12 pm
  75. then again, a good slurp(about half a cupful) of liquid fabric softener in a litre of warm water applied with a little elbow grease and washed off with clear water and dried to a shiny finish will also get rid of this soap scum scourge..and then keep a spray bottle of the cheap and cheerful solution in the shower to spray over the glass every other day to after showering to keep it that way.

      » Comment by Judy on July 21, 2004 @ 5:45 am
  76. well ring be gone may work on tubs and fiberglass but on doors or frosted doors ?? belive me iv been professonal cleaner for 23 years shower doors are the pits fabric softner also works well on tiles to take off hair spray

      » Comment by pat on July 22, 2004 @ 10:07 pm
  77. I remove soap scum by removing all shower items. Then run hot water trying to use the shower head to get the walls wet with the hot water for several minutes, the longer the better. Then spray, from the bottom up with with oven cleaner, making sure you do not get the cleaner on the metal. Place a towel in the bottom of the shower so you can easily stand and work the cleaner making sure all the areas are covered, using a white sponge pad. Clean the rest of the bathroom while it sets.

    Now remove the towel and spray the walls with the shower head and after the water drains from the floor replace the towel and get in the shower and using the white sponge pad scrub all the walls. Rinse well. This may take a few times but after you get your shower clean and free from soap scum QUIT using bar soap and switch to body wash and good bye soap scum. By the way oven cleaner works well on glass doors. Just make sure you don’t get it on the metal part.

    The product sheild works wonderful on sinks, showers, countertops, windows, and just about all glass wear. I use the one from Misco International or US chemical but there are other brands available like invisable sheild. This one is more concentrated. These products reduce clean up time and reduces water spots.

    Happy cleaning!

      » Comment by Sylvia on July 27, 2004 @ 12:40 am
  78. That seams like an awful lot of work and time to clean the bathroom i do 9 a day id get nothing else done belive it dosnt take that much effort altough i have yet to try ring be gone fabric softner works,bounce dryer sheets work,listerine works,and on walls and tub i find scrub free soap scum remover is great

      » Comment by pat on August 1, 2004 @ 8:55 pm
  79. Anyone have experience with a slate shower? I’ve tried the soap scum spray – no luck – tried a natural stone cleaner from Home Depot – no luck there either. The slate has a sealer/enricher on it so I don’t want to use anything too harsh.

      » Comment by Myra on August 20, 2004 @ 10:02 am
  80. Hi, My thoughts are that soap companies put additives in soap that do nothing to clean you.I say this because I make glycerin soap(clear soap)and it cleans the body without putting scum in my tub.Glycerin soap is made with pure glycerin, color, and scented oil. It form no chemicel change with the water and does not dry your skin like soap.Bodywash is also good.
    If soap scum is in your tub, what makes you think that it’s not on your skin?????

      » Comment by emily on August 20, 2004 @ 10:40 am
  81. Yes, in reply to removing soap scum, I posted a detailed way to remove soap scum. Yes, the first time it does take a while BUT you only have to do it 1 time if you do not use bar soap. Then you clean the shower with your favorite cleaner one time a week. I think that is pretty simple.

      » Comment by Sylvia on August 20, 2004 @ 11:34 am
  82. Dan, given the popularity of this thread which has stood the test of time for nearly 2 years, you should be a “large mammal” in the blog ecosystem.

      » Comment by Renee on August 20, 2004 @ 2:58 pm
  83. Aha! You are #6 on Yahoo for removing soap scum. Dare I saw you’re a regular Heloise. Maybe you should start another website along the lines of your coin collecting. You could have lots of click throughs on google ads for household cleaners!

      » Comment by Renee on August 20, 2004 @ 7:35 pm
  84. I think it’s very interesting to see which threads of yours (right word, or blog entry or conversation or something?) get the most responses and “live” the longest. This one and debate over Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” seem like the clear winners, no? It also seems kind of funny how people write in to you like you’re the soap scum expert, I guess just not being familiar with the format, and with blogging …

      » Comment by DaveH on August 20, 2004 @ 10:28 pm
  85. Oh my gosh! It’s a miracle! The used Bounce sheet worked in a flash for getting soap scum off the clear shower doors. No water, no mess, little elbow grease. Thanks for the suggestion!

      » Comment by D'Ann on September 16, 2004 @ 6:54 pm
  86. im glad someone tried my suggestion used bounce sheets do work

      » Comment by pat on September 16, 2004 @ 10:11 pm
  87. ….what is a “bounce sheet” and where can i get them?

      » Comment by jojo on September 19, 2004 @ 11:59 pm
  88. Bounce sheets are typically used in the dryer, but there are at least 35 other uses for them.

      » Comment by dan on September 20, 2004 @ 7:59 am
  89. bounce dryer sheets after you use them in dryer keep them and wipe glass shower doors soap scum comes off takes about 3-5 used sheets

      » Comment by pat on September 21, 2004 @ 9:02 pm
  90. My child has a science fair project and she wants to compare which cleaner removes soap scum the best. Do you have any ideas where I can find information about soap scum

      » Comment by Leslie on October 19, 2004 @ 6:56 pm
  91. leslie did you not read the 89 comments before yours there a whole bunch of soap scum info

      » Comment by pat on October 23, 2004 @ 8:40 pm
  92. talk scientific about the soap scum

      » Comment by jack on November 1, 2004 @ 3:48 pm
  93. okay so i am doing a science project on soap scum and i have to learn what causes it and all so help me out thatnk you

      » Comment by me me on November 11, 2004 @ 9:19 am
  94. Any comments on soap scum and drains? My husband uses Ivory bar soap, and his sink regularly geta thick soap film, and drains extremely slowly. Drain cleaner helps a bit, but it is still slow. Any ideas how to remove the soap scum after is has accumulated on the inside of the drain?

      » Comment by Bart on December 8, 2004 @ 10:24 am
  95. bart try a box of baking soda pour bottle white vinger over it weekly should keep drain clear

      » Comment by pat on December 26, 2004 @ 9:09 pm
  96. For glass shower doors you can use a real fine steel wool it works like the Bounce sheets only better.

      » Comment by Rick on January 10, 2005 @ 6:11 pm
  97. IS soap scum dangerous? write back.

      » Comment by maria on January 11, 2005 @ 9:51 am
  98. No, it isn’t. Now you write back. Or maybe stop giving such short commands in blog entries. ;)

      » Comment by DavidH on January 11, 2005 @ 4:25 pm
  99. I have some suggestions. I used to own a cleaning company and I found something that works like magic.

    Krud Kutter.

    You can buy it at Home Depot. Check out their products to remove paint, permanent marker and stains/pet odors ect. It’s good stuff and you pay no more than you would for the “good smelling non working” stuff in the grocery store.

    You might actually have to sweat, you may need elbow grease but if this stuff can’t do it, I’d really be surprised.

    another thing I’ve heard is that CLR (stands for calcium,lime,rust) works well. I, myself have not had luck but maybe I got a moot batch.

    Good luck.

      » Comment by robin on January 19, 2005 @ 10:06 am
  100. clr is a joke dosnt work iv never herd of krud kutter how does it work spray,paste,what did you use it on?

      » Comment by pat on January 31, 2005 @ 9:23 pm
  101. i think you should post pics, of dawn dish soap on the internet cause im doing a science fair project and i need a pic. of it!!!!!!!!!!

      » Comment by alyssa A. on February 9, 2005 @ 6:05 pm
  102. How about this picture?

      » Comment by dan on February 9, 2005 @ 6:18 pm
  103. I just learned from “Quirks and Quarks”, a science program on CBC Radio, that soap scum isn’t really soap scum at al, but bacteria that like the wet/dry environment of showers. It’s related to the bacteria that leave that pink stain in toilets. It’s harmless to most people, but forms an aerosol when we shower that we breathe in, and it can be harmful to those with immune deficiency. Juts wash the shower curtain with a mild solution of TSP, water and bleach.

      » Comment by Norman Smith on February 16, 2005 @ 1:59 pm
  104. Oops, I was wrong. It was CNN, not CBC. Here’s the URL:
    http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/science/02/15/microbes.everywhere.ap/

      » Comment by Norman Smith on February 16, 2005 @ 2:05 pm
  105. do you have a picture of joy dish soap,dan please?

      » Comment by alyssa a. on February 18, 2005 @ 2:13 pm
  106. Here’s one.

      » Comment by dan on February 18, 2005 @ 2:23 pm
  107. I was once advised by a very neurotic shower freak that, whatever it is the manufacturer adds to liquid soap that enables it to be formed into bar soap, is the culprit. Since I’m a male living alone without a cleaning partner, and a natural born slob to boot, I ignore soap scum. Having never heeded the gratuitous advice, I can’t vouch for its validity. Nonetheless, I have reason to believe that liquid soap may be the solution to this evil problem. The lady, alluded to above as the shower freak, categorically advises that liquid soap will not form soap scum on anything, including showers stalls.

      » Comment by Edward Michael on February 22, 2005 @ 2:22 pm
  108. OMG my shower is osososo very dirty!!!! My b\f is getting ticked ’bout me not cleanin it soooooo i really need a soap scum cleaner to help me solve my problems!!!!!

    -soap scum removers needed bi!

      » Comment by bna on March 3, 2005 @ 11:54 am
  109. I tried this “recipe” that I saw in an Ace Hardware store flyer. Mix some water & powder dishwasher detergent (I used the type with enzymes)to the consistency of pudding & apply it with a putty knife to the scummy bathtub & tiles. Allow it to sit overnite, then wet it in the morning & scrub with one of those plastic scrubbers. It worked fairly well.

      » Comment by Diana on March 4, 2005 @ 2:17 pm
  110. Okay, I have tried almost all of these suggestions and can’t get them to work. I am sweating from scrubbing with every chemical in my household. I pride myself on being clean, however my glass shower doors are wavy and not a smooth glass and for the life of me, I cannot get the scum off of the doors to make it look as if new again. I would love to try the car wax thing, but don’t want to until they look new. Help! (someone who honestly has the answer.)

      » Comment by Sammy on March 4, 2005 @ 7:59 pm
  111. ok wavy doors are alot harder to clean spay you bathroom cleaner on and scrub with either steel woll(not brillo) or green pads you buy in any store making sure what ever you use is WET keep going over it rince well windex ir with paper towels then use a used bounce dryer sheet once there clean you can use the wax to keep them that way let me no how you make out

      » Comment by pat on March 10, 2005 @ 7:08 pm
  112. you can also try on wavy doors is tooth paste not gel must be paste takes off alot rince well windex etc

      » Comment by pat on March 13, 2005 @ 5:34 pm
  113. As a single guy, like others with no live in house cleaner, try to keep the tub and bathroom clean in case an unexpected female guest decides to use my facilities. I have used Scrub Free for a few years. Walmart,$2.50, Works great! I give the whole tub a quick spay after every shower. Even keeps the plumbing shinny and the shower curtin clean. The trick is the tub has to be really clean to start, otherwise, it take a few weeks to get everything off without any scrubbing. Being it was so expensive(LOL),I searched “make your own scum remover, this site is now Yahoo #2.
    Now that the scum problem has been addressed, my new problem is the floor gets dusty after a week or so, I think this dust come from the lint coming off the towel, any ideas?

      » Comment by surfmaster on March 15, 2005 @ 8:39 am
  114. YEA TRY WASHING YOUR FLOOR LIKE EVERY WEEK

      » Comment by pat on March 18, 2005 @ 9:37 pm
  115. The majority of dust comes from you. That is from your skin.

      » Comment by Tom on March 19, 2005 @ 6:45 pm
  116. 1 tsp TSP, 1/2 cup bleach in a gallon of warm water. No scrubbing, very low cost. Works outdoors or indoors on all colors of mold and meldew.

      » Comment by Norman Smith on March 30, 2005 @ 10:18 am
  117. Will that mixture take care of the lint on the floor too? What is TSP, is that like ESP? If it is, then I can just “think it clean” and won’t have to do any scrubing. Or is it like STP for my car, spray it down with STP gas treatment?

      » Comment by surfmaster on March 30, 2005 @ 4:53 pm
  118. Try scrubbing with sodium carbonate, also called soda ash, available in pool and spa supplies. It’s water soluble, so it takes a bit to get the hang of it. You’ll use more that you are used to than when using Ajax or Comet. It needs to be a heavy paste that you can feel working (gritty-like). When it gets slicker, add more powder.

    Cheap, safe and effective, and shouldn’t scratch gel coat.

    I first started using sodium carbonate to clean the ring around our acrylic spa. It’s a spa chemical used to raise water pH, so it’s safe to use in a filled spa, and doesn’t contain soap or detergent which would cause foaming if it gets in the water.

      » Comment by carndt on April 6, 2005 @ 4:53 pm
  119. Thanks for all the info… I was sick of the soap scum in my shower and looked here and found the solution that worked for me… I used the TSP. It took a little scrubbing with a nylon scrubbie (I save my onion/garlic bags and use them for just such a purpose). I’m sure if I could let it sit it would be easier however it’s somewhat difficult to keep the solution on a vertical surface :)

    I followed with diluted fabric softener (Glad to find a way to use that up since I now use straight vinegar as a final rinse in washing).

    Thanks again!

      » Comment by Tricia on April 13, 2005 @ 10:54 am
  120. Mhmm. Well. A site about soap scum? I ws looking up bubbles and saw this. I never knew people talked about soap scum so much…

      » Comment by Anonymous on April 14, 2005 @ 6:17 pm
  121. Won’t a scubbie scratch an acrylic tub and the TSP damage the acrylic coating? I don’t know, it just seems like it would. I have heard “scubbing bubble” is not even recommended for acrylic tubs because it can damage the coating.

      » Comment by bob on April 16, 2005 @ 8:34 pm
  122. I came to this website hoping to find an easy solution to getting rid of the soap scum in my bathtub. Instead I found a good laugh. But I want to comment on two things. First of all, those Mr. Clean erasers don’t work. I bought them to see how well they worked in the home we just bought. They work wonders on the glass top stoves and on the stains on my walls. However, when it came to the soap scum in my bathtub, they didn’t work at all. Second of all, the problem has been there for several years. As I stated earlier we just bought out house and the soap scum was already there. Does anyone know a good solution that works other than scraping it off with my fingernails. I have a fiberglass tub so a razor blade will scratch it. I’ve tried the most powerful cleaners, no luck. HELP!!!!!

      » Comment by Jodie on April 17, 2005 @ 7:11 am
  123. I am also doing “TRYING” to help my daughter with her science fair project to find out which tile cleaner cleans soap scum the best. It Cluckin sucks! I can’t find anything to help. This site is about the best thing that has came out of all of this. Very entertaining! D-mn soap scum. D-mn every morsel of it, and d-mn all of the cleaners! (&$20 cloths) lol Guess we have to change the stupid project.

      » Comment by Tonya on April 17, 2005 @ 6:41 pm
  124. jodie try a product called c l r it removes almost anything it is usually used to remove calcium and rust and lime and it works on a lot of various stuff

      » Comment by whaleman on April 17, 2005 @ 11:04 pm
  125. wash shower curtain in vinagar and soap scum comes off. use steel wool pad on shower windows soap scum comes off with a little elbow grease.

      » Comment by joy on April 20, 2005 @ 7:49 am
  126. How to clean Plastic Shower curtains. I have to say I fully expected to find this solution described as I read through all of the postings. I only wish I could do this with the tub. Simply remove the curtain and shove it in the washing machine with your towels and detergent. Wash hot “not sanitary, just a precaution” When it’s done, hang it back up right away to help it stretch back out and dry.((Do not use the dryer!)) You’ll notice right away that it’s sparkling clean. This method works best with a top feeder machine but front feeders work well too. It seems to help if you pack the towels an curtain in such a way as to assist the cleaning process. The towels and hot water are doing the work. In a top feeder, the agitator contributes to the work. Regarding soap scum, I was thinking while growing up that I don’t remember this being a problem in my youth. I don’t think it was because I didnt care. I have to guess that water in Westchester County NY is soft, while water in my current home , Oakland CA is hard. I can fingernail off scum one week after cleaning. I’m also guessing that ivory soap might be responible. Youth days, I used Dial. hmmmm.

      » Comment by Trevor on April 23, 2005 @ 11:01 am
  127. Does Dial soap contain ctric acid? What with this 2+3 thing

      » Comment by Bored to tears on May 9, 2005 @ 8:10 am
  128. Bored: I don’t know about Dial, but the 2+3 question is to avoid automated comment spam.

      » Comment by dan on May 9, 2005 @ 8:11 am
  129. To remove soap scum l use a product called barkeepers friend. My builder recommended this product to clean sinks, ceramic top stove and stain removal. I purchased it at walart and lowes. Also they have a web site.

      » Comment by Tammy on May 10, 2005 @ 8:56 pm
  130. I have pink mold on the rubber insulation around my glass shower door. I think the mold has permeated down into the rubber. I have tried using spray on mold remover, clorox, vinegar, & comet. Part of the problem is that the rubber is slightly slanted so everything runs off of it (except the mold!). Any suggestions as to how to get rid of it?

      » Comment by Peggy Freeman on May 18, 2005 @ 9:35 am
  131. I found something quite good by accident! After looking here this morning and not finding much, I decided to try a little phosphoric acid even though I was pretty sure I’d done so previously. I began to pour and realized I’d grabbed the wrong container.

    That wrong container was a product I’d purchased from Costco here in CA., called “Oil Eater”, “Cleaner/Degreaser”. I rubbed a little around with my finger tips and it began lifting the soap scum! I retrieved the spray bottle that came with the 5 quart jug and proceded to spray all the surfaces with undiluted mix. I walked away for about 30 minutes. I returned with well wrung (dampened) washcloth and wearing gloves, wiped everything down having to concentrate a moment on a couple spots. I then followed by rinsing. I was amazed!

    This was a pretty bad case I started with so this is true success. The jug says not recommended for glass. I will still experiment with tah at some point to see just why. This is an alkaline product (in part) so there are no acids. I only know what I read on the label AND the results of a silly mistake!!!

      » Comment by Marco on May 26, 2005 @ 3:55 pm
  132. peggy to do the rubber take one part water one part vinger one part clorx pput pare towels in get soaked take and lay on mold push towels into every corner let sit for hour or longer if needed take off mold should be gone

      » Comment by pat on May 27, 2005 @ 9:16 pm
  133. Well, after reading all of the comments posted here, the only thing I had available to try at home was mouth wash. It worked! Very impressive. Thank you so much. I didn’t even break a sweat.

      » Comment by Dawn on June 21, 2005 @ 6:19 pm
  134. The person who installed my glass doors gave me a glass cleaner called
    Bio-Clean (water Stain remover).. it’s a paste.. minty smell.. and works great. We have had our shower doors for over a year now.. he came yesterday to make an adjustment, and I was complaining about how dirty the glass was, and that I had tried to clean them with everything. He got the Bio-Clean out of his work van and showed me how it works. I’ve cleaned all my chrome as well. The hard water spots and soap sum is GONE… it’s great stuff. It’s made by a company called C.R. Laurence Co. Los Angeles, Ca. 1-800-421-6144. My shower guy also told me to use rain-xx.. after I get the doors really clean.

      » Comment by Bonnie on June 22, 2005 @ 3:51 pm
  135. I just used scrubbing bubbles spray and one of the Magic Eraser sponges and my soap scum is finally gone!

      » Comment by some woman on July 4, 2005 @ 12:33 pm
  136. do you think you might have misused the term “epiphany” for “insight”? was your experience pondering soap scum in the shower really a life-changing revelation? a sprititual awakening? a divine moment?

      » Comment by cleaning my shower curtain now on July 8, 2005 @ 8:28 am
  137. No, I used a valid meaning as defined in multiple dictionaries. My experience pondering soap scum was in fact a sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something, or even better, a comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization. (epiphany) It could even be explained as an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking, or an illuminating discovery (epiphany).

      » Comment by dan on July 8, 2005 @ 8:51 am
  138. What about the scratches that look like soap scum that are a chemical reaction of CLR and Tilex? My shower doors have cloudy scratches on them from where I obviously used too many cleaning products and scratched them. (They were brand new.) Any ideas?

      » Comment by Chris on July 25, 2005 @ 8:46 pm
  139. Okay, here’s the name of the only soap that I’ve ever known that caused NO soap scum whatsoever. VEL bath soap. It’s difficult to find, and costs about $2.00 per bar, but it leaves absolutley no soap scum and I think it’s because it’s actually not soap, so it has no talc or tallow. Give it a try and your tub will always be clean. However, my husband only uses deodorant soaps like Irish Spring or Zest, and they make a real mess. Scrub Free works better than most products. Don’t try to clean a shower liner. Buy cheap ones and replace them as needed. Lot’s less aggravation. Glass shower doors are also too much trouble. I’ve had them and got rid of them. Buy a shower curtain and liner and you won’t be trying to scrub those !#@*! doors and the track that they sit in.

      » Comment by jan on July 28, 2005 @ 8:29 pm
  140. Alright, I haven’t even gotten through this whole board yet and already i’ve got a list of stuff to try, and to throw out…lol I purchased a house that used to be a rental, and I think the tenants cleaned the tile as much as they did yard work (never… my back yard is simply dirt) I have no clue what kind of water I have, I thought hard, but someone said all our water here is soft because of the source (i live on an island…) Anyway, combine that with the soap, and my tiles just have this dull film on them. they feel clean to the touch, but the tiles where the water and soap hit most often are dull, compared to the tiles at the top and on the edges, that barely get any contact. I’ve heard that using auto wax on your tiles is a great way to prevent the problem, but i’ve got to get rid of the problem before i start preventing it. I would greatly appreciate ANY info anyone could provide… I am also curious if I could use rainex on my shower windows? It works on the car, why not in the shower?

      » Comment by Noreen on July 30, 2005 @ 10:58 pm
  141. yes you can use rainex on shower window and doors just make sure there clean first .and as for dull tiles the best to try is fabric sortner and water solution mix in spray boottle ,toothpaste use alot ellbow greese make sure you rince well then dry ,or listerene they all clean well and smell fresh the problem is somethings work in some bathrooms and some work in others why i dont no but 24 years of cleaning peoples hoses i find they all dont work in all houses good luck

      » Comment by pat on July 31, 2005 @ 6:32 pm
  142. Comet powder gave my tub soap scum!

      » Comment by Barbara on August 1, 2005 @ 3:17 pm
  143. My tub was beautifully white! I’ve always used scrubbing bubbles (the best), but I made a mistake of trying something new. So, I sprinkled the powder, rinsed and now I have a light green ring around my tub!!! I tried using the scrubbing bubbles to get rid of it and then Bleach, but it won’t come off! I’m FURIOUS!!!

      » Comment by Barbara on August 1, 2005 @ 3:19 pm
  144. well barbra try one part vinger one part bleech one part water soak paper towels ,put around tub press so they stick and let them sit dont ring out the towels just plaster them up wet let sit for min 15 min

      » Comment by pat on August 6, 2005 @ 9:15 pm
  145. If everyone in the family would squeegee the doors before getting out, ot wouldn’t be so hard to clean, but teenagers don’t care. I liked my portable steamer the best. The stains came right off, the chrome got cleaned, and no chemicals. Get a steamer. Vinegar doesn’t cut grease, but its great for getting rid of coffee stains/tea stains left in the pot. Let sit for a while, and you’ll have no stains.

      » Comment by Joanne on August 11, 2005 @ 11:58 am
  146. Vinegar alone doesn’t do it, it’s vinegar mixed with bleach that will do it.

      » Comment by pat on August 11, 2005 @ 7:52 pm
  147. i am soaking my white polyester curtain in limeaway diluted in a bucket now. the bottom turned pink from mold i assume and i dont want to remove it. the cleaning instructions say no bleach; but if the limeaway doesnt work i am going to wash them in tsp and bleach in the washing machine and if they r ruined go to the cheap vinyl ones. my curtains hang in a claw foot bath tub. if anyone has been here and found a solution please post it, thx, tom

      » Comment by tom on August 21, 2005 @ 11:37 pm
  148. my ceramic floors are not glazed and are dull looking. Does anyone know what kind of wax I can put on them? Thanks

      » Comment by linda on August 25, 2005 @ 4:33 pm
  149. If you have a fiberglass tub/shower, the absolute best thing to get ALL the dirt, scum, etc. off is liquid oven cleaner that you can get at a janitorial supply company. WEAR GLOVES WHEN CLEANING IT!!! It can leave nasty burns on your skin, but the stuff is amazing. It won’t clean an oven, but it will make your tub perfectly clean.

      » Comment by dustbunny on September 1, 2005 @ 4:38 pm
  150. tom for your curtain put in washing machine with cup oxi clean no detergant let aggitate few min stop let soak about an hour run through cycle then rewash with detergant and oxi clen comes out beautiful works great o ncurtains with cirgette too

      » Comment by pat on September 2, 2005 @ 9:42 pm
  151. I successfully used a white vinegar/baking soda paste on opaque acrylic shower doors. It does require some elbow grease with a Dobie scrubber sponge. Then, throw the bar soap away, and use liquid soap with a wash cloth. Get 40 oz. house-brand refills at your chain drug store. Same active ingredient as Dial, but about 1/3 the cost. After a year, with no spray-on protectant in the interim, shower doors look as good as new.

      » Comment by Dick on September 17, 2005 @ 2:46 pm
  152. I just bought this new cloth that is out now. Thebig thing is I bought it at the Dollar Discount store. It was just a dollar! Use this and Comet powder, make the slightly wet because the cloth works better on soap scum when it’s dry. You can clean the whole shower with this cloth,plus a little muscle if you have tough soap scum. After this keep up with daily quick wipe downs to prevent build up again. Good luck

      » Comment by karen on September 18, 2005 @ 9:16 pm
  153. I jusr used Dawn Power Dissolver and steel wool, let it set then clean. You may have to do it more than once depending on the build up of soap scum. good luck

      » Comment by brea on September 26, 2005 @ 6:56 am
  154. comet powder is the worst to use in bathroom it nicks scratches your tub and leaves residue

      » Comment by pat on September 29, 2005 @ 10:47 pm
  155. try lysol stain remover

      » Comment by ashley reinhart on October 17, 2005 @ 12:36 pm
  156. Anyone knows how to remove plastic film from a fiberglass tub? This film was place on the edges of new tubs to prevent scratches. I had this tub for about a year before I finally got a chance to install it. Meanwhile that film seems to have melted permanantly on to the tub, while some of the film flaked off. I tried all sorts of cleaners, WD-40, and even a razor blade, but nothing seems to work. The blade would only nick or dig into th fiberglass tub.

      » Comment by Jerry on October 18, 2005 @ 10:02 pm
  157. I USE A MOISTENED BOUNCE FABRIC SOFTNER SHEET ON MY GLASS SHOWER DOORS AND ON THE WALLS AND SIDES OF TUB.THEN I WIPE THEM DOWN WITH A RAG AND RINSE. SPARKLING CLEAN. DO NOT PUT IT ON THE BOTTOM OF SHOWER OR YOU MAY SLIP AND FALL.

      » Comment by MM &M on October 20, 2005 @ 11:11 am
  158. jerry you can try toothpaste to get the film off use a SCOTCH BRITE green scrubby pad the tooth paste can be any but not gel it gets alot off then rince well will take little elbow greese

      » Comment by pat on October 21, 2005 @ 10:05 pm
  159. jerry another thing you can try is one part water one part bleech one part vingerar mix in bucket soak paper towel in it put on tub soaking wet leave on till it dries works geat on mildew soaked into grout may work on film good luck

      » Comment by pat on October 21, 2005 @ 10:09 pm
  160. I just worked my butt off in the bathroom with Easy Off Bam. I was so excited after reading the wonderful results I would have on http://www.easoffbam.com. Well, the rust stain from the shaving cream can is still a red stain on the edge of the tub as a matter of fact all the stains are still on the tub. The red ring at the drain is gone but how hard is that? I am so tired of just throwing away things around the house when I can not get them clean when they were such an expensive investment to begin with. The next two items on the street curb are the (used to be white) tub and the (used to be white) stove if I cannot find some relief.

      » Comment by Crisy on October 30, 2005 @ 9:26 am
  161. After reading some of the comments on this site, I tried the baking soda and switched to liquid soap…it works great! Thanks! Also, I bought the Absorber to dry the doors; Walmart has it for about $8.50 in the auto section. It’s like a chamois. It gets the doors bone dry and leaves no streaks or stains. The doors are alot less work now and look great.

      » Comment by beeni on November 7, 2005 @ 8:53 am
  162. I read that turtle wax can be used on cultured marble countertops. Do you use the paste or liquid kind?

      » Comment by jt on November 9, 2005 @ 11:07 pm
  163. Hello everyone,
    I was looking for info on removing the streaks on my clear (used to be clear) shower doors and now I don’t feel like an obsesed(?) maniac.

    I have used CLR (does not work). mixed 1cup of ammonia (supposed to be sudsy, but did not have any), 1tsp of dish detergent and 1 pint of alcohol. The instructions read that I was supposed to add enough water to make a gallon, but I ommitted the water and used mixture straight. (did not work).
    I want you to know that I have used all the above AFTER I had used a water steamer (got from Costco). The steamer did well for the metal on the shower doors, but that’s it. Hence, my trying the rest of the stuff.

    I have, in the past, used vinegar and baking soda and scrubbed until my fingers were numb. So far, nothing.

    Can you guys help me out? Am trying to sell my house and keeping the glass doors looking brand new, would greatly help.

      » Comment by confela on November 15, 2005 @ 10:46 pm
  164. Okay… I have just read this entire blog. I have had a soap scum problem on glass shower doors which has gradually worsened over 6 months. Yes.. I do clean my screen every week, and use talow free soaps.. always! I think that there are different levels of soap scum.

    1. The surface level, which is quite easy to clean with a bit of elbow grease.

    2. The “etched in” level that even a razor blade will not remove.

    I have tried most of the things suggested above already, to no avail. I think maybe my glass could be faulty, because it only happens on one side of the shower stall!!!

    Does anyone know if this could actually be the case? (A glass seacialist out there anywhere?)

      » Comment by aussie chick on November 17, 2005 @ 7:08 pm
  165. wow…very interesting blog…for over 2 years the problem of soap scum has troubled the likes of home-owners everywhere. Apparently my family (i dont scrub the tub yet, im only 15 lol!) uses Vim cleaner, and they say it works just as well as anything else. I didnt see any other blogs suggesting Vim, so I think it’d be worth trying. And as for scum build-up on our shower curtain, we dont have any. We have a fabric curtain, which works as well as a plastic one, without the problematic scum.
    Hope that helps! (cant wait till I have to do it 8|)

      » Comment by kayla on November 24, 2005 @ 7:25 pm
  166. Has any one tried laundry soap

      » Comment by loni on November 27, 2005 @ 1:19 am
  167. spray with tile cleaner! Duh

      » Comment by Kaylee on November 27, 2005 @ 12:48 pm
  168. I’ve made my way to this website been looking for something safe to clean the ring around the tub with…..i’ve been using homemade cleaners for a while now and had mixed somthing up in a bottle ….didn’t label it and one day cleaning the horrid tub i spray the concoction on the ring and it dissolved it and was running down the tub wall in a black streak to the drain hallaluha!!!! great now what in the crap is in it….well so far that has eluded me….that’s why i’m here…I don’t know for the life of me what it was…..i’m thinking maybe lemon i’ve made something like that before…the citric acid post made me think of that….but the fabric softener sounds really interesting also……along with the alcoholic mouth wash thingy….if anyone that has used any of these suggestions has used something safe no commercial who in the crap really knows what’s in them products write back…..what melts your scum??????????

      » Comment by alice on December 17, 2005 @ 9:48 pm
  169. i inherited this claw-foot tub and plastic shower curtain from a pot addict… there’s grease and soap scum everywhere (even on the ceiling)… the entries here that caught my eye are the 40-oz refillable liquid soap from the drug store, and the bounce sheets. that’ll be my first attempts. if they don’t work, i’ll try lemon oil. after that, it’s the clothes washer. and if that doesn’t work, i’ll just shell out for new curtains. ^_^ heh

      » Comment by bachelor on December 27, 2005 @ 12:57 pm
  170. well bachelor the bounce sheets wont work on plastic shower curtains they are for GLASS shower doors for plastic or material curtains try putting in washer with oxi clean no detergant aggitate for couple min then let soak for one hour then rewash with oxi clean and detergant they come out great but bottom line plastic shower curtains are real cheap and with material one if you use dheap plastic you can get at dollar stores put up with material one it will save good curtain good luck and happy new year

      » Comment by pat on December 30, 2005 @ 11:17 pm
  171. Oh my!!!!!!! what are u talking about I know nothing about soap scum. can u all please help me out

      » Comment by Anonymous on January 5, 2006 @ 9:04 am
  172. I have been reading these comments and I think some of you are confused about what is (soap scum) at least on glass doors. Some of this haze on shower doors is actually caused by the hard water. If you have an old coffie pot you can actually see these hard water deposits on the glass container. I don’t know what causes these but have on good information that it it calsium in the water. My Father in law was in the coffie business for years and used muratic acid (available at pool supply stores) to remove these in a snap. I say this only to those who can remove the glass doors or with glass doors with no metal framing as the acid will remove the anodized finish. This should not be done in the house as the fumes are very dangerous. This should be done for only the worst cases of hard water deposits and not for soap scum. Also the fumes should not be inhaled.

      » Comment by Derrick Harrison on January 6, 2006 @ 8:21 am
  173. Cleaning glass shower doors of grey soap scum blotches….
    use lemon juice from concentrate PERIOD! Found in the vegetable section of the grocery store in the little plastic lemon container called Squeez-eez or in the baking section in a bottle called ReaLemon. Squirt on and let sit for 30 seconds and wipe. It’s lemon juice so wear something protective on your eyes!

      » Comment by Anonymous on January 8, 2006 @ 12:27 pm
  174. For me, Kaboom and a little elbow grease works best. It is kinda cool that it squirts from a trigger pump bottle and then foams up. I tried BAM, baking soda, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Downey fabric softener, Bounce sheets, and Orange Glo. They all took elbow grease to have much of an effect, if any. BAM was the worst; it didn’t seem to work at all. Out came the baking soda to get rid of the BAM. Bounce sheets sanded the dry scum off and when I went to wash it down the drain, it turned back into slimy soap scum. Out came the baking soda to get rid of the scum. Orange Glo made things slippery. Out came the baking soda to get rid of the slime. Murphy’s Oil Soap and Downey fabric softener had some effect and washed off well. I didn’t have to break out the baking soda after these two. This was on a fiberglass shower that had plenty of soap scum on which to experiment. A couple more attacks with Kaboom and I can Turtle Wax the back and sides. Note to self, don’t do the bottom.

      » Comment by Zargon on January 11, 2006 @ 10:40 pm
  175. Can you put your research paper onto this site?

      » Comment by Anonymous on January 29, 2006 @ 8:01 am
  176. I tried Kaboom to clean my shower doors. The doors have a etched design on them. After using Kaboom I have streaks in the etching and I can’t remove it. Kaboom is KaRapp!

      » Comment by Sherri G on February 11, 2006 @ 8:43 pm
  177. soap scum is evil. my science book stresses soap scum as if it is the most important substance in all the world and must be analyzed excessively.

      » Comment by anonymous on February 13, 2006 @ 1:09 am
  178. The only thing that has worked for me so far after trying most of the sugestions mentioned above is a pumice stone. It costs about $1.50 at the hardware store and takes lots of elbow grease but it does work. It even removed the mineral ring around the toilet.

      » Comment by Violette on February 13, 2006 @ 2:36 pm
  179. I was going through and reading all of your lovely comments about soap scum.. never knew there would be a whole chat on it… Thanks for the excitment. Anyway…. I found a response where someone’ The Cleaning Lady” responded to use Stain Bully. I have been trying to find this product for a couple of weeks now. Does anyone know where to find it. It was Distributed by Effective Solutions, Inc in Albany, Oregon. But I have not been able to find any information about them on the internet nor the product. AND FYI… this product works wonders for rust, soap scum and stains on almost all bathroom surfaces.

    Thanks

      » Comment by Michelle on February 20, 2006 @ 3:16 am
  180. You all should really try Stain Bully it works without scrubbing. Only catch is that you can only let it sit for ~ 2 minutes otherwise it can eat away at the finish of some surfaces. But it worked on old rust, mineral rings in my shower, sink and toilets.. and I have a well… which has lots of natural deposits.

      » Comment by Michelle on February 20, 2006 @ 3:19 am
  181. i am not alone…. my co-worker and i are cobating s. scum at our job. we work at a national guard training facility. the students share bathrooms. currently they provide dial soap , to the students. i will tell my boss about zest soap .

      » Comment by linda on February 20, 2006 @ 6:29 pm
  182. I looked up a search for Stain Bully as I have used a bottle of it I had from years ago and would like to find out where to buy it. My bottle has Tigard, Oregon as the address. Since someone has recently mentioned using this product perhaps they could tell me where they purchased it. It has worked well getting rid of toliet lime or calcium rings and says it is environmentally safe.

      » Comment by Donna Stonebrink on March 10, 2006 @ 12:09 pm
  183. I have clear glass shower doors. Used the spray-on-after-shower spray (Tilex and Scrubbing Bubbles have these) and it stayed great for 3 years. But now it has developed what appear to be ‘etched’ hard water stains. It appears perfectly clean when wet, but when dry, especially in reflected light looks permanently scarred. NEVER use anything that is even slightly abrasive on glass if you ever want it to look new again. This includes scotch-brite pads, razor blades, the finest steel wool etc. I also tried the following:

    Windex: no effect :)
    Vinegar: no effect
    Mr Clean Magic Erasers: no effect
    LimeAway – no effect
    CLR – no effect
    Softscrub – no effect, BUT awesome at removing ring in toilet when nothing else worked! Careful it has bleach so don’t get even a drop on the floor or carpet!
    Rubbermaid Professional Plus Acidic Toilet Bowl Cleaner (Walmart): no effect
    Eliminate – no effect
    Krud Cutter – no effect
    Kaboom – no effect
    Muriatic acid: no effect (I don’t recommend trying this, it’s nasty and dangerous, plus a hassle to dispose of)

    So, I’ve concluded from further reading that what this is, is the dreaded ‘stage II corrosion’ that even the most boastful cleaners say is hopeless. My next and last approach will be to try the restoration creams and glass polishers to see if ‘corroded’ glass can be forcibly polished back to new condition. Anyone have experience with these? I’ll follow-up once I’ve tried that approach, or bought a new door.

    Should I manage to get the door clean, I will squeegie & dry evermore, or try the ‘Absorber’ mentioned above.

      » Comment by jdglove on April 5, 2006 @ 7:16 pm
  184. Low Tech Method: Let the soap scum dry, usually overnite, and then scrape it off with a sharp edged plastic scaper, like what surfers use to scrape wax off their surf boards. Or, if the soap scum is really tough, use a razor blade.

    This may take a little time and effort, but at least this process does remove the soap scum and you don’t have to use any questionable chemicals…

    After the soap scum has been removed you can then test using Zest, liquid soap, etc.to see if their usage will prevent future soap scum build-up.

      » Comment by Jay Teamore on April 12, 2006 @ 10:54 am
  185. Kaboom etched my glass sinks and tranished my pop-ups.Easy off-BAM almost detroyed my pop up drains in the sinks and tubs and also etched the glass making things worse.Anyone clean GLASS TILE in a a swimming pool before?

      » Comment by CPowers on April 20, 2006 @ 9:53 am
  186. jdglove : I have researched polishing glass. (for telescope mirrors)Tempered glass will break if you remove much of the glass. Seems that the problem is surface tension that is created when the glass is formed/tempered. The thickness of the tempered outside skin of the glass I’m sure varies by the amout of heat/tempture + time/duration at temp. + time cooling. Having said all this : the cost in time to polish a glass shower door is enormous to say the least + you need at least a few differnt grits to bring each level of scraches even, all the while the risk of the glass breaking grows.
    But say you only have the finest etched glass surface in theory I belive using an abrasive around 9 micron(a super fine paste used in a final stage of telescope mirror polishing)and much elbow grease (but not too much)could restore the surface to a clear apparence. maybe, just maybe.
    Man O’ man, you REALLY have to love your shower doors to go there
    Doh!

      » Comment by Rob on April 28, 2006 @ 12:34 pm
  187. Read the entire thread, tried a lot of the techniques. To remove Hard Water spots from glass by far the easiest and most effective is a small bottled product called SPOT-X got mine from Home Depot in Arizona. I have a pantry full of products-none could get out soap/hard water ring out of my glass vessel sinks- I damaged stainless ring from black toilet- Nothing else worked-not Bon Ami nor CLR nor pumice (scratched it)

      » Comment by Cyndie on May 1, 2006 @ 10:21 pm
  188. Well thanks for all the info on soap scum, I am now well and truly educated to the highest standard. I must be really dirty because it never seems to be a problem, don’t let it build up. Anyway I just want to make a decent soap bubble mix for blowing bubbles..can anyone tell an English lass what joy dish wash is? Is it like fairy washing up liquid, or is it more of a dishwasher(electrical type) detergent.

      » Comment by millymare on May 4, 2006 @ 4:12 pm
  189. Joy dishwashing liquid is just a brand of dishwashing liquid, probably similar to Fairy liquid.

    I’ve come to this site to look for something that will remove soap scum from a metal hanging soapdish, not from the tub or shower. I tried soaking the dish (it’s pewter) in vinegar and in citric acid (Lemi-shine) and in floor cleaner that contained ammonia, but have had only partial success. Is there anything recommended that will just “melt off” the soap scum and build-up if I soak the hanging soap dish in it? Once it’s completely clean, I’ll try the products mentioned for keeping it that way (e.g. car wax or rain/sheeting type products.)

    As for other products mentioned, I’ll include my experiences:
    Barkeeper’s Friend is good for getting off those black streaks that you find in the sink (white porcelain) after washing metal pans. It will also remove some rust stains. Whink rust stain remover will remove tougher rust stains. A white plastic putty knife is very handy to scrape off crusty sediments, and you can buy one for under a dollar at most hardware stores. Shower curtains come out very nicely with a wash in the washing machine–I don’t think it matters whether you put towels in with them, but hot water and bleach will improve your chances, if the shower curtains are color-safe. I put mine in the dryer, too, and they are fine as long as you take them out promptly and while they’re still warm. If you let them sit, they’ll get crinkly (vinyl ones that is.)

    Thanks for all the tips

      » Comment by Denise on May 23, 2006 @ 2:32 pm
  190. I just wanted to say how useful of a resource this was. Today was the day I declared war on soap scum (and therefore, bar soap). I can attest to liquid soaps not leaving near the amount of mess. I prefer the shower in bathroom #1, and I only use shower gel; my bathroom cleans up in no time. Hubby prefers the shower in bathroom #2, and he uses Ivory soap. His bathroom takes considerably longer to clean because of the soap scum.

    I had horribly scummy clear glass shower doors. After reading all the posts here, I decided to start simple in my approach to cleaning them, and if that didn’t work, I’d try something with a little more muscle.

    The simple approach was baking soda mixed with vinegar to form a paste. Then I just smeared it on the shower doors with a regular sponge and scrub, scrub, scrubbed. I also had a spray bottle full of vinegar handy, and I used it to squirt down the stubborn areas and also the section of shower door I would be working on next.

    It took some elbow grease, but not as much as I thought it would, actually. The vinegar/baking soda combination really loosened up the soap scum and whatever else was caked on there, and then it rinsed clean.

    As of today, bar soaps are banned from the house. It’s only liquid soap from here on out!

      » Comment by scumbag on May 28, 2006 @ 11:22 am
  191. OMG.. Thank you so very much! I was having a problem with hard water spots/soap scum on my opaque shower door/wall. I tried listerine (I used store brand because thats what my husband had) a green scratcher and a squeegee worked beautifully. Now i’m going to have to buy a squirt bottle so that on shower cleaning day it’s easier to apply.

      » Comment by aosmuffin on May 29, 2006 @ 2:08 pm
  192. CHARCOAL LIGHTER FLUID….UP with the windows, squirt it on GLASS SHOWER DOORS. Leave it on for about 10 min & you are suppose to “rinse” it off. I actually “wash” it off to make sure all fumes are gone. Sounds crazy, YES!! But for my clients that have shower doors… They love it! I have been doing it for 10 of my 17 years of cleaning homes & bussinesses. It removes everything off of glass & other finishes with NO residue & no scratches! Another PRO is that it is CHEAP. You can squirt it on a rag & wipe till surface is clean….I do that alot when I am in a hurry! But this is a no shit gimmick! IT WORKS!!

      » Comment by jenn on June 25, 2006 @ 9:18 am
  193. I had a SEVERE problem with soap scum and left over cleaning solutions on the shower glass doors when I moved. I was afraid that they would never come clean and be permanently hazed.

    The only thing that worked was to run hot water for awhile in the shower, then use a glass/tile blade with a handle (the instructions on the package recommend the glass be wet). I found the blade at Walmart in the paint section. Do be careful to not scratch the glass, I recommend scraping in one direction at a time. There will be crud on the blade, it wasn’t the glass, it was soap scum.

    Then, I used an SOS soap pad for the metal parts of the shower.

    It was relatively easy to get off. No fumes either.

      » Comment by Ann on October 1, 2006 @ 4:57 am
  194. I just used the dishwasher soap method and it worked great for my soap scum. I used Sam’s club powder dishwashing soap. Poured in the bottom of the shower and wet the floor and walls. Used a nylon scrubber and scrubbed away the scum. It was pretty easy. I had tried Tylex earlier this morning to no avail.
    Thanks for the tips.

      » Comment by Jill on October 15, 2006 @ 9:18 am
  195. Hey guys, I need a simple solution for cleaning the shower stall also ,but I know a wonderful way to clean shower door…..it’s simple. take an old rag and a bottle of lemon oil….(you should be able to find it a wal-mart)it will make glass shower doors look new.

      » Comment by Lorie on October 15, 2006 @ 5:31 pm
  196. Yeah, lemon oil is awesome on Chrome as well.
    Has this blog really gone on for 4 years??

      » Comment by Kim Hedrick on October 19, 2006 @ 7:01 pm
  197. Donna,
    Regarding your search on Stain Bully- I have used and like it too but Ring B Gone works much better. I use it on fiberglass showers too. Melts orange build up right off. Makes toilet bowls white. I’m from Oregon and Stain Bully can be purchased at Bi-Mart for sure, and I think Target. I would try Fred Meyers, K-Mart, and maybe Walmart. Ring B Gone is available at Ace hardware stores. I have never seen it anywhere else.

      » Comment by Kim Hedrick on October 19, 2006 @ 7:14 pm
  198. Comet doesn’t leave a residue if you rinse well and dry the surface.

      » Comment by thecleaninglady on October 19, 2006 @ 7:21 pm
  199. Calling all professional house cleaners- what do you like to use regularly to clean peoples’s showers, tubs, and glass doors? What’s your favorite window/mirror cleaner.

    I like liquid Comet for bathrooms. I use cheap window cleaner or vinegar & water.

      » Comment by thecleaninglady on October 19, 2006 @ 7:39 pm
  200. Kim Hendrick: Yes, this blog entry was really posted 4 years ago. We should have had a birthday party. I’ll try to remember for the fifth year.

      » Comment by dan on October 20, 2006 @ 6:21 am
  201. How do you know if it’s stage II corrosion? Has anyone tried Restoro, Sorbo Stain Remover, Winsol CC550 or BIO-CLEAN? These are supposed to be professional water stain removal products. All say they don’t work on stage II, but this site said they might.
    http://www.freewindowcleaningtips.com/glassrestoration.htm
    This is a great blog thanks.

      » Comment by Steven Jones on October 29, 2006 @ 5:59 am
  202. soap scum is caused by soap reacting with hard water. the reason liquid “soaps” don’t cause soap scum is because there is no actual soap in them. they contain detergents. the problem with using these detergents is that most of them contains sodium lauryl sulfates or sodium laureth sulfates. these chemicals, invented for use in floor cleaners, are carcinogens. once absorbed through your skin they can remain in your other organs (do a quick google for more info). SLSs are found in shampoos, body washes, toothpastes and other hygiene products. it is almost impossible to avoid them and if you do decide to try your alternatives are plain soap…which causes scum >:0

      » Comment by jessica on November 5, 2006 @ 3:16 pm
  203. i cant find a title for my science fair project on body wash. this is why I hate science fair time.

      » Comment by brittany on November 20, 2006 @ 6:44 am
  204. Can anyone give anymore information on soapscum?

      » Comment by noelle on November 22, 2006 @ 6:45 am
  205. anyone? anyone?

      » Comment by noelle on November 25, 2006 @ 10:55 am
  206. noelle: Do you mean to say that you’ve read all 200+ comments discussing soap scum, and still want more information? What do you want to know? A generic request for more information is pretty useless.

      » Comment by dan on November 25, 2006 @ 11:53 am
  207. My clear glass shower doors were so scummed, they looked like they were blue frosted glass! I just tried a few of the recomendations and Listerine worked the best. (A razor has always worked well for me in the past. The areas that I razored and then put Listerine on look brand new!) I also tried vinegar & baking soda paste, dryer sheet (are you kidding me? This didn’t budge anything!) and shampoo.

    I’m going to put Listerine in a spray bottle and use it from now on. Plus, hubby will love the smell!

      » Comment by Tay on December 14, 2006 @ 8:20 am
  208. I read and used “almost” every solution.
    I ended up with the best results of vinger/baking soda and simplegreen.
    I wish now that I would have taken pictures of the before and after of what I think is clean.
    yes, we will still use soap, but I think now we will take a little more pride in cleaning after every shower.
    our goal was to get the 6×9 tile and tub rid of looking dirty. the tub has an anit slip on the bottom (20 years old, same as tile).

    but now how to get the tile to look new (a shine).
    the tile goes all the way to the ceiliing and about 2 feet from the ceiling, the tiles still have that new shine look, but he rest looks to have a haze.

    I need a solution on getting the tile to shine.
    what say you? ;)

    oh, by the way, thanks for all the info

    p.s; the clear glass doors (also 20 years old) are looking pretty good, just that dang tile!

      » Comment by shaganasty on December 23, 2006 @ 11:24 am
  209. Well, I’ve tried a lot of things and have a couple of successes. I will also assert that soap scum can happen with soft water (Portland OR) at least if you like ivory soap. (The free fatty acid is what deposits on the shower/bath surfaces.) Soap scum probably has different chemical compositions in different water environments. I did not try strong alkali cleaners like ammonia or oven cleaner. I did try detergent and acidic cleaners (phosphoric acid and vinegar to name a couple) to no avail.

    What worked on my soap scum was an organic cleaner called De-Solv-it. It worked instantly and did not even melt my vinyl shower curtain. It contains citrus oil and petroleum distillates. Probably similar to using the lighter fluid. There is still a little orange oil smell in my shower that I don’t find objectionable. Based on this, I would bet that any light oil would do a decent job on my soap scum, just as oil effectively removes tree pitch. I know WD-40 is a good adhesive remover and doesn’t harm most plastics.

    By the way, I used to have a fiberglass shower that got green (copper) stains. Phosphoric acid cleaners like Shower Power worked well for that.

      » Comment by harv on December 24, 2006 @ 8:26 am
  210. I have tried all sorts of products over the years and I stumbled across a cleaner at k-mart a few years ago that kicks a** on soap scum. It’s called ‘the works tub and shower cleaner’. It comes in a green and white spray bottle. I guess persistence paid off for me. I tried just about everything out there and threw most of them away, or used it for something else, like cleaning the sink or toilet. Do yourselves a favor and go buy a bottle and try it!

      » Comment by mark on January 21, 2007 @ 12:11 pm
  211. Mark: Thanks for the pointer.

      » Comment by dan on January 22, 2007 @ 8:03 am
  212. Cleaning glass shower doors: I use Santeen Chrome R Tile Concentrated Cleaner. The bottle says ‘Dissolves rust, lime and scale on glass shower doors, frames and tracks, etc. and it does a nice job of it. I get it at a plumbing supply store.
    To keep soap scum minimal in a shower/tub I use Vel bar soap as Jan (July 2005 note) stated. However I am unable to locate it any longer! Does anyone know who in southern MN might carry it?

      » Comment by Rita on February 26, 2007 @ 6:49 pm
  213. Hy-Vee told me that their distributer no longer carries it and nobody knows who does. What company makes it? I’m on my last bar and forgot to look on the box.

      » Comment by Carol Braun on June 4, 2007 @ 8:56 am
  214. I have had the best success with scrubbing bubbles and comet…

    However, I use only liquid soap and we still have soap scum, so that is not the solution! I don’t think our water is that hard, but there has to be some ingredient causing this reaction. I have seen “soap free” or “non-soap” cleansers. What are they and what ingredients are they missing???

      » Comment by Ashley on October 16, 2007 @ 9:31 am
  215. Oh yea, citric acid can be purchased in a bottle – a powdered form. If citric acid is the great cleanser, then maybe this would be ideal – supposedly removes cloudiness from glasses if you put some in your dishwasher. Maybe it’s a similar reaction to soap scum.

      » Comment by Ashley on October 16, 2007 @ 9:34 am
  216. VEL Beauty Bar – USED to prevent shower scum. I think Colgate has changed the formula- it now has bumps in it and, mixed with my Ausie
    shampoo, builds oily shower ring quickly. Yuck
    I will have to try a glycerin
    bar = as suggeted way above.

    For scum – in the TOILET I use
    straight up vinegar. Empty the water, fill bowl with vinegar, set overnight.

    Glass shower door – wipe off
    glass after each shower. Keep
    an old worn hand towel on rack
    of honor inside shower stall.
    No excuese for not wiping down
    glass door.

    Clear shower curtain – adds
    extra light in dark shower stall. Buy a new one every
    so often.

      » Comment by Vel la on December 2, 2007 @ 7:43 pm
  217. We have rentals. The only thing that I have found that cleans built up soap scum is Bio Clean. It takes some elbow grease but it works. It even removes the water marks that some people think are etching though that will take a couple of applications.

      » Comment by Cheryl on December 27, 2007 @ 4:53 pm
  218. This is gonna sound odd, but try using a scrub brush and some Pantene. It’s an amazing little cleaner.

      » Comment by Jen on January 10, 2008 @ 8:50 am
  219. I have tempered glass shower doors. Three years old, with water marks all over. I’m desperate to get them clean. I’ve tried lime juice (didn’t have lemon) – didn’t work. I’ve tried dryer sheet – no luck. I’ve tried windex/CLR and tile cleaner – no luck. What can I do? I am having company in two weeks and this is the guest ensuite. If I order new glass, how can I ensure this doesn’t happen again? My husb. will not clean glass after his long, hot showers – I need glass that is easy to clean. Help. IV

      » Comment by Irene on January 24, 2008 @ 7:04 pm
  220. Hey has anyone found out where to get Stain Bully at??

      » Comment by hotmama on March 8, 2008 @ 11:07 am
  221. Well I read this post last night and had a good laugh, then at mid-night – still high on sugar from the giant ice-cream cookie goo dessert from the Elephant Bar – I tackled my tub. I first tried the mouthwash method – no luck- and then switched to the cheap shampoo method. I put a towel down in the tub and used one of those blue sponges with a scrub pad on one side from Costco. It worked like a charm and the scrubbing was minimal. Thanks everyone! I’m soap-scum free for the moment. I’m also banning bar soap from the bathrooms!

      » Comment by Debi on April 12, 2008 @ 8:12 am
  222. Cut a lemon in half, rub over glass & leave for an hour. Rub with soft brush & rinse off! Easy!

      » Comment by Maree on April 13, 2008 @ 1:01 am
  223. I wonder if some folks are having problems with the hard water stains, in addition to the soap scum. I have a black acrylic shower base (never again!) and automobile windshield glass (special order, not just tempered) doors. Wherever water is not squeegeed away on the base, a pale stain appears; our water is ph 7, which is hard but not horribly hard (so says the Culligan man who proposed a $2000 water softener!). The tile is white and you see unsqueegeed spots there too as well as on the doors. Most cleaners I have seen say not to use them on acrylic, but something called Zep from Home Depot works well, until the next shower, though it’s slippery.

      » Comment by bumpkin on May 9, 2008 @ 6:17 am
  224. oil of olay soap doesn’t cause as much scum as some of the others,,,,

      » Comment by wanda on May 14, 2008 @ 9:20 am
  225. Congrats to anyone who has gotten to the end (or to this point) of the forum. A lot of the former posters have good ideas, some not so great. I agree, I think it’s not just soap scum but calcium buildups from hard water. I don’t currently live in the US, but we get spotty sinks and showers here in modern western europe. If I don’t keep up on the cleaning, they get pretty nasty looking. My husband calls them calcium deposits (calcaire). Anyway, I use white vinegar for everything! Costs only 35 euro cents a liter, and i buy tons. I use it in the laundry, I use it in the toilet, I use it to clean.

    Our water boilet/hot pot/electric kettle gets buildup, so I use Brita water only. And when there is buildup, you just mix some white vinegar and hot water and let it sit.

    Same thing for the bathroom… we had buildup on the wall so I sprayed some vinegar on, laid on some paper towels, then soaked them with more vinegar and let them soak for a while. TOok care of it really nice. I would imagine that lots of buildup that many of you seem to have would take a few tries before it would all come off. Limeaway and other commercial calcium buildup removers would work too, but vinegar is the most natural product. We used limeaway in our bathroom when I lived with my parents, it worked well too.

    But now, we have an even better method. My mom got her tub and wall refinished, and the guy who did it said the best cleaner was just to spray a mixture of Ivory liquid soap and water on the wall and tub and the vinyl shower curtain after every shower, and you would never have to scrub again. My mom hasn’t scrubbed in ages, and trust me, I remember having to scrub that tub!!

    I brought a bottle back with me, cleaned my shower base and walls really well, and for the past two weeks, the shower is spotless, sparkly, and not a smidgen of buildup! I can’t always spray after every shower (and there are just two of us), and my husband is loathe to do any extra tasks. At least I got him into the habit of squeegeeing the clear glass shower door down. After his shower, I wipe the last few drops and moisture off with an old towel, and the door looks like I just cleaned it! I don’t spray the door with the Ivory and water mix, though, because I don’t like drips on my floor.

    I don’t have an exact mix, but it might be around 1 part Ivory to 5 parts water…. experiment with it. I know I will be trying more and more dilute mixtures as I need to make this bottle last until my next trip to the US.

    The Ivory and water mix don’t leave a greasy or runny finish. To me, it looks very clean, very smooth to the touch. It seems to create a fine film that impedes the water from building up deposits. YOu can go shower or two inbetween sprays, depending on the shower and other factors.

    Write back if this works for you!!

      » Comment by Nonnie on June 11, 2008 @ 4:00 pm
  226. Try Scum Bum from The Clean Team. Spray it on and wait a while, then rinse off using a white scrub pad. If it all doesn’t come off, spray it on again. You don’t have to scrub hard if you wait long enough. If it dries before you get back to it, just re-wet the walls.

      » Comment by Kacy on June 18, 2008 @ 11:28 am
  227. Perhaps soap scum is a blessing in disguise after all. We had a leaky shower and the plumber said we would have to rip out the pan at a cost of $1,500 plus the tile work. Upon opening the ceiling I found a trail of soap scum all around the drain pipe. Turns out, all we had to do was recaulk the drain…problem solved. Thank God for soap scum!

      » Comment by Dave on July 20, 2008 @ 10:31 am
  228. after reading this blog that starts in 2002. I’ve got four questions. Can you buy a bar of soap that won’t cause the chemical reaction with water?[besides,ZEST&DOVE more natural] Is it true that liquid body wash doesn’t cause the dredded soap scum? why? What chemical/or s changes the outcome?
    Anyone, who can answer will be appreciated.

      » Comment by a questable life on October 22, 2008 @ 5:39 pm
  229. I’m wondering how so many people were able to “make a paste from vinegar and baking soda”. When I mix the two I get a foaming fountain of bubbles.

      » Comment by Dirty Girl on January 29, 2009 @ 9:47 am
  230. Thanks for all the info. Here is what I’ve learned: Cleaning is partly chemistry and partly elbow grease. All chemical reactions happen better with heat, so make sure the room is warm and water is warm. Wet the surface down. Vinegar and lemon juice are acidic so I spray it on first (straight distilled white vinegar from the store) to soften deposits. Let soak in a few minutes then use a green scrubbie sprinkled with lots of baking soda. The scrubbie gets kind of foamy with the baking soda. Don’t scrub too hard because the nylon of the scrubbie can scratch surfaces – just make sure it’s always wet and you can feel where the soap scum/scale remains. Rinse well to remove haze. Repeat if necessary. NON-TOXIC and cheap. Any product with petroleum distillates will eventually ruin rubber/plastic parts, including Amor-All. I have used 303 Protectant on an inflatable boat with great results, and they make a product for showers – it’s water-based and non-toxic.

      » Comment by Jbus on April 23, 2009 @ 10:16 am
  231. I had alot of iron in my water… the kids all turned into redheads, the clear glass dishes looked an antique rusty color and the showers were awful… BiMart sells a product called “The Stain Bully”, I pour some on a Mr. Clean sponge and wipe and the stains immediately vanish!

      » Comment by Mary Webb on May 23, 2009 @ 8:41 am
  232. I’ve read alot of you guys storys, well here goese mine.
    What I been using and it work great and this is no bull shit.
    cause i got tired of all these products not working so i did my own
    research and also trying diffrent products.
    what i have found that work the best is Malco water spot remover for $28 bucks i got it at van car detail shop.
    after im done taken the soap scum off i fallow using Top job twice a week that i bought at lowe’s for about $2.69
    http://www.fleetoilandtrucksupply.com/Malco/Malco-KA-88-105601/8649/370-5008/Product
    http://www.malcopro.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=121&category_id=42&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=101
    KA-88 cleaner made by malco works great youtube has a demo for this.
    top job you get it at lowe’s
    malco water spot remover

      » Comment by Ronnie on January 26, 2010 @ 1:13 am
  233. There were some suggestions on this site I thought were helpful. I aim for non-toxic solutions and will try the Ivory Liquid. I have used vinegar (my favorite cleaner; non-toxic and inexpensive) baking soda (same as above) and Bar Keeper’s friend (same as above). I am commenting mainly to let anyone interested to purchase a cotton duck shower curtain which is easy to wash, will last for years and no liner is necessary (saving the landfills). The cotton duck swells and does not let H2O pass and does not billow. One can use cotton duck curtain even with decorative shower curtain. Also, there are no emissions of toxins as there are from vinyl/plastic liners.

      » Comment by Rhonda on February 6, 2010 @ 1:28 pm
  234. What- this is it?
    After spending all afternoon reading these comments I’ve come to the end? I feel like I just read an entire book and got to the last chapter and found out that someone ripped out the last three pages.

      » Comment by miranda on February 21, 2010 @ 12:53 pm
  235. What were you expecting to find, a cookie? :)

      » Comment by Dan on February 21, 2010 @ 2:34 pm
  236. Ok – I know this is a stretch, but what about that white film left on glasses (clear drinking glasses)that have been cleaned in the dishwasher? I did not take the time to read all 235 posts – I had to skip about a hundred of them. Hoping I am not asking you guys to cover the same old ground.

    I can either buy a new dishwasher (as presently being demanded by the wife), or find a way to clean the glasses.

      » Comment by Scum Boy on February 22, 2010 @ 7:10 pm
  237. CAUTION—just used Bi-Marts “Stain Bully” and it instantly dissolved the brass finish on my bathroom fixtures. Pist off to say the least

      » Comment by Duane Ralston on March 2, 2010 @ 10:15 am
  238. Wow, what great comments. We have a slightly different problem: Stains or etching in our kitchen BLACK cast iron sink. We had low pH water and added a calcite tank to raise pH. That worked well, BUT the calcium stains on the sink were awful. My wife used various items and a lot of elbow grease….to no avail.

    Now, we just installed a water softener which helped a lot. There are some new sodium staining and left over calcium stains so we will be looking to buy some Stain Bully and try some of the other solutions mentioned in the 237 posts.

    To narrow down our products, has anyone had staining in their BLACK CAST IRON SINKS? And how did you resolve (or dissolve) them ?

    Many thanks

      » Comment by Peter on March 21, 2010 @ 7:13 am
  239. So……….no one has a black cast iron sink with calcium/hard water stains ?????

      » Comment by Peter on April 25, 2010 @ 9:47 am
  240. Sorry, but as a Chemist, I feel I must make comment. Homegrown (naturally-derived) soap is the kind of soap that chemically leaves the soap scum. It’s no fault of industry- just a fact of life that calcium-fatty acid salts don’t like to dissolve in water, but sodium-fatty acid salts do. They’re not designed to get you to spend more money- it just happens to be that way, since we first discovered soap. Historically, this has been the type of soap in use since the ancient Babylonians.

    The kind of soap that you use to alleviate your scumming issues are NOT naturally derived- they must be synthesized by said corporations/industries.

    Just a quick FYI.

      » Comment by Adonis on April 25, 2010 @ 11:08 pm


Post a comment










Number of readers
- home
news links
other links

about me
blog archives
docs
entertainment
experiences
funny lists
humor
intellectual
interests
music
opinions
photos
web designs
tools
software
webmaster help

Most Popular Pages


Sign up
Enter your email address to be notified of new blog posts



Search blog archives

Calendar







Random quote
Ignorance is bliss. -- Thomas Gray

(See all the quotes)



Say hi on








(?) Choose theme:  X X X X X X
Page loaded in 0.4485 seconds