DIY Projects

Tips For Ridding Your Bathroom of Soap Scum

Anxious to remove soap scum from your shower or bath? Don't fret -- we have a winning solution.
 
Scenario
You return from a long day of work, and the crisp fall weather has chilled you to the bone. You head to the bathroom eager to take a long, relaxing soak in your tub. Gasp! It's covered in soap scum. Forget relaxation -- it's time to clean. But what's the best way to tackle the task? Find out in our next installment of testing old versus new cleaning solutions.
 
The Problem Soap Scum
If you fall behind on your bathroom cleaning schedule, that pesky residue takes over.
 
Old Solution
There are multiple theories on the "old way" (or natural way) to clean soap scum.
 
1. Pour warm vinegar into a spray bottle and apply to the scummy area. Let sit for about 30 minutes and scrub with a sponge or brush. Rinse with water.
2. In a spray bottle, mix one part ammonia to two parts water. Spray where necessary and scrub with a sponge or scrubbing tool such as a brush or scouring pad. Rinse with clear water. (To avoid skin irritation, wear gloves when using ammonia.
3. Moisten a dryer sheet and rub onto dirty area to remove the soap scum. Rinse with water.
4. Mix one part automatic dishwasher detergent to three parts water. Spray solution onto the dirty area and let sit for about 15 minutes and scrub with sponge or brush. Rinse with water.
5. Make a paste of baking soda and water; apply to walls and scrub. Rinse with water.
 
I tried the first option -- spraying vinegar on the tub -- since vinegar's reputation as an efficient multi-tasking house cleaner prevails. I scrubbed and scrubbed...and nothing. This time, sadly, vinegar failed to live up to expectations.
 
Perhaps my tub was extra scummy, but this old-school technique just didn't quite do the trick.
 
New Solution
There are countless tub-cleaning products on the market, but the one that kept coming up as a recommendation from friends, family and experts was Kaboom. I promptly purchased the Shower, Tub & Tile Cleaner and took it home to put it to the test. I sprayed a thick layer (for insurance) over my scum and let it sit for about 10 minutes (you could probably do less), and with very minimal scrubbing effort, the scum was gone.
 
The Verdict
I typically err on the side of using natural products whenever possible. But my soap scum job was just too big of a job, and that's typical in most households where we don't have time to clean our tubs daily. If you're reading this, chances are your scum is more out of control than a day's worth of build up, so grab a bottle of Kaboom next time you're in that grocery store aisle. You won't be sorry.
 
Tip to Keep Your Tub Clean
After a good cleaning, apply a layer of furniture wax or polish to the walls of the shower and tub to help keep the soap scum from sticking to it.

 

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