How to Successfully Remove Soap Scum

Soap scum is quite possibly the reason many of us hate cleaning the bathroom, except for maybe that pesky toilet. Soap scum is the build-up of soap that occurs after bathing and it can be very difficult to remove. What makes it even more difficult is the presence of hard water, body oils, and old skin cells. Yuck!How to Successfully Remove Soap Scum

We can all agree soap scum is no bueno for many reasons, and getting rid of it is more than just about having a sparkling bathroom its also about having a healthy home and longer lasting bathroom fixtures.

How does one go about getting soap scum out of the shower and off of other bathroom surfaces without spending countless hours scrubbing away in the bathroom? Read on and find out a few methods to clean up soap scum and give your bathroom new life.

Ammonia and Water

Mix one part basic household ammonia with two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution all over the soap scum and wipe clean. Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water.


If you have soap scum that is not caked on use regular white vinegar, for tougher jobs we suggest picking up a tougher strength vinegar aptly named cleaning vinegar. Cleaning vinegar has a higher acidic content to really eat away at hard water minerals and soap residue. Spray the vinegar directly onto the soap scum and allow it to sit and dissolve the scum for a few minutes. After several minutes, wipe the scum clean and rinse.

Dryer Sheets

Grab a dryer sheet and rough the soap scum up by rubbing the scummy surfaces with it. Follow up with good all-purpose bathroom cleaner.


Borax is great for the toughest of soap scum. The powder acts as a scouring agent. Wet a sponge and sprinkle on some borax then scrub away and rinse with hot water. It is a great alternative to harsher chemical powder bathroom cleaners.

Baking Soda

Another powder that acts as a scrubber. Use baking soda in the same way as you would Borax or make a very thick paste and apply to the scum and scrub then rinse away with water.

Daily Shower Spray

The best way to help lessen the amount of scrubbing you have to do on soap scum is to make a daily shower spray and get everyone in the house in the habit of spraying the shower and tub after every time they bathe. You can mix up a quick post-shower spray of vinegar, water, a very small amount of hand dish soap, and a couple drops of citrus essential oil.

Tip: the more frequently you clean your shower and tub and even sink (basically all hard surfaces susceptible to soap scum) the less you will have to scrub and apply the old elbow grease to get your bathroom sparkling again.

If you have tile and natural stone surfaces in your bathroom, don’t forget about professional cleaning and sealing to keep your bathroom looking and performing its best.

For Snohomish County tile cleaning services make an appointment online with All Kleen.

More great Hacks

How to Freshen Up Smelly Carpet

Design Tips for an Easy Clean Kitchen

Clever Tricks to Keeping the House Clean

20 Common Unsanitary Actions Most People Don’t Realize


  1. Stephanie Gayron on February 28, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    My visible soap scum is on the dark grout on a wall and on the pebbled floor. The tile itself is fine. Shower is cleaned regularly. There are so many different suggestions above. For my situation and the fact that is on a wall, can you prioritize and tell me which one to start with?