How to remove soap scum from shower

Soap scum can leave unsightly marks in your shower or bathroom sink. These tips on how to clean soap scum will help you get rid of them!

Updated 6 April 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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Key Steps:

  • Heat loosens soap scum – clean the bathroom just after a family member has had a shower. The hot, steamy environment will help loosen soap scum making it easier to clean surfaces in the bathroom.

  • Use a commercial cleaner to remove soap scum – Products like Cif Power & Shine Bathroom Spray will help you to achieve sparkling results. Just remember to follow the instructions on the label and wear rubber gloves.

  • Use an old toothbrush for added scrubbing power – this handy scrubbing tool can help lift soap scum from those hard-to-reach places on bathroom fixtures and fittings.

It’s no surprise that the area we use to wash ourselves is often one of the most difficult to clean. When stubborn soap scum and bathroom grime build up around your shower and bath, you may feel like you’ve met your cleaning match, but with this complete guide, you’ll be an expert soap scum remover in no time at all!

Dry the shower area with a squeegee and microfibre cloth after each use, and clean your shower with products like Cif Power & Shine Bathroom Spray to tackle soap scum.

Best way to remove soap scum

A steam cleaner can be very effective for removing soap scum from all around your shower area, but if you don’t have a steam cleaner, built-up soap residue on bathroom surfaces can be tricky to clean. However, you can replicate the benefits of a steam cleaner by rinsing shower surfaces with hot water before attempting to remove soap scum and grime, or, to save water when cleaning the bathroom, wait until just after a family member has had a shower, and clean off soap scum while the bathroom is still hot and steamy. This will help to loosen soap scum on tiles, glass, and other bathroom surfaces and will assist in efficient soap scum removal.

How to clean soap scum from shower surfaces

Knowing how to remove soap scum from your shower tray and bath is key in maintaining a clean and hygienic bathroom, and knowing how to remove soap scum from tiles can really make your shower area sparkle.

The best way to clean soap scum is by using a product specifically designed for the bathroom, like Cif Power & Shine Bathroom Spray. While you can use other home remedies like lemon juice or vinegar, commercial cleaning products tend to be much easier to use (and require much less scrubbing!). Remember to initially test any new products or techniques on a small, inconspicuous area, and always read the instructions on the label. It’s also a good idea to ventilate the room and wear rubber gloves when using cleaning products.

An alternative method would be to use a mixture of vinegar, water, and washing-up liquid as a quick and easy soap scum remover. Fill a spray bottle and apply a generous mist to all surfaces, or wipe the solution onto the surface with a cloth, before rinsing clean. The vinegar will cut through the scum whilst the dishwashing soap will ensure no residue is left behind. Try using a dish soap with lemon in it for even more soap scum removal power.

Where soap scum and minerals from hard water have really set in, it may be necessary to scrub with something rougher than a cloth in order to scratch away the hard residue. A kitchen scourer can be used to gently scrape off soap scum, but care must be taken not to apply too much pressure and scratch the surface itself. An old toothbrush can double up as an extremely useful soap scum remover when it comes to cleaning soap stains from taps, plug holes, and chrome bathroom surfaces.

How to remove soap scum from a shower unit

Removing soap scum and limescale from the shower head and fixtures can be a breeze when you know how.

Remove the shower head and soak in a vinegar and water solution, or tie a bag filled with vinegar securely around the shower head, before leaving to soak.

Next, soak a cloth with the solution and wipe over shower tubing and pipes, again leaving to work away at the soap scum. After an extended period of time, clean and rinse the shower using the same methods as for your general bathroom surfaces.

How to clean soap scum from shower door or curtain

To remove soap scum from a glass shower screen, the same products and techniques can be used as recommended for general bathroom surfaces. But knowing how to remove soap scum from glass doors isn’t always that simple, especially if you live in a hard water area. You could try using commercial glass cleaning products, testing on a discrete spot beforehand.

It can be very effective to have a squeegee to hand in the bathroom when fighting soap scum on a glass shower door, as this window cleaning tool can be used as a finishing step whenever cleaning or using the shower, to ensure that no soap or water marks are left when the glass dries.

Removing soap scum from shower curtains may require a gentler approach than cleaning soap scum from general shower surfaces, depending on the material of the shower curtains. Clean shower curtains by taking them down and soaking them overnight in warm soapy water with vinegar added. Rinse them and rehang them to dry.

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