Soap scum is that stubborn creamy glaze that coats your shower walls and tub. It's extremely hard to clean because it's made up of different things like mildew, mineral deposits, hard water, soap talc and body oils. There are several techniques for getting rid of this multifarious sludge, but prevention is key. The best thing you can do to prevent soap scum is to stop using bar soap and switch to liquid gel cleanser. If you have the patience, wipe down your walls, door and tub everyday after bathing to stop the scum build-up so you don't have to clean as often. Use a terry cloth towel to wipe away the scum in the bathtub and use a squeege on your shower walls. If you apply lemon oil to your shower, the acid will break-up any scum so it will be easier to wipe away. To prevent mildew build-up on your shower curtains, always pull the shower curtain closed. Otherwise, mildew is fast to grow in the dark wet folds of a curtain. Another little know fact, synthetic, cotton, and vinyl shower-curtain liners can put in the washing machine. Use hot water and a mild detergent. Also, keep bathroom windows and doors open to decrease moisture levels and increase light and air circulation.
If you've already let the soap scum build in your shower, there are several techniques for cleaning. It's important you use an acidic cleanser and some sort of abrasive substance, like detergent, or a brush to combat the sludge. Vinegar is a simple and cheap acidic cleanser that works almost anywhere in your house. One person suggests dipping paper towels into white vinegar and sticking them to the shower walls. Then letting them sit for 30 minutes. The vinegar should break up the scum so you can use a brush to scrub it away. Another person suggested using a pumice stone on fiberglass tubs or using an old credit card to scrape the scum in hard to clean areas. It's rumored that Avon’s “Skin so Soft” body oil is a great cleanser and has a lovely smell as well.
Whenever you clean, remember to wear gloves and to wash your hands afterward. Also, make sure to rinse your shower and tub with water after a good cleaning.
Please feel free to share your tips for bathroom cleaning with the Apartment Therapy community!
Image: Bathroom Photo Gallery