How to Remove Shower Soap Scum Using Natural Ingredients

Published on Sep 6, 2021 | Updated - Jan 18, 2024

woman cleaning with gloves and sponge in bathroom

Are you having trouble seeing through your shower screen?

You may have accepted that filmy soap scum is part of your décor now because it’s just so tough to remove.

Soap scum on your shower doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture, thanks to one magic ingredient. Baking soda!



Why does my shower get soap scum so fast?

Why does my shower get soap scum so fast?

Hard water and soap produce a curdy precipitate called soap scum.

When the minerals found in hard water combine with the paraffin wax used in bar soap, it creates the layer of scum so often seen in bathrooms.

Soap scum may mix with mould or mildew in your bathroom, creating unsightly discolouration as well as odours. As many of us know, the longer you leave it, the harder it is to shift. We show you how to remove soap scum from the shower glass.



How to remove heavy soap scum from shower screens?

Baking soda (or Bi-Carb Soda) is an excellent choice for removing soap scum from shower screens because it’s a mild alkaline that successfully dissolves dirt and grime.

Keep in mind that because baking soda is an abrasive material, you should take care while cleaning shower glass, as scrubbing too hard could cause slight scratches.


Step 1 - Create a cleaning solution

Create a cleaning solution

To remove soap scum from the shower glass, combine 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1 small squirt of dishwashing detergent, and 1 cup of water to form a slightly runny paste, similar to cake batter consistency. You may need to experiment a little to get the consistency just right.


Step 2 - Apply your cleaning solution

Apply your cleaning solution

Grab a soft nylon brush or light scrubbing tool to apply your solution to the soap scum. You’ll need to let this solution sit for about 20 minutes. You may also need to reapply the mixture should it run off.


Step 3 - Scrub, rinse and gently wipe

Scrub, rinse and gently wipe

Give the area another gentle scrub and rinse with warm water. Wipe down completely with a soft towel or dry microfibre cloth. This is the most effective and quickest way to remove soap scum from shower glass. It can take some time, but the results will seriously impress you.

And you’re done!

Not all soap scums are made equally, and you may find that after using bi-carb, there’s still evidence of some soap scum. If this happens, you may need an acid to treat the soap scum, and we recommend vinegar as a safe, natural option.



Removing Soap Scum Using Vinegar

Removing Soap Scum Using Vinegar

Here’s how to remove soap scum from shower glass using vinegar.

  1. Combine 1:1 vinegar and water into a spray bottle before adding one tablespoon of dish detergent.
  2. Spray onto the soap scum and leave for 20 minutes.
  3. Your next step is to scrub gently, rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly.


Does bar soap create more scum?

Does bar soap create more scum?

Considering it’s the paraffin in bar soap that exacerbates soap scum, switching over to liquid soap or shower gel can minimise how much builds up.

You won’t be completely free of soap scum, but this swap will make a difference.



How do you prevent soap scum?

How do you prevent soap scum?

There are a few things you can do to prevent soap scum from reforming. Exciting fact? Some of these tips will also keep soap scum away from your bathtub.

  • Give your shower a daily clean. Stick with us here. Following your shower, wipe your screen down with a dry rag or a squeegee. Another great idea we saw was investing in a dish brush (fill it with vinegar, water, and a teaspoon of dish soap) and leaving it in the shower to make this a simple task.

  • Switch soaps. Stop using your bar soap and switch to liquid soap instead to keep soap scum at bay.


How to Treat Soap Scum on Bathroom Tile and Grout 

Bi-Carb soda and vinegar both pack a serious punch when trying to remove soap scum from your tiles and grout. By the same token, because soap scum often goes untreated for many years, it can be very, very difficult to remove.  

How to Remove Soap Scum from Tiles?  

Our bi-carb soda mix is the best first step. Mix up the paste and use a micro-fibre cloth to agitate the paste onto the affected tiles. Allow a 5 minute dwell time, wash off and repeat. An acid treatment with vinegar will also be helpful.  

Using these products on natural stone may affect the finish and care should be taken.  

How to Remove Soap Scum from Grout Lines 

This process is simple but time consuming. Apply your bi-carb soda mix to the grout line, agitate with a toothbrush and allow it too dwell for 20 mins. Rinse with fresh water and repeat if required.  



And if Professional Tile and Grout Cleaning Is required?  

Soap scum can be difficult to remove, and the quantity of soap scum, the type and amount of minerals in your water and the age of the problem will all impact your ability to treat this problem.  

Electrodry tile and grout cleaning tackle soap scum using a restorative cleaning process. This involves cleaning the affected area under high pressure with an acid cleaner and again with an alkaline cleaner. Whilst the results are usually amazing, we also run into some instances where there is a build-up of hard water salts. Tackling soap scum can be a challenge! 

If you treat soap scum with bi-carb soda and vinegar on a regular basis, you should be able to keep the problem in check. If your tiles need some extra TLC, Electrodry’s tile and grout cleaning service is here to assist.  

Subscribe to Tips and Special Offers

Sign up to receive email updates about our services, special promotions and cleaning tips!