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The truth about soap scum and how to remove it from shower walls forever!

Most of us are all too familiar with soap scum. We know that it’s the cloudy white film that coats our shower doors, tubs, walls and fixtures and we know that it is tough to remove and makes our shower look filthy despite a good scrubbing. No doubt, we know what soap scum looks like but the fact is that most of us don’t know exactly what it is or how it forms.

If we each took just a few minutes to learn about soap scum rather than just try to scrub it away, perhaps we could eliminate it from our showers and lives forever.

What is soap scum?

Many people assume that soap scum is simply soap residue that has accumulated on a particular surface. The truth is that soap scum is not just dirty soap, it’s actually a mixture of soap and the minerals found in water combined with dirt, body oils, sloughed off skin and bacteria. The minerals in tap water combine with soap and dirt to create a layer of scaliness and make it difficult to remove.

Soap scum that is left alone for build up can combine with mold or mildew and have other discolorations and odors— and can even get as hard as concrete.

The amount of soap scum that builds up in your home is directly related to your water type. Water with high levels of minerals produces greater amounts of soap scum. A rule of thumb is, the harder your water, the more soap scum you will encounter.

Preventing soap scum:

If you use liquid soap in your bath and shower rather than bar soap, you will not have soap scum. It is the paraffin in the soap that causes the scum. Liquid soap is not a true soap. It's a detergent and it won't form soap scum.

How do you remove soap scum?

One of the best soap scum tips comes from a professional property manager. He handles rental apartments. As apartments are vacated, his job is to see that they are thoroughly cleaned and made ready for the next occupants. One of his biggest challenges is the bathroom, specifically the tub and shower. “Gross”, he said, is not strong enough to describe what he often finds.

The following is the recipe for his magic soap scum removal potion—the only product he uses to return showers, tubs, tile, enclosures, faucets and doors to their sparkling clean and sanitized condition.

Note: This product must be rinsed off. (We recommend that you use a RINSEROO for quick and easy removal of anything noxious on your shower walls.)

To make your own Tub, Tile and Shower Cleaner you will need the following three things:

An empty spray bottle, Dawn dishwashing liquid (any variation as long as it is Dawn and it is blue) and white vinegar.

To make:

Pour one cup blue Dawn into a 32-ounce spray bottle (1/2 cup Dawn if you are using a 16-ounce bottle). Fill the bottle the rest of the way with white vinegar. Apply sprayer top; shake gently to mix.

To use:

Spray liberally on the area to be cleaned. Allow to sit from 30 minutes up to overnight, depending on the severity of the problem. All of the offensive gunk and grime will break down and become soft and gooey. Simply rinse it away. For especially challenging situations—or if this is the initial treatment—use a sponge or brush to gently scrub the surfaces before rinsing.

Another great product for soap scum removal is the white Mr Clean pads. They are amazing and clean so much more than soap scum!