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How To Get Rid Of Shower Scum Forever

What is shower scum?

Shower (or soap) scum is the white, slimy film that builds up over time on your shower door and walls due to the chemical reaction between soap and water. It’s a fairly common problem which should be addressed right away before it causes a more serious health/plumbing hazard.

What causes shower scum?

Shower scum occurs when the fatty acid found in soap reacts to chemicals, such as magnesium and calcium, which occur in water that is too hard and potentially needs to be softened. This chemical reaction produces ‘lime soap,’ which is better known colloquially as shower/soap scum.

Why should I be concerned?

While the filmy deposits themselves are not harmful, they provide a great environment for bacteria and germs to flourish. The fat and chemicals in shower scum create a perfect shield to allow such germs to multiply. This means that your bathroom will never be truly clean until you take steps to properly get rid of and prevent shower scum. If the build up goes on too long without being treated, you could be looking at having to pay for a shower fixture replacement rather than a simple cleaning job.

How can I get rid of shower scum?

If shower scum is already a problem in your house, have no fear! There is a way to get rid of it that is relatively easy and doesn’t cost a lot of money. There are three mixes that you can make out of common household ingredients which will get rid of shower scum build up, the recipes to which are below:

Method 1: Vinegar

In a bowl, mix together the following ingredients:

Four cups of white vinegar
Four cups of water
One tablespoon of dishwashing detergent

Place the solution in a spray bottle, preferably one that hasn’t been used for anything else before. Spray the area affected with soap scum and let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it with hot water. Finally, dry the area with a clean rag or towel to get any scum that might have been left behind.

Method 2: Borax

In a bowl, mix together the following ingredients:

One cup of borax
Two tablespoons of dishwashing detergent
One or two cups of water

The mixture should resemble the thickness of pancake batter. Using a brush with soft bristles, dip into the mix and cover the area that needs cleaning with the solution. Let the mixture sit on the area for 15 minutes and rinse it with hot water before drying it with a clean rag/towel.

Method 3: Baking Soda

In a bowl, mix together the following ingredients:

One cup of baking soda
One tablespoon of dishwashing detergent
One or two cups of water

The resulting mix should have the consistency of pancake batter. Dip a brush with soft bristles into the mixture and apply it to all areas that need it. Wait 15 minutes for it to work and rinse the area with hot water, then dry the area with a clean rag or towel to be sure every last bit has been removed.

How can I keep shower scum from building up?

The best way to get rid of shower scum is, naturally, to not let it build up in the first place. Here are a few steps you can take while maintaining your bathroom to ensure that you never have to deal with this problem:

1. Put Epsom salt in with any bubble bath you take to prevent the soap from sticking to the tub and leaving scummy residue.

2. Switch from bar soap to liquid soap for your daily showers.

3. Set a regular time during the week to clean your shower with an appropriate preventative cleaner.

4. Spray a solution containing 1/4 vinegar, 3/4 water, lemon oil (for smell) and tea tree oil over your shower daily.