How to Clean Stubborn Soap Scum Out of a Shower

Disgusting soap scum on a shower.

There’s nothing like a relaxing shower after a long day. Whether you just worked out, worked outside, or just needed one, showers can be a little slice of paradise in your home. A shower is supposed to clean and relax you, not gross you out. However, over time gross soap scum can build up inside your shower and can tarnish your shower’s surfaces. In this blog post, HEB Plumbing & Sprinkler will describe ways to remove soap scum from your shower.

How to Effectively Clean Stubborn Soap Scum Out of a Shower

Soap scum can be a real hassle to remove from your shower. Fortunately, there are several ways it can be done. It is also important to mention the more often a shower is cleaned, the less you’ll have to do each time. Below, we’ve compiled several ways to remove soap scum. 

Please note: Proceed with caution when mixing ingredients, as certain combinations can be toxic.

Cleaning Shower Enclosures, Fiberglass Shower Enclosures, and Glass Shower Doors 

Baking soda and cleaning vinegar are a great choice for cleaning shower enclosures, fiberglass shower enclosures, and glass shower doors. With fiberglass showers, care must be taken as soap scum can dull their finishes. Care must also be taken while cleaning them, as abrasive scrubbing pads and harsh cleaners can damage the surface of the fiberglass. 

Step 1. Take two parts cleaning vinegar and one part baking soda and mix them together in a plastic bowl. The mixture should start to fizz.

Step 2. When the mixture is done fizzing, take a microfiber cloth and dip it into the mixture and apply the mixture onto the soap scum.

Step 3. Allow the mixture to sit on the soap scum for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Step 4. Next, wipe it off with a new clean cloth and carefully rinse off the area, making sure that it is properly dried to prevent staining.

Cleaning Showers and Metal Shower Faucets

Utilizing white vinegar and dish soap detergent works well on showers and their metal faucets.

Step 1. Make a cleaning solution in a spray bottle by combining equal parts water, distilled white vinegar, and liquid dish soap.

Step 2. Spray the mixture onto the soap scum and allow it to sit for ten minutes.

Step 3. Once the ten minutes are up, rinse the area with hot water. 

Step 4. Then, take a clean microfiber cloth, and dry off the area completely to prevent water marks.

Dealing with Extra Tough Soap Scum

When you are dealing with extra tough soap scum build-up, table salt can be utilized as an abrasive. Take your microfiber cloth with the cleaning solution on it and add the table salt to it. 

Please note: table salt can damage natural stone and potentially other surfaces.

HEB Pro Tips

Never Combine Bleach and Vinegar

Combining bleach and vinegar is incredibly dangerous and should never be done. If bleach has been used to clean something, make sure the bleach is rinsed off thoroughly before vinegar comes into contact with that surface and vice versa. 

Avoid Using Harmful Chemical Drain Cleaners

Using drain cleaning chemicals can be harmful to your health, your plumbing, and the environment.

Ways to Slow Down Soap Scum Buildup

Although you can’t completely prevent soap scum from accumulating in your shower, there are ways you can slow it down.

Soften Hard Water

Hard water can contribute to soap scum build-up. If you are dealing with hard water, you may want to invest in a water softener.

Utilize a Shower Cleaner

After using your shower, you can apply a shower cleaner to the surfaces of your shower to help prevent the build-up of soap scum. Most of these shower cleaners can be sprayed on while the shower is still wet and just left to dry out. 

Dry Shower Surfaces

By wiping down surfaces after you take a shower, you can help prevent soap scum from getting built up. After a shower or bath, take a bathroom squeegee to the walls and floor of your shower. This can help prevent the formation of not only soap scum but also bacteria, mildew, and mold.

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Soap Scum and Clogs Out of Drain

Kathlyn Smith waits by her van on her way to a 6 Stones sponsored charity home renovation

Soap scum and other debris can contribute to a clogged shower drain. A clogged shower drain can cause water to pool in your shower. There are several ways you can go about attempting to clean out a shower drain. It is important to remember that a professional can also help.

Use a Plunger

Surprisingly, a plunger can be a useful tool when dealing with a clogged drain. Select a plunger with a sturdy handle and a big bell, and use it like you normally would. Just make sure not to use the same plunger you use on your toilet in your shower.

Use your Hand to Remove the Blockage

It might not be the most glamorous way to clean a shower drain, but using your hand can work. Be sure to use rubber gloves.

Utilize a Drain Snake

A drain snake is a retractable tool made to clear a blockage. These are often used by professional plumbers. Be advised that drain snakes can get expensive.

Hire a Professional

There is no shame in reaching out to a professional for an extra difficult job. They bring with them knowledge as well as access to a wide range of tools. A qualified professional plumber can get your drain working like new again.

Ways to Prevent Clogged Shower Drains

Set of work tools on old grunge wooden work bench

There are several precautions you can take to reduce the likelihood of your shower drain becoming clogged. 

Maintain your Drain

After you take a few showers, pour a little bit of baking soda, distilled white vinegar, or both into your shower drain. Wash it down with hot water.

Utilize a Drain Cover

A drain cover can catch some things before they make it into your pipes. It is easier to clean a drain cover than a drain.

Bathroom Plumbing Services

If you’ve got a clogged shower drain or another type of plumbing problem, the team at HEB Plumbing & Sprinkler can help you. Since 1980, we have proudly serviced Northeast Tarrant County and Arlington, Texas. We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and have won multiple awards. When you rely on us to help you, rest easy knowing that we are insured, licensed, and registered.

Contact us to request service.

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