OK, I've got soap scum built up on my bathroom shower door and in the
2) Try Rain-X for prevention
3) Try gel instead of bar soap
However, the question NOW remains: How do I clean the glass? Ugh!
I've tried a vinegar and water solution, and Bon Ami cleanser. It's
better, but still not clear. I've read that an ammonia solution would
work, but I'm pretty chemically sensitive and hate to use something so
strong and toxic. However, if it's the only way, I'll ventilate and wear
Any helpful insight would be greatly appreciated. I'd love to tackle the
job this weekend!
Try this...get a towel that you don't care about. Secure it over the
door, so that most of it is hanging on the part you want cleaned. Soak
it with vinegar and water solution (straight vin would be better, if you
can handle that) overnight. Then rinse and squeegee. Then replace
doors with curtain that can be thrown in the wash :-).
Just an idea, I've no clue if it will work. But it makes sense since it
would be how I get lime off the showerhead.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Herself) wrote in message
use "Bar Keepers Friend" it's in a container like comet. usually found
on the top shelf at the store . works awsome
it has muratic acid in it so be careful not to leave it on too long or
it will etch the surface.
Mildew Stain Remover Concentrate
Wipes out mildew and removes soap buildup, lime scale, stubborn dirt and
grease from bathrooms and hard surfaces throughout your home. Use on
bathtubs, showers, sinks, ceramic tile, stainless steel and chrome fixtures,
fiberglass and porcelain surfaces, vinyl mats and shower curtains, concrete
basement walls and floors, garbage cans and diaper pails. This non-abrasive
concentrate cleans to a sparkling shine and leaves a pleasant, fresh
fragrance. One bottle makes five 16-oz. pump spray bottles. Biodegradable
and phosphate free. Contains BITREX--which has such an intensely nasty
taste it is practically impossible for a person or pet to ingest.
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All you need is the desire to get going!
Tackle yourself a bottle of the original (NOT the imitators!) of Clean
Shower. Use it after every shower* for a week or two. Eventually it
will soften the built-up scum so that it can be easily removed with
When I first discovered Clean Shower, which I now use religiously, the
scum build-up in my shower was.... embarassing. I couldn't get the
damn stuff out, even with Comet. (I wonder if there's a use for my
soap scum in the space program. Anything that tough ought to be good
for something.) Anyhow, I started with the Clean Shower thinking that
the gunk might come out by itself. It didn't, but when attacked with
the X-14, it practically ran off the surface and down the drain.
* If you take only one shower a week, you might have to wait a few
weeks for the benefits to kick in.
Try the heavy-duty Comet bathroom cleaner -- the squirt stuff in the
plastic bottle. It'll knock you out if you get a good whiff of it,
though, so open the window and try to avoid breathing the spray.
On fiberglass, I had little luck with Tilex and no luck with vinegar. I
tried several other substances. I didn't dare try scouring powder.
Scrubbing with a paste of baking soda was quick and effective. I've
also tried a paste of baking soda and salt on a cloth. I think it's a
little faster for big surfaces.
Use paper towels and straight vinegar. Wet the towels in vinegar
and lay them against the door - the easiest way to do this seems
to be to tear off a strip of toweling, lay it up against the door
and spray thoroughly with the vinegar until the towel is
saturated and clings to the door. Repeat til the door is
covered. Spray more vinegar every hour or so not allowing the
towels to dry out. After a day of this, the scum should be gone.
Worked for me and the shower door was caked with lime.
An alternative is to use aluminum jelly - like naval jelly but
not as harsh.
Dude! It wasn't me! It was M who wrote:
: OK, I've got soap scum built up on my bathroom shower door and in the
: future will:
: 1) Squeegee
: 2) Try Rain-X for prevention
: 3) Try gel instead of bar soap
: However, the question NOW remains: How do I clean the glass? Ugh!
In my experience, the Tilex Soap Scum stuff actually works. Spray it
on, leave it a little while, then wipe it off.
Heather Jones heather_jones(at)pobox(dot)com
There's a little known bathroom cleaner called The Works that is usually
found in Dollar Stores and Wal-Mart here where I live. The cool part is
that it works both on soap scum and hard water stains. I had both in my
shower and I used The Works to effectively eliminate all of it and have that
shiny new shower feeling (at least until the first shower). Before I found
this, I had to use a bathroom cleaner (Lysol in my case, but others worked
too) and a lime remover (Lime-a-Way or CLR). This way I could only use one
cleaning solution and cut my cleaning time (and my exposure to that
cleaners - I always sneeze and itch after cleaning my bathroom). Now, I
think I'm going to use Clean Shower, hopefully put off the shower cleaning
Of course, as usual, YMMV.
Go to a hardware or auto store and get an alkaline degreaser. You can
find it in a spray bottle in the cleaners area. Spray it on heavily
and wait 15 minutes. Wash off with a sponge and water and gape in
amazement. After years of
get-naked-scrub-like-a-manic-with-bon-ami-for-30-minutes, this works
brilliantly. It will cut through soap films so thick they're 3-D (or
really, 3-K, i.e. 3 kids, one bathroom, 6 months in a "temporary"
For a tough job, I've had the most success with Tilex. Spray then
leave the room. Come back in a few hours or end of the day and rinse.
But if you're looking for something less harsh, I suggest just using a
little bit of shampoo on one of those plastic scrunchie things they
sell for less than a dollar (you're supposed to use them on your
skin). Try a clarifying shampoo, as they are specially formulated to
rid your hair of all kinds of build-up. I have highlighted blonde hair
that tends to turn greenish if it gets too much chlorine or lime from
the water. Clarifying shampoo or shampoo designed specifically for
blonde, highlighted hair works miracles on hair *and* shower walls.
Also works great for scrubbing down the bathroom walls that tend to
get splattered with hairspray.
I had the worse time trying to get the hairspray off until I put some
logic to it and thought to try a little shampoo! My thought is that
soap scum is not just soap; it's a mixture of soap plus hard-water
deposits, lime, hair gel, mousse, hair spray, dirt, and dead skin
cells. Shampoo gets this stuff out of your hair; logically, it should
also work on your shower stall.
I've found the scrunchie works great because it scours yet doesn't
scratch the finish. I don't have a glass shower door anymore, but this
is what I use weekly to scour out the fiberglass tub, wipe down the
marble walls, and scrub the plastic shower curtain.
Also, if you really don't want to use harsh chemicals, just try being
persistent. Continue to scrub the shower with the shampoo and scrunchy
every day for a couple of weeks, rinse thoroughly, then follow with
the squeegee after you stop the shower. Over time, the soap scum
should eventually disappear, a little each day, just as it slowly
appeared. Then you can switch to daily squeegeeing and weekly scouring
For years, that was the best I could do. It was slow, difficult, hard
on my hands, and unpleasant to breathe
Soft soap is potassium with a fatty acid. Hard soap is sodium with a
fatty acid. Soap scum is *supposed* to be calcium and/or magnesium with
a fatty acid. Calcium and magnesium are in hard water. They can
replace the sodium and potassium in soap, resulting in deposits that
aren't water soluble. (Soap scum is an excellent lubricant for some
However, it seems that the same remedy doesn't work for everyone. Like
you, I think not all soap scum is the same. It may be due to
differences among the fatty acids in different soaps and the differences
between calcium and magnesium.
Baking soda on a handiwipe is so quick and effective for me that I don't
bother with the job until the walls become discolored. I think maybe it
turns the soap scum back into soap, while the bicarbonate becomes
magnesium bicarbonate and calcium bicarbonate. These substances are
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