Getting rid of soap scum can be a difficult task, but no one wants to bathe in a tub or shower covered in soap scum, as it is made up of not only soap scum, but body oils, minerals, dead skin, and dirt. How can you feel clean when you are surrounded with that? There is no magical way to prevent its buildup but there are ways to make it easier for yourself. Soap scum builds gradually after each shower. The longer you wait between cleanings, the thicker the layers will be and the more work it will take to cut through that scum to reveal the shower beneath.
There are several different ways you can approach soap scum. There are obviously harsh chemicals that are available any many general stores, but these can leave your bathroom smelling of chemicals and may also damage the surface of your bathtub or shower. They also can irritate the skin if not removed well enough, which is a scary thought, especially for those who have young children living in the home.
For less chemicals but equal strength, try some of these other methods. By mixing one cup ammonia with 3 cups water, you can create a mixture to spray on the soap scum. This will cut through the buildup quickly and efficiently. Allow to sit for several minutes and then wipe clean. Be sure to rinse the area thoroughly to avoid skin irritations. Vinegar also works great for battling soap scum. White vinegar will do wonders on this task. You can either use it straight, with all of its potency, or you can dilute it create a spray. After applying it to the surface, allow it to sit for moment before wiping away. Curiously enough, dryer sheets can also help to cut through soap scum. By rubbing a moistened dryer sheet onto the walls of the shower or the sides of the bathtub, you can help to lift a few of the layers, making for easier cleaning. If the dryer sheet doesn't work to completely remove the soap scum, you can resort to some of the other methods to remove any of the left over layers.
After cleaning, you may want to consider applying lemon oil to the surfaces you cleaned. Lemon oil not only breaks through layers of soap scum but it will also help to keep it from building as quickly. Apply with an acrylic sponge and then wipe with a terry cloth.
If you still wish to use something with more strength than vinegar or ammonia but don't want to resort to commercial cleaners, borax could be a good option for you It is generally safer and less harsh than other chemical cleaners on the market.
Dishwasher detergent is also a safe bet. This type of detergent has been specifically designed to cut through dried layers of food and grime. By mixing it into a spray bottle and then applying it to soap scum, you can easily and efficiently remove the buildup.
Regardless of the method used, with a little elbow grease you can have your shower looking good as new!