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Removing Soap Scum from Shower Doors

Category Bathroom
Hand washing shower wall
Soap scum is a white film that builds up in showers and bathtubs. It can be extremely frustrating when your trying to have a sparkling clean bathroom and the soap scum just won't go away. This is a guide about removing soap scum from shower doors.
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Solutions

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March 16, 20091 found this helpful

Remove the ring of soap scum from your tub with liquid laundry detergent. For a really bad case mix dry laundry soap with water into a paste and apply to scum. Let it set for a while. It should come off very easily. Works on showers as well.

By Walton from Mesa, AZ

Comment Was this helpful? 1
March 17, 20090 found this helpful

My goodness, I never thought of that. It makes a lot of sense. I'm going to try it. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I think it sure would be cheaper plus no toxic fumes. "Thank you for sharing".

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March 18, 20090 found this helpful

Great idea. Thanks for sharing!

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September 27, 20040 found this helpful

To remove heavy soap scum buildup on clear shower doors without the heavy cleaning fumes use Avon's original Skin-So-Soft bath oil. Be sure to rinse well as the shower floor gets slippery.

By Debi

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
September 27, 20040 found this helpful

Oh my gosh! I got up from my computer after reading this, and gave it a try. I only had the Skin So Soft insect repellent so what harm could it do. It was wonderful! No harsh cleaners and it looks so nice. I only tried it on the tile, and the doors will be next. The coating should keep it from building back up so soon. I'll have to get the bath oil right away. Thanks for the great tip.

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 29, 20040 found this helpful

I had tried everything to clean our clear glass tub enclosure. I heard about rubbing alcohol. It removed every trace.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 9, 20050 found this helpful

I found that instant oatmeal works great. Just mix it up and apply to the tile. I let it sit over-night and then rinsed it down.

I like to oatmeal method because it doesn't require any harsh chemicals. I had cinnamon and brown sugar oatmeal because that's all I had. The upside was that it smelled nice too!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 9, 20050 found this helpful

I've never heard of using the instant oatmeal. Seems like it would work but I'd worry about it clogging the drain. Make sure that you have something to catch it before it goes down.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 28, 20060 found this helpful

Thankyou so much I have tried every thing for soapscum all I had here was Johnson & Johnson baby oil it worked great, finally something that actually works thankyou so much for the tip

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
July 7, 20070 found this helpful

That was awesome. I had the Skin So Soft bug spray, so I tried it as soon as I read it and it worked. I too had tried everything. Thanks a bunch whoever came up with that. I am selling my home and I wanted that shower door spotless and just couldnt get it done. Thanks again for the great tip.

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January 12, 20100 found this helpful

CLR works wonders also without the slippery floor.

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March 2, 20100 found this helpful

I use a dryer sheet. Wet it with water from shower and rub all over door then rinse with cool water and wipe off with spong. Gone, with no harsh chemicals. It really works.

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Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
October 27, 2010

We recently moved into a beautiful rental home. There is one problem, the shower door has so much build up that it looks like it is covered in white film. The owners obviously did not bother to clean it. I have tried everything. I am just concerned that the soap scum has actually etched the glass, what can I do?

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By Nan from CA

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 14, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try Zep Brand Tub and Shower. It is available at Home Depot and is very inexpensive. Often the soap scum is actually on a layer of mineral deposits. If they don't have a water softener it probably is minerals.

What you need is an acid. Vinegar with some baking soda also works well. If you clean this house every week keep at it with the vinegar or Zep and it will cut thru.

If and when you get it clean you can wipe on Armour-All. It makes the glass look better and helps prevent build up. I cleaned apartments and when someone has lived in an apartment for a long time and never cleaned...some times we scraped it off. Fiberglass showers and glass doors were easier to clean down the road when the apt. would turn over again. We kept a log to check our results.

However, it the glass is scored by the minerals and harsh things people try to use to clean with you are S.O.L.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 29, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

The thing with blades and scrapers is to keep the blades at a 45 degree angle, no more or less, and never scrape with a dry surface. Always keep the glass wet while scraping, this will keep the blade from scratching. I used this while doing all my construction cleaning--cleaning homes and businesses after the contractors are all done. Good luck.

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October 29, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have used liquid fabric softener.

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November 9, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Use Mineral Spirits (aka White Spirits aka Paint Thinners). Like magic, it dissolves the scum the instant it touches it.

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October 27, 20100 found this helpful

Have you tried a razor scraper, just to test it? If you can scrape down to clear glass, it is probably just a lot of accumulation. If you are comfortable with the scraper, you can get a lot off with that--just take care around the seal between the glass and the frame. I like the magic erasers for the remnants.

You can also try straight "lime away". Wear a glove, and be sure to protect other surfaces, as warned on the bottle. Make sure you have a lot of ventilation.

If you are sure the doors are glass (as opposed to plexiglas or plastic), you might also try fine steel wool. (I know someone will tell us if there is a good reason not to.) Once you get it clean, Make sure you keep it that way, don't let it build up again!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 27, 20100 found this helpful

Hi, I have an Idea, I am from OH but, Dollar General here has what is called: La's Totally Awesome. I am almost sure that if you spray that on and let it set for a few minutes, then scrub with a scrub brush and rinse it would come of... IT works on lots of other stuff. Hope this Helps!

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October 28, 20100 found this helpful

Ok so far you've gotten one good idea and one totally bad one. Don't try scraping your glass shower doors. All you'll end up with is a lot of scratches on your doors which will look worse than the white film! Plus you run the risk of breaking the doors too. The Totally Awesome stuff from Dollar General is some great stuff. I use it in my house all the time. But for what you're needing it for right now I don't believe it'd do the trick. So here's my suggestion. I did this when my own shower doors became covered with the same white film and I couldn't get it off.

First thing, I went to the dollar store and got several bottles of white vinegar. Then I took the doors off and took them outside (in the shade if possible, but no shade for me) I laid out towels to cover each of the whole doors (frames and all) and proceeded to pour vinegar over them. I let it sit till it almost dried, then poured some more. I did this over and over till they had been sitting in vinegar for at least 2 hours. You can check periodically by taking a piece of the towel and wiping to see if the film is starting to come off. When it wipes off pretty good with the towel, it's time to remove the towels and rinse them with the water hose.

Then I took a generic brand of Soft Scrub and one of those green scrubby pads (I found one on an extension wand at Wal Mart that works great and I don't have to bend down!) and scrubbed away. They came out sparkling! Once I got them clean and rehung, I put some vinegar in a spray bottle and once a week I spray them down and then scrub them lightly with the Soft Scrub. They've stayed clear ever since and this was last summer!

By the way, it sounds like this is a lot of work to do all this, but it's really a whole lot easier than it sounds. I did it by myself and other than the sitting time for the vinegar, it only took a few minutes.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
October 28, 20100 found this helpful

In the past I have worked for and later owned a janitor service. A single-edged razor blade is what we always used to remove dried paint or other stubborn substances from glass. If the shower door is made of clear, flat glass, if you don't go totally ballistic with the razor blade, it should do the trick without scratching.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 29, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with the LA Totally Awesome from the Dollar store - it's an incredible product. However, I would use The Works for Showers for the initial cleaning. We live in the country with hard well water and it will clean up everything without harming the surface.

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October 29, 20100 found this helpful

At Dollar Tree they have "mist and go", a daily shower spray. I have tried the expensive ones but they do not work as well as this one does. Spray it every day for a week, it should wipe off then.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 29, 20100 found this helpful

The best product I've used to clean shower doors was WD-40. Make sure the room is well ventilated with open bathroom door and windows and a fan. Just spray it on and wipe it off. You may want to dedicate a magic eraser if its really bad. Afterwards, wash off with any bathroom cleaner or just pain vinegar. Another helpful hint is to add baking soda to the vinegar to make a paste for a home-aid "soft scrub" product.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

April 1, 2011

What is the best way to keep soap scum at bay on glass shower doors?

By Stella_admin from Manchester, WA

Answer Was this helpful? 3
April 7, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try Magic Eraser (or generic equivalent). Once clean, my grandmother uses a squeegie once a day to keep it from building up again.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
April 1, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

My mom kept a small squeegee in the tub for this. It takes almost no time at all to quickly run it over the the doors.

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April 4, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Best thing I know is vinegar and baking soda. I use this for most of my cleaning. No chemicals so is good for me and the environment.

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August 7, 20130 found this helpful

Can anybody please give me a phone number where I can buy 365 Scum Remover as Tasmania doesn't sell it anywhere? Cheers.

By Lori

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 12, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

365 is the Whole Food brand. I'm sure you can find a phone number or website online.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 5, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

365 Spray Scum Remover is no longer sold at Whole Foods.

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August 30, 20110 found this helpful

I'm trying to remove soap scum from glass. I made a huge mistake trying to clean it with Cascade, but it only made it 10 times worse.

By Dulce

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 2, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

If it's very thick and on a shower door the quickest and easiest way to get rid of it is to put a straight razor blade in a holder and scrap it off. Work very gently. I've done this on bathtub tile while the tub is dry. The scum falls in the tub and get it out with the vacuum cleaner attachment. I quit using bar soap for this reason. Liquid cost more but it doesn't form soap scum.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 10, 2012

How do you clean soap scum off shower doors?

By Marilee from Bakersfield, CA

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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July 20, 20120 found this helpful

I just purchased a home. Two bathrooms have shower doors in very good shape, but on the bottom of the doors is a huge build up of water gunk. It almost looks liked dried on cement. I think it is old water build up. How can I remove this?

By Debbie f. from Mission Viejo, CA

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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By 0 found this helpful
September 12, 2010

Can a steam cleaner be used to clean plastic shower doors?

By Moosexquisite from Ramsgate

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 15, 20100 found this helpful

I adore my steam cleaner. However, I think you need to clean the doors first and then use the steamer after to keep the doors clean. The best product I've ever found is Don Aslett's Showers 'N Stuff. I buy a gallon at a time and use it in a spray bottle. Nothing even comes close to this stuff. I used it on a fiberglass tub that was stained brown that nothing would clean; this cleaned it in no time. Great, great product, and I wouldn't use anything else. No affiliation, just a huge fan.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 1, 20110 found this helpful

How can I get my soap scum covered transparent sliding bathroom shower doors sparkling clean, like new, without scratching the glass? Are there any home remedies? Thank you!

By Trudy

Answers:

Cleaning Soap Scum on Shower Doors

I use ordinary soap, whilst in the shower, after washing myself. The soap eats the scum and you can rinse it off afterwards. We also dry out the shower each morning when everybody is finished, so it helps to prevent buildup. (03/03/2011)

By LTK

Cleaning Soap Scum on Shower Doors

Use products like Scrubbing Bubbles. While the shower doors are wet is a better time to do it, but you can spray them when dry. This works great. Just do it a couple of times a week and it keeps the doors clean. I have done this for years. It is so easy the shower cleans itself.

Rosemary, in OH (03/05/2011)

By meis54

Cleaning Soap Scum on Shower Doors

I too have had this problem in the past and very recent past. Just this past week it was driving me nuts. I recently purchased castile soap liquid with tea tree oil. (I don't know if the tree tea oil makes a difference or not. It is just the one I bought). I put some on a sponge (scrubber side) and went to work on the wet glass. I rinsed and didn't notice much of a difference until the next morning when I got in the shower. I saw that it did help quite a bit. So I did it again. It seems to be working. I have also switched to body wash in the shower as the bar soap seems to make it worse. (03/05/2011)

By Compltlyme

RE: Cleaning Soap Scum on Shower Doors

Cleaning Soap Scum on Shower Doors

I use a fabric softener sheet and just use in a circular motion on doors. (03/06/2011)

By Jay1024

Cleaning Soap Scum on Shower Doors

Once your doors are clean, get a squeegee to use on them after each shower. There are plastic ones that look better in the shower than the more industrial metal-looking ones. Some friends suggested this to me and I have recently begun to use it and it seems like it is keeping the scum away. I need to use some of these suggestions until I get the doors sparkling. (03/15/2011)

By Happy05

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

March 2, 20110 found this helpful

What is an easy way to remove soap scum from shower and doors?

By John from Niagara Falls, NY

Answers:

Cleaning Soap Scum on Shower Doors

Good old WD40 works fine.

Have FUN!
DearWebby
http://webby.com/humor (12/19/2010)

By DearWebby

Cleaning Soap Scum on Shower Doors

I've found that Simple Green and a Scotch pad works well on soap scum. (12/19/2010)

By cheapbychoice

Cleaning Soap Scum on Shower Doors

Once you have these clean, prevention is the best thing. Either swab down the walls after showering, or get a squeegee for the shower and take the water off with that. If you do this after you shower, you won't have to clean. (12/28/2010)

By louel53

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

December 18, 20100 found this helpful

An easy way to remove soap scum from glass shower doors, is to clean them with a wet cloth that has a large amount of shampoo (any kind) on it then rinse. No scrubbing is needed. It is also a cheap way to clean. You can go to the dollar store and get a bottle, and it will only cost you pennies all year to clean.

By Vickie from Lewes, DE

Answers:

Cleaning Soap Scum on Shower Doors

And it smells better than commercial cleaning concoctions. Great idea. (09/26/2010)

By MartyD

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

October 27, 20100 found this helpful

How do I get rid of soap scum on a shower door?

By Ken from Columbia, SC

Answers:

Shower Doors are White Instead of Clear

Put vinegar in a squirt bottle and apply with white-nylon scrubber. But my best advice for you is to stop using soap, start using Shower Gel and use a squeegee after each shower. It takes about 3 minutes to squeegee and finish drying the walls with a microfiber cloth (both available at auto parts stores).
(05/13/2010)

By Cajun62234

Shower Doors are White Instead of Clear

You can't get any better than CLR, this stuff is amazing and removes soap scum easily. To get in between the doors where they don't get exposed because of overlay put CLR on a toothbrush and scrub. After shower doors are totally dry apply Turtle wax (car wax) as you would on a car's surface, let dry to powder and then buff to a shine. This will help repel soap scum for a long time and water just rolls off. (05/13/2010)

By YORKIEPOO

Shower Doors are White Instead of Clear

Try Zep Brand Tub and Shower. It is available at Home Depot and is very inexpensive. Often the soap scum is actually on a layer of mineral deposits. If they don't have a water softener it probably is minerals. What you need is an acid. Vinegar with some baking soda also works well. If you clean this house every week keep at it with the vinegar or Zep and it will cut through.

If and when you get it clean you can wipe on Armour-All. It makes the glass look better and helps prevent build up. I cleaned apartments and when someone has lived in an apartment for a long time and never cleaned, some times we scraped it off. Fiberglass showers and glass doors were easier to clean down the road when the apartment would turn over again. We kept a log to check our results.

However, it the glass is scored by the minerals and harsh things people try to use to clean with you are S.O.L. (05/14/2010)

By zoek

Shower Doors are White Instead of Clear

Somewhere on this site is a recipe for removing scum using store bought Kool-Aid lemonade. Try searching for it. (05/16/2010)

By metroplex

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

September 23, 20100 found this helpful

I read that lemon oil can be used to clean Plexiglas shower doors. Is Old English lemon oil for wood surfaces OK to use on the doors?

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September 12, 20100 found this helpful

I just moved in and my home is only 5 years old. It has the worst soap scum on the glass shower doors.

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August 26, 20100 found this helpful

I have very bad scum covering the whole of my shower door. Any suggestions for cleaning off? I am living in a hard water area which doesn't help.

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July 19, 20100 found this helpful

Here's a great tip for removing soap scum from shower doors! Take any kind of dryer sheet and moisten it completely and scrub the door with the offending soap scum on it.

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May 11, 20100 found this helpful

I have tried everything from CLR, Jif, sugar soap, Magic Eraser, metho and water, Shower Power, and a foam type soap scum remover and still the shower is white instead of clear.

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April 23, 20100 found this helpful

How do I remove stubborn soap scum on my glass shower doors? I've tried bleach and bi-carb of soda. That didn't work. Any suggestions?

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March 2, 20100 found this helpful

How do I remove soap scum on shower doors? They are hard to get at.

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October 5, 20090 found this helpful

Remove built up soap scum from glass shower doors with a pumice stone. Works great and can be done while you're in the shower!

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July 27, 20090 found this helpful

Does anyone have a miracle cleaner for soap scum on a shower door? I have tried everything on the market. Nothing works on it.

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February 15, 20070 found this helpful
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October 22, 20060 found this helpful
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September 15, 20000 found this helpful
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May 30, 20070 found this helpful
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