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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I bought a fixer upper home and it has a shower that was etched so bad with hard water spots, so bad that a steel wool pad and a drill with chemicals did not do the trick. I didn't want to replace the glass, had lots more money to spend on other things. So I went to a craft store and bought glass frost/etching acid. I bought a roll of painter's tape and stencils. Figured out a pattern that I wanted.
I put a "Fleur D'Lis" on the top of each glass pane, with the stencil that I bought (could be butterflies, flowers, etc.) and ran the tape along the edges of the glass panes (length wise). Then I striped the glass with the tape (horizontally), measured with little pieces of the tape below the fleur d'lis design and ran a piece of tape from edge to edge, using the little pieces of tape as guide to make the stripe level. Then more small pieces of tape at the bottom of the first stripe of tape then leveled off another stripe.
Standing in the shower, adjust the tape and stripe pattern so the personal parts of your body are covered by the frosted glass. I etched the entire part of the glass where the "never-you-mind" areas are, then I started striping again to continue the pattern from the top of the shower glass panes. In the middle of the glass pane, I etched another design but I had to tape that off to not overlap the frosting, which was a pain in the never minds, but it came out good.
You might want to try it. I saved myself a bunch of money and it doesn't look too bad for a cheap quick fix. Now I can concentrate on other things to buy for my new...older...home, and this will do until I can get another shower stall along with a water softener system! Good Luck. I am very happy with the outcome and semi-filled bank account.
Source: TOO frugal to get a new shower and had to come up with something inexpensive.
By Suzette from Ripon, CA
I finally called Procter and Gamble, the people who made the bar soap we were using (Olay) and was told to get their "Pantine Clarifying Shampoo", and this would dissolve it. Wrong! It didn't budge. I even called the glass shower door company and they told me to scrape it with a razor blade, Ha, that doesn't work either. Now, I was getting obsessed!
Well, hallelujah, I was walking through the local "Whole Foods" store and picked up a spray bottle of their store brand, "365" "Spray Scum Remover", what do I have to lose at this point?. This product is listed on the label as "foaming action, cypress scent, concentrated and biodegradable". You don't dilute it but spray on from the bottle. It's inexpensive at $3.99 but the best thing about it is, it works. The directions say to spray on and wipe with a clean cloth and rinse. I sprayed it on, and it's clear, so I left in on overnight and the next day, getting in the shower, you could see that the scum was gone! I still can't believe it after all the products I tried, this works.
I was going to buy another glass shower wall and now, I've saved that cost! I know Whole Foods is not in every city and you may not find it in your local chain stores but try Whole Food's web site and I'm sure they would send it to you, it's worth the shipping cost whatever it is. Good Luck!
By Jimbo from Naperville, IL
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
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.
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Here are questions related to Removing Soap Scum from Shower Doors.
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?
By Nan from CA
Use Mineral Spirits (aka White Spirits aka Paint Thinners). Like magic, it dissolves the scum the instant it touches it.
My shower enclosure doors have suddenly got severe soap scum and nothing is removing it. It is on one fixed piece more than the others. What can remove this easily? I have tried vinegar, but nothing doing.
If after cleaning with any of the methods suggested, and you find your door appears to have that permanent white etching, you can camoflague it really very well by wiping on olive oil and polishing it off with 4-5 paper towels per door. The door wil not look or feel oily. It will continue looking wet and clear. It will last a few days with daily showering. It is nice to know you can have it look good for when company comes or for a house sale. The door shown was cleaned and oiled this AM. It dates from 1979. It has a slight texture to it.
What is the best way to keep soap scum at bay on glass shower doors?
By Stella_admin from Manchester, WA
By Frances Adams 05/10/2011
When our home was new, the instructions for the tub and shower said to apply automotive wax to the sides and glass doors, but not to the bottoms, of the shower and tub, to help keep soap scum from forming. It could probably be done after the glass is cleaned well. I didn't do it of course, and now use generic 'Soft Scrub' and a nylon kitchen scrubber to clean the shower doors every week or two.
Can anybody please give me a phone number where I can buy 365 Scum Remover as Tasmania doesn't sell it anywhere? Cheers.
365 Spray Scum Remover is no longer sold at Whole Foods.
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 Betty 09/02/2011
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.
How do you clean soap scum off shower doors?
By Marilee from Bakersfield, CA
I use a product called Bartenders Friend from Home Depot with a bit of vinegar and a non scratch sponge. Once my shower is clean I wipe it down with a towel after every use. Then once a month I clean the shower and it is a snap because using the towel after every use it picks up most of the soap scum.
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
By Janette 07/21/2012
I have used oven cleaner on shower doors. Works wonders.
A nephew suggested I use Ring B Gone for cleaning stubborn soap scum from my shower's glass doors. I bought it, but then saw a label warning not to use it for glass. Has anyone had any experience with using this product for glass shower doors and if so did it work and/or cause damage to the glass?
By Jeff R.
By ruthie 03/10/2012
I use regular shampoo on a back scrub brush to clean shower door it also works on tub and shower walls. just scrub down and rinse off. The shampoo makes the scum come off real easy.
What is the product that cleans plexiglass shower doors?
Sounds strange but I use WD-40. I wash the doors and dry with an old rag. Then spray with WD 40 and they shine like new. Hope it works for you as well.
Can a steam cleaner be used to clean plastic shower doors?
By Moosexquisite from Ramsgate
By Marna Goodyear 09/15/2010
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.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
Any good products for soap scum on shower doors and in shower? What about ring around the toilet?
Kate from Maryland
By Jenny Connard Tucker
Good Luck! (04/18/2006)
If that fails to rid the ring, next try a 2 liter Coke, the full sugar kind and not the diet. The Citric Acid is of a higher concentration than with the tablets. Again, let it sit overnight.
If by some stretch of fate that fails, the only other thing I can recommend is to cut off the water feed, empty the bowl as much as you can, and fill it with white vinegar and let sit overnight. That ring may mean some seriously hard water which also means you may notice a slow filling of the bowl after a flush. If so, you may want to cut off the water and empty the tank. Next, take an old towel or dry rag and dry where the bowl meets the rim (this is where the water enters the bowl. Then cover the little ports under the rim with duct tape, making sure it is sealed very well. Press down on the flushing lever and pour a gallon of white vinegar into the hole and let sit over night. The next day, when you remove the duct tape, you will notice all sorts of brown scale and crud washing away from behind the tape with the white vinegar. Turn the water feed on and flush about 3 times in a row. Your filling cycles should be much faster now. (04/18/2006)
By c thomson nj
How do you get soap scum off of shower doors? I scrub it looks good wet but dries with a soap film.
Andrea from Buffalo, NY
If that doesn't work, or if you don't have a woodstove, Comet powder works fine and it is cheap.
Good Luck! (10/29/2006)
By Hot Water
Does anyone have a miracle cleaner for soap scum on a shower door? I have tried everything on the market. NOTHING works on it.
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!
By Balber from Getzville, NY
How do I remove soap scum on shower doors? They are hard to get at.
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?