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Removing Soap Scum from a Plastic Tub

Soap scum build up on a tub can be very difficult to remove. This is a guide about removing soap scum build up from a plastic tub.

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March 14, 2014 Flag

I found using Avon's original Skin So Soft works wonderfully. Apply it on the tub, with extra on the scum spots. Allow to set about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, use a scrubby of some kind (even old bath scrubbies) rinse, and, wah lah, scum is gone!

February 6, 2011 Flag
1 found this helpful

How do you clean built up shower soap scum?

By Kim from Cedar Rapids, IA

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February 8, 20110 found this helpful

I have used everything, and I mean everything, ever posted on ThriftyFun and nothing has worked completely. My son is a glazier (glasswork). He told me the only thing he has found is to spray the shower with something like Tylex Soap Scum remover, rub/even out (with your hands) the Tylex over the soap scum, wait a minute or so and then diligently go over every inch with a single-sided razor. You can make razor up-and-down strokes about a 6" swipe. Rinse down really well and dry everything. This is the only thing that has ever worked for me to get it "new" cleaned. I'm talking about glass shower doors. The first person caught not using a squeegee is the next person that cleans the shower doors! My shower doors do not have a coating applied by the manufacturer.

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February 8, 20110 found this helpful

Want to make it clear on my previous post that I'm talking about glass shower doors, not the shower stall itself.

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February 8, 20110 found this helpful

I use a generic magic eraser and Lime Away. I keep the eraser in the shower and wipe down the glass doors and trim every day and after my shower I rinse clean. Then once or twice a month I spray it down and wipe again. Good luck with that.

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February 9, 20110 found this helpful

I use plain old Comet and a little elbow grease. Works like a charm on glass and tub!

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April 10, 20110 found this helpful

I do housecleaning as a part time business and feel I can't tell my clients to use liquid soap or a squeegie to make my job easier. I'm trying to find a solution for one of my clients' messy shower screens. I'm only asked to clean it every 6 weeks or so. I like the sound of the white vinegar method so might try that, together with the shampoo and Magic Eraser. I'd never heard of fabric softener sheets, apparently they are banned in Australia because of some dangerous content in them.

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March 15, 2012 Flag
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I have a plastic tub in my mobile home and it has so much soap scum on the sides of it. I tried to clean it with Tilex, but it caused my tub to get a crack in it. I clean my tub every day and still the soap scum is there. What will work on removing soap scum from a plastic tub without cracking it or scratching it? I would appreciate any input you could offer. I tried bleach and a green scratch pad, but it scratches the tub and the bleach is just too strong to be around.

By SJL

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March 16, 20121 found this helpful

I doubt the tilex caused a crack,however, you want to use a non scratch pad such a 3M, and is so label on the package. available at you grocery store, Target and I suppose Home Depot and Lowes.

You could also get box of Barteners Friend from the same locations. It is a powder to be used with the non scratch pad. It will require a bit of labor to get rid of the scum if there is a large build up.

Once you get the scum off you may want to wipe down the tub with a towel after every use. Then when you do the monthly cleaning of the tub it will be much easier to get rid of the scum.

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March 17, 20120 found this helpful

When you say "plastic tub" do you mean a bathtub? If so, are you sure it's plastic or could it be fiberglass? I've found that Scrubbing Bubbles to be very effective on soap scum. After spraying on the cleaner, let it sit for about 10 minutes and use a sponge to scrub. You may want to change the type of soap you are using, or whatever product is causing a daily buildup. The Tilex didn't cause the crack in the tub.

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March 19, 20121 found this helpful

Since our tub is old and has light scratches anyway, I cleaned it well with Soft Scrub and a kitchen scrubby. Then applied a light coating of car wax, to the interior sides only.

When I take a bath, I put a little bit of Dawn dish liquid, and this has helped so much, as well as stopping using bar soap in the tub. Now I just use either bubble bath, or shower gel type products.

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Anonymous Flag
January 27, 20160 found this helpful

I LOVE that idea of wax and a lil dawn!!!! Thank you for sharing!!! 

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January 27, 20160 found this helpful

If you clean it daily a film shouldn't develope. I would recommend planning a day out early so you can pour about 3-5 ounces of pure ammonia, fill the tub with Luke warm water and let it disinfect and deep clean the tub. Let it soak for at least 6-8hrs then rinse well. Then use plain baking soda I recommend arm and hammer for a few cents more your paying for quality and scrub the tub down after the rinse. This will allow a clean fresh start and should remove all residue from before. Then for your new daily cleansing routine, steer clear of "bath cleaning" products, they actually continue the build up on plastic tubs and intoxicate the air in your home.

I would go with which ever dawn dish soap you like (not the one with Olay though) my favorite is the Orange antibacterial one. Then all you have to do is sprinkle a lil baking soda and add the dish soap. A little goes a long way. The bs activates the dish soap and this cuts the grease/body oil scum like washing dishes. Then just rinse again. Soap scum does develope more with bar soaps and hard water. So it's an annoying task but one we clean freaks do happily.

I buy the bulk bs at sams club and it last almost all year. I also use an empty coffee powder creamer container to allow sprinkling the bs more easily. I love have it readily available for many house hold cleaning duties. 

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September 2, 2008 Flag
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I have a black acrylic tub. It has a thick buildup of soap scum. Can any one or has anyone had this problem? Please help.

David

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September 5, 20080 found this helpful

Avoid scratchy cleansers. I'd be leery of Comex or Ajax. The scratches will only encourage more gunk to stick and you'll have scratches. I use baking soda and water. It takes a little elbow grease at first, but it looks great and if you do it regularly, it doesn't take as long. And I don't poison the earth or my lungs when I do it. AND baking soda is very cheap. I just buy a fresh box to use in baking, and use the leftovers of the old box for cleaning.

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September 17, 20080 found this helpful

I believe that if you use a mixture of baking soda AND white vinegar it will come clean w/o scrubbing. I've never actually cleaned (or even seen) an "acrylic" tub before, but I have used this solution on acrylic faucet handles to clean them of the soap/hand oil/dirt gunk.

I also use an "after" product; a polish and (albeit temporary) sealant called Gel Gloss. It comes as a spray or a pourable creme. It is in a hot pink can (white cap) w/blue & white lettering, and available @ Home Depot (and other of this type) stores.

For me, this is a "must have" product for keeping all kinds of surfaces polished/sealed between cleanings, especially those that come into contact w/water on a daily basis, such as sinks, tubs, etc. I wouldn't be w/o it in my business!

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May 20, 20110 found this helpful

Hello David,

Make a paste of white vinegar and baking soda, thick enough so it will stick to where you want to clean, let it sit while you do something else( half an hour or so). You will find that the soap scum comes off quite easily.

Sincerely

Marie

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December 11, 20130 found this helpful

The Bucko Soap Scum cleaner works really well. You spray, leave it sit for a while, and then just wipe it off without need to scrub it. Give it a try! www.thebucko.com

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Anonymous Flag
June 2, 20160 found this helpful

Have you tried liquid Comet spray for bathrooms?

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February 6, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

How do you clean soap scum off of porcelain tub and fiberglass shower walls?

By Yvonne from KS

Answers:

Removing Soap Scum from a Bath Tub or Shower

They sell soap scum remover in the supermarkets. (11/03/2010)

By Lilac

Removing Soap Scum from a Bath Tub or Shower

Any household cleaner such as Mr. Clean should take off soap scum, unless it has been built up for years or if it also involves hard water residue. If you have years of build up from someone never cleaning the shower, you will see various things in the archives, oven cleaner, Kaboom, etc. If you have hard water residue as well you are going to need something acidic like full strength vinegar or CLR.

When you get the shower clean, use a squeegee or towel to dry off the shower after every shower. This will prevent the vast majority of buildup. And prevention is the best thing in this case. (11/03/2010)

By louel53

Removing Soap Scum from a Bath Tub or Shower

I remember reading that clarifying shampoo works. I breaks down all the built up yuck in our hair, it works on the shower walls too. Worth a try. If it doesn't work, you can still use it on your hair at least. (11/04/2010)

By Beth

Removing Soap Scum from a Bath Tub or Shower

For my fiberglass tub surround, this works great:
Wet paper towels with white vinegar and stick them to the shower walls then spray them with more vinegar, let them set for about half an hour. Remove paper towels and scrape off the "melted" hard water and scum with an old credit card. (11/19/2010)

By sbdifalco

Removing Soap Scum from a Bath Tub or Shower

I used a pumice stone (the type you buy for your feet). I wet the shower walls, and the stone. Then rubbed the stone on the soap scum. I was amazed/horrified at how much soap came up in big flakes! It was super easy.

It worked really well on the mold that I couldn't get out of my grout with bleach. Turns out the mold was in the soap scum. The only difficulty was getting in the corners in the shower. I'm going to see if I can find a pumice stone that has better angles than the one I have and use it in the corners. (12/18/2010)

By sunstsorm

Removing Soap Scum from a Bath Tub or Shower

I ran across this post when I was searching for help to clean my horrific tub and shower walls. After trying lots of options, I found that Lysol Disinfectant Bathroom Cleaner 4 in 1 works fantasticly! I sprayed it on my "stained" tub, thinking that it was all stain, since nothing scrubbed nor scraped it off, just for the heck of it. It all dissolved or softened quickly, enabling me to bring it up with a pancake flapper, easily. I was impatient, so I did not let it sit for long. A lot of it dissolved, immediately, so I am sure if someone who can't bend over used it and let it sit for a good length of time, that would help the problem. I just had to post this for anyone else that searched, as I did. (01/14/2011)

By AlsoSurprised

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November 1, 2010 Flag
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I live in a rental and have never been able to properly clean off a residue from shower tiles and shower screen. It is a whitish colour and is either soap buildup or mineral deposits.

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