How to Clean Years of Soap Scum


Soap scum is an unsightly filmy residue that sticks to bathroom surfaces. It comprises water, minerals, and soap talc, which combines with body oil and dirt to form a sticky coating.

Scum can be tough to remove if left unchecked, but there are steps you can take to make the job simpler. Discover how to safely and effectively clean years of soap scum from your bathroom and keep it looking its best!

Use an Effective Cleanser

Soap scum is formed when calcium and magnesium minerals in hard water react with soap to form a sticky residue that sticks to surfaces. Not only is this buildup challenging to remove, but it may also pose health risks.

To effectively eliminate soap scum, you need a powerful cleanser to loosen and dissolve the residue. There are numerous commercial cleaners specifically designed to address this problem.

Another effective solution is using baking soda and distilled white vinegar to dissolve thick soap scum. Simply mix these two ingredients in a small bowl, apply it directly onto broad areas of soap scum, and let sit for 15 minutes or so.

This is an effective solution to eliminating years of soap scum, but if the problem persists, consider hiring a professional cleaning service. They have the knowledge and tools needed for success as well.

Scrub Often

If your bathtub or shower has years of soap scum buildup, cleaning it can be a real pain. Not only that, but it could be a breeding ground for mold and mildew growth as well.

This whitish-grey film, composed of water, minerals, soap talc, body oil, and dirt, can accumulate on sinks, tubs, showers, shower curtains, doors – even inside your washer!

Scrubbing away soap scum can be time-consuming unless you’re willing to put in the effort regularly. But a few easy solutions will get rid of this buildup quickly. One solution is mixing baking soda and vinegar and applying it liberally onto bathroom surfaces; let it sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing with a soft bristle brush. Rinsing thoroughly with hot water afterward will eliminate all traces of soap scum from tub and shower surfaces, giving them a fresh look and feel!

Soften Your Water

When cleaning years of soap scum, soft water makes all the difference. It helps soap and other cleaning products produce a more effective lather, making scrubbing more straightforward than hard water.

With soft water, you won’t need to use nearly as much soap as with hard water, saving money on detergent. Plus, your appliances will last longer since they won’t get corrupted by minerals in your water.

Another advantage of soft water is that it doesn’t have a distinctive taste like hard water can. You might even enjoy it more if you’re used to the mineral content found in hard water.


Soap scum is an accumulation of hard, chalky deposits formed on bathroom surfaces when soap meets minerals in your home’s water supply. This scum contains body oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria which can be challenging to wash away.

The longer this scum remains untreated, the harder it becomes to clean. If left unattended, it can stain glass, tile, fixtures, and tubs.

In some cases, it may even combine with mold and mildew. That is why disinfecting your bathroom is so crucial.

Thankfully, specific cleaning ingredients and methods break down the buildup of years of soap scum. Following these simple guidelines, you can remove that pesky residue from your bathroom surface and restore that beautiful sparkle!