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How To Clean Even The Worst Soap Scum

Prior to moving into our home I spent two entire days scrubbing from floor to ceiling. It was pretty dirty when we first move in, but it was nothing that a good vacuuming and a little elbow grease couldn't fix. However, there was one area of the house that never got cleaned... the kids/guest bathtub. I had attempted to clean it during those first two days but after spending an hour scrubbing away with no luck I decided the kiddos could just use the master bath until I came up with another solution




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After a few weeks had gone by I decided to try tackling the tub again. I tried my trusty simple green as well as a few other cleaners that were meant for soap scum. I scrubbed the heck out of the tub with some magic erasers. I even mixed up some water and baking soda thinking that if it worked on my oven glass, it had to work on the tub. Unfortunately, this was some stubborn soap scum and it wasn't budging.


After doing some research on the internet, I found a new idea and I decided to take one more crack at cleaning the tub. At this point I was begging to think I would never get my tub clean so I didn't even think to take before and after photos. To give you an idea of how bad the tub was, imagine a white towel being soaked in coffee then left to dry. It was a light brown color with a few orangeish spots here and there. It even had some mold growing in the corners. In other words, it was really bad and nasty looking.

I filled a spay bottle up with vinegar, no diluting just strait up white vinegar. Then I set a timer to go off every ten minutes. Every time the timer went off I would take the spray bottle and soak the entire tub and shower surround with vinegar. The idea here is that you want to keep the area wet but not so wet that the vinegar just runs off but you don't want it to dry out either.


I did this for about 2 hours and used a bottle and a half of vinegar. Then I mixed together some baking soda and water (about 2 tablespoons baking soda to 8 oz water). Using a green kitchen scrub pad, I dipped it in the mixture and then started scrubbing away at the tub and shower. Letting the walls and tub soak in vinegar loosened up the grime just enough that I was finally able to scrub it off. Within a few minutes of scrubbing I could tell that it was working! 

Yes, it did take quite a bit of scrubbing but it saved me from having to buy a new tub!! I just wish I would have tried this method sooner and saved money on the all of the cleaners I bought that had no effect.

If you try this method let me know how it worked for you in the comments below.



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20 comments:

  1. i've been using vinegar and baking soda alot recently but never thought to use it in the tub. Great information, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The power of vinegar and baking soda is amazing. I have been using those two ingredients for most of my cleaning and I love it.

      Delete
  2. Wow, great idea. I'm pregnant so I'm trying to stay away from any harsh chemicals but I've moved into a situation just like you're describing. The prior owners must've never washed this stand up 2 person shower. Its gross. I can't wait to try this out tonight!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I shall give it a try too !

    we have very hard water and hard water build up is a constant problem even the CLR doesnt work on my big tub and that stuff is so toxic !

    -KAT-

    ReplyDelete
  4. I started using vinegar and baking soda primarily because my asthma suddenly and inexplicably got soooo sensitive to everything imaginable. Forget bleach or other cleaning, disinfecting products. And I've stayed with it because it works, it's better for the pocketbook for sure and better for the environment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely better on the pocketbook and safe enough that I don't mind letting my two year old help me clean with it.

      Delete
  5. I use vinegar and baking soda on tough pet stains too! These two products together work wonders! Never thought of using it on the bathtub...thanks for the new tip!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good going! I'm happy for you!!!:)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the tip! I'm going to try this on my shower door!

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  8. thank you thank you thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I use no-odor generic oven cleaner. It cuts the soap scum and grime like magic. I just spray and let it set for about 15 mins., and then I take a sponge with a nylon scrubber side and just go over the tub and shower, then rinse. It's not the greenest solution, but it's fast and works great.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That's awesome, I need to try this. Thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Definitely going to try this. I can't stand the fumes from some strong bathroom cleaners

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  12. Wow thank you so much for sharing! I will definitely try this in my bathroom. I've really enjoyed reading your blog, I'm your newest follower :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is great! It sure beats scrapping it off with a razor like we did in college.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Don't forget to use a melamine (branded as Magic Eraser) sponge. They're great on soap scum!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dandruff shampoo seems to work well on soap scum too. I've used the store brand with the same ingredient as Head and Shoulders.

    If it was mineral build-up, the acidity of the vinegar is probably what did most of the work. CLR is stronger and more toxic but works the same way.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I use a pair of exfoliating gloves ( I buy at the dollar store) when I clean my shower and tub. They work just like the green scrubbing pads and you don't drop them! Plus you have a scrubbing surface on every finger to get in every nook and non-flat surface! I just throw them in the washing machine when I'm done, and when they wear out, I buy another set for $2.00!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DianeMargaret MillerNovember 6, 2012 at 9:56 PM

      LOL
      I thought I had finally had an original idea!!!
      Oh well...it still works GREAT!!!

      Delete

I read and appreciate each and every comment from my sincere readers, however, DIYHSH is a place for inspiration not drama. Any comments that I believe to be inappropriate, malicious or spam like will be deleted.

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