Vanquishing Soap Scum

Vanquishing Soap Scum

If you have hard water, even mildly so, and use any kind of soap or cleaner, chances are that you have had experience with soap scum. Soap scum is the fun term we have come up with to describe the grungy-looking residue that builds up on tiles and faucets and shower surrounds, but in reality, it is a mixture of the calcium or magnesium from the hardwater, and fatty acids in the soap. It is unsightly, and there is some concern that, especially on vinyl shower curtains, it can contain a biofilm of potentially pathogenic bacteria. Bottom line? You want to get rid of it.

Of course, there are a number of toxic cleaners on the market that make short work of this stubborn scum, but if you are determined to use non-toxic, natural and safe cleaning products, like we strongly recommend, it can be more of a challenge.

Generally, scrubbing is going to help, regardless of what product you use. But there is a way to use natural products to remove soap scum, without investing in elbow grease.

All that you need is:

  • a spray bottle (24 oz, or 750ml)
  • 1 cup/250 ml white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp/15 ml cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp/30 ml dish soap (okay, maybe this is a bit of a cheat, but if you have a nice eco friendly brand, it’s still non-toxic).

You add the cornstarch to the vinegar in a microwave safe dish, and then heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Put the dish soap in the spray bottle. Add the heated vinegar/cornstarch mixture, which will be gel-like, using a funnel. Shake well to combine.

Now you just have to spray it on the surfaces that are coated in soap scum, leave it on for 15-30 minutes, and then wipe it down with water and a nice microfiber cloth. Voila: toxin-free, soap scum-free, elbow grease-free!