How to remove soap scum even if it's really crusty 

Woman in a green shirt, cleaning limescale off of the sink.

Stepped into the shower and seen grimy, crusty soap scum all around the edge of the bath? Just think of it as evidence of your loved one’s cleaning themselves, rather than ponging up the rest of the house. Because love is stronger than the bathroom grime and loved one can feel clean and comfortable.


Whether you find it on shower curtains, the bathtub or taps, it isn’t anything to worry about, as cleaning soap scum is actually fairly easy. No matter how filthy things get. So, without digging into the details of the crusty gunk any further, here’s the important thing to know – how to remove soap scum.


How to clean soap scum from the bathtub


It’s a place for relaxing. Unwinding. Switching off. And for cleaning all the daily grime away. So it’s no surprise, really, that there’s a need to remove soap scum from the tub. And that grubby ring really does have to go. After all, the tub has played its part cleaning you, so now’s the time to return the favour. What’s the best way to remove soap scum from your tub? This is:


  1. Gather your cleaning supplies:
    • Sponge
    • Kitchen towel
    • Spray bottle
    • Vinegar
    • Bicarbonate of soda
    • Bowl
    • Pumice stone, if you’ve got one (no biggie if not)


  1. Combine the bicarb with the vinegar at a ratio of 3:1. Enjoy the bubbles as the chemistry takes place.
  2. Dab a sponge into your bathtub cleaning paste.
  3. Gently scrub at the scum and you’ll start to see it loosen.
  4. For really crusty gloop you can try using a wet pumice stone to remove soap scum. Always wet the stone first, as a dry stone will likely scratch the surface. And always test your solution and choice of scrubber (any new solution and any scrubber) on an inconspicuous area to see how it reacts first.
  5. Wipe away any remaining paste with kitchen towel and rinse thoroughly.


How to remove soap scum from your shower curtain


A build-up of body wash, from a bottle that someone’s forgotten to close (as always). Slimy deposits from little fingers. Shampoo flicks from a housemate in your new shared home. All things which put relationships to a test – but love is stronger than a soap scum. And a shower curtain is like an easy-to-hit target on a soap scum playing field. Splatterfest!


Just like the scuzz around your bath, this is something that everyone (who owns a shower curtain) has to deal with from time to time. You’re not alone. And the task of cleaning soap scum of a shower curtain is simple. Here’s how:


  1. Mix up your shower cleaning solution in a spray bottle: vinegar and water. That’s it.
  2. Spray the cleaner onto small sections of curtain until it’s all covered. Pull each section to flatten the folds and make it easier to cover the whole slimy thing.
  3. Leave the spray for 10 to 15 minutes to do its work. The acid in the vinegar should be enough to dissolve soap scum.
  4. For really stubborn gunk, take the curtain off and wash on a gentle cycle in the washing machine – as long as it’s made of a suitable material. If not, you can try soaking it in a huge bucket, a sink or the tub… before you clean said bucket/sink/tub, of course.


How to clean soap scum from metal fixtures


Taps, plugs, shower hoses and heads… so many metal pieces, so many areas for slimy old soap film to cling to. But what is the best way to remove soap scum from metal fixtures? That trusty combo of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda can really work wonders here too. Here’s what to do:


  1. Work the paste into all of the areas covered with dry sludge.
  2. Let it sit for 10 minutes to break the grime down.
  3. Scrub well, paying particularly close attention to the hard-to-get areas – the corners, nooks, crannies, and crusty plug chains.
  4. Rinse thoroughly, check, and repeat if necessary.
  5. Buff with a piece of kitchen towel to bring out the shine. From gross to gleaming in no time!


Tip: The best way to clean soap scum is to do it with something that’ll stay strong enough to scrub the grime away, even when wet. Plenty kitchen towel is perfect for the job. It can get into those fiddly areas and hard-to-reach corners without breaking down, plus it’s great for buffing – the perfect soap scum cleaning companion.  


Whether you’re cleaning the family bathroom, your own individual grime, or sharing the job with your new housemates, it just takes a little elbow grease, a good cleaning solution, and a little nous to get the job done. Put it all together and you can say see ya to soap scum and hello bathroom shine… until next time!



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