How to Clean Shower Scum

How to Clean Shower Scum. Soap scum consists of soap and fat from personal-hygiene products, such as shampoo and body soap, combined with mineral deposits from hard water. Neglecting to wipe down shower surfaces after showering allows soap scum to develop. Since soap scum, like most stains, intensifies its bond to shower surfaces with passing time, rapid treatment is crucial to prevent strenuous cleaning in the future. Regularly cleaning showers also maintains their appearance and prevents future soap-scum accumulation.

Soap scum can make even a beautiful bathroom appear dingy.

Things Needed

  • Plastic spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Paper towels
  • Spoon
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • Plastic bowl
  • Spatula
  • Soft scrub brush

Step 1

Fill a clean plastic spray bottle with white vinegar. Spray the vinegar liberally over the soap scum. Let the vinegar sit on the shower surfaces for 10 minutes.

Step 2

Wipe the vinegar and loosened soap scum off with paper towels. Do not rinse the shower surfaces yet.

Step 3

Examine the shower for remaining soap scum. If white residue lingers, mix together a naturally abrasive paste of 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup water in a plastic bowl.

Step 4

Slather the paste generously over the lingering soap scum using a spatula. Leave the paste for 10 minutes to dry.

Step 5

Saturate a soft scrub brush with water. Using the wet brush, scrub the paste and remaining soap scum off the shower surfaces.

Step 6

Dry the wet shower with paper towels.


  • Substitute a commercial soap-scum remover for the white vinegar.


  • Vinegar damages natural-stone shower surfaces.
  • Steel wool and scouring products damage all shower surfaces.


  • Professor's House: Cleaning Soap Scum
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Cleaning Fiberglass Tubs & Showers; Lorene Bartos; February 2009
  • The Vinegar Book: Vinegar for Soap Scum and Hard Water Stains