Which is the Best Cleaner for Removing Soap Scum From Tile?

Mel Frank

Soap scum can develop on tiled areas typically in and around the shower, bathroom floor and kitchen floor. To keep the tile looking its best, you want to clean in a way that removes all of the soap scum residue without damaging the tile or grout.

Clean shower tile with dish soap.

Daily Cleaning

Daily cleaning can be done with a squeegee, cleaning rag or even cleaning mop for tiled floors. Wipe down surfaces after each use of the shower when possible to reduce buildup. If needed, add a few drops of dish soap to a damp cleaning rag and wipe down the tiled surfaces. Doing this on a daily basis greatly reduces soap scum buildup that accumulates on a regular basis.

Deeper Cleaning

Deeper cleaning can be completed on a weekly basis or as needed with a vinegar solution. Mix about 1 cup white vinegar with 1 quart water and add to a spray bottle or cleaning bucket. Spray the solution onto the shower tile or mop tile floors with this solution. Vinegar is slightly acidic and will cut through soap scum quickly without harming tile or grout. If needed, scrub down the tile with a nylon cleaning brush to remove tougher soap scum residue.

Cleaning Grout

Grout often is a lighter color than the tile and sometimes more difficult to clean. This makes it important to find a cleaning routine that specifically addresses the grouted areas. Mix a paste of about three parts baking soda to one part water. Dip an old toothbrush or nylon cleaning brush into the paste and scrub the grouted surfaces. Wipe the grout with a damp cleaning rag or mop to collect paste residue.

Things to Avoid

Never use a wire or metal scrub brush as this can greatly damage tiled surfaces and can also cut through grout. Always make sure you are using nylon scrubbing pads. Commercial cleaners are available but often contain chemicals that are unnecessary and not always effective.