How to Remove Soap Scum

Soap scum is an ongoing problem, because it's generated each time we use soap to wash something. It's a combination of soap residue, body oils, dead skin and dirt, and its removal requires products that can cut through that mix to be effective.

Regular removal of soap scum prevents hard-to-remove buildup.

There are many effective commercial products for soap scum removal, or you can make your own. The foaming commercial products can be quicker and easier to use, because they only require that you spray them on, wait and then rinse them off. In contrast, homemade soap scum removals are cheaper, but require more elbow grease.

  1. Pour undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle and spray on soap scum until the area is saturated. Wait five minutes. For stubborn soap scum, you may want to generate a bubbling action by generously spraying the area with vinegar again just before moving to Step 2.

  2. Sprinkle the baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub the area covered by the vinegar spray. Use water or the vinegar spray to dampen the sponge.

  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2, if needed. Rinse the sponge as needed between using the baking soda scrub.

  4. Use a dry microfiber cloth or paper towel to dry the area.

  5. Tip

    For moderate soap scum removal, use only the vinegar spray, only the baking soda scrub or a diluted vinegar and water spray mix. Start with a 50/50 vinegar-water mixture and adjust as needed.


    Vinegar and baking soda will generate a temporary bubbling action when mixed, so do not mix the two in a spray bottle unless it is large enough to accommodate the bubbling action.