How to Get Soap Scum Residue Off Your Sink

Washing your hands with bar soap makes sinks susceptible to soap scum, which forms when waterborne minerals react with the fats in soap.
Soap scum on sinks encourages mold growth.Soap scum on sinks encourages mold growth.
Mildew and skin oils also contribute to soap scum's cloudy residue on sinks. Although regular cleaning often prevents soap scum on sinks, the cloudy residue is inevitable as long as homeowners continue using bar soaps. While you can completely remove soap scum from sinks, the longer soap scum residue stays on sinks, the more stubborn it becomes.

Step 1

Fill a spray bottle with full-strength distilled vinegar. Spray the sink generously with the vinegar, thoroughly saturating the soap scum residue.

Step 2

Let the full-strength vinegar permeate the soap scum residue for 10 minutes.

Step 3

Wipe the vinegar and loosened soap scum residue off the sink using paper towels. Clean off as much soap scum residue as possible.

Step 4

Inspect the sink for remaining soap scum residue too stubborn for vinegar to soften. If stubborn soap scum residue lingers, make a paste with 1 oz. of water and 2 oz. of baking soda. Mix the ingredients to smooth the paste.

Step 5

Smear the paste over the soap scum residue using a spatula. Keep the paste on the sink for 10 minutes.

Step 6

Wet a nylon sponge with water. Scrub the paste completely off the sink using the sponge.

Step 7

Dry the sink's surfaces thoroughly with a towel.

Things You Will Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Paper towels
  • 2 oz. baking soda
  • Spoon
  • Spatula
  • Nylon sponge
  • Towel


  • Use liquid gel soaps to prevent soap scum.


  • Vinegar discolors natural stone sink surfaces.

About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.