Sunday, November 13, 2011

Natural Home Solutions: Removing Soap Scum From A Glass Shower Door

´╗┐Many people, when asked, would define soap scum as that irritating, cloudy residue on their tub or shower door!

Soap scum is a white build-up consisting of minerals from the water, dirt, bacteria, and sloughed-off skin. The very best way to keep soap scum off glass shower doors is to prevent it from happening in the first place by wiping the glass completely dry after every shower.

But who has the time for that?

Obviously not me (wink). The photo above is a picture of my glass shower door just prior to cleaning.

Soap scum forms quickly in my shower due to the extremely hard water that comes from the tap. But thankfully, there are several ways to get rid of it.


  1. In a spray bottle, combine a mixture of 2 parts white vinegar and 1 part water.
  2. Leave spray bottle in the shower and spray on the glass after every use.
  3. Allow to air dry. (Note: It is best to use a squeegee if you have one available.) 


  1. Gather the following ingredients:
    • 2 teaspoons borax
    • 1 teaspoon castile soap
    • 3/4 cup white vinegar
    • 1 1/2 cup hot water
    • 10 drops tea tree oil
  2. Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake to blend.
  3. Spray mixture on glass and allow to penetrate. Follow with a sponge or brush.
  4. Rinse off. Dry.
  1. When the job calls for a more heavy duty scrub here's my favorite soft scrub alternative (Note: It's actually the same one I use to clean my toilets.):
    • 3/4 cup baking soda
    • Enough liquid castile soap to form a paste
    • 5 drops tea tree oil
    • 5 drops of lemon, lemongrass, or sweet orange oil (optional)
  2. Add liquid castile soap to baking soda slowly until paste is formed. Then proceed to add tea tree oil and optional antiseptic essential oils.
  3. Apply scrub to sponge for use on shower doors.
  4. Allow paste to stay on glass for 5-10 minutes. Spray with vinegar and wipe off with sponge.
  5. Rinse off. Dry.
The results of these cleaning methods really are remarkable. See the difference for yourself!

Tips and Notes

-The best time to clean soap scum is right after taking a warm shower. The heat and steam aid in loosening the scum and allow a bit more ease when scrubbing.

-Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide and carries many antiseptic properties. Tea tree oil will kill most of the bacteria found in the soap scum and help prevent growth.

-Dislike the smell of vinegar...fear not! The vinegar smell will fade within a few hours of cleaning.

What are your favorite homemade recipes for cleaning soap scum? Please feel free to share with us!


At November 14, 2011 at 2:50 AM , Blogger daisy said...

Thanks for the recipe! I'll have to give it a try.

At November 14, 2011 at 9:36 AM , Anonymous Meredith said...

Thank you for this great recipe!

At November 14, 2011 at 11:53 AM , Anonymous Nichole's Modern Homestead said...

I am going to have to try this! I have tried the awful chemical based ones and in addition to the horrible fumes, they never work! Thanks :)

At November 14, 2011 at 7:14 PM , Blogger djones said...

I made up some of the heavy duty scrub. I used it to scrub my showers and toilets. I had some leftover so I used it to clean my stove and refrigerator. I still had more leftover so I scrubbed my kitchen sink and counters. I was really impressed with it when it got out some tough stains in my sink. I had been trying for "years" to get these stains out with all kinds of different cleaners. My husband came home and noticed how shiney my kitchen sink was and he was impressed with how great this simple cleaner worked. This cleaner is definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing it.

At November 14, 2011 at 10:15 PM , Blogger Shana said...

Ooh I am so going to try this! Thanks so much. We have an older home and no matter how hard I try I can not get the toilet in the master bath all the way clean. It drives me batty. I took a pumice stone to it yesterday and got the majority gone. It is like the finish is worn or something. I will try this and see how it works. It has to stay for now because we are saving to remodel the bathroom so I do what I can.

At November 15, 2011 at 8:26 AM , Blogger Kate @ craftwhatever said...

Oh I needed to know this! I have a half box of Borax left over from diapers. My shower looks eerily similar to your before pic! Seems like I wait until I have to bring out the big guns (Tilex) before I clean it. Then it stinks up the whole house. This is a fantastic safe idea! Me and my shower thank you : )

At November 15, 2011 at 1:05 PM , Blogger Rebekah Greiman said...

I LOVE THIS. I think you and I were cut from the same cloth. I did a whole post on cheap, organic cleaners for your entire home. The only missing cleaner that I haven't found is a toilet cleaner that actually works. I know the ol baking soda routine, etc. But it doesn't stay clean for a long time. Still doing my research on that one. Here's a link to my post on all of my green cleaners:

Ps-I'll be back by stalking you tomorrow for your Wednesday Frugal Fest (that's my name for it, hope you don't mind!)

At November 16, 2011 at 12:38 PM , Blogger Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

I think I'm going to love this... as soon as I get some Tea tree oil, I'm on it!
Thanks for linking it up!

At November 17, 2011 at 4:09 AM , Blogger MommaHen said...

again, bookmarking! I love your "recipes"

Do you have anything for oil face cleansers? I made my own using olive oil, vitamin E , and a teeny tiny amount of tee tree oil cleanser. Wonder if you had something ?

At November 18, 2011 at 1:03 PM , Blogger Good Girl Gone Green said...

Thanks for the recipe! Going to look into trying it!

At November 18, 2011 at 3:19 PM , Blogger gtyyup said...

How timely as I just got done cleaning the shower stall...a job I despise!! I bookmarked this for future reference...thanks!

At November 18, 2011 at 8:44 PM , Blogger Alea Milham said...

I can't wait to try this! Thanks for sharing this post with the Gallery of Favorites.

At November 18, 2011 at 11:28 PM , Blogger erin said...

Thank you for all the info and recipes! Since I started making and using home made soap, I realize that it leaves quite the scum trail... this will be useful.

At November 24, 2011 at 10:23 AM , Anonymous April @ The 21st Century Housewife said...

Thank you for sharing these great natural cleaning recipes with the Gallery of Favorites!

At November 27, 2011 at 1:27 PM , Anonymous Stacy Makes Cents said...

I'm pinning all your stuff on Pintrest. :-)
I usually get rid of soap scum by just scrubbing with straight Borax and a wet sponge. This is a great recipe!

At December 13, 2011 at 3:49 PM , Anonymous rhonda said...

OR you could just use a magic eraser. The magic eraser cleans tubs and shower doors with soo much ease!


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