View Full Version : Cleaning soap scum tips?

02-21-2008, 09:35 PM
I clean a house for a lady who is VERY particular. Of course she has a 10 foot tall tile shower. She is an anti-soapscum-aholic. I use her cleaning products and so far she still feels that there is soapscum build up. She cleaned the shower today while I was there. First she scrubbed the whole thing with Mean Green and a bristle brush and then after rinsing that did the whole thing again with Tilex Soap Scum remover. It took her at least 45 minutes to do. She did say that it got clean, but there's no way I'm going through that every week. I remembered that a lady that I used to clean for many years ago would use a liquid dishwasher detergent like Cascade, and as I recall that did work well. I have been looking online (using goodsearch.com with donations going to One by One for jenluckenback's charity) for suggestions and have found several from Magic Erasers to vinegar and water to wet fabric softner sheets. I was just wondering if any of you have any suggestions for things that work well, so I won't have to spend forever cleaning this monster of a shower. It is cleaned every week and isn't that dirty to start with, especially now that she feels she has it cleaned well.

02-21-2008, 09:45 PM
If the 'scum' is scale from hard water, filling a spray bottle with a strong solution of vinegar would be a good idea. Give the stuff a good spray-down while it is dry.

Fantastik could work also!

I did cleaning for a while several years ago, and did a quick clean for a fellow whose sister was coming to visit. This was in Vancouver.

His bathtub was pink. Eventually. But the WHOLE inside and some of the edges were GREEN!!!!

I think I used comet - maybe fantastik - and a ton of elbow grease!

Another excellent cleaner is TSP. A little goes a long way, and it is incredible. Look it up on the Net and see if it is indicated for scum (the shower kind, not the customer DID I SAY THAT???? :D )

02-21-2008, 10:13 PM
I clean the shower every week and find that vinegar works as well as mos cleaners. Or vinegar and baking soda. To make things easy and keep soap scum at bay I give the shower a good wax job with boat or car wax--the water just glides off and I wipe it down with a towel after each shower to keep it looking clean everyday.

02-21-2008, 10:19 PM
I did read about putting the wax on the shower walls, being careful not to get it on the floor since it would make it slippery. I meant to ask if anyone had tried that. I don't know if she would go for wax on her tile or not.

02-21-2008, 11:24 PM
My cleaning lady puts soft scrub all over the whole thing and leaves it that way :rolleyes: I have pretty much had it with her. The money I spend on her is a real luxury and I feel like I am getting ripped off.

02-22-2008, 04:32 AM
Vinegar and baking soda works wonders! try it!

02-22-2008, 06:37 AM
I cleaned houses for a long time and Tilex works the best in my opinion. If she spent 45 min. cleaning one stupid shower, nothing is going to please this woman. I had a client like her once and she drove me nuts. She had hardwood floors in her kitchen and told me when I first started to only Swiffer the kitchen floor. After a while, she wanted me to mop it every other week w/Murphy's oil soap. Then later she wanted me to do it every week w/Murphy's. Still later, she wanted me to do it every week w/vinegar and water, then complained that the floor wasn't clean enough. So she wanted me to do it THREE times each week. That's when I told her "I don't get paid to do it 3 times and even if I did, vinegar is not going to take care of grease and grime". She let me go. YIPPEE! There is a product that she can spray in her shower immediately after taking a shower but I can't recall the name of it at the moment. It's left on, you don't rinse it off and it removes the soap scum. Then cleaning once a week w/Tilex should do it. If not, you've got an obsessive compulsive on your hands w/this woman.

02-22-2008, 12:07 PM
Well, I'm also looking for the perfect solution to this problem and don't think I've found it. What is crucial to know here is what her shower is made of. If it is fiberglass, abrasive products will only make the situation worse. That bristle brush or any abrasive cleaner will be creating tiny scratches that will hold the soap scum,etc and it will never look clean. I'm thinking with a ten foot tall shower, she probably has it tiled, which should make that less of a concern.

Right now I use Simple green and a special cloth will little nubs on it for one of our fiber glass tubs, which works quite well. Our other tub shower (also fiberglass) doesn't seem to respond to that same method. I've used a number of soap scum removing products and just resort to going over and over and over until I feel it is as clean as it is going to get.

Edwina's Secretary
02-24-2008, 03:54 PM
Was in the shower just now and saw this cleaner. The contractor who built the shower for us gave it to me. I rarely use it as we squeegee after every shower (a recommendation for your client! ;) :D )

Amaz...sold by Smmer and Maca in Cicero IL. Phone number 800.329.9200.

I have used it and it does clean...but use with an open window! Strong fumes.

02-25-2008, 10:32 AM
I own a housecleaning company and we run into soap scum/lime scale all the time. On ceramic tile or stone tile, we use Lime Away and a scrub pad (the green 3M ones) and lots of elbow grease. Your customer spending 45 minutes in there last time will probably help in that it is a lot easier to maintain than to get it right in the first place. Good luck.

Ginger's Mom
02-25-2008, 10:57 AM
I did read about putting the wax on the shower walls, being careful not to get it on the floor since it would make it slippery. I meant to ask if anyone had tried that. I don't know if she would go for wax on her tile or not.
Oh my goodness, this brought back memories. My mother used to use Turtle wax (paste so no dripping) on the bathroom walls. It was one of my least favorite chores to help with (she only did a couple of times a year).

03-09-2008, 10:35 PM
So I've been trying several things and am back to report on my findings. It is hard for me to tell what works or doesn't work on that tile shower because I can't really see the soapscum on it in the first place. But in the regular tub and in some of the other fiberglass type showers that I clean, I have found that the wet fabric softener sheets clean amazingly well. Much easier than cleaning with any of the regular bathroom cleaners and a rag. The vinegar works pretty well also, but so far it has been sort of awkward to use. I think if I had a spray bottle with a mixture, that would help. So far I've either had to use a rag dipped in a bucket or pouring it out straight onto a rag. I did try the magic eraser on the tile shower last week. I felt that it left a film that I had to rinse off well. It may have cleaned the soap scum off though. I'll have to double check well this week.

03-10-2008, 12:42 AM
Lime away or what about CLR? I see it advertised on TV a lot and it seems to work after talkin with people who've used it :)