Tub and Shower Soap Scum Buster

I have found some pretty amazing homemade cleaning products over the last year….and just when I think there can’t possibly be any more that I haven’t already heard of…I find something new! But more than finding something NEW…finding something that works as good or BETTER than any of the expensive name brand products is the icing on the cake!

Well Pinterest…you’ve done it again. Like I said, I see a LOT of homemade cleaning solutions in my online travels, but few make me stand up and take notice like this one did. My friend Julia (a recent Pinterest inductee/addict) posted it a few days ago and pretty much raved about it! And then today I’ve seen it pinned at least 2 or 3 more times!



So today I decided to mix up a batch (which is to say I added equal parts of two ingredients to an empty bottle…very tricky stuff!) and decided to give it a test drive.

It hadn’t occurred to me until today that I really didn’t have anything like it in my cleaning bag of tricks. I’ve used my “Miracle Cleaner” in the bathroom before, but it’s more effective on localized grime and gunk. Can’t really spray it on the whole tub or shower. I’ve also used my new AMAZING microfiber cleaning cloths to wipe down counter tops, sinks and mirrors with great success! But I really hadn’t found a spray that I could use on soap scum in my shower and bath.

I guess I really hadn’t thought much about it because we don’t have a big problem with it in my shower (since *I* use it, I’m more conscientious about wiping it down between showers.) But my boys bathtub/shower combo is another story! It had this dull layer of soap scum that nothing I tried got through.

Fortunately, soap scum on an off-white bathtub/shower enclosure isn’t very noticeable. UNfortunately, that is the same reason it’s hard to show in a photo. So here are a few “before” pictures that don’t really do the problem justice. Although the hardware does look pretty bad. If I had to explain it I would have to say it was lacking the shine or brightness that it originally had, and when you ran your fingers over it…it wasn’t smooth like is should be. There was scum, even if it was hard to see.

So I decided to give “Tub and Shower Magic” by Bobbin at Food.com a try:

You will need:

  • a 24 oz spray bottle
  • 12 ounces of Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • 12 ounces of white vinegar

That’s it!  Heat the vinegar in microwave until hot and pour into squirt bottle. Then add the Dawn soap. Put the lid on and gently shake to mix.

Easy enough. Now time to get to work.  I might have got a little carried away…because I ended up using the whole bottle! lol.  That’s my addictive personality at work….”Oh, a little works??  Then a whole LOT must work even BETTER!”  Doesn’t usually work out that way….BUT luckily in this case it turned out just fine.  (Even though it did look like some sort of nuclear accident had taken place!)

I ended up letting it sit for about an hour while I finished up some stuff…then I decided just to combine my morning shower with the scrubbing portion of this experiment. Sorry. No pictures are available. lol.

A few thoughts about this “magical” stuff:  it works! It definitely “ate through” the stubborn soap scum that was pretty much all over the enclosure. NOW when I rub my fingers over the surface, it’s once again smoooooth and clean feeling. And in these “after” pictures…you can actually see the restored SHINE.

tub and shower magic

A couple of words of caution however.  It is STRONG smelling!! Since I was using it in a fairly confined space with no window….and I used A LOT of it….I had to actually leave the bathroom a couple of times to get some “fresh air” (in the hallway).  Once I was done with the SPRAYING…I was fine. I even took a shower in the stuff and had no ill effects. I think it’s just when it was airborne that it got to me.

Also, it is VERY soapy/sudsy!! I think next time I find the need to mix up a batch I will cut back on the soap and replace with vinegar.  Maybe a 2 to 1 ratio rather than a 1 to 1 ratio. The extra soapiness wasn’t really a problem except that it took a good deal of rinsing to get it all off.

So, there you go. My LONG-WINDED review of the homemade tub and shower soap scum buster that seems to have lots of people talking (at least on Pinterest) lately. Hopefully someone will find something helpful in all of that! ;-)

Share on Facebook1,113Tweet about this on Twitter15Pin on Pinterest122,158Google+14

Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Jillee's FREE email newsletter and receive more great tips and ideas!



  1. Anonymous says

    Mine appears perfect on my iPhone. I just access from the panterest for the iPhone app and then click in to all other links and pages and it reads great on mine.

  2. Anonymous says

    Wow! Have I ever enjoyed your blog today! I will be stopping to pick up some spray bottles on my way home from work, and will be trying most of your cleaner recipes this week. I can hardly wait! Thanks so much. Not only do you provide a go-to place for home made cleaners that really work (I hope), but it is so entertaining to read through your posts! Who would have thought blogs about cleaning could make a person laugh?? Thanks for such good and fun info!!

  3. talesofaformerteenagemom says

    Just reblogged this! I love reading your posts. :) Thanks for all the great ideas.

  4. Anonymous says

    Does anyone know any natural ways to get rust stains out of the bathtub, sink and white clothes? I have tried "Iron Out", but it doesn't take it all out and I am too sensitive to the smell.

  5. Anonymous says

    to Sandy aka Doris the Great, I found out the hard way that there are different kinds of caulking. Latex kind doesn't work around water. You have to find one for bathrooms.

  6. Anonymous says

    Thank you! I love your blog – please keep finding up great, non-toxic, cheap solutions for everything. You are a gem!
    I used mostly vinegar and a small amount of Dawn and it worked perfectly. And I had a lot of thick soap scum and it is all gone. So we can back way off the dish detergent, not much is needed.

  7. Anonymous says

    I live in a house that is twice my age and still has the original bathtub. While its great for its size, its not sealed and very pourus (sp) which never really comes clean. Magic erasers, bleach like toilet bowl cleaner, Shark steam cleaner…… u name it I have tried it. The toilet bowl cleaner has actually given my bathtub a zebra stripe effect. Relaxing baths just dont happen in my house! I am so excited to try this concoction that I will be headed to get more vinegar and Dawn now! I will keep ya posted on the results!
    ****For the record I am not a dirty person, I just dont have 2+ hours to spend solely on my bathtub every week!

  8. Jill Nystul says

    carol….so far a "cure" for mildew has eluded me. I will redouble my efforts!! I know there has to be a non-toxic answer out there! (I'm pretty sure one of the amazing readers of this blog will know as well!)


  1. [...] Deep clean the bathtub by using a vinegar and blue dawn solution once a month. Let the solution sit for as long as you can stand (the longer, the better). Wipe clean with a sponge. The solution mixture can be found here. [...]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *