Removing Soap Scum from Tiles [most effective ways]

No matter how frequent you scrub your bathroom, soap scum will still build up on the tiles, bathtub, or shower. Unfortunately, you can’t remove the scums with regular soap and water, you have to deploy specific cleaning solutions designed to remove stubborn stains. Removing soap scum from tiles is not as daunting as most people think, with the right removal product and method, it will only take a few minutes and your bathroom tiles are good to go!

Cleaning your bathroom may not be a pleasing chore, especially when you have a soap scum problem. Rather than let this problem get you down and out, try these effective soap scum removal methods.

You also may want to know about the standard size of shower doors and how to measure it.

How does soap scum develop on bathroom tiles with time?

Soap scums are formed when the mineral content of water mixes with soap fat. This will create an unpleasant reaction called soap scum. The soap scum is always whitish-yellow, it can be seen on bathroom tub walls, bathroom tiles, and shower doors. The scum will get thicker and harder if ignored for a long time, creating an unpleasant look and smell. So, it’s better for you to learn how to clean up this mess and give your bathroom a sparkling look.

Effective methods of removing soap scum from tiles

Effective methods of removing soap scum from tiles

Corporate or commercial removal products are always the best choice for removing soap scums, but there are some effective home remedies you can try. Despite your best efforts, soap scums can be difficult to remove and it can mar your tiles, tubes, and even glass.

However, before you reach for corporate cleansers, there are a few home tricks you can try; For home remedies, you’d need the following;

  • Vinegar
  • Borax
  • Spray bottle
  • Bowl
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Sponge
  • Squeegee
  • And of course, water

1. Wipe down surfaces

Wipe down surfaces

The best way to deal with a soap scum problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Soap, shower gel, and shampoo all leave behind a thin oil film and cause a haze on tiles, bathroom walls, and even showers.

After bathing or showering, wipe down the tile and wall surface using a bathroom squeegee, this helps to prevent the formation of bacteria, mildew, and soap scum. Squeegee is a great tool for wiping down stained surfaces in the bathroom and keeping them shining like new. We recommend you click the following link if you are looking for a company providing a professional tile cleaning service. 

2. Borax


Borax has been in use for a long time and it’s still a very effective way to rid your bathroom of soap scum. This scouring powder will eliminate any odor, mildew, mold, and soap scum in your bathroom. Note: always wear a pair of hand gloves when handling borax.

Simply sprinkle some borax on the scum, add little water to make a paste, and let it soak for about 3 minutes, and then give it a good scrub. Rinse off all traces of soap scum with warm water.

3. Vinegar

Another home remedy is using vinegar. In a spray bottle, mix two cups of white vinegar, two cups of warm water, and just a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Spray the scum surface with the mixture to drench the tiles, allow for about three minutes and then scrub the scum away, then rinse with warm water.

Using Corporate product to remove soap scum from bathroom tiles

Sometimes, the home remedies listed above may not work, maybe because the soap scum was ignored for a long time. When this happens, use a product specifically designed to handle soap scum problems. Sparkle Cleaner and Stain Remover make even the toughest soap scum disappear on contact, leaving your bathroom tiles sparkling as new!

Guess what? This removal product is bleach-free and non-abrasive which makes it safe to use on plastic, glass, and all kinds of tile surfaces. To use Sparkle Cleaner and Stain Remover, simply spray it generously on the soap scum and allow the remover soak in for about 3 minutes. Normally, after allowing the remover to soak in for some time, you can simply rinse with warm water and the scum will disappear. However, for stubborn stains, you might need to scrub with a sponge or brush before rinsing.

The Sparkle Cleaner and Stain Remover is not only used for scum removal in the bathroom, it can also be used for removing all stubborn stains in the house from hard water stains to ink stains. It is a one-time cleaning solution that you should always have in your home to help handle stubborn stains with ease.

Brief History of Soap

Soap has a long history, dating back thousands of years to ancient Babylon. Different purposed made the emergence of the use of soap with the same purpose today to clean our dishes, our laundry, our homes, and ourselves. Excavations in ancient Babylon made soap around 2800 BC, revealing the first use of soap. The Babylonians were the first to master the art of soap making. They made soap from fat cooked in ashes. Soap is used to clean wool and cotton in textile manufacturing and has been used medicinally for at least 5000 years. Archaeologists have found a soap-like substance in historic clay cylinders from this period. These cylinders were inscribed with what we understand to be “fats boiled with ashes.” 

Records showed that the ancient Egyptians bathed regularly. The Ebers Papyrus (Egypt, 1550 BC), a medical document, revealed that the ancient Egyptians blended animal and vegetable oils with alkaline salts to create and produce soap-like substances to treat and cleanse skin ailments. Many other ancient civilizations also used early soaps. The name of the soap comes from an ancient Roman legend about Mount Sapo. Rain washes the mountains, mixing with animal fat and ash, resulting in a clay mixture that makes cleaning easier. According to Pliny, the Elder, in 600 B.C., the Phoenicians made soap from goat fat and wood ash. Early Romans made soap from urine in the 1st century A.D., and soap was widely known throughout the Roman Empire. 

Soap-making became an established art in Italy, Spain, and France by the 7th century. These lands were early centers of soap making as they provided raw materials such as oil from olive trees. Moreover, the English began making soap in the 12th century. Commercial soap-making started in the American colonies in the 1600s, but it was more a household affair than a profession for many years. It was in the 17th century that cleanliness and bathing became fashionable again in much of Europe, especially in the wealthier regions. Until the 19th century, some countries heavily taxed soap as a luxury item. When the tax was abolished, soap became available to most people, improving cleanliness standards in all societies. 

A major step towards large-scale soap production was in 1791 when French chemist Nicolas Leblanc patented a method for producing soda ash from table salt. Soda is made from ashes and can be combined with fat to make soap. This discovery made soap making the fastest in America by the 1850s. It became one of the growing industries in sanitation. Today’s commercially manufactured soaps are highly specialized laboratory-made products. Synthetic animal and vegetable oils and bases are used as moisturizers, conditioners, foaming agents, and coloring. It combines chemical additives such as fragrances to make the soap more sensory.  

Final thoughts

Removing soap scum from tiles will soon be a thing of the past if you incorporate the above tricks effectively. Nobody wants a bathroom that is filled with soap scum but sometimes, these things are just impossible to avoid. The good news is; you can handle all your soap scum problems and even more with our removal product. If you are worried about your shower doors then checkout removing soap scums from glass shower doors. Note; if you rely on the hard water source, you should expect more soap scum as the mineral in hard water will cause more scum than that of ordinary water. However, not to worry, our removal product can handle any type of stain even the ones caused by hard water.