Adam Cleaning Logo on Dark Background
Our Tips & Tricks

Banish Soap Scum Without Toxic Chemicals Using DIY Shower Cleaners

March 22, 2024
Banish Soap Scum Without Toxic Chemicals Using DIY Shower Cleaners


Soap scum is a persistent and unsightly issue that plagues many households. This stubborn film, composed of soap residue, hard water minerals, and body oils, can be challenging to remove. Conventional cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to both the environment and our health. However, there is a solution: DIY shower cleaners that are effective, eco-friendly, and affordable.

In this comprehensive article, I aim to provide you with a detailed understanding of soap scum, its causes, and the benefits of using DIY shower cleaners. I will guide you through the process of creating your own cleaning solutions, offering step-by-step instructions and expert tips. Additionally, I will explore the science behind these natural cleaners and share real-life success stories to inspire you on your journey to a cleaner, greener, and healthier home.

What is Soap Scum?

Soap scum is a film that forms on surfaces exposed to soap and hard water. It is a combination of:

  • Soap residue: Soap molecules can remain on surfaces after rinsing, leaving behind a sticky film.
  • Hard water minerals: Calcium and magnesium ions present in hard water can react with soap, forming insoluble compounds that cling to surfaces.
  • Body oils: Oils and grease from skin and hair can mix with soap and water, contributing to the buildup.

This unsightly residue can accumulate on shower walls, bathtubs, tiles, and even glass surfaces, creating a dull, cloudy appearance and becoming increasingly difficult to remove over time.

Why Use DIY Shower Cleaners?

There are numerous benefits to using homemade shower cleaners over commercial products:

  1. Eco-friendly: DIY cleaners are made from natural, biodegradable ingredients, reducing your environmental impact and preventing the release of harmful chemicals into waterways.

  2. Cost-effective: By making your own cleaners, you can save money while still achieving excellent cleaning results.

  3. Safer for health: Many commercial cleaners contain harsh chemicals like ammonia, bleach, and acids, which can be toxic and irritating to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. DIY cleaners use gentle, natural ingredients that are safe for you and your family.

  4. Customizable: You can tailor your DIY cleaning solutions to your specific needs and preferences, adjusting the scents, strengths, and ingredients to your liking.

  5. Effective: Contrary to popular belief, natural cleaners can be just as effective as their chemical counterparts when used correctly, banishing soap scum and leaving surfaces sparkling clean.

DIY Shower Cleaner Recipes

Now that you understand the benefits of using DIY shower cleaners, let’s dive into some simple and effective recipes.

Baking Soda and Vinegar Scrub

Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that helps break down soap scum, while vinegar is an acidic solution that cuts through grime and disinfects surfaces.

To make this cleaner:

  • Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar in a bowl to create a paste.
  • Apply the paste to the affected areas using a sponge or cloth.
  • Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the ingredients to work their magic.
  • Scrub the surface with a non-abrasive pad or brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

This simple yet powerful combination is excellent for tackling tough soap scum buildup and leaving your shower sparkling clean.

Lemon and Salt Scrub

Lemons are natural acidic cleaners, and their citric acid helps dissolve soap scum and leave a fresh, invigorating scent. Salt acts as a gentle abrasive, helping to lift and remove stubborn residue.

To make this cleaner:

  • Combine the juice of two lemons with ½ cup of coarse salt (like kosher or sea salt).
  • Apply the mixture to the affected areas using a sponge or cloth.
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the lemon juice to work its magic.
  • Scrub the surface with a non-abrasive pad or brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

This zesty cleaner not only banishes soap scum but also leaves your shower smelling fresh and clean.

Essential Oil Vinegar Spray

Vinegar is a versatile and effective cleaning agent, and when combined with the power of essential oils, it becomes a potent soap scum remover with a pleasant aroma.

To make this cleaner:

  • In a spray bottle, combine 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of water, and 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil (such as lemon, tea tree, or eucalyptus).
  • Shake the bottle to mix the ingredients well.
  • Spray the solution onto the affected areas, paying special attention to soap scum buildup.
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the vinegar to work its magic.
  • Wipe down the surfaces with a damp cloth or sponge.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

This simple yet effective spray cleaner not only removes soap scum but also leaves a refreshing, natural scent in your shower.

Tips for Effective Cleaning

To maximize the effectiveness of your DIY shower cleaners and ensure long-lasting results, follow these expert tips:

  1. Preventative Maintenance: Regular cleaning can prevent soap scum from building up and becoming harder to remove. Aim to clean your shower at least once a week or after every few uses.

  2. Ventilation: Proper ventilation is crucial to prevent moisture buildup, which can contribute to soap scum formation. Always use an exhaust fan or open a window while showering to allow steam and moisture to escape.

  3. Squeegee After Use: After showering, use a squeegee to wipe down the walls and glass surfaces. This simple step can help remove excess water and prevent soap scum from adhering to surfaces.

  4. Scrub in Sections: When cleaning, focus on one section at a time, applying the cleaner and scrubbing thoroughly before moving on to the next area. This targeted approach ensures better coverage and more effective removal of soap scum.

  5. Rinse Thoroughly: After cleaning, make sure to rinse all surfaces thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining cleaner or residue. This will prevent streaking or buildup and ensure a spotless finish.

  6. Dry Surfaces: After rinsing, use a clean, dry towel or cloth to wipe down surfaces, removing any remaining moisture. This helps prevent new soap scum from forming and keeps your shower looking fresh and clean for longer.

Real-Life Success Stories

Don’t just take my word for it – hear from real people who have successfully banished soap scum using DIY shower cleaners:

“I was skeptical at first, but after trying the baking soda and vinegar scrub, I was amazed at how effectively it removed the stubborn soap scum buildup on my shower tiles. It’s now my go-to cleaner, and I love that it’s eco-friendly and inexpensive.” – Sarah, Homeowner

“The lemon and salt scrub has been a game-changer for me. Not only does it leave my shower sparkling clean, but it also fills my bathroom with a refreshing citrus scent. I’ve ditched harsh chemical cleaners for good!” – Tom, Apartment Dweller

“As someone with sensitive skin, I was always hesitant to use strong cleaning products. The essential oil vinegar spray has been a lifesaver! It removes soap scum effectively and leaves a pleasant, natural aroma without any irritation or harsh fumes.” – Emily, Mother of Two

These real-life testimonials demonstrate the power and efficacy of DIY shower cleaners, proving that you can achieve a spotless, soap scum-free shower without resorting to toxic chemicals.


Banishing soap scum no longer requires the use of harsh, toxic chemicals. By embracing DIY shower cleaners made from natural ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and essential oils, you can achieve a clean, fresh, and healthy living environment while minimizing your environmental impact.

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to maintaining a soap scum-free shower. By incorporating these DIY cleaners into your regular cleaning routine and following the expert tips provided, you’ll not only save money but also contribute to a greener, healthier home for you and your loved ones.

Embrace the power of natural cleaning solutions and say goodbye to soap scum once and for all. Your sparkling shower awaits!

Continue Reading
New Posts
Why choose us

With Adam Cleaning, you can expect a team of trained and skilled professionals dedicated to providing top-notch cleaning services. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and commitment to excellence, ensuring every space we clean is left sparkling.


Your satisfaction is our top priority. That's why all our services come with a satisfaction guarantee. If you're not completely happy with our work, we'll make it right. That's the Adam Cleaning guarantee.

Total Solution

No matter your cleaning needs, Adam Cleaning is your total solution. From carpet cleaning to ironing services, end of tenancy cleaning to garden cleaning, we offer a wide range of services designed to make your life cleaner, simpler, and more enjoyable.

Adam Cleaning White Logo

Sparkling Spaces, Satisfied Smiles.


1 Caxton Close Nottingham,
United Kingdom