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How to Get Rid of Soap Scum

Photo: EMI Interior Design

Nobody wants to peer into their tub and see that gross (and all-too-common) film known as soap scum. But hey, we all get it, and unfortunately, it’s a major pain to get rid of, especially if you rely on the ol’ bleach and scrub brush method. But with these tricks, getting rid of that nasty ring around your tub will be a lot less painful.

Good old Borax. It may have a less than pleasant scent, but man does it do the trick. To use: Wet the entire tub, grab the Borax and an acrylic bath sponge (so you don’t scratch or damage your tub), and start scrubbing. Want a more natural alternative? Try Shaklee’s Scour Off Heavy Duty Paste. (We’re big fans.)

Ammonia Solution
It may not be anything fancy, but ammonia works wonders on soap scum. Of course, you can also use any store-bought soap scum cleanser you come across, but going with what you’ve already got in your cabinets is often the easiest (and cheapest) route to choose. To use: Fill an empty spray bottle with one cup of ammonia and two cups of water to dilute it. Spray it on your tub and let it sit for a few minutes -- it will start breaking up the scum on its own. Then grab a towel or rag and start wiping it all away. After you’ve wiped the tub clean, run a hot shower for five minutes to rinse out the tub and get rid of any traces of ammonia. Note: When using ammonia, be sure to wear gloves and open nearby windows (or turn on the bathroom vent fan) to remove fumes.

Vinegar Solution
No ammonia in the house? Not a problem. Grab some vinegar, pour two cups of it into a measuring cup, and microwave it until lukewarm. Then pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray it directly on the soap scum. Just like the ammonia solution, let this one sit for two minutes while it breaks up the soap scum. Then wipe it dry with a towel and run a hot shower to rinse the tub. Then get a large cup, fill it with hot water, and pour it over any spots that the shower may not have been able to rinse. Repeat several times.

-- The Nest Editors