Life's Dirty. Clean Easy.

How To Remove Soap Scum in Your Bath and Washer

By Wet & Forget
Clean soap scum in your washer with Wet & Forget Shower

Soap scum – it’s one of the biggest headaches. It’s hard to clean and it keeps coming back!

Soap scum isn’t just soap. It’s a combination of water, minerals, soap talc, and body oils. It all bonds together to form a film or a goopy coating that sticks to bath, kitchen, and laundry room surfaces.

Read on to learn how to remove soap scum in your bath and your washer.

What is soap scum?

First, a quick chemistry lesson – soap is created by combining fats and oils from animal or plant sources with an alkali. The alkali is often sodium hydroxide (NaOH), or potassium hydroxide (KOH).

Heating fats and oils together and adding a reactive liquid alkali is a mixing process called saponification. The final result? Soap!

Great grandma’s soap recipe often lists three ingredients – lard (animal fat), lye (sodium hydroxide), and water, heated over an open fire.

Soap scum is a combination of soap and the minerals present in water. These minerals bond with soap to create a stubborn film that sticks to bath, kitchen, and laundry room surfaces.

Sinks, tubs, showers, shower curtains, shower doors, and the inside of your washer are places that soap scum frequently hides.

That whitish-grey soap scum also contains other unmentionables like body oil, dirt, dead skin, and whatever else may be floating in your bathtub. Ick! If not removed, then soap scum will eventually attract mold.

You’ll know when this happens because the soap scum turns colors and begins to smell. Ugh! Moreover, the longer you allow soap scum to sit, the harder it is to remove.

Why does soap scum keep coming back after I remove it?

Hard water can contribute to soap scum buildup because it contains mineral salts. Therefore, soap scum forms when wet bar soap interacts with the minerals in your tap water.

These minerals combine with the diluted bath soap to form a film or scum that sticks to surfaces.

One way to minimize soap scum is to soften your tap water. An in-home water softening system can prevent soap scum from forming. Plus, soft water has additional benefits.

Your bar soap will lather better and clean better, too.

Are some surfaces more prone to soap scum than others?

Soap scum isn’t picky. It will show up anywhere soap meets water on a regular basis.

Shower doors seem to accumulate more soap scum than other surfaces, but this may be due to the transparency of the glass. However, a cloudy film on your shower door is easier to spot on a clear surface.

Can liquid bath soap or gel cause soap scum?

Actually, it’s best to use liquid bath soap in the shower. Bar soap contains talc and fatty acids that encourage soap scum to take hold.

When you switch to liquid soap or shower gel you will see less scum buildup.

How to Remove Soap Scum in Your Bath

Remove soap scum on your shower surfaces with Wet & Forget Shower

Wet & Forget Shower spray is a no-scrub shower and bath cleaner that gets rid of ugly soap scum, grime, dirt, mold, and mildew. And, without that chemical smell, that other cleaners leave behind.

Wet & Forget Shower has a subtle vanilla scent that you’ll love.

Just apply Wet & Forget Shower once a week to keep your bath sparkling clean – no elbow grease required!

Furthermore, Wet & Forget Shower is safe to use on most bath surfaces including porcelain, chrome, acrylic, brass, bronze, fiberglass, glass tile, granite, slate, stainless steel, stone, vinyl, and more!

Most no-scrub bath cleaners contain chemicals like bleach or ammonia. And the harsh smell can bother sensitive noses. Some bath cleaners can even bleach fabrics and mar your bath fixtures.

With Wet & Forget Shower there’s no need to clean your bath with harsh, smelly chemicals, as it is bleach-free and ammonia-free!

Wet & Forget Shower uses gentle chemistry to wipe out soap scum, oils, dirt, and mold, and mildew stains on hard, non-porous surfaces. When applied weekly keeps the grime away for good.

For the best results, leave Wet & Forget Shower on the surface for 8-12 hours before thoroughly rinsing. Avoid leaving the product on for more than 24 hours.

Here’s how –

  1. Open the flip cap on the bottle.
  2. Remove the trigger sprayer from the holster by pushing it from its holding spot. 
  3. Then gently pull on the clear tubing to uncoil the clear tubing to be 3 feet long. 
  4. Firmly press the white, hose tip into the opening on the cap until it clicks into place.
  5. Then slide the lever to the ‘OPEN’ setting.
  6. Rotate the nozzle on the sprayer to the desired setting (spray or stream).
  7. Finally, treat shower surfaces. Then let the solution sit for 8 to 12 hours. 
  8. Turn the lever on the cap to the ‘CLOSED’ setting and the sprayer nozzle to an ‘X’ marking. Then return the sprayer back to the holster in an upright position. 
  9. Rinse off shower surfaces with warm water for several minutes before entering.

For heavy soap scum or grime build-up, a pre-cleaning may be required. Or, several applications and a wipe down may be necessary. Once a clean shower or tub is achieved, then begin weekly cleanings.

I have laundry soap buildup in my washer. Will Wet & Forget Shower clean my washer?

washing machine in laundry room

Laundry detergent buildup or soap scum inside your washer can make your just-cleaned clothes feel stiff. You may even notice whitish deposits on your wardrobe.

Here’s how to remove soap scum in your washer. Soap scum likes to hide in these key areas of your washer:

  • Plastic agitators
  • Fabric softener dispensers
  • Around the door seals and windows (in front-load machines)

Wet & Forget Shower spray is a no-scrub bath cleaner that can also be used to clean grimy clothes washers too! Just spray Wet & Forget Shower inside your washing machine once a week to eliminate goopy soap buildup.

Here’s how –

  1. Spray the interior (walls, agitator, dispensers, etc.) with Wet & Forget Shower. For front-load washers spray the rubber door seal and around the window as well.
  2. Close the washer lid or door. Let sit overnight.
  3. The next morning, run your washer through a hot wash cycle. Check to see if all grime is gone. If not, run a second cycle to clear away all soap buildup.
  4. Apply Wet & Forget Shower weekly, or as needed to maintain a sparkling clean, fresh-smelling washer.

Have you noticed mold or mildew around the rubber gasket of your washer too? Use Wet & Forget Indoor to wipe out mold and mildew. Click here to for more info!

Did you know? Just scrubbing soap scum with a regular bathroom cleaner won’t solve the problem. Soap scum holds on tight to surfaces making it tough to remove.

We hope these tips on how to remove soap scum will help you keep your home sparkling clean.