Natural DIY Ways to Remove Shower Soap Scum and Mildew


Your shower should be the most spotless place in your home – after all, it's where you go to get clean in the first place! But more often than not, showers are the site of built-up soap scum and mildew.

You probably already know the problem with mildew – it's a stubborn fungus that colonizes in dark, damp places. Some people are allergic to mold, but even if you're not, exposure can irritate your eyes, lungs, throat, and skin.

Though soap scum may just sound like a nuisance, it's still a concern, as it's made up of soap, water minerals, dirt, skin cells, and bacteria. And no one wants to bathe in that.

Though your instinct may be to mercilessly bleach these shower offenders, exposing yourself and your family to those harmful chemicals isn't necessary. Try these natural cleaners to fight off soap scum and mildew instead.

DIY Shower Cleaning Solution #1: The Borax Edition

Borax, a natural mineral that doubles as a deodorizing scouring powder, is a safer alternative to harsh off-the-shelf chemicals. An added bonus? It kills mildew and keeps it from coming back.

Here's what you need to scrub away pesky soap scum and mildew:

  • One cup of borax.
  • Two tablespoons of dishwashing detergent.
  • One to two cups of water.

Mix these components together until they form a paste. Use a soft bristle brush to apply the solution to the area, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Use the brush to scrub away the affected spot until the buildup is gone and rinse with hot water. Borax can be slippery, so spend some time making sure it's completely rinsed away.

DIY Shower Cleaning Solution #2: The Baking Soda Trick

Baking soda is a favorite ingredient in DIY cleaning solutions. That's because it's abrasive enough to remove tough stains and buildup (e.g., soap scum!) and offers some mighty deodorizing action to boot. (One of the many reasons it's so handy for pet stains.)

To make this solution, gather the following ingredients:

  • One cup of baking soda.
  • One tablespoon of dishwashing detergent.
  • One to two cups of water.

Mix them together until they form a paste, and then use a soft bristle brush to apply the solution to the area. Let it sit for 15 minutes before you scrub the soap scum and mildew away. Rinse with hot water, wipe away any remaining grime, and you're golden!

DIY Shower Cleaning Solution #3: Vinegar to the Rescue

Vinegar is your secret weapon to combat any greasy or slippery areas. It also helps neutralize odors, although some would argue it has its own acidic scent.

The nice thing about using a vinegar-based shower cleaning solution is that it is exceptionally cheap. Often, you can get a gallon of white vinegar for a buck or so at your local grocery store. So if you have some on hand already, why not give it a try?

Here's what you need to make this solution:

  • Four cups of white vinegar.
  • Four cups water.
  • One tablespoon of dishwashing detergent.

Mix these ingredients together in a spray bottle and spray the affected area with the solution. Let it sit for 15 minutes, and then scrub the soap scum- or mildew-heavy spot with a soft bristle brush. To finish, rinse the area thoroughly with hot water and wipe away any grimy remnants.

For more green cleaning solution tips, check out "How to Pick Safe Cleaning Solutions for Your Home or Office." And if your shower is an exceptional challenge, maybe it's time to find out how our Columbus house cleaning services can help.