As cleaning experts, we get asked this question quite a bit. What exactly IS soap scum, and how do I keep it out of my shower?

Soap scum is basically that stubborn layer of film that coats your shower walls and tub. It’s made up of a combination of things—mildew, mineral deposits, body oils, dirt, and soap talc. It looks powdery or 'matte', is usually off-white or grey, and feels rough to the touch.

soap scum removal

There are many ways to get rid of this sludge, but we’ve found that prevention is key.

Squeegee After Bathing

Take literally 30 seconds to a minute and use a squeegee or towel to wipe down your walls, door and tub every day after bathing. This technique works because it removes moisture—stopping mold and mildew from forming—and wipes away any potential scum before it hardens and sticks to your shower glass and tiles.

Let Everything Dry

If you have shower curtains, pull the shower curtain closed once you’re done otherwise mildew can develop quickly in the dark, wet folds of your curtain.

Keep bathroom windows, doors and fans open/on to decrease moisture levels and increase light and air circulation.

How to Remove Soap Scum

Here is my favorite DIY soap scum buster recipe!

What You'll Need:

  • ½ cup White Vinegar
  • ½ cup Dish Soap
  • 10 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well.
  2. Spray generously on affected areas.
  3. Let stand for 2 - 3 minutes.
  4. Scrub area well with... a reusable scrub cloth!
  5. Rinse well and buff to dry with a microfiber cloth.
NOTE: Do not use this on natural stone such as marble or granite, vinegar doesn’t react well with these surfaces!