Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

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LuigiLikesPizza
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Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by LuigiLikesPizza » Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:48 pm

The bathtub in my rental has a barely noticeable texture treatment in certain areas (not all over) the bottom of the tub, presumably to keep it from being slippery all over (although it is)

I noticed soap scum gathers in these parts of the tub, so I sprinkled Comet and let it sit for awhile. Now I cannot get all the Comet out and it seems to have made things worse by turning parts of the tub bottom (where the scum gathers) to a lovely muddy grey color.

What can I pour into the tub that will melt soap scum? I think letting it sit for awhile might be wise, because scrubbing doesn't seem to help right now.

Thanks

corysold
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by corysold » Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:53 pm

Have you tried those Mr. Clean bathroom erasers? I was amazed at how well they cleaned our tub.

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daveatca
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Helpful (I hope) hints

Post by daveatca » Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:16 pm

1. Stop using soap. It contains fats. Start using body wash. A significant reduction in residue.
http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashio ... ody-wash-0
I prefer http://www.colgate.com/app/Softsoap/US/ ... Collection as it is one of the cheapest

2. Try a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Scrub after letting it sit.
The H2O2 is an oxidizer and attacks the fat.
Last edited by daveatca on Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

deci02
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by deci02 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:23 pm

daveatca wrote:1. Stop using soap. It contains fats. Start using body wash. A significant reduction in residue.
http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashio ... ody-wash-0

2. Try a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Scrub after letting it sit.


Mixture of baking soda & vinegar can work too.

stuffthatpig
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by stuffthatpig » Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:25 pm

Best thing ever that I've found is Dawn (1/3) and Vinegar (2/3) in a spray bottle. Spray and wait for ~10 minutes. Scrub/wipe away. Cheap and easy.

rick2427
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by rick2427 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:57 pm

To clean the bottom of the bath tub:
1. Saturate the bottom of the tub with liquid "degreaser".
2. Sprinkle "Barkeeper's Friend".
3. Let it soak for 10-15 minutes. All the 3 cleaners are available in Walmart or any store similar to it
4. Use "Mr. Clean Magic Eraser" to thoroughly scrub the bottom of the tub and wash off the chemicals with water.

Use this treatment every 3- 6 months to keep the bath tub bottoms free of dirt, grime and soap scum

Thanks,
Rick

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verbose
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by verbose » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:11 pm

Is this tub porcelain-coated cast iron, fiberglass or another material? That's very important. Some of the suggested cleaning methods, including Comet, can damage certain finishes.

If you fill the tub with water, the Comet on the bottom will rinse out easily. Therefore what's in the bottom is not Comet. The anti-slip coating may be disintegrating. Also, any parts that are gray could be the cast iron showing through (assuming this is a cast iron tub). It's possible that the anti-slip coating was applied to hide a tub with a damaged finish. The coating may not even be deliberate--it could be the gummy residue left behind from an old adhesive bath mat.

If you owned this tub, I would suggest getting it replaced or refinished. From the description, this sounds like a damaged finish that you have uncovered. If you continue to uncover metal (again, assuming this tub is cast iron), the exposed metal will rust. Since you don't own this tub, a sturdy rubber tub mat might be your best option.

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Bengineer
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by Bengineer » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:17 pm

stuffthatpig wrote:Best thing ever that I've found is Dawn (1/3) and Vinegar (2/3) in a spray bottle. Spray and wait for ~10 minutes. Scrub/wipe away. Cheap and easy.


White vinegar with a little dawn added is my go to for buildup in the shower as well.

madpunster
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by madpunster » Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:11 pm

Dawn wins, great for getting auto grease off yer paws too.

TSR
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by TSR » Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:20 pm

If you have extreme soap scum on a fiberglass tub, you might consider what is undoubtedly an extreme solution: oven cleaner. Google search "cleaning soap scum with oven cleaner" and you'll find about a thousand different descriptions of it. I've done this once and it worked well. It's obviously super caustic and gross, but it's pretty satisfying. I believe the preferred product is Easy Off Fume Free Max. And may god have mercy on your soul. ;)

123
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by 123 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:26 pm

Use a paste made of baking soda and a nylon/plastic bristle brush. You just need something that will brush the baking soda paste into the nooks and crannies of the tub texture. Vary the thickness (wetness) of the paste based on your progress. A circular motion over small areas seemed to always work the best for me. Baking soda is about the softest cleaner you can use to avoid damage to surfaces.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

bhsince87
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by bhsince87 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:47 pm

IMO, this is a classic time versus money situation. I used to use commercial shower cleaners which worked great, but I became allergic to many of them.

So I went "natural". Dawn followed by vinegar worked, but it took a lot of scrubbing. I bought something like this, which helped a lot: http://www.amazon.com/Libman-CO-547-Flo ... deck+brush

Now I've found a Scrubbing Bubbles cleaner that agrees with my allergies. I put on a coat, let it sit for a couple hours, then use the deck brush and hot water. I follow that up with another spraying of Scrubbing Bubbles where needed. Then brush again.

One can of cleaner will clean the tub twice. It seems expensive, but it saves a lot of time.
BH87

wolf359
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by wolf359 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:09 pm

Bengineer wrote:
stuffthatpig wrote:Best thing ever that I've found is Dawn (1/3) and Vinegar (2/3) in a spray bottle. Spray and wait for ~10 minutes. Scrub/wipe away. Cheap and easy.


White vinegar with a little dawn added is my go to for buildup in the shower as well.


Just plain vinegar soaked in for a while. I didn't know about the Dawn. Salvaged a soap scummy tub that we thought was beyond recovery.

We saw something on the Internet about trying Oven Cleaner if the vinegar didn't work, but we didn't have to go that far.

Dimitri
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by Dimitri » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:31 pm

In this month's Reader's digest there is an article titled 35 Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things. Number 4 is Cooking spray removes shower soap scum. Spray with cooking spray - sit 30 minutes - wash with soap water (sponge with a drop of dishwashing liquid). No idea if this actually works but sure sounds like an inexpensive thing to try. Good luck!
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JustMe
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by JustMe » Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:24 am

LuigiLikesPizza wrote:What can I pour into the tub that will melt soap scum?

A couple people have suggested Dawn. That may very well work, but I've had good luck with Soft Scrub.

dbr
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Re: Helpful (I hope) hints

Post by dbr » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:35 am

daveatca wrote:1. Stop using soap. It contains fats. Start using body wash. A significant reduction in residue.
http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashio ... ody-wash-0
I prefer http://www.colgate.com/app/Softsoap/US/ ... Collection as it is one of the cheapest


+1 Reading on some of the tile and shower forums one finds that the number one care tip for bathrooms is to stop using soap. Next hint is to squeegie everything after use. The stuff is not great for human skin either. Of course, body washes may not be much better in that department.

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Toons
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by Toons » Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:00 am

Vinegar Baking Soda
Vinegar Hyrdogen Peroxide


8-)
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

PVW
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by PVW » Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:39 pm

In the cleaning products isle, just look for one that has citric acid as the active ingredient. Works very well on soap scum.

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rcjchicity
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by rcjchicity » Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:54 pm

1/2 white vinegar, 1/2 liquid dish soap. It doesn't have to be Dawn (or blue Dawn as some internet sites have insisted) - I use Kirkland dish soap

retiredjg
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by retiredjg » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:57 pm

This thread makes me a little nervous. Lots of mixing this and that. And for many things, that is probably OK.

But you need to be particularly cautious about mixing anything with chlorine in it (like the Comet, perhaps) or bleach in it with other things. There can be some nasty things that happen and injuries that can occur when you mix cleaning supplies. I can't vouch for these websites, but some reading might be helpful.

https://www.google.com/search?client=sa ... 8&oe=UTF-8

I think vinegar alone is a good thing to start with and even that can be irritating to your lungs if you use enough.

ER2023
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by ER2023 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:34 pm

Another vote for Barkeepers Friend. We never heard of it - someone recommended it to us and its the best product we have found - hands down.

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daveatca
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Simple

Post by daveatca » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:19 pm

retiredjg wrote:This thread makes me a little nervous. Lots of mixing this and that.

Image

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pfrank
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by pfrank » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:30 pm

I have tried everything to clean my Sterling tub (which is made by Kohler). The anti-slip pattern was extremely nasty. Eventually I stumbled upon A product called ROG 3 while reading the plumbing blogs. Make sure you get the kit (ROG 3 and ROG 1).

Just follow the directions. We were blown away by its performance. It looks brand new. You can feel the difference when you step in the tub. Shipping is expensive but it is worth EVERY penny. I have been using it for almost two years now. Good luck.

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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by Alex Frakt » Sat Mar 19, 2016 5:10 pm

I use food grade citric acid - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_ ... itric+acid - to descale my coffee maker and clean my humidifiers. Googling around, it looks like it works well for soap scum too. It's obviously safe and doesn't smell bad like vinegar. Try some and you'll discover where the sour in sour candies comes from.

It comes in powder form. Dissolve a tablespoon of powder in 2 cups of water. Spray on, let sit for 10-20 minutes, and wipe off. Depending on how bad it is, you may have to repeat. Rinse well when you are done.

mmarrs
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by mmarrs » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:27 pm

I tried the vinegar and Dawn solution but it just didn't work in my shower on the soap scum. I have very hard water. So I dug around on the internet and this worked and is cheap. I had tried many different things and still had very resistant soap scum. But this really worked!!!

You Are only 40ish min away from a Soap Scum Free Tub

1. Coffee pot or Tea Kettle
2. Some sort of scrub brush or scrub sponge
3. Liquid Dish Detergent ( I used Palmolive Green)
4. Can of Powder Comet
5. Ventilate Bathroom

1. Bring clean Mr Coffee Pot into bathroom. Take out filter and run Mr. Coffee until you have a pot of plain hot water. Pour hot water from Carafe onto soap scum line. Scrub scum with long handled brush. (Not much has happened at this point but I press on)

2. Drizzle dish detergent down side of tub. (like you are making a giant ice cream Sundae) I used plain green Palmolive. Yell out Death to Soap scum and scrub in side of tub with brush. (Not much has happened again but why quit now) I let Palmolive sit for 10 min. DO NOT RINSE

3. Spread around Comet all over tub mix well with Palmolive drizzled on sides. It makes a paste. I added a small amount of water to scrub brush and continued spreading paste. DO NOT RINSE Let sit for 30 min. After 30 min I went back in and scrubbed and rinsed tub. YEA! Soap Scum is gone

Before trying the above I tried Many things with no luck on my hard water soap scum. I tried Vinegar, Vinegar and Dawn, Lysol spray in can, Tub mold and mildew fighter. Homemade Orange Enzyme cleaner I make myself. And Comet Powder alone, Liquid Bleach. All of which did not work. But I'm happy to say I am now Soap Scum free. :P Last year I had resorted to oven cleaner which worked but wanted to try something not quite as scary, 1st this year. I'm glad to say The hot water, Palmolive & Powder Comet method worked just as well as the oven cleaner.

JBTX
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by JBTX » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:00 pm

stuffthatpig wrote:
Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:25 pm
Best thing ever that I've found is Dawn (1/3) and Vinegar (2/3) in a spray bottle. Spray and wait for ~10 minutes. Scrub/wipe away. Cheap and easy.
This. There is something in the Vinegar that breaks down soap scum chemically. The Dawn serves to make it "stickier" to the surface. Works great on glass shower doors.

Once clean, I've found these various "clean shower" products where you spray after you finish showering to work pretty well, if you do it regularly.
mmarrs wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:27 pm
I tried the vinegar and Dawn solution but it just didn't work in my shower on the soap scum. I have very hard water.
Could be. For thick soap scum, you may have to use warm water, let it sit a bit and scrub it with a mild abrasive sponge.

munemaker
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by munemaker » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:39 pm

Image

texaspapas
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by texaspapas » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:12 pm

Pumie scouring stick.

parsox
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by parsox » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:36 am

Oven off - blue can - brand name

Spray on scum and let sit over night - use old dryer sheets to wipe off the next day

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boomer
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by boomer » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:48 am

I have had good results using commercial "soap scum" spray cleaners.
Use patience though. Spray down the tub with it. Wait several minutes to let the chemicals work. Scrub with a nylon scrubber or scrub brush. Rinse with hot water.
Repeat this as many times as it takes to get all of the scum/dirt/hard water off. This method will not harm the fiberglass and really doesn't require heavy scrubbing, as the chemicals do the work.
One thing that you can do to make it easier for next time is to buy some daily "Clean shower" spray and spray the tub enclosure with it after every shower. That way the deposits don't build up as quickly.

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CardinalRule
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by CardinalRule » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:12 am

I have also had good results with commercial cleaners. Most recently, I have moved toward the "no bleach" varieties though. Like "Clorox Disinfecting Bleach Free Bathroom Cleaner."

I think that other products were the cause of mysterious and permanent stains I was seeing on shirts after laundering. Used cleaning rags were being mixed with laundry in our hamper. :oops:

sixtyforty
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by sixtyforty » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:27 am

I found this works really well on shower stalls etc and it's safe. Just mix up baking soda and water. Make it so that the consistency is like a thin paste. Apply it to the affected areas with a sponge and a bit of pressure in a circular motion and let it dry for 30 minutes or more. The key is making sure it's completely dry. Then wipe off with something like a microcloth or a terry type cloth. Some suggest mixing this with Vinegar but I found you really don't need to. I was amazed at how well this worked after trying countless OTC expensive stuff.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo Da Vinci

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topper1296
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Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

Post by topper1296 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:38 am

The most effective item I've used isn't any cleaning product bought or made, but a straight razor. I scrape off the scum when it is dry and just throw it away.

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