How To Clean Years Of Soap Scum Off Tile

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How to Remove Years of Soap Scum from Tile

I recently moved into a new apartment, and the bathroom was in rough shape. The tile was covered in years of soap scum, and it was starting to look pretty gross. You know how it is: a little soap scum buildup here and there is no biggie, but when it gets to that point where it’s so caked on you can literally scrape it off with your fingernail? Yeah, it was that bad.

I tried scrubbing it with all sorts of different cleaners, but nothing seemed to work. I was about to give up and call a professional cleaner when I came across a blog post with a miracle cure: vinegar.

Suddenly vinegar seemed to be the answer to all of life’s problems. You can use it to clean your windows, descale your coffee maker, and even get rid of armpit stains. So, I figured it was worth a shot on my soap scum problem.

Vinegar to the Rescue

I filled a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water and sprayed it on the soap scum. I let it sit for a few minutes, then scrubbed it with a sponge. To my surprise, the soap scum came right off! I was so happy that I had finally found a solution to my problem.

If you’re struggling with soap scum buildup, I highly recommend trying vinegar. It’s a cheap, natural, and effective way to clean your tile.

Here are a few tips for using vinegar to clean soap scum:

  • Make sure to use white vinegar, not apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is not as acidic and will not be as effective at removing soap scum.
  • If the soap scum is particularly thick, you may need to let the vinegar sit for longer than a few minutes before scrubbing.
  • You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the vinegar solution for a fresh scent.

Once you’ve removed the soap scum, be sure to rinse the tile thoroughly with water. This will help to remove any remaining vinegar residue.

Other Tips for Removing Soap Scum

In addition to vinegar, there are a few other things you can use to remove soap scum.

  • Baking soda is another natural cleaning agent that can be used to remove soap scum. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the soap scum. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub it with a sponge.
  • Commercial soap scum removers are also available at most hardware stores. These products are typically more expensive than vinegar or baking soda, but they may be more effective at removing soap scum.

No matter what method you choose, be sure to scrub the soap scum thoroughly. This will help to remove all of the soap scum and leave your tile looking clean and new.

FAQ About Soap Scum Removal

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about soap scum removal:

Q: What causes soap scum?
A: Soap scum is caused by the minerals in water combining with the fats and oils in soap. When soap scum dries, it forms a hard, white deposit on the surface of tile.
Q: How often should I clean soap scum?
A: You should clean soap scum regularly, especially in areas where there is a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens. The best thing to do is to stay on top of it and clean it as soon as you see it starting to build up.
Q: Can I use bleach to remove soap scum?
A: Yes, you can use bleach to remove soap scum, but it is important to use it carefully. Bleach is a powerful chemical that can damage tile if it is not used properly. Be sure to follow the directions on the bleach bottle carefully.


Soap scum is a common problem, but it is one that can be solved relatively easily. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can keep your tile looking clean and new for years to come.

Are you interested in learning more about how to clean soap scum from tile?

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