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How to Clean Soap Scum Off Shower Doors and Prevent It from Coming Back

How to Clean Soap Scum Off Shower Doors

How do you remove soap scum off your shower doors and then keep them looking good?

This is a question I’ve had myself, and thought others might be curious, too.

You’ll discover that it’s super easy to remove soap scum  or hard water stains. And if you use a common automotive product it’s even simpler to prevent them from coming back.

Here are the supplies that you’ll need for this quick project

  • Baking Soda ($0.93)
  • White Vinegar 32 oz. ($3.19)
  • Spoon and Small Container (I bet you have these)
  • Scotch-Brite Non Scratch Scrub Sponge (15 pack) ($8.98)
  • 10 inch Window Scrubber ($7.97)
  • 12 inch Window Squeegee ($3.99)
  • Rain-X 2-in-1 Glass Cleaner Plus Rain Repellent ($7.04)
  • Paper Towels ($1.83)
 The total cost for everything is $33.93.
But you’ll be able to use these items for other projects like cleaning your home and car windows. The cleaning takes about 29 minutes but 15 of it is letting the baking soda & vinegar sit on the shower door glass (plenty of time to sit and watch half of a Pawn Stars episode).
I guarantee that you’ll be happy with the results and cleaning your shower doors will actually be somewhat fun-hey, I even surprised myself during this process!!
So let’s get to it :)

How to Safely Remove Soap Scum from Glass Shower Doors

I was a chemistry major in college and therefore love chemical reactions (I’m a proud nerd and yes, Star Wars is my favorite movie).

Vinegar is really acetic acid and this is why it’s such a thorough cleaning solution. The acidity helps cut through dirt and grime (are these two things different?)

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate.

When you combine vinegar and baking soda they form carbonic acid. Carbonic acid is unstable and immediately decomposes to carbon dioxide and water.

The fizzing you see when baking soda and vinegar are combined comes from the carbon dioxide, NOT the carbonic acid. The CO2 is safe and this is why a baking soda/vinegar cleaning solution is a family friendly household cleaner.

After the CO2 fizzes off you’ll have a dilute solution of water and sodium acetate.

Enough chemistry, let’s get to cleaning your shower doors ;)

 

Using Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clean Shower Doors

Here’s the complete video of how to clean soap scum off shower doors. But I also include a step-by-step process with detailed instructions. When you’re done viewing the video scroll down this page for additional info that  you shouldn’t miss.

 

How to Clean Soap Scum Off Shower Doors -- by Home Repair Tutor
Runtime
6:29
View count
130,873

How to Clean Soap Scum Off Shower Doors

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acfA3epxI-s

 

Place about 1/2 cup of baking soda in a plastic container and pour enough white vinegar on it to form a pasty mixture. Use a spoon to mix the baking soda and vinegar.

 

How to Clean Soap Scum Off Shower Doors-Make a paste with white vinegar and soap scum

 

You’ll immediately see fizzing, but again, this is just the CO2.

Once the fizzing stops take the Scotch Brite sponge and scoop up some of the paste. Wipe the paste on the shower door glass.

Yes, the paste will get all over the shower floor but it’s not that bad to clean up. I just scooped it into the plastic container with the spoon.

You can let the paste sit on the shower doors for 10-15 minutes (go watch your favorite TV show or catch up on sleep-the latter is my preference).

 

How to Clean Soap Scum Off Shower Doors-Wipe paste onto the doors with a sponge

 

Use a window scrubber and water to thoroughly clean off the paste mixture. Then dry the shower doors with the window squeegee and a paper towel. Check to make sure the soap scum is completely gone.

 

How to Clean Soap Scum Off Shower Doors-Clean off the paste with a window squeegee & water then thoroughly dry

 

I was super excited when I didn’t see any hard water stains or soap scup left on my shower doors. It was like I discovered the cure for baldness or something else that was more important-like how to get kids to eat green beans.

 

Prevent Soap Scum from Coming Back 

As you can see cleaning soap scum off your shower doors isn’t that bad but who wants to do this all the time. I’d rather be playing catch or bicycling with my daughters.

This is where Rain-X 2-in-1 glass cleaner can help. I use this automotive product on my car windows to help water bead off during rain storms.

 

How to Clean Soap Scum Off Shower Doors-Use RainX to prevent more soap scum

 

The protective film that Rain-X provides can be utilized in your shower, too. This is what will prevent the soap scum and other deposits from sticking to the shower door glass.

Spray the Rain-X onto the shower glass and wipe it off with a paper towel or microfiber cloth.

I like to use Rain-X once per week to clean the shower doors. This easy task helps stop the hazy film that makes your shower doors look so bad. And it takes all of 3 minutes. I’ve got 3 minutes to spare for this :)

I hope this quick tutorial was helpful and saves you time with your cleaning chores.

Do you have an awesome cleaning tip you’d like to share? Add it to the comment section below, I’m always looking for cleaning tricks that help me with my honey-do list.

If you haven’t already done so feel free to sign up for my  newsletter. You’ll get 1-2 emails per week with home tips that’ll save you time and money. Plus, I love keeping in touch with you :)

You can also . I like to share pictures, tips, and other random entertaining stuff. So don’t be shy and add me to your Circle.

Make it a great day!

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

P.S. Click on this link to read a really great blog post by Carrie at Making Lemonade! She provides 3 great cleaning tips using baking soda and vinegar. Thanks Carrie!

 

Diggin’ this tutorial? Sign up for updates… It’s FREE!


132 comments… add one

  • b. October 24, 2012, 12:03 PM

    Great!

  • Cynthia October 24, 2012, 7:11 PM

    Thanks for the tip :)

  • Sharon Abney October 24, 2012, 8:30 PM

    please sign me up for this info

  • Sharon Abney October 24, 2012, 8:32 PM

    put me on our mailing list

    • Jeff Patterson October 24, 2012, 8:49 PM

      Thanks Sharon for your interest. You can sign up by entering your name and email address in the area below this post. I think you’ll like the newsletter because I share tips I’ve learned about home maintenance while managing my rental homes. I’ve learned how to save money on home repairs out of necessity and figured others might feel the same pressure. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Rhonda October 24, 2012, 10:02 PM

    Sign me up for your newsletter please

    • Jeff Patterson October 25, 2012, 5:44 AM

      Thanks Rhonda, you can sign up by entering your name and email address in the green box at the bottom of this post :)
      I really appreciate you visiting HRT and let me know if you have any questions about the tutorials, I’d be more than happy to lend a hand.

  • Kim October 24, 2012, 10:30 PM

    Can’t wait to try this. Thanks for the info.

    • Jeff Patterson October 28, 2012, 7:21 AM

      You’re welcome Kim. Let me know how your cleaning experience goes and if you use any other cleaning method that helps more than this one. I’d love to learn something new:)

  • Susan October 24, 2012, 10:53 PM

    Hi….is there any reason I can’t scrub, clean and then use the RainX on the entire
    walk-in shower?? Seems like it should work.

    • Jeff Patterson October 25, 2012, 5:46 AM

      Hi Susan, you could use Rain-X on all the vertical surfaces. I wouldn’t apply it to the floor of your shower as it might make it slippery and dangerous. Let me know how it works out :)

  • Lisa October 24, 2012, 11:06 PM

    Love helpful tips on cleaning and home repairs. We are renting a home and love to be able to do things myself if not too big. Thanks!

    • Jeff Patterson October 25, 2012, 5:48 AM

      You’re super welcome Lisa! It sounds like you’re the type of tenants I fall in love with. We have a few rental homes here in Pittsburgh and enjoy our awesome tenants who take pride in where they live.

  • Donna Dayton October 25, 2012, 10:44 AM

    I was wondering if maybe you could do the brass on the shower with the same solution

    • Jeff Patterson October 25, 2012, 10:49 AM

      Hi Donna, are you referring to the brass or metal parts of the shower doors?

      I always apply any chemicals on a small area to test how they react. Do this in an area that isn’t noticeable or doesn’t draw your eye in its direction.

      I did apply the paste in this tutorial to my metal grab bars on the shower doors and no issues occurred.

  • Tisha October 25, 2012, 10:45 AM

    Hi Jeff, Do you this this cleaning solution would work & be okay to use on on the stone tiles on the shower walls? If not, do you have a cleaning tip?

    • Jeff Patterson October 25, 2012, 11:47 AM

      Hi Tisha, I think it would be safe BUT test it on a small portion of your surface first, I’m talking like 2 by 2 inch square. Test and wait 24 hours to see if anything happens that you didn’t foresee.

      If you don’t see a bad result like discoloration or pitting them it’s okay to move forward. It’s always good to be cautious. Hope that helps.

  • S.K. October 25, 2012, 11:35 AM

    I use vinegar and baking soda to freshen the kitchen drain about once a month or so. Pour one cup of baking soda in the drain and then pour one cup heated/hot white vinegar. Let it sit for 30 mins and then flush the drain with hot water. I use old baking soda that has been used in the fridge for this. Lots of fizzing and foaming when the vinegar hits the baking soda which is normal. I used a Rain-X anti-fog type product in a very old second car we had that didn’t have a defroster to stop windows from fogging up and I suppose that too would work on bathroom mirrors. Great idea w/the Rain-X. Any chemistry tips on cleaning stainless steel and preventing smudges and marks between cleanings? Thanks

    • Jeff Patterson October 25, 2012, 11:52 AM

      Thanks SK for the great sink cleaning tip. When I think about all the bacteria that could be living in my kitchen drain I shutter just a bit.

      The funny part is I used old baking soda too. It was sitting in our fridge for god knows how long. But it worked like a champ with the vinegar and Rain-X.

      I like your tip on using the Rain-X on the bathroom mirrors. This is especially good for those of us who share a bathroom with kids who take long showers.

      I current use stainless steel cleaners found at the local grocery store but would love for someone to offer up a homemade solution. Wink wink Home Repair Tutor fans.

      • Amber January 24, 2013, 11:45 PM

        Olive oil works great instead of commercial stainless steel cleaners! Thanks for the Rain-x idea.

        • Jeff Patterson January 25, 2013, 6:44 AM

          Thanks Amber for the olive oil suggestion because anything natural is always a great alternative to man-made chemicals.

          Let me know how Rain-X works for you!! I’ve been really impressed so far with how well it’s worked.

      • Penny July 22, 2013, 7:53 PM

        All purpose flour (dry) and a papertowel work great to shine stainless steel. Then use oil to rub a thin coat on the stainless steel as a barrier for easier cleaning in the future.

  • Connie@Connie Nikiforoff Designs October 28, 2012, 11:03 PM

    Of course some of us “oldies” have known & used baking soda/vinegar for quite some time. Rain X is a good product too for the shower door usage.

    Here’s a tip I accidentally discovered for making water run off shower doors and keep them from getting so much soap scum build up. After your doors are clean, spread some inexpensive hair conditioner on them. I just used my hand. Then rinse it off with water. It’ll leave a slight “film” on the glass which helps repel water/soap scum. How long does that last? Hard to say…using the shower frequently will probably wash off this ‘protective film’ sooner than a shower that’s used less frequently.

    Wondering how I ‘accidentally discovered’ this? One day I inadvertently squirted some conditioner onto the glass doors and later noticed that area was much cleaner than anywhere else. For those of you who use hair coloring that comes with those small tubes of conditioner, that stuff works great! (Seems I never use them up so I have quite a few laying around.)

    Now I’m wondering…..would this work on a clear shower curtain too? Hmmmm….. I’ll have to try that one of these days ;-)

    • Jeff Patterson October 29, 2012, 7:12 AM

      That’s a great story Connie. Thanks so much for sharing this tip. I love finding uses for all the different products we use. That’s exactly what I was thinking when I decided to use Rain-X. Some of the best inventions were discovered by accident. Let us know if you do try this on the shower curtain. I’m too afraid to use my wife’s old hair products on the shower doors, not because I might hard the doors but because I might get harmed myself if you know what I mean.

  • susan October 28, 2012, 11:03 PM

    Will this hurt the protective glass coating on the shower door? (Lost my users guide).

    • Jeff Patterson October 29, 2012, 7:14 AM

      Great question Susan, I’m not sure and if there’s any doubt that it will I would try something else. I can tell you that the baking soda/vinegar paste did not harm my glass shower doors.

  • char October 29, 2012, 11:02 AM

    what cleans the grout between tiles on shower floor and between glass blocks in shower???? thanks

    • Jeff Patterson October 30, 2012, 6:26 AM

      This is one of the next questions that I’ll be tackling because our shower tile isn’t looking so great :(

      The research I did recommends using oxygen bleach with warm water. Use about 1/2 cup of powdered oxygen bleach (think AJAX) with 1 gallon of water and mix them together. Then pour this solution on top of your tile and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes use a stiff bristle brush to agitate the grout. You should pour additional mixture on top of the grout where necessary.

      I haven’t tried this yet but will soon put together a tutorial to test the results. Other people have recommended using baking soda/vinegar as well. I’ve also toyed with using hand cleaner with pumice in it.

      • Janelle August 6, 2013, 11:10 PM

        I used a Clorox bleach bathroom cleaner and my tile turned white. The thing is: did it truly get cleaned or did all the dirt just turn white? Regardless bleach is the best stuff. I just sprayed it everywhere and let it sit. Then scrubbed the trouble areas and rinsed with the shower head.

        • Jeff Patterson August 7, 2013, 10:05 AM

          Hi Janelle,

          It’s hard to say but I bet your grout got clean. Hey, if it looks good and the bleach isn’t ruining the grout or tile then you have a wonderful solution. Great job!!

          Jeff

  • DD October 29, 2012, 3:26 PM

    Hi Jeff! I’ve used vinegar and vinegar/baking soda for lots of household cleaning over the years. They work fantastic! Vinegar is good for cleaning windows, too. My Mom taught me a trick many years ago for keeping the tile clean in shower or tub surround. She used to clean it thoroughly and dry it, then apply car wax to the tile walls and buff it up. A little work up front, but lasts a really long time, and the tile just sparkles. Would not try this on natural stone unless it’s polished, and you really should use stone and grout sealer on natural products.

    • Jeff Patterson October 30, 2012, 6:29 AM

      Wow! Thanks DD for the great tip on how to keep tiles and grout looking good. Do you have a specific car wax that you use with great results like Turtle Wax? And do you recommend using the kind of wax that comes with its own pad or is a liquid wax okay as well. I have some car products sitting in my garage but would definitely go out and but a $5 product to save time in the shower.

      I just love all the great stories of using other products meant for completely different uses in the the home. It makes me feel like MacGyver or something :)

      • DD October 30, 2012, 5:36 PM

        I do like Turtle Wax on my car, so that’s what I usually use, but really any product you have available is fine. Either paste or liquid with an applicator sponge (or a clean household sponge, lightly dampened). The paste if applied lightly enough really buffs up nicely. (I am getting old and I have even “cheated” by using a buffer I bought to use on the car, too!) The point is that you are trying to put a wax barrier between your hard work and soap scum and mineral deposits so that it doesn’t need cleaning so often. I have found in a tile surround that if I regularly remember to squeegee or towel dry it lasts a really long time. I did mine a year ago and it still looks great, so even if you have to do it every 3-4 months, that’s still better than all the scrubbing I used to have to do!

        • Jeff Patterson October 31, 2012, 7:02 AM

          This is a great tip DD. Thank you so much for sharing. I have the liquid Turtle wax sitting in my garage just waiting to be used in the shower :). We also have a squeegee in our shower, haha. One of the big takeaways in your comment, and something I’ve learned, is that working smart and taking action in the form of small steps really helps eliminate big headaches.

  • Kathy Borem October 29, 2012, 11:24 PM

    Need all the help I can get. Thanks

    • Jeff Patterson October 30, 2012, 6:30 AM

      Glad we could all help you Kathy. If you ever have any questions please feel free to stop by Home Repair Tutor and ask away. I love all the comments on this post because it shows that collectively we can all help each other. Hope you’re having a great day.

  • Wendy Burke December 27, 2012, 9:41 PM

    I dont have shower doors, but I am desperate to know how to keep my shower liner to last longer??

    • Jeff Patterson December 27, 2012, 10:43 PM

      I feel your pain Wendy. When the liner gets discolored it’s hard to do anything else other than run out to Bed Bath and Beyond.

      You may want to try out Wet and Forget Shower. The directions say it’s safe to apply to liners and most anything else. Here’s the link to their website http://wetandforget.com/product_wet_and_forget_shower.html

      I just started using this product and have been impressed. My current trial is in week 2 of 8 but the product has already begun to work. Let me know what you think.

  • Alison December 28, 2012, 9:50 AM

    I use dryer sheets to clean the shower doors, while in the shower. Anti-static agent works wonders on soap scum. Just wet the dryer sheet and wipe doors down, then rinse.

    • Jeff Patterson December 29, 2012, 1:14 PM

      Wow, this is a great tip Alison. Thanks so much for adding your awesome idea.

      How often do you use the dryer sheets-once per week, every two weeks, etc?

      Have you noticed a certain brand that works best?

      • Linda June 14, 2013, 7:06 AM

        I do this too and it really does work well!

        • Jeff Patterson June 17, 2013, 6:34 AM

          Thanks Linda for letting me know that it works for you as well. Let me know if you have any additional tips :)

  • Brenda B December 30, 2012, 12:24 PM

    Thanks for the tip, I’ll be trying it today!

    • Jeff Patterson December 30, 2012, 1:36 PM

      You’re welcome Brenda, please let’s know how it works out.

      If you discover a great tip please share it with me. I’m always on the lookout for nifty ideas.

      Hope you’re having a great day :)

  • Yvonne Menard January 3, 2013, 10:12 PM

    Please sign me up for your newsletter.

    • Jeff Patterson January 5, 2013, 8:21 AM

      Sure thing Yvonne. Thank you for being interested and I hope you’re having a great day.

      Please let me know if you need anything else or would like a tutorial on a topic that you are interested in :)

  • Terry Ryan January 21, 2013, 10:51 AM

    Hi,
    What I use and works great with no mess is this formula. 1/2 Cup of Dawn dish detergent mixed with HOT white vinegar and spray on your shower doors. Wait 4 hours and rinse it off. Works like magic.
    Try it!
    Lots of love,
    Terry Ryan

    • Jeff Patterson January 21, 2013, 11:54 AM

      Thanks Terry.

      How much vinegar do you use with the 1/2 cup of Dawn? And do you use the blue variety of Dawn or another version?

      Sorry for the questions but this sounds like an awesome recipe and I want to get it right :)

  • Tuesday January 21, 2013, 11:38 AM

    Please sign me up for future cleaning tips, thanks!

    • Jeff Patterson January 21, 2013, 11:57 AM

      Hi Tuesday, I can do that.

      Just an FYI, you’ll be getting emails about once per week and they’ll be on different DIY topics.

      Thanks for dropping in :)

  • maria elena lara January 21, 2013, 12:40 PM

    please sign me up for diy topics!

    • Jeff Patterson January 22, 2013, 5:27 AM

      Hi Maria, you’ve been added to the email list.

      You’ll get an email about once per week on different DIY topics. It will be very short and sweet (it will take all of 1 minute to read).

      Hopefully what I have to share will help you in some way. If you have your own ideas don’t hesitate to add them to any comment section :)

  • Margaret January 27, 2013, 12:44 PM

    Thanks. Looks much easier & less expensive than Sparkle. Love the idea of using Rain-X too!

    • Jeff Patterson January 27, 2013, 4:09 PM

      Glad to help Margaret.

      If you use Rain-X please let me know how it works out, good or bad.

      So far we’ve had great success with it.

  • Bill Soukup February 13, 2013, 9:34 PM

    There is a new “green” cleaner from Bioworx.us that dissolves soap scum. They show laboratory proof on their web site with interesting photos. It just melted the soap scum off of my shower door when none of the other cleaners I tried did anything. I purchased the Biowox shower cleaner on Amazon.

    • Jeff Patterson February 14, 2013, 12:18 PM

      Thanks Bill for bringing this product to our attention. It sounds like a good one to try out.

  • Jill helms March 2, 2013, 9:51 PM

    Hi Jeff, any suggestions on whitening the shower surround and removing the yellowing stains?

  • marisposa March 5, 2013, 7:46 PM

    I am going to try this on my shower door and green marble in the shower!

  • Connie K. March 28, 2013, 3:25 PM

    marisposa, I think I read that you shouldn’t use this mixture on marble. So proceed cautiously.

    • Jeff Patterson March 28, 2013, 10:16 PM

      You’re right to be cautious with marble. If you’ve got a scrap piece it’s best to test whatever chemical you’d like to use. Marble is very porous and susceptible to staining.

  • Harry April 1, 2013, 6:15 PM

    Jeff,
    Thanks for your sharing. It’s nothing but professional stuff. I also like your smile too.

  • sharon May 12, 2013, 12:20 PM

    This is a great tip. I love all those fancy floor to ceiling shower shown in decor magazines but always thought they would be a pain to keep clean. Now I know how.

    • Jeff Patterson May 12, 2013, 10:08 PM

      I share your fear Sharon. Those huge showers with all the tile and grout look like a big pain to clean but now there are easy ways to keep them looking good.

  • Dodie May 13, 2013, 6:51 PM

    You do not have to clean up the baking powder vinegar paste. Rinse it down the drain with hot water. Helps keep the drains clean.

  • Linda June 14, 2013, 6:56 AM

    Shower liners can be washed in your washer, regular soap and bleach can be used and throw it in the dryer for a minute to knock of excess water, then hang to dry. I’ve been doing this for many years.

  • Unicorn June 30, 2013, 6:01 AM

    These soap scums on our Bathroom walls are driving me crazy,I can’t wait to try this out !!Thanks!!

    • Jeff Patterson June 30, 2013, 8:15 AM

      I hope it helps you, soap scum has the same effect on me!!
      :)

      Jeff

      • Unicorn June 30, 2013, 11:18 AM

        Wow,Just wow!!! I tried this and it was great,thank you sooooo much!!!
        my mom uses white vinegar to clean water deposits on faucets etc. but it didn’t work for soap scums.But this combination was great.Thank you again!!! ;)

        • Jeff Patterson June 30, 2013, 1:45 PM

          Way super duper cool!! It’s always rewarding to use a cleaning solution that is just that, a solution.
          :)

          Jeff

  • elida July 9, 2013, 11:30 PM

    I like your cleaning ideas

  • mary winslow July 12, 2013, 11:29 AM

    Will this combination damage the finish on my granite shower threshold?

    • Jeff Patterson July 13, 2013, 9:20 PM

      The nest thing to do is test a small area that can’t easily be seen. I’m thinking the granite will be fine. We have marble thresholds in our should and they’re notoriously sensitive to stains. But they made it through this experiment unscathed.
      :)

      Jeff

  • Mayuly correa July 13, 2013, 7:52 AM

    Justa want to sign up for new ideas
    Thanks

    • Jeff Patterson July 13, 2013, 9:18 PM

      No problem Mayuly. I added you to my newsletter and hope the ideas in them help you with your own DIY projects.
      :)

      Jeff

  • JulieU July 13, 2013, 10:25 AM

    Great video. I’ve used vinegar and baking soda, but I did not know to let it sit for a while before cleaning it off.
    Another thing that has helped tremendously is installing water filters. We have two filters at the water entry point that filter sediment and chemicals. We have lived here 7 hears and have never had any buildup on the shower head. The water also doesn’t taste like chemicals. We got our filter system at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

    • Jeff Patterson July 13, 2013, 9:16 PM

      Thanks Julie for your tip on installing a water filter. What kind do you have? I’d love to know because we have really hard water that creates tons of issues all over the house. I hate mineral buildup that accumulates on the faucet handles. It drives me nuts.
      :)

      Jeff

  • kristin July 13, 2013, 11:51 AM

    This is awesome thank you so much!!!

    • Jeff Patterson July 13, 2013, 9:07 PM

      Thanks Kristin, I hope it helps you out with your own shower. But something tells me you have it under control.
      :)

      Jeff

  • Shelley Stepp July 13, 2013, 1:47 PM

    sign me up

  • Shelley Stepp July 13, 2013, 1:52 PM

    I’m currently trying this same mixture on old pet stains on the carpet. Sign me up for the emails.

    • Jeff Patterson July 13, 2013, 8:55 PM

      Hey Shelley, let me know if it works on pet stains because that’s always a huge issue for many homeowners. Hope it helps you. Btw, I added you to my email newsletter like you asked.

      :)

      Jeff

    • Louise July 16, 2013, 8:56 AM

      Shelley, I’ve got old pet stains and other “mystery” stains on my carpet. Does this solution really work? I’ve tried everything, but not this Do you have to let it sit til dry then vacuum? Do you rub it in? Please let me know how you use it. Thanks!

    • Brandy September 30, 2013, 5:48 PM

      I have very light not quite white carpet and two german shepherds ( I know what was I thinking) actually the carpet came with the house… kinda cheap it seams. dogs are elderly house trained, but always a chance of an accident. anyway, personally I use 1 scoop of oxyclean, 1/4 cup baking soda, hottest tap water and vinegar (maybe 1/2 cup) scrub the stain and walk away… a lot of it disappears as it dries. The only problem I have is with this light carpet, I immediately know when I need to shampoo the whole carpet cause I’ll have a really clean spot. also like to sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and put vinegar in the water of the shampooer, and just let them mix as the shampooer does all the work. (do not put the baking soda in the shampooer…. big issues with the little spray ports)

      • Jeff Patterson October 13, 2013, 9:14 PM

        Hey Brandi,

        Great tips here!! You always have “cleantastic” ideas that help us. Thanks so much.

        Jeff

  • Sandy July 13, 2013, 6:30 PM

    Please add me to your newsletter for DIY and Cleaning tips. Thanks

    • Jeff Patterson July 13, 2013, 8:35 PM

      Thanks Sandy, I added you to my email newsletter. Hope you had a great day. And by all means let me know if you’re working on a DIY project and need some tips. I’d be more than happy to help you in any way.
      :)

      Jeff

  • Kelly Jones July 15, 2013, 1:25 AM

    Your tip for cleaning shower door is timely. My daughter just moved out and her shower in her bathe room has soap scum. I will be utilizing this tip tomorrow. Thanks Jeff!

    • Jeff Patterson July 27, 2013, 4:33 PM

      Hi Kelly,

      Glad the tips will be put to good use. If you find something that works better please let me know. Hope the move went well.

      Jeff

  • Rosaleen Healy July 15, 2013, 11:13 AM

    Unfortunately many of the products you mention are not on sale under the same brand names here, but I love the natural solutions!
    One question though, why on earth would you have old baking soda and be keeping it in the fridge?
    Pease sign me up!

    • Jeff Patterson July 20, 2013, 5:27 AM

      Hi Rosaleen,

      Good question with regard to the baking soda-LOL. We just forgot to remove it from the fridge and at the time I was seemed to remember seeing baking soda next to my yogurt. And sure enough it was sitting there. So I used it :)

      Hope the tips in my emails help you out.

      Jeff

    • Jane September 19, 2013, 10:59 AM

      Baking soda is an air deodorizer. It helps absorb random smells when kept in the fridge. Just open the top of the box a little and put it in the back of the fridge. The fridge we have here makes a box in which the side pulls off and exposes a screen to freshen the air without the chance of the box tipping and spilling in it

  • vjg July 15, 2013, 1:49 PM

    sign me up!

  • carrie July 21, 2013, 9:55 AM

    I have used both by themselves but never together. btw the soap scum is avoided if you avoid using soap derrrr at least commercial stuff whick contains hardening agents that leave the chalky residue on the shower. I threw out the Cussons imperial my husband used and relpaced it with soft homemade goats milk soap which is just lovely. Bingo most of the soap scum is cured.

    • Jeff Patterson July 24, 2013, 6:50 AM

      Thanks Carrie for the soap recommendation. Goat milk soap is indeed silky smooth. We use liquid soap by Aveeno and this has helped out tremendously, too.
      :)

      Jeff

  • sally July 25, 2013, 7:41 AM

    Add me to your mailing list!

    • Jeff Patterson July 27, 2013, 4:31 PM

      Hi Sally,

      Thanks for asking to be put on my newsletter list. I just added your name and you’ll get one pretty much every Sunday. Unless I’m sick or something. Which fortunately is rare since my kids put my immune system through the ringer the last few years-LOL.

      Jeff

  • Kirsten McCulloch August 1, 2013, 2:51 AM

    Hi Jeff,

    Can you explain a little more about the chemistry here for me? Or correct me if I have this wrong. As I understand it, the vinegar is reacting with the bicarb to form a dilute solution of sodium acetate (basically salt), with the C02 fizzing off. The paste you have left is basically the left over sodium bicarbonate plus that dilute salt solution.

    Does the sodium acetate actually have a cleaning effect on it’s own? Because I see so many people recommending adding vinegar to baking soda (or washing soda, aka sodium carbonate), and so many others dissing it because you have just neutralised your vinegar (you’d have to use a lot of vinegar to neutralise all the sodium bicarbonate). Or could you really just add some water to the baking soda to form a paste. What do you think?

    • Jeff Patterson August 3, 2013, 10:07 AM

      Hi Kirsten,

      There is a ton of information about this age old cleaning solution. There are many different ways to approach your question. Strictly speaking, you should have water and sodium acetate left over after the vinegar and baking soda are combined. But, if you add way more vinegar than baking soda it’s possible to have a lot of vinegar still in your container. As such, the vinegar will still provide an acidic cleaning solution and the sodium acetate adds an abrasive quality to your paste that cuts through soap scum.

      Thus, I still think this cleaning tip warrants a try. Afterall, it’s safe and can offer a good starting point for cleaning anything in your bathroom.

      Hope this helps.
      :)

      Jeff

  • john August 1, 2013, 12:20 PM

    You should never use anything acidic on marble or any other limestone for that matter. The reason is that acid is corrosive to limestones. If your surface is polished, it will lose its shine an turn dull. The good news is that it can be restored and it is not even too difficult as diy job. I have polished marble myself and I am not a professional.

    • Jeff Patterson August 3, 2013, 9:41 AM

      Hi John,

      Thanks so much for bringing this to everyone’s attention. It would stink to ruin a nice piece of limestone or marble. Particularly since it can be hard to match up different materials of this type. How did you go about polishing your marble?

      Jeff

  • Marita Sobotka August 17, 2013, 9:45 AM

    thanks for the tip I have been fighting soap scum for ever I hope this works

  • Quality Cleaning chemicals in Brisbane August 24, 2013, 12:33 AM

    Great tip! Great chemistry lesson! Vinegar and baking soda can really do wonders in removing glass stains.

  • Nancy August 29, 2013, 10:36 AM

    Thanks, I am going to try your shower door cleaning idea.

    • Jeff Patterson September 2, 2013, 9:39 PM

      Hey Nancy,

      Let me know how it turns out and if you have your own tips to share :)

      Jeff

  • Nancy August 30, 2013, 11:16 AM

    Does anyone know if the acidic vinegar is okay to use on slate tile?

  • Hazel September 5, 2013, 7:01 PM

    Wow, this worked so well, thankyou

  • Sparkle & Shine November 1, 2013, 9:21 PM

    I own a cleaning company and we use this solution (baking soda and vinegar) in the toilets as well. Put vinegar in a spray bottle, spray in toilet bowl, sprinkle baking soda, let sit and wash with toilet brush. Another tip is bar soap vs shower gel. Bar soap has a lot of fat to keep bar held together. Using body washes almost eliminate soap scum entirely.

    • Jeff Patterson November 2, 2013, 7:32 AM

      Thanks for the tips and it’s good to know the pros use this, too.

  • Krish November 29, 2013, 1:08 AM

    Hello Jeff,
    You have done good work on this blog. I watched complete video; I think anyone can take practically knowledge about soap scum from your informative video. Thanks

    • Jeff Patterson November 30, 2013, 5:02 PM

      Thanks Krish for watching the complete video. Admittedly it’s not my best but I hope it helps :)

  • Rachel December 20, 2013, 9:21 PM

    Great video

    • Jeff Patterson December 21, 2013, 7:46 AM

      Thanks Rachel. I’m stoked that you like it. It could be better, especially my hair – lol. I forgot to comb it that morning.

      Oh well, that’s life.

  • Venus Smith January 2, 2014, 5:48 AM

    Thanks for the advice :D Just wanted to mention that I found a surprising number of professional companies actually use natural and/or non-harsh chemicals as part of their service. As a disabled person I find this a great middle ground. I can personally recommend carpet cleaning birmingham but there are plenty on Google if you’re not in the area.

    • Jeff Patterson January 4, 2014, 7:55 AM

      Thanks Venus for your comments. It’s good to know that pros use natural products. Especially since they help clean so many homes and places of business.

  • Kori January 26, 2014, 12:05 AM

    Sign me up for your cleaning tips please!

    • Jeff Patterson January 26, 2014, 6:26 AM

      Will do Kori, the newsletter also covers a lot of different home repair tips. So I wanted to let you know that you’ll get more than just cleaning ideas :)

  • Kathleen March 18, 2014, 3:02 PM

    As I live in Brazil, I appreciate finding use for homemade products as we can’t buy a lot of the products I see mentioned in many cleaning tips. Even baking soda here is sold in small packages and is primarily used for baking, so I need to look for some supply store where I might buy it in bulk. We also don’t have dryer sheets, so I use a combination of vinegar and lavender oil for softening clothes.
    Maybe I should look for a novel use for things like guaraná, coffee powder, açaí, and things like that!

    • Jeff Patterson March 19, 2014, 5:07 AM

      That would great Kathleen, let me know if you do figure out how to use those things to clean naturally. I’d be super interested to hear how it goes and many people are in the same situation as yourself.

      Keep me posted :)

  • Tracy March 19, 2014, 2:44 PM

    Will this work on smooth glass doors as well? Thanks for the tip!

    • Jeff Patterson March 29, 2014, 9:05 AM

      I haven’t tried it on smooth glass Tracy?

      Is your glass clear or semi-transparent?

  • Suzanne March 28, 2014, 2:40 PM

    Hi Jeff,
    Do you have any tips for cleaning the outside of a sliding glass shower door. On the inside, it’s easy to rinse everything off, but it’s harder to remove all of the cleaning product from the outside. Thanks!

    • Jeff Patterson March 29, 2014, 8:53 AM

      I would do the exact same process on the outside of the door Suzanne and lay some towels on the floor to absorb the cleaning solution.

      Are you worried about the floor getting wet or something else?

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