Soap scum can be a nuisance, especially if you think you are doing an adequate job of cleaning your tub or shower. If soap scum is overtaking your bathroom and you've tried just about every product on the market, your leftover dryer sheets can come in handy. Next time you are tempted to throw out your used dryer sheets, give them a second life and use them to clean soap scum off your tub or shower.
Dryer Sheets and Soap Scum
When you think of dryer sheets, you may immediately think their only use is to keep your clothes soft and smelling nice and fresh. Dryer sheets can be used for a variety of things, though, and they do a pretty good job of getting rid of caked soap scum. The reason dryer sheets work well at cleaning soap scum is due to the chemicals they contain. Dryer sheet chemicals soften soap scum and smudges on shower doors.
If you have leftover dryer sheets lying around and there's soap scum in your shower or on your tub, all you have to do is wet a dryer sheet under warm water. Then rub the wet dryer sheet on the dry glass or tub. As soon as the wet dryer sheet comes into contact with the soap scum, the soap scum should start to peel off your tub or shower. The more you rub the area, the more the soap scum will peel away.
Once the soap scum is lifted, you can rinse your tub or shower with warm water. Make sure you rinse the area thoroughly so the chemicals from the dryer sheets do not stick to the tub or shower. To ensure all of the dryer sheet chemicals are gone, you can follow up by cleaning your tub or shower with an all-purpose bathroom cleaner.
Dryer Sheet Benefits
Using dryer sheets won't damage your tub or shower because you are using less force to lift the soap scum. If you think back to the times you've tried to clean soap scum off your tub or shower, you may be guilty of roughly scrubbing the soap scum.
Dryer sheets will easily lift the soap scum so you won't damage your tub or shower in the long run. If you notice soap scum on your shower curtain, sink or tiles, you can use dryer sheets to clean these areas as well.
Preventing Soap Scum
Soap scum forms due to the buildup of body soap, and it's harder to clean when hard water, body oils and skin cells enter the equation. To prevent soap scum, try not to use bar soap and liquid shower gels with paraffin, because paraffin produces soap scum. Also, try to clean your shower regularly. Cleaning your shower or tub multiple times a week will reduce the amount of soap scum that builds up.
To make things easier on yourself, you can make a daily shower spray with white vinegar, water, a little bit of dish soap and a couple of drops of citrus essential oil. For caked-on soap scum, you can also clean the area with ammonia or baking soda.
If you're using ammonia, make sure the area is well ventilated and mix 1 part ammonia with 2 parts water in a spray bottle. Spray this solution on the soap scum, wipe it clean and rinse the area thoroughly with water. Or create a thick paste using baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the scum, scrub the area and then rinse with water.