How to clean shower bathtub & curtain soap scum & mildew – Fast Easy NO scrub bathroom lifehack DIY

Blog_DIY_How to clean shower bathtub & curtain soap scum & deposits - Fast Easy NO scrub bathroom lifehack DIY

Scrubbing and Cleaning the shower/bathroom is a horrible way to spend your time doing something you hate!  Not only is it tedious but can be back-breaking too!  So read on to find out how you can clean your shower, glass shower doors, shower curtains, bathtub and more with this powerful, cheap and safe cleaning solution!  It’s easy and you don’t need to scrub anymore.  Get rid of soap scum, mildew, mineral deposits/hard water stains and limescale now!


Bathroom with soap scum, mineral deposits and mildew to be cleaned

This is a 2-part method consisting of

  1. ) the DIY cleaning solution, and
  2. ) the DIY Cleaning steps,

so make sure to follow and use BOTH!

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There are many products on store shelves that claim to make this job easy for you but some don’t work.  Others may work but you really don’t need any of these because you most likely have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen to make this powerful but safe cleaning solution that I’ll be showing you.

For more insights, tips and additional ways to use and enhance this method check out the last section of this post! 

Check out our YouTube video to see the steps in action!

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Before you begin...

Caution:  As with any cleaning products, please be careful and rinse any cleaning products or splash back off your skin, body or clothes during and after cleaning to prevent hurting yourself.

Always turn on the ventilation fan and if the smell from the cleaning solution gets too strong leave the bathroom and get fresh air.

when using the spray do not breathe in the mist as you do not want cleaning solution in your lungs.

The Cleaning method and steps

Before we get started… As with any cleaning products, please be careful and rinse any cleaning products or splash back off your skin or body during and after cleaning to prevent hurting yourself.

Let’s get started.  The magic cleaning solution that works so well is a mixture of white vinegar with water and dish soap detergent.  This makes a very potent cleaning solution because the vinegar, being a weak acid, is able to break down the soap scum, mildew and mineral deposits from hard water.

The keep to this cleaning method is to use this solution properly.  This includes following the steps below to let the solution soak on the surface to be cleaned.  This give the vinegar time react and to work it’s magic.

Once the soap scum, mildew and deposits break down, they can be easily wiped away without the need for vigorous or time consuming scrubbing.

See below for how to make this cleaning solution.

Before you use the solution, make sure to use warm water to rinse the entire surface to be cleaned (Shower, bathtub, curtains, shower doors).  This will help to prep the surface for the cleaning solution to start working when applied.

Before you apply the solution, make sure the washroom is well ventilated and that the fan is turned on (If there is one).

Spray the cleaning solution liberally all over, starting from top to bottom, working on small sections at a time.  You want to make sure there is enough solution applied such that you can see it stick to the surface.

With enough cleaning solution sprayed on the surface, it is now time to let the solution work its magic.  Let it soak for 10 – 15 minutes.  Leave the bathroom and go do something else, rest, have a coffee or tea!  You don’t have to stay there and stare at it for it to clean for you.

You can check up on it here and there to make sure the solution does not dry up/evaporate.  If it starts to dry up, then make sure to spray some more to moisten the surface.

This is the “KEY” step as it is the vinegar doing the work for you so that you don’t have to do the heavy lifting of scrubbing your arms off!  So make sure to not skip this step.

After the soak, take a sponge and wipe the surface back and forth to start removing the soap scum.  You can use some warm water to rinse as you wipe.

After you finish wiping, you can do a final rinse with warm water.

Check to see how clean the surface is.  If you still have stubborn soap scum, deposits or mildew left then you should repeat steps 3 – 6 a few times.

Check below for some insights and additional tips to use.

The great thing about this method is that once you start using this lifehack to clean your bathroom, it will get easier and easier over time.  You may not remove everything the first time, but that’s OK.  Every time you clean your bathroom this way, more and more of the stubborn soap scum & stains get removed.  Eventually, you won’t even need to do much at all and it will be very quick to clean.

How to make this cleaning solution

Find a spare and clean spray bottle that you can use.  Then mix the following within:

  • 1/2 white vinegar
  • 1/2 warm water
  • 2 Tbsp dish soap detergent of your choice

Note that you can make the concentration of the vinegar higher than the water if you have really stubborn soap scum, deposits or mildew.  And you can add more dish soap if you want.  Note that none of the measurements need to be exact (You’re not baking a cake), so eyeball it if it makes it easier for you.

After thoroughly mixing the ingredients, the solution is ready for use.

Follow the steps above to clean your shower, bathtub, shower curtains or glass doors with ease.
Happy cleaning!


Tips, Insights and more...

  • Always wear gloves and mask
  • Ventilate the area well.  If the smell is too overwhelming leave and let it air out.
  • At any point of the process, try not to let the solution on the surfaces dry up as that will also leave a residue.  If it dries up you may have to do a little more wiping with rinsing.  Spray more solution if the surface dries before the 10 – 15 minute interval or while you are wiping to prevent drying up.  This will help ensure the solution continues to work its magic which equals less work for you!
  • You will have to be careful with any bare metal in the tub.  Sometimes the tub or faucet is made of metal that can rust and the coating has been chipped off.  For example, some older tubs are metal with a ceramic coating or the faucet has chrome plating that has chipped off.  In those cases, you should get those fixed or the vinegar solution could accelerate the rusting process.
  • Install a hand held shower head.  A hand held shower head makes the cleaning easier and also helps for the next tip.  If you don’t have a hand held shower head you can use a container to pour water down the walls or shower curtain.
  • To prevent the soap scum and deposits from forming too quickly after every shower, use a hand held shower head to quickly rinse the walls of the bathtub from top to bottom.  This will remove leftover shampoo and soap that splashed on the walls and curtains when you showered.  Doing this will make it longer for soap scum to form between washings.  Some people also use a squeegee to wipe away the water after shower.  I would recommend to use both as it can reduce the number of times you have to clean the shower in a year.
  • Air out the shower curtain after your shower so that water evaporates off faster.  Don’t close it or have it bunched up so that the water can’t evaporate fast and it stays wet longer.  This promotes mildew and bacteria growth… Eww!
  • Don’t worry about the vinegar smell as it will dissipate after you rinse and let dry.
  • Some people say to use Baking soda, but I don’t fully agree with that.  The baking soda reacts with the vinegar and the end product of the reaction is water and carbon dioxide.  The vinegar can be used up in the chemical reaction thereby lessening its effectiveness.  I would suggest instead to make a paste using water, dish soap and baking soda to be used instead.  Baking soda is like a mild abrasive that can be used to polish away stains.  Some toothpastes use baking soda for this purpose too.
  • Set the spray bottle setting to not mist the solution too much.  If it creates tiny mists it will dry up too quickly and won’t do its job.  Also, a fine mist can also be breathed in easier and you don’t want to do that as it may cause irritation in your lungs and nasal passage.
  • If you have very tough stains you can repeat steps 3 – 4 multiple times before completing the remaining steps.  This will allow the solution to help break down the mildew, soap scum and mineral deposits better before you actually put any wiping effort into it.