Soap scum is that sticky white film around your sinks or in your bathroom. If you have hard water and you use bar soap in the shower, you’re bound to see soap scum buildup around your tub or a cloudy film on your shower door. You might even notice it on your skin or in your hair too. Because soap scum is always building on itself, you’ll never stop cleaning it if you can’t even stop it from forming. That’s why you need to know why you’re getting the stuff in the first place.
About Soap Scum
Soap scum forms when soap interacts with the minerals in your tap water. It sounds simple enough, but don’t be fooled—soap scum is nothing like actual soap. It doesn’t lather, and it isn’t clean. It’s not made of any sticky, leftover soap flakes around your bathroom either.
Soap scum is a precipitate, which means it doesn’t dissolve in water. This makes it tricky to remove, and nearly impossible to prevent when your home uses hard water. Some people suggest drying your tub or shower after each use to help prevent soap scum from sticking, but this doesn’t really address your primary issue with soap scum: hard water.
Common Hard Water Issues
You’ll know you have hard water if you’re experiencing any of these issues in your bathroom: water spots on your glass shower, dullness on your faucets, or (of course) pasty soap scum around your tub or sink. Struggling to get your soap and water to lather is another quick way to gauge your water’s hardness.
Here in Indiana we have notoriously hard water. It’s called that because hard water is “hard” to clean with. Soap doesn’t work well in hard water because the calcium, iron, and magnesium minerals in our tap water have ions that react with soap’s chemistry. These hard water minerals bind to soap particles and create scaly substances that refuse to dissolve in water—that’s the soap scum.
Home remedies for cleaning soap scum around your bathroom usually rely on vinegar and a scrub brush, but you can also use a combination of vinegar, baking soda, and salt to make an abrasive slurry. There are other organic cleaners as well, but dealing with hard water is the only way to get rid of your soap scum for good. If you’re not combating your water’s hardness levels, the soap scum will just keep coming back.
Why Soft Water Can Help
For people living in areas that claim to pre-soften their water, having to clean soap scum can be especially frustrating . Places like Carmel, Indiana simply can’t keep up with the wide demand for soft water. As water hardness becomes more and more apparent, most homeowners decide to rent or buy a water softener of their own. The water treatment facilities can’t go through the necessary steps for “pre-softening” water well enough for every single home, so it’s usually better to have your own system.
Treating your tap water with an in-home personal softener is the only real way to keep soap scum out of your bathroom. Dealing with hard water can cause a lot of problems throughout your home, but installing a softener system takes care of hard water issues right away. Plus, soft water has a lot of other great benefits. You’ll see your soap lathers better with soft water, you’ll start noticing that your hair is smoother, and have an easier time with cleaning, too.
If you’re struggling with soap scum and hard water, know there’s an end in sight! A water softener ensures you’re getting truly soft water every day, all throughout your home, and stops soap scum from ever forming. With soft water, you’ll never have to clean tough scale or soap scum in your home ever again.