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REALLY bad soap scum

Posted by rivkadr (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 19, 10 at 13:23

At least, I think it's soap scum -- maybe it's hard water or something else. Our shower door is clear glass, and to be honest, we've never been really good about cleaning it regularly. There's now water/soap spots on it that I've trying like crazy to get off, to no avail. I've tried Scrubbing Bubbles, and this stuff called Eliminate, and gotten nowhere so far. Those spots are on there good! Anyone got any ideas/suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: REALLY bad soap scum

We've really bad water here and we have done two things.

(1)With most showers we can get a shower rod and put it above the door and hang a washable shower curtain liner inside the door. We hang a decorative shower curtain outside the door and for all visual intent and purposes there are no doors. This won't work for some showers in the corner and for some showers that are not above a tub.

(2) We use liquid body cleaners. Have discontinued bar soap exclusively.

BTW. A footnote. I don't recall seeing a shower door in a hotel or motel. I sure someplace has them but in the three states where I travel I just don't see shower doors in hotels and motels, just a curtain. During a reservations mixup I got shuffled into a room usually charging $348 per night and guess what, no shower door, just a curtain.


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RE: REALLY bad soap scum

My guess is that your problem is hard water. The Scrubbing Bubbles should have helped. Did you leave the product on the glass for several minutes to give it time to work? Did you scrub it with a plastic scrubbie before rinsing, or just rinse - the scrubbing is important. And, you need to look at your watch and not guess that five minutes or so has passed.

Generally an acid based cleaner will remove hard water stains unless the glass has been etched. Vinegar is good, but it is hard to keep a thin liquid on a vertical surface. I like Comet Bathroom Spray. Whatever product you use, check to see that it is acid based.

You might also try a Mr Clean Magic Eraser.

I like putting Lemon Oil furniture polish on bathroom surfaces - it's cheap and works well. It will make light spots disappear and everything will shine, but you should try to clean with the other products first.

Here is a link that might be useful: Holloway House Lemon Oil


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RE: REALLY bad soap scum

Certain water will actually etch the glass over time. I know of one town near here where the water is so awful it etches shower doors and corroded the metal.
Chances are that it's hard water scum....but it could be etching that you are seeing.


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RE: REALLY bad soap scum

It sounds crazy, but I have scraped with a razor blade. This works really well. And non-toxic. It's like scraping off paint. Then I wiped down with Mr Clean eraser ( which is very toxic-it uses formaldahyde-so wear gloves if you have sensative skin.


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RE: REALLY bad soap scum

juliekcmo's comments about the Mr. Clean Magic eraser are incorrect. See the link below from snopes.com about the product.

I imagine you should wear gloves with any cleaning product if you have sensitive hands, however.

Here is a link that might be useful: Snopes.com


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RE: REALLY bad soap scum

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RE: REALLY bad soap scum

If you google mr clean magic eraser msds, and then link to the material safety data sheet, you will see that it does contain formaldahyde.

So maybe not toxic per the law. But it does contain formaldahyde.

Just want folks to know.

Here is a link that might be useful: material safety data sheet


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RE: REALLY bad soap scum

Juliekcmo, according all available records, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser does not contain formaldehyde. It contains Formaldehyde-Melamine-Sodium Bisulfite Copolymer, which contained formaldehyde in it, the MSDS would look like this:

Here is a link that might be useful: MSDS for Formaldehyde


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different chemical

Oops, a line dropped out of what I was trying to write. What I meant to type is:

Juliekcmo, according all available records, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser does not contain formaldehyde. It contains Formaldehyde-Melamine-Sodium Bisulfite Copolymer, which is a completely different chemical. If it contained formaldehyde in it, the MSDS would look like this:

Here is a link that might be useful: MSDS for Formaldehyde


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RE: REALLY bad soap scum

Well to sidestep this debate, just wanted to add that the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is *by far* the best thing I've found for mineral deposits / stubborn soap scum in my bathroom. I have calcium and rust stains that even straight CLR didn't really resolve, that the magic eraser did.


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RE: REALLY bad soap scum

000 steel wool or razor blades.


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RE: REALLY bad soap scum

Fabric softener sheets. I learned that here on this site, in fact. Moisten the sheets lightly and scrub the glass. If your build up is extreme, you may need to use the razor blade first.

Wishing well with this!


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RE: REALLY bad soap scum

Try Limeaway Let it sit on there a few minutes and then use MR Clean Sponge with the Limeaway to scrub. I have had very good results using these two products together. Limeaway is very strong and comes in a gel so it will stick.


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