Monday, October 5, 2009

In Search of the Soapscuminator

I hate cleaning showers. Now I know that "hate" is a strong word, and we really should say "dislike," but really? I hate cleaning showers. My shower is huge, which is great when one is shaving, but not so great when one is cleaning. It is marble on two sides and glass on two sides, and it is really hard to keep clean. When I cleaned it today, I found myself wondering, "Why is it that a cleaner that says it cleans soap scum really cannot get it off the glass in my shower? And why is it that a cleaner with bleach (which is needed for shower mold) cannot seem to rid my shower of soap scum?" (Not that I have shower mold or anything... *ahem* We'll just think of this as more of a hypothetical post.)

I grew up using the Scrubbing Bubbles brand cleaner. My mom is one of the people I know that actually keeps a clean house all the time. She'd tell you otherwise, but I know better. When she says she needs to clean house, there is usually a stray dead spider in a corner, and a few dead leaves that have blown in, and two spots on the tile floor. That's it. Anyway, I always figured that if this was her cleaner of choice, it must be a good one. But now that I am keeping my own house clean, I am not so sure. I guess maybe if you use it after every shower or two, it might do a good job; but let's be realistic here. I am a homeschooling mom of three littles. I am lucky to clean my shower every week.

After realizing that my shower was going to need something with more muscle, I bought this Lysol cleaner with bleach. It says it cuts shower mold and soap scum, but in real life? Not so much. I followed the directions and sure enough! Whamo, presto! My mold - er, hypothetically speaking... - was gone! But even with some scrubbing, the glass still has a nasty film of soap scum on it. And really, a cleaner with fumes that make all of my mucus membranes scream and run for the hills is just not for me.

What I need is the ultimate Soapscuminator. Does it exist? Is there actually a cleaner out there that does it all? I want a cleaner that is cheap, that kills any science projects threatening to take over, that cuts all the soap scum, and that isn't totally toxic. Is that really too much to ask? I mean, I spent the majority of my childhood in the 80's, so I learned that I can have it all! Right?

For example, I am a big fan of Comet cleaner. I get the store brand for $.50 a can and use it to scrub my kitchen sink, my counter tops, and clean the insides of my toilet. And it works great!

Hmmm...I wonder if it will cut soap scum? It says it will, so maybe I will try it. I also want to try making some cleaners that are more natural and economical. I found this page of cleaner recipes that looks interesting. Also, has a page of cleaner recipes under their Frugal Living section. I also found these pages of recipes. What do you use? Have you had any better luck with shower cleaning than me?


Granny said...

Johanna, I can almost guarantee you that if these products haven't worked, "soap scum" is not your problem. It's hard water deposits, perhaps including some soap residue. That needs a whole other level of chemical removal...unless you want to try my method of steel wool and white vinegar and a lot of muscle. Cleaning a whole shower with white vinegar is no fun and takes some time, but to me it's better than chemicals.

Then, after you've removed it all, buy a squeegee, hang it in the shower, and train yourself to at least squeegee the glass portion every time you shower. Takes less than a minute and although it won't completely eliminate the build-up it will make it a lot slower.

Good luck :-)

Johanna said...

That's good to know, Granny. I am not opposed to a little bit of hard scrubbing if it'll do some good. I just count it as exercise! :) You know, we actually keep a squeegee in the shower, and use it sometimes, but not often enough...

Debra said...

Johanna, I agree... or at least my (hypothetical) problem in the shower has way more to do with hard water deposits combined with soap reside.

Yuck. I hate cleaning the shower too. At least mine is tiny. Bad for shaving the legs, but not so miserable for cleaning.

Grandma said...

Granny's right about the hard water deposits and we all know that Dallas has hard water! So once you get it clean, buy some Shower Clean (or is it Clean Shower?) and after you squeegee the glass (EVERY time you shower), then spray the Shower Clean on the tile portions and you won't get any scum buildup. You can actually use that on the glass as well.
Andrew is a cutie just like your other boys. I'm looking forward to having them as grandsons-in-law! ;)

Joanna said...

Yup, I have nothing to add. I use Comet for everything in the bathroom.

Johanna said...

Yeah, I like Comet more and more as I use it. I am going to try Granny's vinegar/steel wool combo to get the hard water deposits up this weekend, then try to keep it up on a more regular basis.

Karen, I think God gave me all boys and Jo all girls fully intending a connection to happen somewhere, right? ;)

Lawanda said...

I have the same mom as you.

I also want your shower.

and I will prolly not clean it if I ever get one, just like I don't clean the one I already have.

And sadly that is not hypothetical.

But don't freak out when I say I don't clean it... cuz my kids clean it ;)