How to Clean Soap Scum Off Shower Doors in Houston

Shower Doors in Houston - Apple Glass

Cleaning your shower doors in Houston regularly can help prevent soap scum buildup.

Is soap scum making your shower doors in Houston look dull and dirty? A good cleaning is usually all that’s needed to remove soap scum from shower glass and keep your shower looking beautiful! 

What Causes Soap Scum Buildup on Shower Doors in Houston?

First, what exactly is soap scum? If you notice a white or gray-ish film on your shower doors in Houston, then you’re likely looking at soap scum. This is generally a build up of a few different things, including soap, dead skin cells, minerals, and even potentially harmful bacteria.


So, how does it end up on your shower glass? Every time you take a shower, droplets of water and soap land on the glass surface. When those droplets evaporate, they leave behind impurities that cause soap scum. 

Hard water can make soap scum buildup faster and can also make it harder to clean off your shower glass. That’s because the soap residue binds to the minerals in hard water, which can attach themselves to the glass. 

Minerals in Hard Water

Hard water is water that has large amounts of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Water is generally considered very hard if it has 120-180 parts per million (ppm) of minerals. It’s common in the Southwest to have very hard water. According to the Houston Public Works 2019 water quality report, the water hardness for Houston’s main water system is, on average, about 123 ppm. So, your shower doors in Houston may be especially vulnerable to soap scum and mineral deposits. 

Bacteria May Be Lurking in Soap Scum

Also, what many homeowners don’t realize is that soap scum may also contain bacteria. The dead skin cells and fat in soap scum can feed bacteria and let them grow. This can lead to a biofilm in your shower. The most common type of bacteria you might find in your shower is Serratia marcescens, which can cause things like urinary tract infections, pneumonia, or wound infections. This type of bacteria often looks like a red or pink soap scum in your shower. Therefore, it’s important to clean off soap scum to help keep your shower healthy and hygienic. 

How to Clean Soap Scum on Shower Doors in Houston

Now we know what soap scum is, we can start to tackle cleaning it off your shower doors in Houston. 

The key to remember is that soap scum hates acids. But before you go out and buy an industrial strength acidic cleaner, start off with a simple vinegar and water solution. 

In most cases, you can clean soap scum off with a 1:1 water and vinegar cleaning solution. This is a natural, non-toxic, and super affordable way to keep your shower doors clean. 

To clean soap scum from your shower doors in Houston, you’ll need:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Water 
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Squeegee or microfiber cloth

Simply spray the vinegar solution on and allow it to soak into the soap scum film. Then, gently rub the glass with a soft cloth. You’ll need to rinse the glass with plain water and make sure to follow up with either a squeegee or a microfiber cloth to remove the extra water. 

*Remember to never use abrasive cleaners or tools on your shower glass. This can scratch the glass, which can give minerals, soap scum, bacteria, and mold crevices to grow in.*

Clean Soap Scum Off Shower Frames and Hardware

The minerals in soap scum can also cause metal to rust or corrode, so it’s important to clean it off shower door frames and hardware as well. 

Now, if you have Houston frameless shower doors, then you’ll likely only need to clean the hinges, handles, and towel bars. However, if you have framed doors, then you’ll need to clean the frame, hardware, and tracks regularly as well. 

How you clean soap scum off shower door hardware and frames depends on the type of metal they’re made of. Once again, we’re looking for an acidic cleaner, but cleaning solutions that are too acidic could harm certain types of frames and hardware. Check with the manufacturer before trying any new cleaners to prevent damage.

For chrome and stainless steel, you can usually use just straight vinegar to clean off soap scum. Simply apply it with a soft cloth and gently rub away the soap scum and mineral spots. From there, be sure to rinse with plain water and dry thoroughly. 

However, with brass or oil rubbed bronze hardware, you’ll need to dilute the vinegar. Once again, check with the manufacturer to make sure. However, in most cases, you can use a solution of one part water to one part distilled vinegar to get the soap scum off. Don’t forget to rinse and dry! This can help keep your shower clean, sparkling, and free of soap scum. 

Ignoring Soap Scum Could Cause Permanent Damage to Your Shower Doors in Houston

Aside from making your shower look bad and potentially holding bacteria, soap scum can also cause permanent damage to your shower glass. The minerals in soap scum can permanently etch into the glass in your shower doors in Houston.

Also, soap scum on shower glass can cause:

  • Discoloration
  • Mold growth
  • Mildew growth
  • Odor

In some cases, ignored soap scum buildup can even damage the glass to the point that you need to replace the shower glass, hardware, or the entire enclosure.

Preventing Soap Scum in Your Shower

How do you prevent soap scum entirely? Just don’t use soap in the shower, or better yet, don’t use the shower at all.

(We’re only joking.)

But, seriously, what can you do to stop soap scum in your shower? There are a few things you can do to reduce it, but soap scum is just a fact of life. 

The single most important thing you can do to stop soap scum on your shower doors in Houston is to clean it regularly. This includes wiping it down with the right acidic cleaning solution. Also, using a daily shower cleaner, squeegee, or even just a microfiber cloth after each use can help remove the water and soap before it can cause soap scum. 

Some other things you can do to stop soap scum in your shower include:

  • Switch to liquid or gel soap (bar soap has talc in it that can make soap scum more likely to stick to the glass)
  • Install a water softener
  • Install Houston frameless shower doors with protective coatings, like ShowerGuard®

Houston Frameless Shower Doors that Repel Minerals and Soap Scum from Apple Glass

At Apple Glass, we offer affordable, quality glass services. We create custom shower enclosures with Guardian ShowerGuard glass, which helps prevent hard water spots and soap scum better than regular glass. Whether you need new shower glass, windshield repair in Houston, or  even commercial glass solutions, our skilled technicians can help you find the perfect options for your needs. Call us today at (713) 680-1400 in Houston or (281) 296-0600 in The Woodlands to get a free quote!

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