We've got a real problem with soap scum build up in the shower and the tub, mostly because we use actual soap instead of body wash or some other liquid petroleum based product that doesn't leave a film.
I know this is one reason why people are using body washes over soap because they don't like the film left behind from bar soap. But, the cost is one of plastic packaging and expense for buying a product that is mostly water. Not to mention the petroleum-based product you are using on your skin.
So, what's a conscientious consumer to do? Let it build up for a couple of years like we do? No, that's really not a good answer, but I hate scrubbing the walls and tub mostly because it doesn't seem to do anything particularly if you are using a non-toxic cleanser. I don't care what people claim about baking soda or borax, but it doesn't do anything to budge the build up. And we have the softest water in the country. I'd hate to see what it would look like if we had hard water.
Anyway, a few weeks back before our vacation I ran across a product in our grocery store that claimed that it was a heavy duty cleaner for scrubbing away soap scum and mildew on porcelain tile and grout. I finally got around to test driving it out over the weekend.
It is called the Earthstone BathroomStone which claims that it is 100% eco-friendly and 100% non-toxic. It's basically like a soft pumice stone on one side and a thin spongy thing on the other for wiping down.
Well, let me tell you, with some (serious) elbow grease it really does work. I found it easier to remove build up on the porcelain tiles than on the glass door, but that's mainly because our glass shower door is kind of bumpy. One problem I did notice is that the soap build up transfers from the shower (or tub) to the stone and it's hard to remove.
I ended up using a pumice stone to scrub it off the BathroomStone. If you don't do this you are basically scrubbing a thick layer of soap crud on the shower wall which, not too surprisingly, doesn't work well in removing any more goop. In spite of their claims about removing mildew, particularly in the grout, I found it to be totally worthless in that regard.
Another thing to keep in mind with this product, since it is so abrasive, is that you'll want to wear gloves while using this unless you want to remove some skin in the process.
Do you have a favorite, non-toxic method for removing soap scum build up?
Photos courtesy of Earthstone. No compensation was received for the review of this product.