Amazing Scum Removing Cleaner

5ca00743a328d amazing scum removing cleaner
Amazing Scum Removing Cleaner

If you’re looking for an Amazingly Effortless Scum removing cleaner recipe, look no further. This super simple, dirt cheap cleaner removes the scuzziest of grime without ANY elbow power- and what’s better than that? It’s Environmentally Friendly to boot!

Below is a photo taken from the inside of my shower (yeah I know soap scum is nasty!) I only washed one door on the right so you could see the before & after.


This works so well we’ve even had people say they didn’t think the door was even closed, but look, you can clearly see the knob on both sides!


You’ll need:

1/2 c. of Dawn Dishsoap (Original) Don’t waste your time with the girly scented versions of dawn, they won’t work!
1/2 c. White Vinegar
1 spray bottle


Before we begin, here’s a safety reminder, be sure to use regular plain DAWN. Do not substitute other brands and do NOT use Dawn with Bleach. It is NEVER EVER EVER Safe to mix bleach & Vinegar together. It creates a noxious gas that can (& Will) kill someone.

Heat the vinegar until it’s HOT, I simply put mine in a glass pyrex measuring cup and stuck it in the microwave for 1 minute.

Pour it into a clean spray bottle, add the dawn dish soap, put the cap on and shake very gently to mix. Or you can mix it right in the pyrex measuring cup and pour it into the bottle, as I did.


You’ll want to have the area well ventilated, this smells something awful!

Spray liberally on the surface you wish to clean, leave it alone to do the work for 20 minutes or so. Or better yet, spray it before you go to work, and wipe it up when you come home.

Once it’s had a chance to work it’s magic, wipe it off with a clean rag or sponge and some warm water. The surface will shine like the top of the Chrysler building, just like ol’ Miss Hannigan prefers it!

You could technically mix up more than 1 c. at a time, but you want the vinegar to be hot when you mix them and use it, so it’s best to only mix up what you need.

When you spray it on, it applies like a gel, so it sticks well to most surfaces.

Happy Cleaning!


This works best while hot, but can be stored and used cold if desired.

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About Liss 4190 Articles
Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.


  1. thanks liss. i’m definately trying this on the weekend when i have some time to get to cleaning the bathroom–this must be the worst chore around!!

  2. omg thank you so much liss, i used this on my dh’s shower last night. it is always awful and he is supposed to clean it, but never does. i sprayed it down, and he comes in from work earlier, jumps straight in the shower within 30 minutes of my spraying it.

    I got him to wipe it down and all the nasty soap scum came off.

    This is my new favorite household cleaner.

  3. going to give this a try. i know that i asked a office cleaning crew how the kept the windows from streaking when they clean them. they said all they use is vinegar water with a drop or two of dawn in their bottles.

    the dawn cuts the grease film that makes windows streak.


  4. wow great idea! we have a lot of hard water deposits and such where we live ( smack in the middle of the desert in nm), would this solution cut those as well? i have such a time with that.


  5. oh my goodness – this rocks!!! unbelievable how awesome this works!! and even works well in kitchen sink, stove, microwave.

    its best if you can rinse with water before wiping, because it soaps and scums the cleaning rag

  6. oh no! the fumes smelled up my bathroom, bedroom & into the hallway! had to rinse it immediately & run the exhaust fan.

    i usually clean w/ the ajax scrub that has bleach, so maybe i created a terrible chemical reaction, so beware.

    • Oh no! The fumes smelled up my bathroom, bedroom & into the hallway! Had to rinse it immediately & run the exhaust fan.

      I usually clean w/ the Ajax scrub that has bleach, so maybe I created a terrible chemical reaction, so beware.

      I had fumes like crazy too. It felt like my lungs were burning. We have hard water with lots of lime and I think there was a reaction.

      Normally I just clean with vinegar and baking soda and there are no fumes.

  7. we usually put off cleaning the shower because the last time we cleaned it it took two days to remove all of the buildup with a synthtic scrubbing pad and the shop vac. i sprayed down the shower at about 11:00 this morning and started wiping it down about 3:30 PM. By 4:30 PM it was done and far cleaner than with our previous cleaning method.

    Thanks so much for this tip.

    – Jane

  8. can’t wait to try this!!! the shower is by far my least favorite thing to clean so this just might be the answer to my cleaning nightmare!!!

  9. does this work on bath tub and shower wall??? i have a problem with soap scum, i tried different cleaner, lots of work to get off, never comes off completely, always leaves behing soap scum, can’t seem to get it all off……….

  10. there is one little catch….the dawn should be the original (dark blue) as it does not work with their ‘other’ types or colors.

    • There is one little catch….the dawn should be the original (dark blue) as it does not work with their ‘other’ types or colors.

      lol, yup- that’s what the recipe says, use original,

      “1/2 c. of Dawn Dishsoap (Original) Don’t waste your time with the girly scented versions!”

      I’ve used both original and heavy dtuy (which is the dark blue one you’re referring too). They both work great.

  11. tub and shower are disgusting! i haven’t found any commercial cleaner i’m satisfied with, so i’m giving this a try. just sprayed my tub and shower, stay tuned!

    • Tub and shower are disgusting! I haven’t found any commercial cleaner i’m satisfied with, so i’m giving this a try. just sprayed my tub and shower, stay tuned!

      well, i gave it a try, worked pretty well for how bad the guys’ shower & tub looked.

      i’ll have to give it another shot or two to get it completely clean, but for the price of the ingredients, i don’t feel so bad.

      much better than so-so results with a cleaner costing up to $4 a bottle.

      • Well, I gave it a try, worked pretty well for how bad the guys’ shower & tub looked. I’ll have to give it another shot or two to get it completely clean, but for the price of the ingredients, I don’t feel so bad. Much better than so-so results with a cleaner costing up to $4 a bottle.

        i’ll be trying this recipe..

        but i’ve lived in houses with very rusty well water. i know this is a no-no, but i’ve had to do it, and it works great. the works toilet bowl cleaner will get all rust/limescale off the tub.

        wet the surface first, hold your breath when you squirt it on, then rinse with shower head hose immediately after applying cleaner. if you do not have one, be prepared with a rinse for immediate removal, and do small areas at a time, or the cleaner could damage your surface on the tub. this is true for all kinds of tubs.

        it works in sinks as well, but again, rinse first. do not use this method on stainless steel/metal sinks. the works $1, but highly toxic, and do not mix with any other cleaners.

  12. i saw this recipe before on a different site. i made the mistake of using the “ultra-concentrated” blue dawn liquid (i went for a small bottle, since i was cleaning my brother-in-law’s bathroom & i was in the process of moving & didn’t want extra). waaaayyy too many suds.

    i tried it again with only a tbs of dish washing detergent and added a tbs of cornstarch to thicken the vinegar. it worked much better, even though my husband thought it wasn’t worth the vinegar fumes. i was surprised the bathroom fan didn’t help much with the smell.

  13. great idea! how do you think this would work on a car? wondering if the vinegar might hurt the paint…not that it would matter much on my old car!;)

  14. another must try idea i’ve added to my(getting long now) list of things i’ve found on this site. thanks again.

  15. well, i have the dirtiest shower on the face of the earth because it is enclosed and therefore mold loves to grow. soooo, i am going to try a few of these cleaners and i will get back with you to let you know how it worked.
    don’t hold your breath, however, because i am also the biggest procrastinator you will ever meet! lol.

    but soon, i promise. (if i don’t we may have to move)!! lol

  16. works great! i let is set for about an hour, the vinegar smell seemed to go away and i smelled the dawn. my husband commented on how it is not so toxic smelling.

    the one cup total volume was just enough for the shower.

  17. i have to try this asap on the top of the stove in the house we rent. i see so much grease on it that someone tried to clean it and the paint started to come off. i bet this will do the trick.


  18. i just made this, and used the ultra concentrated blue dawn. is that what we’re supposed to use, or the original original, non-concentrated? the picture shows ultra concentrated.

    anywho, i have my entire shower stall & tile around the bathtub wall soaking in it. it does spray like a gel. my only beef so far, is that ½ cup of the dawn is nearly half the bottle.

    we’ll see how well it works when i spray/wipe it off!!!

  19. has anyone tried using the “cleaning vinegar”. it is supposed to be stronger than normal white vinegar. i was thinking about trying it as a fabric softener too.

  20. ooooooooooh i like this idea! i am going to try it. good thing we use dawn all the time.

    i have everything i need to make it right here!
    thanks very much!

  21. i use this recipe also. i do not heat anything. i just mix equal parts vinegar and a really good dish washing detergent..

    doesn’t have to be dawn as i have discovered. any goo dish washing detergent will do .. it has to be a good degreaser tho!!

    and i spray it on. if the scum is really bad i leave it 2 or 3 minutes… but I do not let it dry.

    If I let it dry.. it still works but then I have to work harder it seems. 2-3 mins is good .. then simply wipe of the soap scum ..

    really not much elbow grease involved here if you do not let it dry. If it has dried, I find you need to rub a little harder. But either way, it really does come off easily!!!

  22. i made this – was very easy and quick. i used it on my glass shower door. i had to scrub a little – maybe 10 minutes for the entire door which i didnt mind for a product that works.

    I keep looking at the door thinking the shower door is open. Looks like a new door. Thank you for this easy make product.

  23. if you don’t want a soapy mess to clean up, use straight vinegar instead. it doesn’t need to be heated to work. it will remove soap scum like you have never imagined.

    only wait a couple of minutes before wiping it off and you will have a disinfected clean like never before. yes, vinegar is a disinfectant too. i buy the cleaning vinegar in the same isle with other cleaners in the department store.

    it is higher in acidic value and needs to be used with rubber gloves so it doesn’t burn the skin.

  24. interesting! i have used this for a year or so now, but i have not heated the vinegar… still works really really well!

    i will try heating the vinegar and perhaps won’t have to rub quite as hard (not that i am scrubbing or anything!) thanks for the tip!!! and btw you can buy original dawn here in ga.. a huge bottle, at walmart for like $2.77…

    HUGE bottle!!

  25. i tried this on my bathtub surround and it worked great, the easiest hard water stain clean up i’ve ever done. thanks.

  26. I used this on my glass shower door and it looked like i bought a new door. Thanks for the recipe. I shared with my mother.

  27. oh my goodness! where was this before our shower door fell off? i used to dread cleaning that beast. oh well, now i know for the future!

  28. do you have to use white vinegar? can i use cider vinegar? that’s all i have right now and i don’t want to wait until next month if i don’t have to

  29. i have been using this recipe for years but did not know to heat the vinegar, will have to try it. i started making my own cleaners a couple of years ago due to an asthmatic reaction to bathroom and oven cleaners.

  30. ive used alot of different things to clean my shower and tub in the past and im telling you ive spent alot of money and this is by far the best stuff ive ever used…and cheap….i love it i also use it on my sinks and faucets…boy do they shine….i cant tell you enough how much i love this stuff…please try it…its so worth it…just spray and forget for a few hours…but please rince well when done….it does get slippery…i have a big clear glass shower and hard water so i have to clean it quiet often

  31. i’m trying this now…hope it works. i have arthritis in my hands and back and it’s very hard to scrub anything! will post how it works

  32. well i said i’d be back to let you know if it worked for me…..well it did! i’ve never seen my shower get that shiny and clean!

  33. definitely gonna try this. i work with a cleaning company and this might just be the trick so we wont spend so much time cleaning the showers.

  34. i just tried this (and was a little pessimistic going in) and i was surprised by the results. it was a little strong smelling but did it ever do a good job! less elbow grease went into cleaning the tub than when i use the expensive “scrub-free” (on what planet?) chemical stuff from the grocery store.

    off to find some more great ideas!

  35. i used this yesterday. it is awesome! the first batch i made was really foamy or thick, but it clogged my sprayer, so the second batch i warmed the vinegar but added 1/4-1/2 cup really hot water and it went on a lot faster and easier to cover.

    I love it.:worthy:

  36. so going to try this. the cleaner i currently use is bad for my septic system and it took the grout protection off after 1 year. Grrrrrr.

  37. Thanks so much for posting this! I can tell that this is usper cheap to make and going to make some this weekend. I have a few days off and after joining this site, looks like i’m going to be busy making my own homemade recipes!

  38. I use vinegar and baking soda to clean a lot of things around my house as I am sensitive to chemical smells. Baking soda paste works for me to clean residue on glass surfaces without scratching. My boss needed something at work to clean the window and that is what I suggested.

    They ended up sparkling and it was safe to use around food surfaces. Baking soda even cleaned up metal counters. Just make sure you rinse off the residue as it could leave a white mess.

    Soaking shower heads in vinegar cleans out holes that get clogged with minerals, too.

  39. I just came to check this recipe again to see if I put too much Dawn in the mix. Appears I mixed according to instructions. It did clean the scum off, however, it left a cloudy smeary look on the walls of the shower.

    I went over it several times with a warm wash cloth, alot of work and smears remained. ????

    • I just came to check this recipe again to see if I put too much Dawn in the mix. Appears I mixed according to instructions. It did clean the scum off, however, it left a cloudy smeary look on the walls of the shower. I went over it several times with a warm wash cloth, alot of work and smears remained. ????

      Sounds like you may have applied Too much of the cleaner and didn’t rinse it well enough. You don’t use the ENTIRE amount, just a couple squirts is sufficient for an Entire Shower.

  40. Tried this stuff last night in the shower, great in the shower. Also used it on the chrome taps on the basin they came up lovely super shiny and new. Thanks heaps for the great idea and so cost effective

  41. Hi all,I live in New Zealand and I really would love to try this, as I have tried everything to get the scum off my shower door. Living on a farm means grubby men and yucky showers. What can I use instead of Dawn dishwash, does anyone know what is the same for us here?All help greatly received.Trish

  42. This stuff worked great – and, unlike the expen$ive, chemical-laden stuff i used to use that would make me wheeze, i know exactly what went into it. i am so pleased to have found this site – it was exactly what i was looking for – thank you!!!!!

    • Do you have to use this only when hot?

      I didn’t know it was supposed to be heated, and have had great results without.

  43. Apologies if this was ready mentioned but I also use it as a laundry stain pretreatment. Works better than Shout! At least for me it did.

  44. do not – leave this on any metal for any duration. door hinges magnets on shower doors, even if the meat is anodized – colored. it will corrode metal.

    vinegar is great cleaner, but it is corrosive.

    if you want to have a little more fun with this solution, they this. i had a neglected bbq grill. i sprayed this on, sprinkled some baking soda, let it bubble up for one or two minutes then went to town with a brillo pad.

    since it entirely off, and repeat of necessary. this brought it back rot almost new!

  45. Dawn is unavailable in New Zealand, but so many cleaning recipes use it. What is so unique that no other brand works?

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