Soap scum...five years worth? - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 04-22-2007, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Soap scum...five years worth?

Hi all! I am new to the board and to the residential cleaning industry. I was given several customers from a person retiring from the business, and the customers are bi-weekly so I do not have any soap scum build up to deal with there. The bathrooms take a small amount to work, just maintenance really. Recently I have had "ministry" opportunities to clean two houses. One house in particular had soap scum build up of 5 years...this bathroom took 5 hours of cleaning with strong solution of PineSol and hot water, scrubbed with a sponge mop and brush. The other house had less build up, but it took 3 hours to clean the bathroom. So, my question is what cleaner/method works best for this type of problem? Thank you for your time and for this forum!
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post #2 of Old 04-22-2007, 07:08 PM
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that much soap scum is a problem that may be better tackled with something more aggressive than a sponge mop and brush. not sure of the best "chemical" or cleaner to use but a more abrasive scrubbie (the green, blue or white ones) and maybe some soft scrub, comet or bar keepers friend might cut it.

there is a product called Lestoil that is available in some areas (ace hardware carries it here) that is NOT eco-friendly and smells really strong but will clean just about any grime off of anything .

magic erasers also work wonders on tough spots but it's always good to get the big stuff off first.

good luck...hope this helps

suzi g
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post #3 of Old 04-22-2007, 09:07 PM
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For cases that bad we use either oven cleaner (on the tile and glass - do not use on plastic doors) or Zep's purple (industrial strength) degreaser (available at Home depot I believe) Spray on the full undiluted concentrate, agitate with a green scrubby, allow to sit for a couple of minutes, re-agitate, then rinse well and repeat if necessary.



Make sure in either case that you wear proper protective gear and avoid skin contact as both methods are rather harsh
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post #4 of Old 04-23-2007, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb RE: Soap scum...five years worth?

Thank you both for your replies! Next time I do these types of homes I will try out your methods. I was really afraid to use a green "Scotch Brite" type scrubbie on the enclosure, it is the fiberglass type. I thought I would end up with little scratches on everything. I did soak it with hot water and then scrubbed, but I knew there had to be a better way!
Thanks again! This is a great idea, I am so glad I found this forum!
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post #5 of Old 04-24-2007, 04:46 PM
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I'm out of my league here as I don't do any type of interios cleanup but I have a question. I thought soap scum was a buildup of mineral deposite. It was my understanding that mineral deposits are best dissolved by acidic pH products. What exactly is soap scum and have any of you tried using an acid on it?

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post #6 of Old 04-24-2007, 05:46 PM
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Soap scum is actually the fats from certain soaps mixed with the dirt/soil and sloughed off skin (think ring around the tub)

Mineral deposits are the hard cloudy/milky scales that form on glass and walls
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post #7 of Old 04-24-2007, 08:16 PM
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Thanks T. Now it makes perfect sense why a degreaser would work well.

How's biz?

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post #8 of Old 04-24-2007, 08:40 PM
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I have found a new soft scrub it is in a spray and is really great on the soap scum. Can get it at Target, Kroger , or Walmart. It is about 4 bucks a bottle but it works great and no gritty feeling like comet.

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post #9 of Old 04-24-2007, 09:24 PM
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Thanks T. Now it makes perfect sense why a degreaser would work well.

How's biz?
Biz is booming, thanks for asking, we actually just re-opened our waiting list

Heavenlyhomes - I have heard that this product is good from others, I will have to try it for reference. We however tend to use janitorial products that cost out ALOT less than what you can purchase at the stores. We're talking pro strength cleansers costing anywhere from $0.15 to $1.00 a 32 oz bottle compared to the $3.00 to $6.00 they would cost in Target, Wal-mart, etc...

If you would like information as to how you too can save, please let me know
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post #10 of Old 04-25-2007, 07:35 PM
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thanks for info, I know about the products you are refering to, and iI use them as well. Only using the soft scrub on occasion not a usual cleaner if I did that I would be cleaning just to pay for supplies and we cant have that...lol

Beth Conley,

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post #11 of Old 06-11-2007, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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It has been a while since I asked the original question about soap scum....I tried the above suggestions on the next bad shower I came across. Zep's Purple is the clear winner! I thank you for the suggestions, they have made the bathrooms in the rental clean outs I have been getting alot faster! I am saying it again, THANK YOU for this forum and everyone who participates!
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post #12 of Old 06-11-2007, 03:22 PM
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Glad to see that the suggestion worked out for you
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post #13 of Old 06-16-2007, 01:54 PM
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okay, so what about a "green" cleaner that does the same thing???... is there such a thing? I only use ecofriendly biodegradable nontoxic supplies, but haven't really found anything strong enough to tackle that stuff! any help out there? thanks!
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post #14 of Old 06-16-2007, 03:14 PM
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If it is soap scum that you are trying to get off any green degreaser will work as long as you allow it ample dwell time

If you are trying to remove mineral deposits and such, vinegar
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post #15 of Old 12-08-2007, 04:37 PM
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okay, so what about a "green" cleaner that does the same thing???... is there such a thing? I only use ecofriendly biodegradable nontoxic supplies, but haven't really found anything strong enough to tackle that stuff! any help out there? thanks!


Dr. Bronner's Soap (Any scent) mixed with Baking Soda until you have a frosting consistency. You can add a little vinegar (use a large bowl) or distilled water to make it a squeeze bottle consistency. Shake before use and keep well capped. I love this mix! I use it on sinks, tubs, cooktops, shower walls.
For a degreaser I love Holy Cow degreaser concentrate. great stuff, but kinda pricey compared to my normal products
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post #16 of Old 03-16-2008, 05:20 PM
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Clorox Cleanup and a green scrubber works best, and its cheep to.
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post #17 of Old 03-17-2008, 08:33 AM
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We use the Zep purple degreaser. Theresa recommended it when we were new and it has worked wonders for us. Also, if there is something that the degreaser won't get out we have even used the Zep toilet bowl acid on tubs and sinks. It will almost always get out what the degreaser won't. It also works on rust stains. You have to be careful when using it though. You will see the lines wherever you pour it so sometimes it is better to put in on a sponge then apply to the area. You can get both of these at Home Depot.

Kendra
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post #18 of Old 03-17-2008, 09:44 PM
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Clorox cleanup works best!!! Have used both your products and they do work. BUT, Clorox Cleanup is one product, not two, Cost for 1.4 Gal At Sams Club, and a new one quart spray bottle about $9.00. Thats about as cheep as you can get. It will clean every hard surface except windows and mirrors. One big draw back, don't use it on, or over carpet,or you will have alot of white spots. One Pluse, No Acid and no lines!!!

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We use the Zep purple degreaser. Theresa recommended it when we were new and it has worked wonders for us. Also, if there is something that the degreaser won't get out we have even used the Zep toilet bowl acid on tubs and sinks. It will almost always get out what the degreaser won't. It also works on rust stains. You have to be careful when using it though. You will see the lines wherever you pour it so sometimes it is better to put in on a sponge then apply to the area. You can get both of these at Home Depot.
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post #19 of Old 03-17-2008, 10:30 PM
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I know the Zep Purple degreaser is harsh to smell but the Clorox Clean Up kills me. I do use it occasionally on mildew but that is about it. It makes my eyes water and burn like crazy. I also get a headache from it. Don't know why the other stuff doesn't bother me. I know we should all be wearing masks but I just feel like I can not breath with those on. If we are doing residential we do not use any bleach. Customers do not like the smell of it. We use much lighter chemicals on residential. The ones with the nice smell. But we have been to some pretty nasty places and most of the time the degreaser gets the job done. I rarely have to use the acid. I think I have done it three times in the last year.

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post #20 of Old 03-17-2008, 11:09 PM
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Kendra

I mentioned the zep cleaner (above) since it is readily available to just about anyone who may read this post. Personally we use Hillyards Green degreaser and I do have to say that the smell is alot less potent
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