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18
Nov

How to Remove Soap Scum From Shower Doors?

Some tasks build your self image as you make a home for your family. Removing soap  scum is one of those tasks that, if most of us had our way, wouldn’t be on the list. Whether you use a commercial cleaner, a homemade vinegar mixture or scrape it off with a single-edged razor, it’s one of the most stubborn substances to deal with in the pantheon of yucky stuff. And those use them every time you shower cleaners only work if everybody uses them.
How to remove Soap Scum from Showers
You still have to clean the shower every weekend. Short of assigning the pursuit of soap scum to your kids  as a chemistry problem (they’ll tire of the adventure in a few weeks), invest a little time in learning how this stuff gets stuck on your shower door and learn to use its chemistry to your advantage.

Water is what we use to wash because it is neutral and plentiful. But water has a property called surface tension–the attraction between molecules that makes water bead into drops on surfaces. In order to use the water to clean, the surface tension has to be broken down by introducing other compounds into the water.

These compounds are called surfactants. Soaps, the surfactants we use in the shower, are made of fats and oils or fatty acids, treated with strong alkalis, soluble salts containing potassium or sodium. The fats and alkalis are either heated or heated and distilled to form a new compound, soap with water and, if the heat process is used, glycerin.

The soap is a complex chain of hydrocarbons, carboxylic acids and sodium or potassium. One end of the resulting molecule is attracted to water and the other end is repelled by water. Fortunately, the water-hating ends of the molecules are attracted to grease and fat, making soap the perfect surfactant to use in the shower.

With all this attracting and repelling going on, soap molecules pick up compounds and drop fats as they go. The discards end up on your skin, your shower door and the metal surrounding and the tile walls. Scum collects on these surfaces because the same chemical changes that break down surface tension on hard water and attract dirt and body oils into a suspension, drops oils, bits of dead skin and dirt as the water washes down the drain. Once the water quits running, the water in suspension evaporates and leaves the soap, oil, skin and dirt in a translucent, gummy mass on your shower door.

If your water is particularly hard, minerals–mainly calcium and magnesium add to the mix, making what’s called limescale.

The whole mess drops out of suspension and sticks any surface it touches as it rolls down to the drain. The reason that such unlikely substances as dishwasher detergent, borax and straight vinegar work on the stuff is that they break the scum down by introducing more alkali (detergent and borax) or acid (vinegar) to form new compounds.


About Official Cleaning Company Web Editor
The Official Cleaning Company (formed in 2002), is a professional cleaning company located in London, England (UK). Collectively we have over 25 years experience in the cleaning business. We offer a wide range of services for both Commercial and House (residential) Cleaning Sectors. We cover all London areas.

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