Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Should Not Be This Excited About Soap Scum Removal... But I Am

With the bathroom being the one newly and entirely completed room in our house, it gets treated something like a family member... or at least a loved and lovable pet. We look forward to seeing it in the morning. We clean it lovingly. We train ourselves on best bathroom maintenance practices. After months of using our tiny, dark temporary basement shower, the new upstairs shower is something of a jewel in our bathroom crown. The sleek new glass doors are a point of pride and allow sunlight to stream onto our carefully selected tile.

And so it has been the thorn in my side to watch thin filmy layers of soap scum build up on the glass doors as the days and weeks have passed. The thickening layer has blocked the light and generally disrupted the morning ritual of standing under the warm rain-like stream of water from our low-flow shower head. It irks me.

Before I proceed, let me say that never before has soap scum bothered me. In fact, I probably have never really noticed it. When you rent, such trivial matters are the concern of the landlord or the next renters. I'd be out of there in a year anyway, so let the soap scum build! I had nary a thought for what would happen after years of soap scum build up. But now, owning a house, I imagined the scum, five years down the road, having accumulated to a thick mass that not only block sunlight, but space and the very air we breathe.

Soap scum had been the domain of those women in the commercials with the generic but well cared for coif who clean their homes in pastel button down shirts and khaki chinos.

But here I was, fretting over a clean shower.

At first, Eric and I decided that regular cleaning was the way to go. We'd spritz the shower with a bathroom cleaner and squeegee the door every day. I was reluctant to rely on such a chemically solution at all, but was even more turned off when I saw that it wasn't really doing much to keep the scum at bay. The scum was building and I was helpless against it.

I went on-line. I researched. I squeegeed extra hard. I read message boards and eco friendly housekeeping sites.

Some of the information must have entered my subconscious because this Saturday standing in the shower, I suddenly had the urge to rub shampoo all over my shower door. I started with one corner section. I rubbed. I waited. I rinsed. Sunlight streamed in through the glass. I paused. I blinked my eyes. "What the...?" I tried another small section. Waited. Rinsed. More sunlight. "How the...?" I gained speed and momentum. I hummed as I rubbed shampoo on the other sections. My squeegee slid easily across the glass, unhindered by the scum. I rubbed and I sang and I rejoiced.

It was all so easy. It was right in front of my face the entire time.

Shampoo (or at least this Aussie stuff that I've been using) removes soap scum from shower doors.

So now once a week I will rub, rinse, and squeegee shampoo on my shower door. I will daily spritz the tiles with vinegar to prevent mildew from growing (and update you on whether that works). I will shower and I will be happy.

PS Opting for liquid soap instead of bar soap also apparently keeps the scum from building up in the first place -- but we haven't quite gotten there yet.

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