Bath and shower spray for soap scum and rust

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This bath and shower spray is just one of the cleansers in my bathroom cleaning arsenal. The way it cuts through stubborn rust and soap scum, even if it might just be your new favorite. Better yet, it’s quick and easy!

The recipe is concentrated and does not require any water. Not only do we not have to worry about the growth of germs in our bathroom cleaner, but a little goes a long way!

How to make a natural spray for the bath and the shower

The harder the mess, the harder the cleaner must be. However, we don’t have to use harsh synthetic chemicals to tackle the tough messes of bathing and showering. Natural cleaners can be just as tough as their conventional counterparts.

When the minerals in hard water bind to the soap, it creates a white, film-like layer known as soap scum. Hard water is also known to leave rust-colored stains. The best way to remove hard water stains and soap scum is to stop them before they start.

A water softener associated with a whole house filter helps prevent hard water deposits from damaging surfaces. If this is not an option, a bathtub or shower filter can help. Even so, sometimes we just need a solid bath and shower spray to get the job done.

I recommend storing this cleanser in a glass spray bottle. Over time, the acid in vinegar can break down some plastics and that’s something our family usually tries to avoid. I have found cute and functional glass vaporizers of both Grove Collaborative and on Amazon.

Scrub vs spray?

I have one scouring powder it’s perfect for those tough jobs, but sometimes i want another option. This bath and shower spray is abrasive-free, so it won’t scratch more delicate surfaces. You can use it on tile, acrylic and fiberglass tubs and showers. Just avoid spraying on metal devices because of the vinegar.

Scouring pads can help remove more stubborn stains, but that’s exactly what they do: scratch. Over time, this can damage the protective coating on certain bathroom surfaces. If we use the right cleaner, there is no need to scrape off rust and soap scum!

For extra cleaning power, apply the bath and shower spray and then leave the mixture on for about fifteen minutes to do its job. Wipe with a damp cloth afterwards.

Need even more oomph for cleaning your bathroom? You can also sprinkle on baking soda and spray very stubborn areas before rubbing with a cloth or sponge.

Soap and vinegar don’t play well

We use simple ingredients here, but choosing the right ones is important. Vinegar is acidic and helps cut hard minerals. The dishwasher soap helps remove soap scum and other stuck-on dirt. Regular soap, especially Castile soap, will not work in this recipe.

Dish soap is actually a detergent and works chemically differently from Castile soap. While I love using Bronner’s Castile Soap for hand washing, baby wipes, and even herbal spray, it’s not my choice here.

When the vinegar and soap are mixed, there is a chemical reaction, and not a good one. According to Lisa Bronner, the vinegar desaponifies the soap. This means that the soap is no longer soapy and cannot do its job. Instead of a strong cleanser, we end up with a gooey white mess.

Because dish soap is a detergent, it plays well with vinegar and we get an even better cleaner. If you don’t have natural dish soap on hand, Sal Suds will work too. And I’m talking about regular dish soap for hand washing, not dishwasher detergent.

The best vinegar for bath and shower

I use regular white vinegar for cleaning. White vinegar is affordable, natural, and does the job well. Save the right apple cider vinegar for things like this kale salad with apples or spicy fire cider.

Add a perfume boost

Vinegar and dish soap (or Sal Suds) work great on their own for cleaning tubs and showers. I like to add essential oils for extra cleaning and disinfecting power. Here are a few options that smell great and are great for cleaning with:

  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Wild or sweet orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Germ Fighting Mix
  • Tea plant
  • Pine or fir needle

Before and after

This is what the shower looked like before cleaning. It’s not normally that bad, but I let it go for a little while to make the effects more dramatic after cleansing.

Before photo bath and shower cleaner

And here’s what it looked like after. Big difference isn’t it ?! This was after spraying the cleanser, letting it sit for 10 minutes, then scrubbing with a microfiber cloth. I needed to add a little baking soda to the most difficult spots.

After-photo bath and shower cleaner

Spray bath and shower cleaner to fight rust and soap scum

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Bath and shower cleanser recipe

Tackle hard water and soap scum without damaging surfaces. This spray is ideal for restoring the bathtub in shape and helps to keep it that way.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces glass spray bottle
  • 1 and 1/2 cups White vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup dishwasher soap OR 2 tablespoons Suds salt
  • 20 drops essential oil (s) of choice optional

Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients in the bottle, pouring in the vinegar last. Depending on the exact size of your bottle and sprayer, you may not need all the vinegar. Make sure to leave some room at the top to allow mixing.

  • Shake well to combine and before each use.

Remarks

Use: Spray liberally on the surfaces of the tub and shower, avoiding metal fixings. Rub with a microfiber cloth or sponge.

What are some of your favorite ways to make your bathroom sparkling clean? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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