Dear Home Ec 101,
My husband and I recently moved into a new home….one in which the previous owner clearly had never heard of cleaning the shower. I tried using “Kaboom” on the tiles and glass doors, but it seemed to have no effect. The scum on the doors is truly gross. We have relatively hard water, so it’s just caked on. Any suggestions for getting off years of mineral deposits and soap scum?
Limed in Limerick
Who ever thought soap and water could cause such a mess? The mineral and soapscum buildup you are describing is basic in nature, this means it has pH over 7. Nearly any acidic cleaner and elbow grease will solve your problem. I recommend using a ceramic stove cleaner such as Weiman Cook Top, the pasty consistency will help with application to the shower doors and tile walls. If the mineral buildup is as thick as it sounds, I believe it may take several applications. To keep the job from becoming overwhelming, I would consider using the cleaner over the course of several days. When the hard water stains have been removed, use a solution of diluted vinegar as an after shower spray.
Do not use acidic cleaners on marble, limestone, travertine, or onyx.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org