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WFMW — Cleaning Soap Scum from my Glass Shower (Ick!)

Posted Jun 09 2009 12:00am

Before I even tell you what I did, if you decide to try this, please, please, please try it on a small inconspicuous area first. I did. I don't want to get an ugly note that you scratched something when you tried it at your house. I don't like people to be mad at me.

Most of my crazy resourceful ideas come out of my wandering thinking, which happens a little too frequently, if I do say so myself. The other day I was thinking about my glass shower and the awful soap scum build-up that it continues to get no matter what I do, that I can never seem to completely clean off. And this shower is only six months old.

And because you might be wondering, the glass was not my choice. Or Hubby's. It just came that way.

Somewhere along the way my mind wandered to our pinball machine. I know, I can't really tell you how it got there, but it did.

No, we didn't buy it. I got it when my mom and stepdad were downsizing. My sister and I had it when we were growing up. I was the good sister and got it. But since her husband said they weren't taking it, there wasn't a fight, but I'm still sticking with the good sister story.

The military moves weren't kind to this antique, and when we were in Virginia we had to have a guy that works on old pinball machines and arcade games come fix it and make it work again. He even cleaned out the inside and did a fantastic job, and made me clean the outside at the same time. Not that I was doing a bad housekeeping job with it, but he had me really clean it. He told me to get an SOS or Brillo pad, get it a little damp, and scrub the wooden sides of the pinball machine with the grain of the wood. It didn't scrub off the paint and cleaned it nicely. The scratches you see in the picture were already there.

In the meantime, I have not used an SOS pad on any other piece of wood and don't intend to, and I don't really recommend it unless you want to scratch it up. Because I'm thinking that in most instances that's what's going to happen.

So as my mind is on my glass shower and my pinball machine, it goes to the memory that diamonds are the only thing that cut glass, so maybe the steel wool in the SOS pads under my kitchen sink won't scratch my shower glass (which is some kind of tempered glass, by the way).

I also remember the home warranty guy telling me on our walk-through that normal glass cleaners would destroy the finish on the silver finish (aluminum? stainless?) that surrounds the glass. So I'm thinking that the SOS pads might also clean that just like they clean my stainless steel sink without scratching it.

I tried a little corner of the glass and silver area where it wouldn't show much in case it scratched. This is the corner where I started, although when I took this picture I had done the whole area.

Here's how it looks from a couple of different angles, but I was too embarassed to take before pictures, because the further down the glass you got the worse it got.


I worked small areas at a time, and I used an old sock and a glass filled with water to wipe down the areas before I started on another one. I still need to go back and touch it up, especially around the edges and on some of the silver parts, now that it dried.

I also need to get some of that stuff you spray on your shower glass to keep the water from leaving water spots, because even though the soap scum is gone, it will still leave water spots. I hope that will help keep the soap scum at bay longer also.

Well, that's what worked for me. And remember, please, please, PLEASE try a small area before you go hog wild with this.

For more great Works-For-Me Wednesday tips and ideas, visit We Are THAT Family .


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