How Does Soap Scum Form?


Quick Answer

Soap scum is a white solid film that forms on surfaces in bathrooms when the chemicals in soap interact with hard water, body oils and mildew. Other components of soap scum can include human hair, dead skill cells and dust or dirt.

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Full Answer

If soap scum remains on bathroom surfaces, it attracts mold and algae, which often colonize in bathrooms. This is particularly common in bathtubs, on shower surrounds and on shower curtains.

Water softeners often decrease the buildup of soap scum. This is because hard water contains sediment that builds up on bathroom surfaces, whereas soft water lacks those minerals.

To prevent soap scum buildup, homeowners should wipe moisture off sinks and tubs, clean regularly with degreasers or baking soda and wash bath mats and shower curtains.

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