Pinbusted or Pintrusted: Dawn and Vinegar Shower Cleaner

DIY Featured GeekMom

When I’m on Pinterest, I’m usually there scouting for crafts or surfing through the best category on the site (Geek, of course). It’s rare that I look for anything to use as a solution to a problem. But when I was fed up with the continual state of grime on our glass shower door, I remembered my cousin had told me about something she’d spotted on Pinterest.

I took to the pins in desperation to find the magical cure for soap scum.

If you search for shower cleaner on Pinterest, one comes up time and time again: Blue Dawn and vinegar. The dish-washing liquid, when combined with an equal part of vinegar, is a solution that many pinners praise for taking off soap scum without scrubbing.

Dawn and Vinegar

I don’t know what mystical ingredient blue Dawn has hidden inside, but this stuff works. Just spray, wipe, and rinse. I’ve stopped trying to scrub with Magic Erasers or any other commercial cleaner on the shower doors since trying the Dawn and vinegar solution. I would love to post a side-by-side comparison showing you our scummy shower glass and the clean result after using this mixture, but I just don’t have a camera good enough to focus on icky soap residue. (Plus, I’m not sure you really want to see where I shower every day.)

Here are a few notes based on our experiences:

  • When mixing up your Dawn and vinegar solution for the spray bottle, be sure to follow the original directions and heat the vinegar first. My husband made a batch without realizing that was a step, and the result didn’t work as well.
  • As you can imagine with something that uses heated vinegar: this stuff does not have the “lemon” smell you normally associate with cleaners. Or, as my daughter put it, “Why does it smell so bad in here?” The odor dissipates quickly enough, but just be prepared for a strong vinegar smell. Chances are you might prefer it to a chemical cleaner.
  • Some reviewers mention that using less Dawn (instead of an equal part) will result in fewer bubbles and suds, or sprinkling salt on the bubbles to get them to go away. I’ve not had an issue with that yet, but it’s worth noting. If you see a lot of bubbles in the bottom of the stall, be sure to clean it all out to prevent slipping.

Most comments insist that you select blue-colored Dawn specifically. I’ve only tried blue as a result, but the scientific side of me is dying to make a few test batches with other kinds to see if it does make a difference. If you try out this pin and have success with another color or brand, please let me know in the comments below.

Pinbusted or Pintrusted? Trusted.

It might not work for the glass doors in every shower, but it worked for mine.

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77 thoughts on “Pinbusted or Pintrusted: Dawn and Vinegar Shower Cleaner

  1. I came to this site to double check the recipe, but noticed the writer wondered why it had to be blue Dawn. Any dish soap will probably work, but the color blue is often used as an optical brightener. I won’t go into the science, but that’s why your grandma (or maybe great grandma!) used “blueing” on her whites. To make them whiter than white, as the ads say. So the Blue Dawn just helps the white of your bathtub shine a bit better. You won’t notice the difference on a tub, though, because the color isn’t absorbed.

  2. I’m from Australia and can’t get blue dawn. Any suggestions on what I could use?

  3. Didn’t work well for me. . Not sure what I’m doing wrong. The floor still looks terrible & I still have the same soap scum ring that’s not coming off even with a lot of rubbing. I sprayed it & left it on for 2 hours.

  4. It works great for me. I do scrub it with brush but it makes tub shine every time, it’s all I use!

  5. I’m new to this soap scum remover idea, but usually in home cleaning and laundry, “blue Dawn” refers to the old-school, non-concentrated Dawn. Sometimes it’s called Dawn Simply Clean or Original. And it’s blue. Dawn Ultra, the kind most commonly found in grocery stores, is concentrated and comes in all colors (including blue), but I don’t think that’s what the recipes are referring to. I’m not sure what the difference is (and maybe it doesn’t matter for this purpose), but I thought it might be helpful to clear that up.

  6. It has been explained that the non-original Dawn has a softener in it. This was being told to me regarding cleaning cemetery monuments and it was important to use ORIGINAL Dawn,which is blue. I don’t think the actual color matters, original Dawn just happened to be blue. The subsequent varieties of Dawn have other ingredients to keep your hands soft and moisturized which apparently is not good for cleaning monuments or, perhaps, soap scum.

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