How to Remove Soap Scum from Granite Tiles


Liz asked: How do I remove soap scum from granite tile? Our shower is made of granite tile. Soap scum builds up. Most common cleaners don’t remove it, or I can’t use the cleaner because it is not safe for granite.

Regular hard water and soap scum removal methods utilize acids or strong cleaners. These should NOT be used on granite as they will eat through the surface and the sealant, causing further damage. Only neutral cleaners should be used on granite, with some scrubbing and hot water being the safest. Here is a acid-free removal method that will remove the soap scum from the surfaces of tiles.

You Will Need:

  • Razor scraper
  • Hot water
  • Old toothbrush or scrub brush
  • Simple Green Stone Cleaner or other non-acidic soap scum remover
  • Soft cloths
  • Microfiber cloth

Steps to Remove the Soap Scum:

  1. Begin by wetting the entire area. Anytime you are scrubbing granite, it is wise to keep the area moist. The water acts as a lubricant to help avoid damage to the surface.
  2. Use a razor scraper to carefully scrape the soap scum off of the surface. Keep the razor flat and use caution not to gouge the corners into the tile.
  3. Once the soap scum is scraped off, wash the entire area with hot water and scrub with a scrub brush or old toothbrush.
  4. A soft cloth can also be used. This allows you to apply more pressure without worry of damaging the surface.
  5. Wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.
  6. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.
  7. If the soap scum persists, apply a non-acidic soap scum remover such as Simple Green Stone Cleaner.
  8. Spray it directly onto the stone and scrub with a moist, soft cloth. Use a circular scrubbing motion.
  9. Wipe clean. Check the label as some cleaners will need to be rinsed from the surface.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Granite needs to be resealed every couple of years. If the sealant is starting to become worn, contact a granite contractor to find out the options that are available to re-seal.
  • Ammonia can be used in a low concentration (1/2 cup of ammonia to 1 gallon of water). Do not use this mixture often or it will dull the surface.
  • Non-acidic soap scum removers are a necessity for textured granite where a razor scraper is not an option. Most tub and tile cleaners are acidic, so read the labels carefully. MarbleLife has a product available that is safe to use on granite and other stones. Another option is Simple Green Stone Cleaner.

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