So I've tried to use bleach but this isn't coming clean. I know it's been a while since it's really been cleaned. Here's a pic:

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    Welcome to the site Matt. Scrub brush and elbow grease?
    – Michael Karas
    Nov 6, 2019 at 1:56
  • Bleach has to be able to get to the dirt, which is currently protected by soap scum. ZEP makes good stuff, but it smells horrible. Elbow grease... or some ZEP.
    – Mazura
    Nov 6, 2019 at 2:29
  • Looks like lime to me, though a lot of it and built up over a long time. This said, get something that dissolves lime. Basically you could drench a towel in vinegar and cover the whole area with the towel. Apply over night, the next morning removing the lime should be easier. Or get some bath cleaner which comes in a spray bottle, apply several times, scrub after each spraying.
    – Erik
    Nov 6, 2019 at 8:19
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    I would try a product called CLR it is calcium, lime & Rust remover it works well on tile where their are mineral deposits. No elbow grease needed if it works. Wipe it on and rinse it off
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 6, 2019 at 14:14

2 Answers 2


I am in the US. I have had luck with Soft Scrub (bleach and mild abrasive in a paste like base), and with Zud (oxalic acid); Bar Keepers Friend is also oxalic acid. Comet is also bleach. Get one of those products and Scotch Brite green scrub pads or something similar. Scrub the stuff in there and leave it there. Let it sit all day before you rinse it off.

Plain bleach is really less than ideal for this for a number of reasons. One it does not cut grease and grime at all. Two it is runny and won't stay on a vertical surface. Three you will breathe a lot of it and hurt your eyes and nose.

  • Careful with the green scurbies. That green don't come out, but it'll sure go in.
    – Mazura
    Nov 6, 2019 at 3:14
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    Green scotch right will cut the surface also my grand mother used one on her windshield to try and scrub a large bug off and had to replace the glass.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 6, 2019 at 14:12

I had a great deal of soap scum plus dirty-little-boy foot “schmutz” stuck in the crevices of my textured shower basin that resisted mr. clean magic eraser, comet, bar keepers friend, clr, and straight up rage and frustration fueled scrubbing. I finally got desperate and started looking for anything around the bathroom that might work, or intoxicate my troubles away with fumes at least, when I stumbled upon mouthwash (Scope.)

I poured it on, grabbed my scrub brush and guess what?? It wasn’t dirt and soap and body oil after all! It was plaque! Just kidding. It was all those things but I think the alcohol dissolved the body oils that were binding that crap on the shower. I did still have to scrub a bit, but at least I was seeing results. And, it smelled minty fresh!

Not sure how that would work on a horizontal surface...you might have to mix it with baking soda to make a paste, or, simply use a tooth brush soaked in it and just keep re-wetting. It’s worth a shot!

Btw-I can’t tell from the photo because colors are not represented consistently on different screens but it seems there’s an orangey hue to the dirt...there is a bacteria that grows in tubs/showers/etc that has a pinkish orange hue (like the evil slime in Ghostbusters 2). You might have some of that going on. It’s not harmful in normal healthy people, but for anyone immunosuppressed it can lead to infection. My son (who is prone to infections) got a nasty, very large, very painful abscess in his foot from that bacteria which had to be lanced and drained, poor guy (he was 5). It’s worth the effort to get that stuff OUT of your bathroom.

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