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How to Clean White Film off Shower Tile

Does the bathroom look disgusting and irritating whenever you go there after the water has dried up? White film forms from a combination of water with minerals and other chemicals found in soaps. If you are experiencing white film off your shower tiles and don’t know how to remove them, this article will be helpful.

How to clean white film from shower tile? You need to know what’s causing the white film in your bathroom before looking for ways to remove it to get proper treatment. Fortunately, white film removal is a DIY procedure with home ingredients like vinegar or baking soda. 

What Causes White Film on Shower Tiles?

The white film or soap scum forms when minerals in the water react with fatty ingredients used to manufacture bar soap. If you sometimes use hard water or it’s your only water source, you will likely experience white film. The sad part is that white film formed from hard water and soap minerals is the hardest to clean when left to build up.  

Some other factors include exerting too much pressure when cleaning, using the wrong cleaning agents, or not rinsing the bathroom afterward. Therefore, no matter how busy you might be, do light cleaning in the bathroom daily to avoid such occurrences. That’s not all, once a week or 2 to 3 times a month, general cleaning will prevent white scum and keep away odors.

Easy DIY Methods to Clean White Film off Shower Tile

Regular cleaning of bathroom tiles helps remove unwanted white film and smelly odors. These simple procedures are easy to follow and don’t need an expert cleaner.

Borax Solution

Borax is great for removing all types of scum from your shower tiles and can be bought from local hardware stores. Mix a cup of borax with 1 gallon of hot water to make the cleaning agent. Once properly mixed, apply the solution to the tiles and let it settle for a few minutes. After that, use a brush with hard bristles to scrub off the film.

The above procedure should be repeated if you didn’t remove the white chalk. When done, use a mild detergent to remove residues, and rinse the floor with clean water. Regular cleaning with borax on your shower tiles keeps them looking as good as new.

Baking soda and vinegar

This mixture is the easiest way to remove plastered residue or white film from your shower tiles. Mix the vinegar and baking soda in equal proportions to form a thick formula. Then, use a scrub brush, a piece of cloth, or a sponge to apply the solution to the tiles, and give room to settle for 10 to 15 minutes.

Finally, rinse the floor with clean water. You could repeat the procedure several times if the first trial didn’t eradicate the white film. Add a few drops of dish soap to the paste for more stubborn grime. This is the safest method for many types of tiles as it doesn’t destroy the finish.

Lemon juice and baking soda paste

Lemon juice can replace vinegar with baking soda to remove white scum on bathroom tiles. Here are some steps to follow;

  1. Mix ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice and an equal amount of baking soda
  2. Stir the ingredients until you develop a fine paste with no lumps. If the paste is too thick, add more lemon juice to make it slightly lighter. 
  3. Use a piece of cloth or sponge to apply the paste in all crevices or cracks wet the whole tiled floor and allow it to sit for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Use a scrubbing brush and hot water, then scrub the whole area with some force to remove all the accumulated grime.
  5. Rinse the paste off with water and your preferred cleaning detergent
  6. Dry up the entire cleaned area with a dry towel and ensure there’s no moisture left

Trisodium Phosphate

If you have tried the above home remedies and the problem isn’t solved, then it’s high time you tried a chemical agent. Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) is a chemical cleaner with sodium hypochlorite and is excellent for use as a disinfectant or bleach.

The cleaner not only works on tiles to remove the white film and restore their shine but also on wood, cement, natural stone, or bricks. Procedure to use;

  1. Wear protective gear like a face mask, boots, sunglasses, and hand gloves for added safety, as the cleaner may emit harmful fumes or cause skin allergies.
  2. Put 3.75 liters of hot water in a bucket and mix with ¼ cup of TSP formula
  3. Dip a stiff brush or sponge into the mixture, then apply to the areas with the white film. Be cautious, as the solution can be harsh.
  4. Scrub the tiles to ensure total absorption and rinse thoroughly with clean water

Tips for Regular Cleaning of Shower Tiles

Shower tiles are among the few low-maintenance tiles. However, the tiles need regular cleaning to retain their original finish; otherwise, they will get discolored, stained, or develop white grime between the crevices. These tips will help you to keep the shower tiles clean:

  • After every use, wipe the shower floor with a dry towel or cloth. This removes hard water minerals and soap scum buildup that lead to white film or staining of the tiles.
  • Do general cleaning once or twice a week. Pour a mixture of warm water with soap detergent and scrub all over the tiles with a stiff bristle brush. Kindly pay special attention to the crevices.
  • Rinse the floor thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
  • Do deep cleaning once a month. You can use vinegar formula either with lemon juice or with baking soda. Alternatively, you can use a commercial cleaner depending on the situation of your shower tiles.
  • After the monthly cleaning, wait for the tiles to dry, then use a sealant on the crevices to prevent future stains. 

Using one of the above methods will help you clean white film from shower tiles and restore their beautiful look. Some ingredients are available in the home, and you won’t be stressed about costs unless you decide to go for chemical agents. You must call in a professional if all the methods fail to eliminate the white film.