Reader Jenny says:
I have found my answer for the shower screen problem. Use liquid soap only in the shower. (Not my brilliance btw). It works really well!! The claim is that hard soap contains fat which causes scum.
Some general washing down still required of course for any mould buildup but no scrubbing, and now have clear screens. Whoopee!
This is an excellent idea!
As it happens there are four types of surfactants – anionic (negatively charged), cationic (positively charged), non-ionic (no charge) and amphoteric (both positive and negatively charged).
Each of these has its own particular applications, which is a story for another day, but the takeaway lesson for today is that by far the most common, and the cheapest, and the oldest, are the anionic surfactants (the ones that make soap scum).
Incidentally, when Jenny says they contain fat what she means is that they are made from fat ( and is easy to do at home – there is an idea for another post).
Liquid soaps on the other hand tend to be non-ionic in nature. Therefore, none of the calcium or magnesium salts will form and no soap scum results.
If you want to use a hard soap, however, there is an option – Dove. I don’t know what’s in it, but I know it isn’t ordinary (anionic) soap, as it has a neutral pH (unlike anionic surfactants which are highly alkaline).
Dove is also available as an all over body wash, which is an excellent product which avoids those little unusable fragments of soap that you get in your soap holder when the bars get too small to use.