How dryer sheets changed the way I clean my shower – and why you should try it too

This unsuspecting yet clever hack helped to shift stubborn soap scum from my glass shower door with ease

A black grid shower screen in a white tiled bathroom
(Image credit: Unsplash)

I am a stickler for keeping a clean home. While my house may not always be the most organized, keeping things looking and feeling as clean as possible is a priority for me. When my friend told me about using dryer sheets to clean away soap scum from shower doors, then, I could hardly believe what I was hearing. 

I frequently struggled with cleaning glass shower doors as I attempted to balance keeping the screen streak free while also removing tuff soap scum stains and marks. Because cleaning a bathroom is generally one of my least favorite tasks, any cleaning tip that made it easier was more than welcome. With how simple it is to use dryer sheets to almost instantly dissolve soap scum, I am shocked I didn't know about it sooner. 

Here, I explain just how to use dryer sheets on your shower doors so you can speed up your bathroom cleaning routine while seeing better results. 

How I use dryer sheets to get rid of soap scum 

White dryer sheets stacked on white bathroom tiles

(Image credit: Unsplash)

Using a dryer sheet to clean my shower doors is one of many bathroom cleaning tips that has made my bathroom cleaning far less time-consuming. What's more, this simple trick can also be used to clean a bathroom sink and clean a bathtub.

I start by thoroughly soaking dryer sheets such as these top-rated dryer sheets on Amazon (opens in new tab) with warm water, squeezing slightly to remove excess moisture. Once wet, these sheets make excellent scrubbing tools to deal with soap scum. 

I found that the texture of the wet dryer sheet gently buffed the stains away without scratching - something I was afraid of when using harsher cleaners to remove the stains in the past. It works best on shower doors or other bathroom surfaces that are dry to help the sheet grip slightly. 

Once the stains have come away from the surface, ensure you rinse the area thoroughly with plain, warm water to remove any residue left over from the dryer sheets. I found the first time around that remaining residue may leave glass surfaces to appear cloudy rather than sparkling clean. 

The first time I used this tip to clean my shower I found that I was using an alarming amount of dryer sheets to cover the entirety of my shower space however, after a few cleans and keeping on top of my cleaning regime meant that I had to use less and less each time and stains were not left to build up. 

My dryer sheets no longer live in my laundry room storage ideas, but my bathroom storage ideas instead! 

Why do dryer sheets work so well against soap scum 

A black grid shower screen in a white tiled bathroom

(Image credit: Unsplash)

I was confused at first as to why dryer sheets worked so well to dissolve soap scum and get rid of smears on glass, however after some research, it made perfect sense. 

Dryer sheets are made with chemicals embedded into the fabric designed to soften clothes and keep them soft. As a result, when wet under warm water and rubbed over soap scum, the chemicals soften and loosen the caked-on grime making it easier to remove without residue. 

Dryer sheets are also made to help reduce static (hence why you can also use dryer sheets to speed clean baseboards) meaning that dust will not collect on your shower door once you have cleaned it, leaving it sparkling for longer between cleans.

Will dryer sheets scratch glass?

Despite not being purpose made for cleaning glass, they do not scratch glass when used for cleaning. Dryer sheets are naturally delicate so they can be used with clothes without causing damage, making them perfectly safe for cleaning other fragile surfaces too. 

How do you clean a tub with dryer sheets?

Just as dryer sheets can be used to clean soap scum and smears from glass shower doors, they can also be used to clean a tub. By wetting a dryer sheet under warm water and wiping the tub down you will be able to easily melt away soap scum and leave the surface of your bathtub smooth and looking sleek. 

Chiana Dickson
Junior Writer

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for six months, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.