how to clean white film off shower tile
Kristina Davis

Knowledge of “how to clean white film off shower tile?” is essential. And this is one of the most frequently asked questions on planet earth.

We all strive to the maximum to keep our bathrooms spotless, but occasionally even the most thorough cleaning may not be the answer to the problem.

A paste consisting of baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and water works to rid the presence of the white film on your tile. It is not only practical but also simple to use.

What Causes White Film On Shower Tiles?

white film causes

There are several varieties of white film. So also are there numerous reasons why the white film could be present on a shower tile.

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They might occur from mineral deposits, efflorescence, or other factors. These factors can make the shower tiles white after cleaning.

Here are the possible causes of white films on shower tiles.


tile grout

A paste called grout is created from cement, sand, and water.

To ensure the proper fixation of the tile, it is used to fill the gaps during tile installation.

If there is a white film, it can be leftover grout. If the grout is not thoroughly removed from the tile, it may spread to the surrounding area. 

Note: Mostly freshly placed shower tiles can be affected by grout.


The production of a powdery crystal surface on a surface as a result of salt deposition is known as efflorescence.

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One of the main reasons for the white film coating on the shower tile is efflorescence.  

Mineral Deposit 

mineral deposit on tiles

If not the same, it is comparable to efflorescence. The distinction is that a mineral deposit is a broader term than efflorescence.

It is a result of hard water in the shower room. Hard water is water high in mineral content.

The presence of hard water is one of the major causes of having white film on shower tiles after cleaning.

Tip: Hard water can be temporary or permanent.

Soap scum

Soap scum is sometimes referred to as lime soap.

It occurs when the component of the soap reacts with the hard water and clings to the surface of the tile.

It is really common when using bar soap.

Things Needed To Clean White Film Off Shower Tile  

cleaning things

To get rid of white film, a variety of materials can be utilized.

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Baking soda, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or lemon are all options and they are used for varying reasons.

Baking Soda

Baking soda, also referred to as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda, is a powerful household cleaning agent.

It is not only practical but also easily available and simple to use.

Baking soda is constantly available because it is used for so many different things, as we all know.

Baking soda is the finest option for cleaning because it is proven to absorb odors.

Tip:  It's cheaper to make use of cleaning-grade sodium bicarbonate.


bottle of bleach

Personally, I believe bleach should only be used as a last choice.

My reason is due to its propensity to be harsher on tile surfaces and environmentally hazardous. There are different types of bleach.

Oxygen bleach can be used to clean different surfaces and is less abrasive on the tile.

On the other hand, chlorine bleach is more potent and can do more harm than good. When dealing with stubborn, powerful films should both be employed.

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Hydrogen Peroxide 

Another sort of bleach is hydrogen peroxide. But due to its unusual chemical structure, it is considerably different.

Although it can also be used for cleaning, its primary application is to bleach hair.

Vinegar Or Lemon 

vinegar and lemon

Vinegar is a go-to for household cleaning. It is simple to reach and can get rid of even the toughest stains.

It is not only affordable but also environmentally beneficial.

Even at that, it should be used with caution, just like bleach. Vinegar’s ability to act as a cleaning agent is due to its acidic nature.

That may also be a reason to be concerned.

The grout used in tile filling is basic, therefore using vinegar to clean it would disintegrate the grout.

If used frequently, this would cause the grout to be removed.

Lemon and other acidic solutions should be used with caution for the same reason.


Salt is incredibly efficient and simple to measure. The fact that salt is a natural disinfectant is the finest thing about utilizing it.

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This means that it aids in removing not only the white coating but also the bacteria.

Tip: Only sprinkle salt on moist surfaces.

How To Clean White Film Off Shower Tile 

clean white film

Knowing the origins of the white film will make it simpler to choose the right cleaning solution.

Here are the steps used in cleaning white film off the shower tiles

Step #1. Mix The Cleaning Agents

Make a paste out of an equal amount of baking soda, vinegar, and water.

Choose your cleaning agent based on the cause of the white film on the shower tiles. If it is a result of grout, avoid the use of vinegar or lemon.

If the stain isn’t that intense, do not make use of bleach.

Tip: Grout is only a likely cause if the tiles are new.

Step #2. Apply

apply paste

Apply the paste to the affected area. Make sure the paste is applied evenly and thickly.

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Make sure to use a glove while doing it. The combination of the paste on your skin for too long can be toxic

Step #3. Wait

This is very crucial to the whole process. After applying the paste to the affected area, you wait for about thirty minutes or so.

The whole point of waiting is to allow the cleaning agents to perform their magic. By dissolving these stains it makes it easier to wash.

Step #4. Scrub

scrub tiles toothbrush

I would recommend an old toothbrush for this part. Use the toothbrush to scrub the stained area.

After that is done, use a soft sponge to clean the tiles. While doing this, make sure to clean the sponge properly before continual usage.

In the case where the stains are still stubborn, make use of bleach to wipe the surfaces.

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Step #5. Rinse 

After washing and scrubbing, rinse off all the lather from the wall.

How To Prevent White Film On Shower Tiles 

prevent white film

They usually say that prevention is better than cure, and I wholeheartedly concur.

It is simpler to prevent white film than to get rid of it.

So here are some suggestions to help minimize having to continuously clean your bathroom tiles because of white films.

Clean Regularly

Make sure to clean the bathroom as often as possible to prevent the deposition of soap scum or minerals

Making Use Of Liquid Soap

liquid soap

Making use of liquid soap prevents the formation of soap scum.

This is because soap scum is formed from the reaction of the component of bar soap with hard water.

Using liquid soap would likely reduce the chances of white film formation on the tiles

Clean Walls After Showering

Cleaning the shower wall with a towel after showering would reduce the moisture in the bathroom.

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Though it sounds stressful, it would reduce the chances of bacteria growth that would automatically lead to white film on the tile 

Water Softener

water softener

If the water in the bathroom is hard, it is advised to use a water softener not just to prevent the white film, but to prevent other damages.

This is because hard water can cause damage to your skin, and it can cause clogging


Based on all we have said so far, I hope I’ve been able to answer the one question that brought you to this article, “How to clean white film off shower tile?”

With this article and a little help from science, you can get rid of any aberration on your shower tiles.

Though it may seem tough and a little bit exhausting, it is definitely worth the effort to see your bathroom sparkling.