Sparkling glass shower doors and walls have replaced fiberglass or solid tile walls in many bathrooms. They make a sleek, modern statement—that is, until they become coated with soap scum or hard water spots. While there are commercial cleaners that promise to keep your shower doors shining, with just a few supplies from your pantry, cleaning tools, and a regular routine, you can keep them looking their best.
How Often to Clean Shower Doors
Ideally, shower doors—both glass and acrylic—should be cleaned after every shower. A quick spritz with a cleaner and a wipe down with a squeegee will make a more thorough, weekly cleaning very easy. If soap scum is allowed to build up on the doors, cleaning can become a much more time-consuming and difficult task.
Equipment / Tools
- Window squeegee
- Spray bottle
- Microfiber cloth
- Microwave-safe bowl
- Distilled White Vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Rubbing alcohol
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Dishwashing liquid
- Dishwasher rinsing agent
- Windshield rain repellent
- Dryer sheets
How to Clean Shower Doors With a Vinegar Solution
The acid in vinegar will help cut through soap scum on glass and acrylic doors, resulting in a sparkling shine.
Do not use a vinegar solution if you have a natural stone shower surround or floor, as the acid can etch and permanently damage the stone.
Mix a Vinegar Cleaning Solution
Pour one cup of distilled white vinegar into a microwaveable bowl and heat for 30 to 45 seconds. Pour the warm vinegar into a spray bottle, then add a few drops of dishwashing liquid.
Spray on the Solution
Starting at the top of the shower door, mist the area heavily. Allow the solution to sit and work for at least five minutes.
Scrub, Rinse, and Wipe Down Doors
Starting again at the top of the door, scrub with a sponge. Rinse the doors with water. The easiest way to rinse the doors is with a handheld shower head like the hai Smart Showerhead with adjustable water flow. Dry the doors with a microfiber cloth.
How to Clean Shower Doors With Lemon Juice
Lemons are not quite as acidic as vinegar, but they do smell nicer and will clean the glass if you add a bit more elbow grease. Again, do not use lemon juice if you have a natural stone shower floor.
Mix a Lemon Cleaning Solution
Lemon juice isn’t as acidic as vinegar, but it smells better and still has cleaning power. For lighter cases of soap scum build-up, mix lemon juice and warm water together in a bowl.
Apply the Solution, Wait, Scrub, and Dry
Starting at the top of the shower door, spray on the solution. Wait five minutes and then scrub with a sponge. No rinsing is needed. Dry and shine the door with a microfiber cloth.
How to Clean Shower Doors With Ammonia
Ammonia is often a leading ingredient in window cleaning products because it leaves a streak-free shine.
Never use ammonia if you are also cleaning with chlorine bleach in the bathroom. Mixing ammonia and chlorine bleach can form deadly fumes.
Mix an Ammonia Solution
Combine one tablespoon of household ammonia with one quart of warm water in a spray bottle.
Spray, Wait, Scrub, and Dry
Making sure you have very good ventilation in the room, spray on the warm ammonia solution. Wait five minutes and then scrub the doors with a sponge. Dry the door with a microfiber cloth.
How to Clean Shower Doors Daily
Once you have the soap scum removed from the doors, establishing a daily routine will make cleaning much easier.
Mix a Daily Cleaning Solution
In a 32-ounce (one quart) spray bottle, add one-half cup rubbing alcohol, one-half cup hydrogen peroxide, one tablespoon liquid dishwasher rinse agent, one teaspoon dishwashing liquid, and three cups of water. Store the solution in the shower stall.
Squeegee the Door
Starting at the top of the door, use a squeegee to remove any lingering water drops.
Spray the Shower Door and Let Dry
After using the squeegee, spray the cleaning solution on the door. Wipe dry using a microfiber cloth and, if possible, leave the door open or use a ventilation fan to help the door dry quickly. This will help prevent mildew growth.
How to Clean Shower Door Tracks
Unless you have a frameless door system, the shower door track can get pretty dirty and will also need to be cleaned. Soap scum and unsightly grime that accumulates in those metal tracks is easy to see but hard to reach. Let the acidic qualities of white vinegar make your task a bit easier.
Fill the Track With Vinegar
Use a paper towel or old cloth to plug the drain hole or slits in the track. Pour in enough distilled white vinegar to fill the track and allow it to sit overnight.
Scrub With a Toothbrush
After eight hours or so, unplug the track and use a toothbrush to scrub away stains and grime.
Rinse and Dry
Rinse the area well with clean water and then dry with an old towel.
Tips to Keep Shower Doors Clean Longer
- Squeegee water from doors after every use.
- Use a daily cleaning spray to prevent soap scum build-up.
- Coat the doors with a windshield rain repellent to help water slide off the doors. Never use the repellent on shower floors, because it will make them slippery and hazardous.
- If you live in a hard water area, add a water softening system to your home.
- If soap scum is a problem, switch from bar soap to a liquid body wash. Ingredients in bar soap are more reactive with minerals in water.
Dangers of Mixing Bleach with Cleaners. Washington State Department of Health.