How to Clean Shower Doors

Shower with glass door

Andrea Davis / Unsplash

Sparkling glass shower doors and walls have replaced fiberglass or solid tile walls in modern bathrooms. They make a modern statement until they become coated with soap scum or hard water spots. While there are commercial cleaners that promise to keep 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 cleaning weekly very easy. If soap scum is allowed to build up on the doors, cleaning is much more time-consuming and difficult.

What You Need

Supplies

  • Water
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Ammonia
  • Baking soda
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Dishwasher rinsing agent
  • Windshield rain repellent
  • Dryer sheets

Tools

  • Window squeegee
  • Spray bottle
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Toothbrush
  • Microwaveable bowl
  • Microwave

How to Clean Shower Doors With Vinegar Solution

The acid in vinegar will help cut through soap scum on glass and acrylic doors.

Warning

Do not use a vinegar solution if you have a natural stone shower surround or floor. The acid will etch the stone.

  1. 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. Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid.

  2. Spray on the Solution

    Starting at the top of the shower door, mist the area heavily. Allow the solution to work for at least five minutes.

  3. Scrub, Rinse, and Wipe Down Doors

Again, starting at the top of the door, scrub the doors with a sponge. Rinse the doors with water. Dry down the doors with a microfiber cloth.

Tips

While you should never use a scouring pad or an abrasive brush on glass doors, dryer sheets provide a bit of gentle abrasion that can help remove tough spots of soap scum.

For really tough hard water spots, use a bit of baking soda on a sponge to scrub the stains. The gentle abrasive action of baking soda will not scratch the glass.

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.

  1. Mix a Lemon Cleaning Solution

    Lemon juice isn’t as acidic as vinegar but it smells better and still has cleaning power. Try this for lighter cases of soap scum build-up.

  2. 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.

Warning

Never use ammonia if you are also cleaning with chlorine bleach in the bathroom. Mixing ammonia and chlorine bleach can form deadly fumes.

  1. Mix an Ammonia Solution

    Combine one tablespoon of household ammonia with one quart of warm water in a spray bottle.

  2. 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.

  1. 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, three cups of water. Store the solution in the shower stall.       

  2. Squeegee the Door

    Starting at the top of the door, use a squeegee to remove water drops.

  3. Spray the Shower Door

After using the squeegee, spray the cleaning solution on the door. 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 need to be cleaned.

  1. How to Clean Shower Door Tracks

    Unless you have frameless glass shower doors in the bathroom, you also need to clean shower-door tracks. Soap scum and unsightly grime that accumulates in those metal tracks and is easy to see but hard to reach. Let the acidic qualities of white vinegar make your task a bit easier.

  2. 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. Allow it to sit overnight.

  3. Scrub With a Toothbrush

    After eight hours or so, unplug the track and use a toothbrush to scrub away stains and grime.

  4. Rinse and Dry

Rinse the area well with water and then dry with an old towel.

Tip

To keep the track clean, dry the area after every shower with an old towel after you have squeegeed the shower door.

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.