How to clean glass shower doors – get rid of hard water stains and soap scum naturally

This is how to clean glass shower doors and get yours sparkling like new using baking soda, vinegar and more

shower room with pink tiles, black walls and and gold finishings
(Image credit: Victorian Plumbing )

This guide on how to clean glass doors is essential for anyone who's tired of seeing their gorgeous glass covered in smears and smudges. We spend a small fortune on glass shower doors, so we want to keep them look shiny and perfectly see-through all the time.

Knowing how to clean a shower is key to ensuring your space is always gleaming and looking its best. No matter how beautiful your tiles or how stylish you flooring, if you space isn't clean, it's simply not going to look great. 

'One of the main reasons glass shower doors are constantly getting dirty is due to minerals in your shower water. When water evaporates post-shower, the remaining minerals cause residue on the glass. This is especially common if you don't have a water softener,' says Michael Dean, co-founder of Pool Research.

So from simple recipes for making natural and inexpensive cleaning solutions, to more hardy ways to treat you glass doors, we've spoken to industry experts to share how to keep your glass doors looks sparkly fresh. 

How to clean glass shower doors naturally

If you'd like to swap the often expensive and chemical packed cleaning products for something a little more nature, there are many options you can try. The most common are vinegar and lemons - here's how you can use them!

How to clean glass show doors with vinegar– a basic step by step

Roman Peysakhovich CEO of national cleaning company Onedesk shares his failsafe step by step for an expert clean:

'Step 1: Wet the glass with a shower sprayer. 

Step 2: Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spray the door to thoroughly saturate the glass.

Step 3: Let the white vinegar soak for at least 10 minutes or longer.

Step 4: Next, dip a scrub sponge into baking soda and use it to scrub the glass doors.

Step 5: Once you're satisfied with how clean the glass is, rinse it off with fresh water.

Step 6: Dry the glass with a microfiber cloth, then use a glass cleaner to finish cleaning the shower door.'

How to clean glass shower doors with lemons

When life gives you lemons, er, use them to clean a glass shower door. Squeeze to get around three tablespoons of juice, and mix with a cup of distilled water in a spray bottle. Spray the glass, leave for five minutes, then wipe, and dry. This one smells good, too.

blue shower tile

(Image credit: Juliet Murphy)

How can I keep my shower doors looking cleaner for longer?

'If you want to keep your doors shiny for longer, it’s necessary to wipe and squeegee them down after every use. Otherwise grime will build up and you’ll be left with those cloudy, opaque doors,' says JJ at Brosnan Property Solutions.

How to clean your shower if you live in a hard water area

It’s a fact that there’s nothing like hard water to turn sparkling glass doors into dull and grotty looking surfaces. If you live in a hard water area (that’s plenty of us), then you’ll know how quickly this can happen.

You can use the natural methods as above, and try taking a leaf out of the book of those people who swear by the shower door cleaning power of white vinegar teamed with dish soap (method below). But if you want a ready-to-use rather than store cupboard solution, you can simply use your favorite cleaning product. Always check the pack instructions, but make sure you follow these golden rules: 

shower room with pink tiles, black walls and a fluted shower screen

(Image credit: Victorian Plumbing)

How to clean glass shower doors with hard water stains

  1. Working from the top of the shower door and horizontally with your vinegar, lemon or other cleaning agent and going from left to right is the best way to tackle hard water stains.
  2. Rinse as necessary.
  3. Dry the glass with a microfiber cloth when you finish otherwise you’ll just be leaving new deposits on it which will turn into – you guessed it – hard water stains.

How to clean glass shower doors with soap scum

If soap scum is spoiling the look of your glass shower doors, then wet the shower glass then put white vinegar into a spray bottle and apply evenly all over the glass. Leave to do its work for 10 minutes – or longer if this is a job you (or the previous residents of your home) have neglected. Dip a bathroom sponge into some baking soda and use to clean the glass. Rinse when you’re done. Then dry the glass with a microfiber cloth. 

This method works with limescale, too, so you can get two nasties off the glass. Do this daily or weekly as a preventative measure for mucky shower doors also.

Photo by Jon'Nathon Stebbe on Unsplash

(Image credit: Unsplash)

How to clean glass shower doors with vinegar and dawn

  1. Put one part white vinegar into a microwaveable container, and heat for 60 seconds. 
  2. Mix with one part dish soap like Dawn and let cool, then add to a spray bottle.
  3. Spray on to glass shower doors and leave for three to five minutes before wiping with a microfiber cloth. 
  4. Rinse then squeegee dry or use a microfiber cloth. 

EauZone Plus Radius-20 Enclosure

(Image credit: Matki)

How to clean treated glass shower doors

A treated glass shower door should give you fewer cleaning headaches in the first place. The coating is designed to protect the door against stains and soap scum – to which we say hooray.

You will still need to keep up with the cleaning weekly, though. Use a mild detergent as recommended by the door manufacturer applied with a microfiber cloth, and rinse and dry.

You can treat your own shower door with a barrier spray made for the job, opt for a shower door cleaner that also acts as a repellent, or use a product designed to repel water from car windshields. You’ll need to re-apply regularly, and always take care to spray only the glass.

How to clean tempered glass shower doors

Simply use your preferred method, natural or not. There’s no need to be concerned as tempered glass is simply a type of safety glass that, if it breaks, won’t fall into dangerous shards. 

How to remove more stubborn stains 

If the stains and marks have really built up, the best way to clean glass shower doors could be rather offbeat.

A Magic Eraser: This could tackle the marks on a glass door. You’ll need to moisten it before you clean.

A fabric softener sheet: (Yes really). Once again you’ll need to wet your cleaner before using it on the door. 

When you’re using either of these on a glass shower door, wear household gloves to protect your hands. Go gently, too, to keep the glass looking its best.

How do hotels keep glass shower doors clean?

Glass shower doors in hotels are super clean, and for the same effect, we recommend the natural method using vinegar. Bear in mind, however, that these doors could have a protective coating that repels the water and helps put a stop to stains and marks. It's also likely that the glass shower doors in hotels are cleaned much more than yours – unless you, too, are doing the job daily. Regular thorough cleaning prevents build-up of grot on their doors. And finally, hotels may well have water softeners preventing the hard water deposits that make stains on glass shower doors. 

Expert tips on how to clean glass shower doors

Tiny home interiors

(Image credit: Canopy & Stars)

What do the cleaning gurus recommend when it comes to cleaning glass shower doors? Get in the know.

Queen of Clean Lynsey Crombie’s shower glass cleaning tip

For British author, blogger and Insta sensation Lynsey Crombie, the key to getting a glass shower door clean is to get a little help. ‘I use my Karcher for the doors as it’s brilliant,’ she says. Find the Window Vac on Amazon

Clean Mama Becky Rapinchuk’s shower glass cleaning tip

Clean Mama Becky swears by using a daily shower spray to keep soap scum at bay, and has her own recipe: ‘Half a cup vodka; 1 cup water; 10 drops peppermint essential oil. Mix and store in a spray bottle. Spray after showering. No rinsing necessary,’ she reveals.

Martha Stewart’s shower glass cleaning tip

America’s number one homemaker has a great strategy for restoring the shine to shower glass once you’ve removed the marks, by spritzing the surface with rubbing alcohol and then polishing it up with a clean microfibre cloth. It's that simple!

We spoke with Victoria Plumbing about a streak-free hack for cleaning shower screens. They revealed how TikTok user @malsabena has a quick and easy hack to a streak-free shower screen by simply using water and a bottle of shampoo. 'First, she soaks a microfiber cloth in a solution of water and shampoo and wipes the surface in a circle like motion. She then removes it with a window squeegee.' Victoria Plumbing recommend rinsing the shower well when using this method. 'Shampoo is a detergent, but as this hack doesn’t seem to rinse the shampoo away from the shower screen, it could cause a buildup of soap scum and limescale. If you wanted to try this hack, it’d be worth rinsing the shower screen before using the squeegee to remove any drips and streaks.'

Your glass shower door cleaning essentials

Shop Better Life Natural Tub and Tile Cleaner

Shop Better Life Natural Tub and Tile Cleaner from Amazon

Use this spray for shower glass and the rest of the bathroom. It’s safe for kids and pets.

Shop Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bathroom Scrubber

Shop Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bathroom Scrubber from Amazon

Sort out soap scum with this handy number.

Shop Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets

Shop Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets from Amazon

Try them on shower glass when deep cleaning is the order of the day.

Shop Heinz Distilled White Vinegar

Shop Heinz Distilled White Vinegar from Amazon

This store-cupboard staple will help you keep shower glass clean – but much, much more, too.

Shop Dawn Dish Soap

Shop Dawn Dish Soap from Amazon

Partner with white vinegar for a homemade shower glass cleaning solution.

Shop Invisible Shield Glass & Surface Cleaner and Repellent

Shop Invisible Shield Glass & Surface Cleaner and Repellent from Amazon

This cleaner is designed to prevent the adhesion and build-up of soap scum and deposits.

So clean you could step through them! (Please don't.)

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For Realhomes.com, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.

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