Glass Shower Doors--

A blessing, and a curse!

Shower doors that are made of glass can be a great thing.  First of all, they are very durable.  Usually made of metal and glass, these things will last the life of your house, as long as they are kept up properly.  Another benefit is that you do not need to have a shower curtain, because the glass used in the doors is usually opaque (or not able to be seen through) in some way.  I know from having a shower with no door, that shower curtains can be a pain.  You need a plastic one which needs to be replaced regularly, then you need the fabric layer that needs washing, then the rings are forever catching on the pole....*sigh*.  Needless to say, there are some major downsides to shower curtains.

A glass shower usually has doors that operate either on sliders, or on a hinge.  The downside of this system is that there are lots of nooks and crannies that need to be cleaned in the door mechanism, whether it be a slider door or a hinge door.  The other thing that regualrly needs cleaning is the glass or the door.  It can easily get scummy and yucky, and windex is NOT the solution like you would think with other glass items in your home.

How to Clean Glass Shower Doors
Credit: CarissaGoodNCrazy on Flickr

2 Steps to Keeping Those Glass Shower Doors Clean:

1. Prevention


2. Regular Cleaning



The main way to keep your shower sparkling is through regular preventetive maintenance.  Every time you take a shower, make sure to squegee the doors and walls of the shower.  You could even keep a squeegee haning on one of those command hooks that is meant to work in wet environments either inside the unit itsself or directly outside so it is handy to get.

Another suggestion  I would have is to use the washcloth that you used getting clean to give the metal parts and hinges, or the grooves in the slider, a good rubdown after each use.  If you do that every day, then your regualr cleaning time will take much less elbow grease.

Some people even keep a little spray bottle of vinegar (a wonderful, all natural cleaner, if you didn't know) in the shower to spray on the walls and doors before they use the squeegee and washcloth.  It takes 30 seconds and makes a big difference.  By the way, the vinegar smell goes away within a few minutes, leaving a simply clean smell behind. 

simplehuman Fold-Away Squeegee, Die-Cast Zinc
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Regular Cleaning

I would suggest giving everything in the bathroom a good scrub down once a week, and the glass shower doors are no exception to this rule!  If you clean once a week whether you "see" any dirt or not, then you will never see that scummy build up from neglect.  Here is my suggested cleaning routine:


-Mildly abrasive powder or gel cleanser, such as Ajax or Soft Scrub

-Microfiber cloths or terrycloth rags

-Old toothbrush


-Olive oil



AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, (Pack of 36)
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1.Sprinkle a powdered or mildly abraisive liquid cleaner on the interior of the shower and the doors.

2. Scrub with a microfiber cloth or terrycloth rag.

3. Sprinkle more cleanser on the nooks and crannies of the slider mechanism or hinges

4. Scrub with old toothbrush

5. Rinse throuroughly by either running the shower or filling a cup or bucket and dousing all cleaned surfaces

6. Use the olive oil to grease hinges or slider doors if neccesary

7. Spray all glass and metal surfaces with windex

8. Buff dry with clean, dry cloth

Mr. Clean 443865 Magic Reach All in One Bathroom Cleaning Tool Starter Kit
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Troubleshooting Tips:

1. Soap Scum on the Glass Doors

If you have soap scum build up on your door, a light scrubbing is not going to get it off.  You are going to need some serious elbow grease and (possibly) some specialized tools and cleaning products to get it off, depending on the severity of the soap scum. 

The first thing that I would try is a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  To use, simply wet the sponge (do not use any soap or cleaner of any kind when you use it, and make sure the surface of what you are cleaning is dry), and then scrub the surface of your shower door vigorously.  I find that this usually works to remove mild to moderate soap scum build up both on doors and shower stall and tub surfaces. 

If this does not work, the next step would be to use a specialized product such as Lime-Away.  Follow the manufacturers instructions on the bottle, but here is what I do.  I apply the product (wearing gloves) in a well ventilated area, then let it sit for a few minutes.  After that time, I come back with a stiff brush or green scouring pad and buff the scum away, first lightly, then applying more direct pressure as needed.  This should remove even the most stubborn soap scum.

Lime-A-Way Trigger, 32 Fluid Ounce
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2. Water Spots on an otherwise clean door

Water spots can me a major problem for glass surfaces.  For most water spots, a spray of vinegar will remove them.  For water spots that are more stubborn to remove, follow the Lime-Away procedure for soap scum as outlined above.  The water spots may actually be build up of minerals over time on your shower door. 

To prevent water spots from coming back, once you get your door clean, rub it down with a dryer sheet.  That's right, I said dryer sheet!  The anti-static agents in the sheets actually repel water, so it can help prevent the water spots from appearing in the first place. 

I hope this article has taught you how to clean glass shower doors.  Best of luck in your cleaning endeavors!

A video of another great method!