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How to Clean Glass Shower Doors

By Edited Jan 19, 2014 2 3

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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(price as of Jan 19, 2014)

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!



Apr 20, 2013 7:28pm
That sounds like hard work for this old duck. I like you use vinegar and spray that on a couple of minutes before having a show (couple of times a week) then when you have your show use your rough fibre squeegee (mine is on a handle which makes it easy) and wipe over glass then have your shower and wipe glass down with the window rubber cleaner to remove water.

That usually does the trick. Great article. I hated the plastic curtains too.
May 26, 2013 4:18pm
Great article for those that have glass shower doors. Our current place has shower curtains, but I remember how "fun" it could be to clean these. Good tips!
Jun 4, 2013 10:34am
Once, I had a really, really bright idea. I had been reading about DIY home cleaners and decided to... um... "DIM."

So I grabbed my lemon oil and filled a bucket with water and threw in some salt and a little pinch of bleach. The main ingredient in this particular recipe I'd found online, though, was white vinegar.

"Well, this can't possibly go wrong," I said, and poured the vinegar into my concoction. I used this to clean the glass shower doors I had installed years earlier, as they hadn't really been cleaned in more or less the same amount of time. They were caked with oxidation, dried saline, and some opaque film that actually gave the whole thing a really lovely "frosted" appearance (that is, until you realized this 'frosting' was actually grime).

So I just pour my mixture all over it. Just completely douse the whole thing. My solution is spilling everywhere, all over the door, in the basin, on the floor outside, the tile walls. Just everywhere.

The smell hits immediately. "Whoa, maybe a little too much vinegar." But I brush it off. And I get to scrubbing. When I'm finished, I spray some Jasmine and chamomile aerosol into the bathroom to try and mask the scent. But it's still overwhelming. "Well, it'll go away pretty soon," I say.

One week later, and my girlfriend doesn't come over anymore, I have to go to her place because the bathroom smells so bad. My parents come down to visit me and my mother is horrified by the smell in my bathroom.

"Where are the dirty gym socks hidden?" My dad offers.
"You should just burn the whole bathroom to the ground, start fresh," my brother adds, helpfully.

After hours and hours over the course of weeks of deep cleaning and perfuming the HECK out of that bathroom, it starts to become bearable again. All told, my bathroom went from a level 5 stink hazard to a normal, clean, nice bathroom in just under 4 weeks.

So, ladies and gentleman, learn from my mistake. Just go with what JengoJengo suggests here: olive oil, ajax, and a magic eraser.
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