A glass shower door adds modern elegance to your bathroom, but as with anything that’s exposed to moisture, unsightly grime and mineral deposits can build up. If your shower door looks streaky or foggy, try one of these shower cleaning tricks. A simple homemade shower cleaner made of ingredients you have around the house will get rid of mess without strong, irritating chemicals. You might need a scraper to remove troublesome spots. After you’ve gotten your shower door shining again, put some prevention tactics into action to make your job easier next time!
People swear by the incredible soap scum-slaying ability of distilled vinegar (heated first) mixed with grease-cutting dish detergent, such as Dawn, in equal proportions. This works for most showers but use caution: If your shower is made of stone, the vinegar could damage it. Instead, mix some liquid soap with baking soda until it's the consistency of frosting, says Kris Koenig, CEO of Natura Clean. Scrub this eco-friendly cleaner onto the glass shower door with a nonscratch sponge.
Clean the shower door as you're finishing up your shower. This is the best time to clean your shower, since the warm water has already loosened up the grime. Plus, you don't have to worry about getting messy or wet. Use a sponge or foam cleaning pad such as a Magic Eraser, and you won't need to mess around with additional cleaning products or toxic chemicals. We’re all about tackling two chores in one!
It’s time to say goodbye to annoying streaks. Leslie Reichert, author of The Joy of Green Cleaning, offers this trick for cleaning your glass shower door: Cut a lemon in half. Dip one half in baking soda, then rub on both sides of the glass door. The acid in the lemon reacts with the baking soda, making a sudsy foam. "Once you get the glass clean, I like rubbing it with a little lemon oil, too," she says. "The oil will repel the water so the soap doesn't dry on the glass." As a bonus, lemon always smells nice—much nicer than bleach.
The edges of your shower door need attention, too. These creases are a prime target for mold and trapped soap scum. Use a toothbrush for scrubbing the metal frame around your shower door. A paint scraper can help get the gunk where the metal meets the shower or door, and a razor, carefully and gently applied, can scrape mineral spots off flat glass. Be sure to use a clean, sharp blade and hold it at a 45-degree angle to the surface to avoid scratching the glass.
Prevention is key. Mold and mildew won’t appear if you don’t give them a damp environment. "The best thing you can do is squeegee the door after each use," Koenig says. Keep one hanging in your shower to make it easy—and remind family members to do it after they shower. A basic squeegee costs less than $5 and saves you lots of time and frustration. "It'll help keep hard-water deposits from building up, so you won't have to scrub so much later," she says. Leaving the door open after a shower will also help dry it out.
Using a shower spray daily builds time between deep cleans. Make your own cleaner on the cheap—and without harsh chemicals—by mixing 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, a little dish soap, and 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil, for scent. Keep it in the shower and spray the glass door down after squeegeeing. (Again, skip the vinegar if you have a stone tile shower.)
So, how often should you clean your shower, anyway? If you keep up with regular light maintenance, you should only have to deep clean every few weeks. Here’s a good shower cleaning schedule to follow for the above tasks:
Every Day: After using the shower, you should squeegee, use your DIY spray cleaner, and leave the door open to air out.
Weekly: Give your whole shower a wipe down once a week with a sponge or your Magic Eraser.
Once a Month: It’s time for a deep clean. Thoroughly scrub your entire shower, being sure to get in any nooks and crannies.