Banish soap scum, hard water stains, and mildew from your shower without harsh chemicals. Try our DIY tips on how to clean glass shower doors (and keep them gleaming).

By Berit Thorkelson
Updated February 24, 2020
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A glass shower door adds modern elegance to your bathroom, but as with every other bathroom fixture exposed to moisture, unsightly grime and mineral deposits can build up. If the surface looks streaky or foggy, try one of these tricks for the most effective way to clean glass shower doors. A simple DIY shower cleaner made using ingredients you have around the house will get rid of the mess without strong, irritating chemicals. For especially dirty doors, 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 cleaning your shower doors easier next time!

Credit: Adam Albright Photography Inc

How to Clean Shower Doors with Vinegar

For a homemade, soap scum-slaying cleaner, mix distilled white vinegar (heated first) with grease-cutting dish detergent, such as Dawn, in equal proportions. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray it on the front and back of the doors. Let the mixture stand for about 30 minutes or until it has cut through the grime. Rinse off the solution using fresh water and a damp sponge, and dry the glass with a microfiber cloth. This vinegar and dish soap solution works for most showers, but use caution when cleaning shower doors with vinegar. 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.

How to Clean Shower Doors With Lemon

Say goodbye to annoying streaks with this trick to clean glass shower doors without residue, courtesy of Leslie Reichert, author of The Joy of Green Cleaning. Cut a lemon in half and dip the cut side 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, the fresh lemon scent is much more pleasant than bleach.

How to Make a DIY Daily Shower Spray

Using a shower spray daily can allow you more 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.)

The Best Time to Clean Glass Shower Doors

For easy cleanup, plan to wipe down the shower right after the last person has finished up their shower for the day. This is the best time to clean your shower surround because the warm water has already loosened up the grime. Use a sponge or foam cleaning pad, such as a Magic Eraser, to avoid the need for additional cleaning products or toxic chemicals. Cross multiple chores off your list by cleaning shower doors, walls, and floors at the same time.

The Best Tools for Shower Cleaning

The edges or tracks of your shower door need attention, too. These creases are a prime target for mold and trapped soap scum if you forget about them while cleaning shower doors. Use a toothbrush to scrub 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 blade scraper, when carefully and gently applied, can scrape mineral spots off the 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.

How to Keep Glass Shower Doors Clean

Hard water spots form when drops of water dry on the glass, and mold and mildew can grow in damp environments. To keep glass shower doors clean and grime-free, prevention is key. "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 each time they shower. A basic squeegee costs less than $10 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. To further prevent hard water spots, spray the shower doors with a water repellent spray, such as Rain-X, or consider installing a water softener to reduce mineral buildup.

Credit: Werner Segarra

How Often to Clean Your Shower

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 Magic Eraser.

Once a month: It's time for a deep clean. Thoroughly scrub your entire shower, making sure to get in any nooks and crannies.

Comments (2)

October 30, 2018
We squeegee after every shower, and then we use a Dollar Store shammy to dry the glass completely. We also shammy the metal fixtures dry. Our shower stays really clean and I only have to clean the base with bleach cleaner a couple times a year as we have little soap scum and no mold. I use an old toothbrush to reach in tight spots with the bleach cleaner.
September 20, 2018
We replaced our shower doors about 2 years ago. They came with a protective film on the inside to protect from shattering. Unfortunately, you are unable to use any type of abrasive cleaner in it to remove soap build up, etc so they have never looked as great as the day they were put in. I have purchased many cleaners, scrubbed the doors with lemons, oranges, many concoctions of vinegar and whatever, BUT nothing has brought them back as incredibly as your suggestion above for baking soda mixed with Dawn (frosting consistancy) and applied with a Mr. Clean white foam pad. They look amazing! Thank you so much! Lisa P. Maryland