How to Clean Glass Shower Doors for a Bathroom That Sparkles

Learn how to clean glass shower doors and get them back to a crystal-clear shine that home buyers will love.

Cleaning glass shower doors is one of the toughest challenges I see many homeowners face. As water left on the surface of your shower glass and tile begins to evaporate, it leaves behind tiny mineral deposits. Over time, these deposits build up into white residue mixed with soap, body oils, and dirt that’s darn near impossible to remove. 

Most homeowners don’t want to spend an inordinate amount of time scrubbing this gunk off their shower. However, it’s essential when prepping for a home sale. Potential buyers are highly sensitive to the condition and cleanliness of a bathroom. When selling a home, your bathroom should be white-glove clean and feel like a spa. That means no yucky shower. 

If you’re trying to figure out how to clean hard water stains and soap scum from glass shower doors and don’t have time to experiment, you’re in the right place. Keep scrolling to learn how to clean glass shower doors and get them back to a crystal-clear shine that home buyers will love.

Supplies to Clean Glass Shower Doors

Here’s what you’ll need to get the job done right.

  • Superfine #0000 steel wool. This won’t scratch glass, but if you’re concerned, test it out in an inconspicuous spot before getting started. 
steel wool how to clean glass shower doors
squeegee how to clean glass shower doors
  • Your preferred glass cleaner. We adore Sprayway for a streak-free finish!
sprayway glass cleaner

How to Clean Glass Shower Doors: Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Starting at the top and working your way down, scour the entire door with dry superfine steel wool using a circular scrubbing motion. This starts to physically loosen the residue.
  2. Next, spray the glass with the commercial-grade shower glass door cleaner (or the DIY home cleaner). Let it set for a minute. Then scrub it with your sponge. For extra tough stains, try scrubbing with the steel wool.
  3. Rinse the glass thoroughly.
  4. Spray the glass with your preferred glass cleaner. Then squeegee to remove.
  5. Finally, wipe the door dry with your microfiber cloth.

How to Make the Best Homemade DIY Glass Shower Door Cleaner

Vinegar is an acid that’s often tough enough to melt away those stubborn hard water deposits. Dish soap is effective at powering away grease and oil (the components of soap scum). Mix them together, and you’ve got a pretty great homemade shower cleaner. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 ½ cup cleaning vinegar. Cleaning vinegar is a bit more acidic than the distilled white vinegar most of us use for cooking. That extra acidity makes it a more powerful cleaning agent. 
cleaning vinegar how to clean glass shower doors
  • Pour it into a 16-ounce spray bottle. Then fill it with water. Use this mix to clean shower door glass. 

Science Tip for the Day: Don’t bother using baking soda with this cleaning solution. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Baking soda and vinegar cancel each other out. This is just basic chemistry, y’all. Combining baking soda and vinegar produces carbon dioxide (which explains the fizzing bubbles–they’re not actually “scrubbing” anything) and salty water (water is a great cleaner, but come on, we need something tougher here). 

Tips for Cleaning Extra Stubborn Stains on Glass Shower Doors

Zep Acidic Toilet Bowl Cleaner, 32 Oz, White, Wintergreen how to clean glass shower doors

Use safety glasses and gloves to protect your eyes and skin. Make sure you’ve got plenty of ventilation where you’re working. Turn on the bathroom fan or open a window. To be on the safe side, I recommend working in an old t-shirt or something you don’t care about getting messed up. (There’s always a chance that chemicals could discolor it.) 

How to Keep Glass Shower Doors Clean

After you go through all this trouble, you’ll probably want to make sure you don’t ever have to work this hard again to clean the darn shower glass. There are a few ways to keep them sparkling and easier to maintain.

  • Dry the door after showering. Keep a squeegee in the shower and wipe the door down after every use. You can even use your towel for this if you prefer. Doing this removes the water that would otherwise linger and leave those stubborn spots. This will save you hours of scrubbing! (I use this method in my own home.)
  • Opt for all-natural soaps. Soaps that have olive oil, shea butter, coconut oil, or other natural bases are better for your skin and tend to leave less soap scum.
  • Consider using shower spray. For a squeegee alternative, spray a mixture of half vinegar-half water or a commercial daily shower cleaner (like Clean Shower Daily Shower Cleaner). Immediately after showering, spray a light mist over the wet interior surfaces including the curtain and/or door. When finished, just walk away – don’t scrub, rinse, or wipe off. Wondering why this works? After a wet surface is sprayed with the daily cleaner, the separate droplets of water merge into a sheet and glide down the surface, taking oils and dirt with them. Within minutes, the sprayed areas are dry. The cleaning agent breaks the surface tension of water droplets, flattening them and allowing the water to run down in the form of a sheet. This is called “sheeting action.”

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Published by Vannessa Rhoades, Three Bears Home Staging

Vannessa Rhoades is the author of "Just Right! Easy DIY Home Staging" and the founder of the award-winning firm, Three Bears Home Staging®. She specializes in providing positive and empowering consultations to help homeowners sell more quickly and for more money. Vannessa has staged and consulted on hundreds of properties, both in person throughout the Houston metro area and virtually across the country.

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