Your ultimate guide on how to clean glass shower doors and get rid of soap scum. Discover 29 different ways to keep your bathroom glass doors sparkling clean.
In today’s modern bathrooms, elegant glass shower doors often become the center of attention, as people peer through them to view the beautiful stone primarypieces that lie within them. Because of this, it is absolutely essential that glass shower doors stay as clean and clear as they possibly can. Soap scum and mineral deposits become the enemy to those who wish to keep their bathroom looking its best. With that being said, many homeowners simply don’t know how to keep their glass shower doors clear and shiny. This article is designed to talk about the many methods and ways to accomplish exactly that.
Table of Contents
- Necessary Tools for Cleaning Glass Shower Doors
- DIY Recipe for Cleaning Soap Scum and Mineral Buildup
- Motorize It
- Another Scrub-Free Solution
- Best Commercial Cleaning Solutions for Mineral Stains
- Cleaning Shower Door Tracks
- Glass Shower Door Hacks
- Tackling Soap Scum the Eco-Friendly Way
- Ready-Made Soap Scum Removers
- Preventing Buildup on Shower Doors
- Daily Shower Cleaners
- Regular Chemical-Based Cleaner
- All-Natural Plant-Based Cleaner
- Scrub-Free Solutions
- DIY Cleaner
- Tools for the Job
- Common Problems
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Necessary Tools for Cleaning Glass Shower Doors
Before we begin talking about all the different ways you can clean glass shower doors, let’s gather a few common household goods that we will need in order to make your shower doors look their best.
First of all, if you are going to go with commercial cleaning products you will obviously need to have those on hand. But since you may decide to mix up your own cleaning solution, you can wait until reading the rest of the article before selecting specific cleaning products.
You will also need a soft sponge. Some people prefer a sponge that has a side with a scrubber on it. This may be appropriate if you have hard water stains that you need to scrub off. Find an old toothbrush to use to scrub inside the crevices of your shower door.
You may need a large plastic cup with a handle to rinse your shower door if you don’t have a removable shower head.
Next, you will need a squeegee. This is used to remove the excess water from your glass shower doors after you clean them. Don’t forget a microfiber cloth. This will be used to shine your glass shower door after you squeegee off the excess water.
DIY Recipe for Cleaning Soap Scum and Mineral Buildup
No matter where you search across the Internet, there is one ingredient that cannot be denied in its power to cut mineral buildup. That magical ingredient is vinegar. Ah, the delicious smell of vinegar. As you might guess, its pungent smell is the one drawback in mixing up your own concoction. Nevertheless, we want effectiveness, don’t we?
Begin by spraying an even coat of vinegar across your glass shower doors, and allow it to sit for several minutes. While that is soaking in, create a paste with equal amounts of baking soda and salt. Next, take a damp sponge and rub this paste all over the glass doors. After your elbow grease has rubbed in the paste, rinse off the solution thoroughly. After this, use your squeegee to remove all the excess water from your glass shower door. Then use the microfiber cloth to shine the door, using a product like Windex or another shine agent of your choice.
Do you hate the idea of having to scrub as much as I do? If so, Amazon sells a handy little gadget that you may be interested in. It is called the RotoScrub Bathroom Cleaning Drill Accessory Kit. This is a handy little gadget if you want to keep your hands clean, so to speak. Here is how it works. You attach one of these circular scrubbing pads to your own household drill (drill sold separately). Then you just spray your favorite cleaning solution of choice all over your glass shower doors. Next, you turn on your electric drill and voila! Instant electric scrubbing action!
Another Scrub-Free Solution
If you are anything like me, when it comes to cleaning your bathroom, you would like to have to spend as little time in there as possible. Doesn’t the concept of only having to spray on a cleaning solution and walking away sound absolutely wonderful? I think so too.
As it turns out, there is actually a product out there that advertises exactly that. It is called Wet & Forget Shower, the no-scrub weekly shower cleaner. Bleach-free, Wet & Forget is designed to remove mold and mildew stains, while at the same time cleaning and preventing soap scum from forming. Did I mention that its non-abrasive formula smells like vanilla?
Here is how it works. You spray it on today and rinse it off tomorrow. Perhaps that is the only drawback, that you have to keep it on overnight. But at least it has a nice smell to it.
Best Commercial Cleaning Solutions for Mineral Stains
Mineral stains can be a little more difficult to get rid of than soap scum. However, here are some ready-made products that can help you do just that.
1. LIme-A-Way This inexpensive product has been on the market for many years. It destroys lime, calcium, and rust without any scrubbing.
2. Bio Clean is an eco-friendly option for cleaning away tough mineral stains. Made from a non-chemical compound, Bio-Clean claims to remove years of stains, as if they were never there.
3. Diamond Magic is another curious product to try. Made with genuine diamonds, Diamond Magic polishes, scours and cleans away hard water stains.
Cleaning Shower Door Tracks
Unless you have frameless shower doors, let’s not forget those pesky shower door tracks. Because they collect water, they can get quite grimy and nasty-looking. Time to break out the vinegar, and get them sparkling again.
Start by plugging the hole in the drain tracks with a paper towel. Next, pour white distilled vinegar inside of the tracks, and leave it there overnight. In the morning, remove the paper towel plugging the drain, and soak up the excess vinegar with additional paper towels. An old toothbrush can be used to scrub away stains and loosen debris. Finish the job by wiping the tracks clean with a cloth.
Glass Shower Door Hacks
Here are a few quick tips that you may not have heard of when it comes to keeping your glass shower doors looking their sparkling best.
- Do you only have a minute to get your bathroom looking better? Take a dryer sheet and dampen it. Now, rub it across your glass shower doors, wherever soap scum is present. This is a quick way to get rid of soap scum if you don’t have time to spend scrubbing.
- Want to stop soap scum from developing altogether? Stop using bar soap, and switch to liquid soap. Experts agree that switching to a liquid body wash can reduce the amount of hazy film that accumulates.
- If you have a problem with mineral stains developing on your glass shower doors, consider installing a water softener.
- Have you ever heard of Rain-X? Try applying this to your glass shower doors once a month in order to repel water, helping it to roll off your glass shower doors.
- After thoroughly cleaning your glass shower doors, try preventing buildup by using lemon oil furniture polish as a barrier. Allow the oil to sit for 2 minutes, and then wipe off the extra with a dry cloth.
Tackling Soap Scum the Eco-Friendly Way
Although vinegar does work to get rid of soap scum, if you have a stone shower, it is possible that vinegar can damage it. Here is what you can mix up as an alternative to using vinegar.
Mix up some baking soda with liquid soap, until it becomes the consistency of frosting. This eco-friendly cleaner can then be applied with a soft, damp sponge onto the glass shower doors.
Another earth-friendly option for cleaning soap scum off of your shower doors is to use a Magic Eraser cleaning pad. Or, here is another way.
Take a lemon and cut it in half. Dip one half of it in baking soda, and simply rub it onto your glass shower door. This will create a nice foam, due to the reaction between the lemon and the baking soda. The great thing about this method is that you don’t have to worry about smelling bleach or vinegar.
Ready-Made Soap Scum Removers
Perhaps you would prefer just picking up a bottle of ready-made soap scum remover that you can count on to work. Nothing wrong with that! Here are a few of Amazon’s favorites.
1. Tilex Commercial Soap Scum Remover is always a good choice. When I hear the word Tilex, I think of one word, and that is ‘powerful.’ Tilex won’t let you down when it comes to removing soap scum.
2. Have you ever tried Kaboom? You just spray on this blue foam, and when it is ready to be wiped off, it turns white. Plus if you are a fan of Oxi-Clean, that is one of its main ingredients.
3. Third on our list is Rejuvenate Soap Scum Remover. All that you have to do is spray it on the soap scum and rinse it away. It is a bleach-free formula that is safe for any surface.
Preventing Buildup on Shower Doors
Cleaning experts agree. The one thing that you need to do to keep your glass shower doors for developing buildup in the first place is to use a squeegee to wipe away water and residue after showering. Better yet, after you are done using a squeegee, wiping the shower down with a microfiber cloth is recommended. To take your clean shower habits to another level, try misting your glass shower doors with one of the following daily shower cleaner ideas.
Daily Shower Cleaners
Are you a do-it-yourself kind of mixologist? If so, here is a quick recipe you can mix up for a daily glass shower door cleaner. Begin by grabbing a 32-ounce spray bottle. Pour ½ cup of rubbing alcohol and ½ cup hydrogen peroxide into it. Add 1 tablespoon of dishwasher rinse, and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap into it. Finish filling up the spray bottle with water. Gently swirl the bottle to combine the ingredients. After using a squeegee on the doors, simply mist the concoction onto your glass shower doors and leave it there.
If you would prefer just buying a ready-made daily shower cleaner, here are a few highly-rated brands for you to choose from. No matter which one you choose, all you need to do is spray it on and leave it there. There is no wiping or scrubbing required.
1. First on our list is Method Daily Shower Spray Cleaner in Eucalyptus Mint. Other than its fresh scent, the most highly-appreciated aspect is the fact that it is plant-based, naturally-derived and non-toxic. It works great to dissolve and prevent soap scum.
2. Another popular choice is Tilex Shower Spray. You will notice that Clorox is on the label, but don’t worry, it is a bleach-free formula.
3. Are you a fan of Scrubbing Bubbles? They claim that you can wait up to 30 days to clean your shower if you use their daily shower spray.
Regular Chemical-Based Cleaner
The shower cleaner created by Rain-X is a great all-purpose cleaner that is designed specifically for glass shower doors. This chemical-based cleaner is able to tackle just about any substance that you might find on your shower door including mildew, soap scum, hard water stains, rust, and more. This is a great cleaner to use on glass, however, you will have to find a different cleaner to clean the tub, counter, and fixtures in the bathroom as well.
For the most part, all you will need with this product is some clean running water to rinse away the creamy paste after it has been applied. Use a soft cloth, such as a microfiber cloth to wipe the shower door clean. The microfiber cloth should also be enough to use a little elbow grease to eliminate any difficult mildew, mold, or staining.
Best Cleaning Method
This cleaner comes as a creamy paste component. Simply apply to the glass shower doors and allow it to sit for a brief period of time. Rinse away with water and wipe clean with a cloth or paper towel. For simple scum and staining this product does a pretty good job of eliminating the problem with a simple water rinse, but tougher stains might require a bit of scrubbing with a soft cloth or towel.
All-Natural Plant-Based Cleaner
Our favorite all-natural cleaner for glass shower doors is the glass cleaner produced by Seventh Generation. This product seems to do it all, even without the use of harsh chemicals. This cleaner is easy to use and is extremely effective against mold, mildew, and hard water spots. Plus, people love that this is a completely natural and biodegradable cleaner. There is not a fragrance or smell associated with the cleaner so your shower will be left smelling clean and fresh, not overly chemical. Usable for all glass surfaces in your bathroom, you can just as easily use this cleaner from Seventh Generation on the shower doors as well as the bathroom mirror.
Extremely easy to use, this cleaner only requires the use of a soft cloth to wipe the glass shower doors clean. Of course, a reusable microfiber cloth is going to be your best option because it is strong, durable, and able to be laundered for continued use.
Best Cleaning Method
Use this cleaner in the same way you would use any glass cleaner for a surface. Simply spray on to the shower doors and wipe away with a soft cloth. While this product typically does not streak, it is best to use continuous and fluid wiping motions to avoid the possibility of streaking. Choose one direction, either top to bottom or side to side, and continue this direction for the entire glass shower door.
If you really want to tackle your glass shower doors head-on, the best advice is to clean the doors to your shower every day to stay on top of any scum and grime build-up. One of the best cleaners for this is the daily Method shower cleaner. Simply spray down your shower doors after you shower each day. The all-natural solution works to dissolve any mildew or soap scum before it has a chance to adhere to the surface of the glass. The non-toxic cleaning solution eliminates the need to wipe down, scrub, or chip away at hard water stains on your glass shower doors.
This one is easy, all you need is the cleaner itself! The no-scrub solution is easy to spray on daily in order to keep your glass shower doors looking great. Of course, routine cleaning once a week will be necessary to get all the cracks and corners, but your routine cleaning will be infinitely easier with this daily no-scrub solution.
Best Cleaning Method
Again, another easy one. Spray it and forget it. This is a great product to help stay on top of routine cleaning to eliminate mildew, grime, and soap scum.
To make your own DIY cleaner to cut through shower scum and grime on your shower doors you will need to pull a few basic ingredients out of your pantry. Baking soda combined with vinegar can create a powerful cleaner on your shower doors. Try mixing about a cup of baking soda with just enough vinegar to make a thick paste. Once the solution has stopped fizzing, apply this paste onto the shower doors. Let the solution sit for about 15 minutes before wiping clean with a sponge or a cloth.
Another popular DIY cleaner is to use equal parts dish detergent and vinegar. Combine these two elements into a spray bottle and apply the cleaning solution to the shower doors. Using a soft-bristled brush, wipe away the grime that has accumulated on the glass. The dish detergent helps to neutralize grime and soap scum, while the vinegar’s acidity helps to break the scum loose and prevent streaking on the glass.
To use these DIY methods you will want an arsenal of tools. A combination of using several tools for your shower doors will get you the best results. To wipe away streaks, we suggest using a microfiber, or other soft material cloth. To help battle minor soap scum and staining we suggest using a non-abrasive sponge. Further, for the really tough spots on your shower door, a soft-bristled brush will be enough to break through even the toughest mildew, grime, and soap scum.
Best Cleaning Method
For the DIY paste solution, the most effective way to clean the glass shower doors is to simply apply the paste and wait about 15 minutes for it to work. While most of the built-up debris should wash free with clean water, you may need to add a little extra elbow grease with a soft cloth. To complete the shower doors, using a spray vinegar solution will keep soap scum at bay, and your glass looking beautiful. Use a soft microfiber cloth or paper towel to wipe away the sprayed on the cleaner. Always use a fluid and continual motion to avoid potential streaking. It is important to always move in the same direction, either top to bottom or side to side.
Tools for the Job
To make your shower cleaning chores infinitely easier be sure to find the right tool for the job. Depending on what your current glass shower door condition is, you may need a variety of tools to tackle the tough soap scum, grime, and mildew that may have accumulated. Below, let’s take a look at some common tools used to clean glass shower doors.
For areas of the shower door that have stubborn stains use a non-abrasive sponge. This will allow you to use some elbow grease to really eliminate the problem leaving you with a beautiful and clear glass shower door. Avoid any type of sponge with an abrasive surface as this can lead to fine scratches in your shower glass.
Depending on the level of soap scum and grime on your shower you might want to use a scrub brush. Always use a soft-bristled brush to avoid scratching the surface of the glass. We really like this collection of brush shapes and sizes that allow you to get into all areas of the shower doors.
To create a beautiful, streak-free finish on your glass shower doors utilize a microfiber cloth or cleaning rag. The microfiber is gentle enough on the glass, yet durable enough to tackle the most stubborn hard water spots. Plus, these towels are completely reusable after a quick trip through the laundry.
If you really want to ensure a streak-free and perfectly clear glass shower door implement the use of a squeegee. There are several available, but we prefer the squeegee from Top Charm. It is small and easy to use and even includes a mounting bracket to place in the shower. Remove any streaks with the squeegee and hang up to dry after use. This squeegee is made from stainless steel so the moisture will not cause it to rust.
While many of the cleaning solutions offered in this article are all-natural and plant-based, there are some very caustic materials that can be damaging to sensitive skin. When working with any type of cleaning product we always recommend the use of rubber gloves. This will help keep your hands protected while you work to clean your glass shower. Of course, after finishing any cleaning product we recommend you fully wash your hands with soap and water to remove any potentially caustic chemicals.
Try as we might keep up with a clean shower there are still common problems that people face every day. Below, we have outlined some very specific and common problems with glass shower doors and the best way to fight them head-on.
Hard Water Stains
Unfortunately, the water we use to drink and bathe in commonly has different mineral additives. While these are generally harmless of people, they can cause quite a bit of headache for glass shower doors. Hard water stains are often the result of too much calcium and magnesium in the water. If you struggle with hard water stains, look for products that are designed specifically to tackle hard water. We recommend Bio Clean’s hard water stain remover. Not only will this work for your shower doors, but it will work for other hard surfaces in your home too.
Soft Water Stains
Alternatively, some people struggle with soft water staining. While the soft water lacks many of the nutrients and minerals that can be damaging to your shower doors that are often found in hard water, soft water is still able to create difficult stains. Often, soft water will carry minerals from the plumbing, such as lead, into your shower. This can create rust staining. If this is your problem we recommend using the product by Bring It On. Not only will this do a great job fighting your soft water stains, but it comes with a specific brush and cleaning pad intended to really eliminate soft water stains as soon as they form.
Grime and Soap Scum
One of the biggest challenges with glass shower doors is the collection of grime and soap scum. Regular use of the shower will simply accumulate soap scum over time. Soap scum is actually a collection of the fatty acids that are used to make soap. Unfortunately, these fatty acids are often immune to water and require heavy cleaners to cut through the grime. It can help to find cleaners that specifically target soap scum and grime. These usually have the right acidic components to eat through the fatty substance.
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