Glass shower doors look fantastic when they are first fitted, but they can quickly become stained with soap scum and watermarks, leaving them looking murky and unclean.
When it comes to cleaning a bathroom, glass shower doors are often the hardest part to get right. Either they take too long or too much elbow grease to consider finishing, or the product you’re using doesn't seem to lift the marks, no matter how hard you scrub.
The good news is that these professional cleaning tricks will make getting glass shower doors streak-free (almost) effortless.
How to clean glass shower doors
All good cleaning tips require expert-selected products to get started. This is what our experts recommend you need to clean glass shower doors the professional way:
- A spray bottle for vinegar mixes: such as these at Amazon (opens in new tab)
- White vinegar: any from Amazon will do (opens in new tab)
- Microfiber cloths: We love these from Amazon (opens in new tab)
Optional items include:
- Limescale remover: for really tough stains (opens in new tab)
- Water repellent: like Rain-X on Amazon to keep water spots away (opens in new tab)
- Magic Erasers: available on Amazon to remove tough soap scum (opens in new tab)
1. Prepare for cleaning with water
The glass cleaning experts at Hillarys (opens in new tab) recommend preparing the shower door glass for cleaning by spraying it with lukewarm water. They suggest using a spray bottle (such as this bottle from Amazon (opens in new tab)) that will also be handy later – so it’s worth the small investment. ‘If you find it easier, you can also just splash the glass with a small bucket or jug of water,’ they say.
Or, of course, if you have a hand-held shower attachment, you can use that.
2. Use a magic eraser to remove water marks
'Magic erasers are the best thing I've used on glass shower doors to get them sparkling clean,' explains Sara San Angelo, professional cleaner and owner of Confessions of a Cleaning Lady (opens in new tab). 'They cut through soap scum and hard water deposits like magic! Just wet the magic eraser (available on Amazon) (opens in new tab) and wipe the whole glass door from top to bottom. Then dry with a microfiber cloth.'
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Variety Pack - 3 for $24.97 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Variety Pack makes it easy for you to tackle messes all around the house. Includes Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Durable scrubber, Bath scrubber, and Kitchen scrubber.
3. Use vinegar to remove soap scum and mold
Did you know that glass shower doors are among the things you can clean with vinegar? Sara San Angelo combines vinegar and soap to help combat scum and tough marks.
'A lot of people use a vinegar solution (50 / 50 vinegar to water) which works great. You can add a few drops of dish detergent as a degreaser – you can actually see the soap scum melt away, but you don't want to use vinegar on natural stone because it can damage it,' she warns.
Jennifer Rodriguez, the chief hygiene officer at Pro Housekeepers (opens in new tab), also recommends cleaning your glass shower door using vinegar. ‘It contains an acid that kills bacteria and fungus,' she explains. 'White vinegar mixed with water prevents the glass from streaking,’ she says. You should leave the white vinegar to soak for at least 10 minutes, but for harsh stains, you may need to leave it for up to 30 minutes.
'You can use the vinegar solution for mold around the base of your shower as well (unless natural stone or unsealed grout then get a mold remover formulated for natural stone),' Sara adds. 'Spray the vinegar solution on the mold, be sure to saturate it well. Wait about an hour and wipe and rinse. A cleaner with bleach will also kill mold and mildew.'
4. Clean glass shower doors with baking soda
Cleaning with baking soda is another natural way to clean glass shower doors, and you can use it to remove the white vinegar; experts suggest dipping a scrubbing sponge in baking soda before scrubbing the glass. ‘The baking soda will work as an abrasive, and the white vinegar will dissolve the product buildup of soap, shampoo, and conditioner,’ experts at Hillary's say.
When it comes to removing stubborn stains, it is better to dab rather than rub, as this could make it worse. Once you are satisfied with how to glass looks, you should finish as you started: by rinsing with lukewarm water before drying with a lint-free microfiber cloth.
5. Consider hydrogen peroxide to remove mold
Hydrogen peroxide has a range of uses around the house, from getting rid of bugs from houseplant soil to caring for wooden cutting boards. In bathrooms, the cleaner is often used for getting rid of black mold and bacteria, cleaning grout or around the base of glass shower doors without needing harsher bleach products.
'Spray hydrogen peroxide directly onto the shower door before using a lint-free cloth to buff,' suggests Raquel Kehler of RoomCrush (opens in new tab). 'This method gives you streak-free glass shower doors without having to invest in additional glass cleaner sprays. This is also a great way to remove mold and mildew without having to use harsh bleach, although it does take a bit longer to work,' she adds.
6. Dry with a microfiber cloth
Microfiber cloths, such as these from Amazon (opens in new tab), are well-known for their ability to achieve a streak-free clean, and the glass shower door is no exception. Professionals suggest drying with a cloth, or a small towel, in a zig-zag pattern to prevent streaks before using glass cleaner for the ultimate sparkling finish.
7. Use Rain-X to prevent further water marks
Adding a protective coating to your glass shower doors, such as Rain-X (available on Amazon) (opens in new tab), can reduce the number of times you need to deep clean, says Raquel Kehler of RoomCrush.
'Rain-X was originally developed for windshields, but it has the same effect on glass shower doors and will keep them clean and remove soap suds/water stains,' Raquel explains. 'To use Rain-X on your shower door, scrub the glass with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or a few drops of dish soap to remove any soap scum. Rinse with water and dry with a microfiber cloth, then apply Rain-X to the glass.
'Using a circular motion, use a clean microfiber cloth to spread the Rain-X around. Finish with another clean microfiber cloth to remove any excess. Depending on the frequency and length of your showers, the Rain-X should last a couple of weeks.'
Rain-X Shower Door Water Repellent - 2 XL bottles for $40.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Provides a water-repellent coating to help prevent shower water and spots from sticking to the glass surface and prevents soap scum, hard water deposits, and grime from building up.
Should you use Windex on shower glass?
Windex can be used on glass shower doors to help remove marks and streaks, however it may not be the best option for removing a build up of mineral deposits or soap scum. If using Windex to refresh your shower doors, then spray the solution onto the glass before buffing out with a lint-free microfiber cloth.
Can vinegar damage shower glass?
White vinegar is a natural cleaner that can break through soap and hard water deposits without damaging glass or sealant around your shower making it the perfect bathroom cleaner.
What removes hard water stains from glass shower doors?
White vinegar removes hard water stains from glass shower doors. We have also used limescale removers (opens in new tab), available at Amazon, to get them sparkling, stain- and streak-free.
What is the best way to keep glass shower doors clean?
The experts at Molly Maids (opens in new tab) say that the best way to keep shower door glass clean – whether free of grime or water marks – is to stop the water drying on the glass in the first place. They suggest you 'keep a squeegee in the shower to wipe down the glass after a shower.'
They also say you can minimize glass cleaning in future by applying 'a hydrophobic compound, such as Rain X (opens in new tab), to keep water spots off the glass.'
If you have a really bad hard water problem, it's likely that keeping water marks at bay is difficult. In which case, they recommend you 'install a water softener. This is an expensive solution, but it will solve many other problems by reducing mineral buildup on your shower glass and the insides of your pipes, faucets, dishwasher, showerheads and more.'
Chiana is a junior writer for Homes & Gardens having joined Future plc as a new graduate in 2022 after achieving a 1st class degree in Literature at university. She first became interested in design as a child after spending her summers helping her parents redecorate her childhood home. As a long-time reader of Future’s homes titles, Chiana is constantly finding new inspiration at work as she focuses on emerging trends, how-to’s, and news pieces.
- Megan SlackNews Editor
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