How to Clean Glass Shower Doors

updated Oct 3, 2022
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Cute bathroom with clean glass shower door
Credit: Photo: Sarah Crowley; Location: Publishing House, Chicago

There are two types of people in the world: Shower curtain people and glass door people. Maybe you inherited your shower situation, so you didn’t get a choice in the matter. Maybe you intentionally installed one or the other for a reason. No matter which option you prefer, we can all agree that glass shower doors are kind of a pain to keep clean, and we have tons of methods to keeping yours clean.

As with all chores, cleaning your glass shower door will be a lot less labor-intensive and a lot less annoying if you have a maintenance plan and stick to it. (Yes, it’s time to invest in a squeegee.) But there comes a time when a glass shower door simply needs a deep clean. Don’t fret. If you’re at the cloudy-shower-door crossroads, then you’ve come to the right place. 

To make your shower door cleaning process easier, we tapped Bailey Carson, head of cleaning at Handy, the online marketplace for home services, for her best shower door maintenance and cleaning tips. And if you’re looking for a more creative way to keep your glass shower door clean, then we’ve got some suggestions for that, too. We promise it won’t be as bad as you think. Happy cleaning!

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How to Clean A Glass Shower Door, Step by Step

While making a habit of cleaning the shower door daily negates the need for a thorough cleanse, inevitably, life will sometimes get in the way, and you might forget to do our daily door cleanse every now and then, says Carson. If it’s time for a more thorough clean to de-grime your shower door, here’s what she recommends. 

Credit: Photo: Sarah Crowley; Location: Publishing House, Chicago

1. Fill your spray bottle.

First, grab an empty spray bottle to whip up your glass shower door cleaner. Carson recommends a DIY mix of ¼ cup dish soap, a cup of water, and ½ cup distilled white vinegar. “Vinegar’s acidity makes it an effective cleaning solution because it can cut down on grime buildup without the use of chemicals that could damage the glass,” she says. 

Credit: Photo: Sarah Crowley; Location: Publishing House, Chicago

2. Spray the solution.

Next, spray your vinegar-soap-water solution up and down the shower door glass, making sure not to forget corners and crevices. 

Credit: Photo: Sarah Crowley; Location: Publishing House, Chicago

3. Let the solution do its work.

Carson suggests allowing the spray to sit for at least 30 minutes, so it has time to break down the grime. 

Credit: Photo: Sarah Crowley; Location: Publishing House, Chicago

4. Scrub the door clean.

With a clean sponge or cloth, scrub the door, focusing on any stubborn soap scum that may remain. 

Credit: Photo: Sarah Crowley; Location: Publishing House, Chicago

5. Rinse the door.

Turn on the shower to rinse any remaining solution from the glass shower door. If the spray from the shower doesn’t reach, you can use a drink pitcher to rinse.

Credit: Photo: Sarah Crowley; Location: Publishing House, Chicago

6. If needed, apply ammonia.

If any water streaks remain, you can use an ammonia mixture for extra shine. Combine two tablespoons of ammonia with two quarts of warm water in a separate spray bottle, spray the door, and wipe clean with a dry cloth after three minutes. One word of caution: Never mix ammonia with other chemicals, and always use protective gloves and ensure proper ventilation. 

Credit: Rikki Snyder

How to Keep a Shower Door Clean

Now that your glass shower door is fresh and clean try to keep it that way. Carson recommends squeegeeing your shower doors every day after taking a shower when the soap scum and hard water stains are new and much easier to remove. 

Simply start from the top left corner of the shower, and drag down with the squeegee, making sure you’ve covered every part of the door until you reach the bottom right corner. Finish up by wiping the door down with a microfiber cloth to suck up any excess water, and remember to leave your bathroom door open to allow air circulation.

How to Clean a Shower Door with a Dryer Sheet

Carson says repurposing dryer sheets is another great way to get that hard-to-clean grime off your shower door: The lint absorption of dryer sheets also proves useful for breaking down and absorbing grime and soap scum. 

“All you have to do is lightly wet one sheet, wipe down the shower door, and take a paper towel or a cloth soaked in warm water to rinse the shower door off when you’re done,” she says.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

How to Clean a Shower Door With a Magic Eraser

If your shower is neglected and in need of a deep clean, try a Magic Eraser to get rid of soap scum and mineral deposits that may have built up over time. Use your Magic Eraser the same way you would on another surface: Lightly wet a fresh Eraser, wring out excess water, and clean the glass in circular motions from the top to bottom corner. It should make quick work of yucky residue, and then you can use it to give the faucets and hardware a shine.

Credit: Photo: Sarah Crowley; Location: Publishing House, Chicago

How to Clean a Shower Door with Bar Keepers Friend

This seemingly one-note cleaner is not only great to keep in the kitchen, it can also clean and polish your glass shower doors to a perfect shine thanks to the cleanser’s oxalic acid, which penetrates grime.

First, wet the shower door, then apply a small amount of Bar Keepers Friend to a wet sponge, gently spreading it over the door’s surface. Let the acid do its work for a minute or two, then scrub, rinse, and dry with a clean, soft cloth. Easy peasy!

Credit: Photo: Sarah Crowley; Location: Publishing House, Chicago

How to Clean a Shower Door With Pine-Sol and an Old T-Shirt

This is the tip that gets passed down through my circle of friends and family: Mix Pine-Sol together with water in a spray bottle (the Pine-Sol website suggests ⅛ cup of Pine-Sol in ½ gallon of warm water) and spray it on your shower door before wiping it all down with a soft and worn-out T-Shirt.