How to Clean Shower Doors

Placed in a moist, warm location, shower doors are prone to mildew and mold growth. Add to that the soap scum that quickly builds up over time, and you’ve got quite the cleaning task in front of you. Here’s how to take the pain out of this cleaning chore and have your doors sparkling!

You Will Need:

  • White vinegar
  • Sponges or soft cloths
  • Water
  • Lemon oil
  • Bucket

Steps to Clean Shower Doors:

  1. Start by mixing one part water with one part vinegar in a bucket. If there is a lot of build up on the doors, use more vinegar. Straight vinegar can be used as well for really dirty doors.
  2. Moisten the sponge or soft cloth in the mixture.
  3. Rub it over the surfaces of the door to remove any soap scum and hard water stains that have built up. Apply more of the vinegar/water mixture as you are scrubbing to keep the surface wet.
  4. Once clean, rinse with clean water.
  5. Dry with a soft cloth to remove any excess water and make the doors shine.
  6. If there are still water spots present, there are two options:
  • If there is still hard water deposits or soap scum present, wipe the surface with white vinegar on a soft cloth or sponge.
  • If the door is clean, and all surface residue has been removed, you can apply lemon oil to the surface using a soft cloth or sponge. This will make the glass shine. It also works well on the metal frames.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Dry the doors off after each use to keep soap scum and hard water stains from returning.
  • Treat any signs of mold or mildew immediately with a mild bleach or vinegar solution.
  • Use caution when selecting commercial cleaning products. Some cleaners that are designed to clean tile and tubs are not safe to use on glass. Rather than cleaning them, they can etch the surface and leave a dull, filmy appearance.
  • Dryer sheets moistened with water can be used to wipe shower doors and remove spots and buildup. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers have also been found useful by many for this tough cleaning task.
  • Want to treat the source of soap scum? Switch to liquid soap. The bar soap is what causes soap scum in the first place.


  1. Pat says:

    Inexpensive toothpaste works great to clean shower doors, the least expensive brand you can find will work. Squeeze it out of the tube and work it onto the shower doors with a scrubbing style sponge; fully rinse to finish. Sparkling shower doors are the end result!

  2. Sue says:

    The secret to cleaning a shower door is: Fill a small bucket with warm water, use a Brillo pad, and do not let the walls get dry. Use a lot of water.

  3. Yolanda says:

    Toothpaste works great… but any liquid dishwasher soap (e.g. Cascade, etc.) works really well. Pour the liquid on a clean sponge and rub it on the doors. Let it stay on about five minutes and then rinse it off with warm water. Dry the doors with a lint-free dry cloth or towel.

    If the doors are really full of scum, apply liquid dishwasher soap to the doors and leave it on for at least an hour and then rinse it off with warm water and dry immediately with lint-free dry cloth.

  4. Joni says:

    WD-40! Works on even the toughest scum.

    Leave it on one minute.
    Wipe it off. No scrubbing.

    Enough said.

  5. Lynn says:

    Use wet Bounce Softener sheets for cleaning soap sum off shower doors. May have to it do more than once if the soap scum has built after a long period of time.

  6. Jana says:

    Tried everything I read on the internet and nothing worked. Had bought A-Maz and tried it, but it didn’t work. Finally hired a window cleaner who came with A-Maz and a scrubbing pad on the end of an electric grinder – it took everything off!!

  7. Angie says:

    After you get them clean, use Rain-X to repel water and keep a small squeegee in the shower to prevent water spots.

  8. Ann says:

    Believe it or not, I spend time cleaning my shower after every shower. It takes a couple minutes, but is worth it. The glass doors and fiberglass always look ‘hotel shiny’.

    First, I squeegee off the water on the glass doors and walls of the shower. Then I use a towel to dry any water residue. That’s all. Never any products or scrubbing, but you start with a clean shower in the first place!

  9. Dolly K. says:

    Toothpaste is the best of them all, but I found that Pearl White did the work better! Good Luck!

  10. Mr. Mom says:

    Inexpensive shampoo works great to clean shower doors. Dollar store expensive brands will work. Pour some out onto a scratch-free scrubbing sponge, scrub the shower doors and fully rinse to finish. I keep a squeegee in the shower and do the doors right after I shower; makes the job later much easier and faster.

  11. Jean says:

    The best thing I’ve found to clean shower doors is lemon oil. Just wet an old rag with it and wipe the hard water stains and soap scum right off. Plus, it has the added benefit of the oil repelling water from your next showers so the stuff doesn’t build up again. I do it about once a month and my shower doors are always sparkling!

  12. Linda says:

    You won’t believe this. I tried all the above with no results. While cleaning the bathroom, I thought, “I’m going to try toilet bowl cleaner.” Woohoo! Worked and no wait time. I’m going to try letting it sit for few minutes, bet it works even better.

    I don’t know if all brands will work, but I used Lysol Disinfectant Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Works! Good luck!

  13. Anne says:

    I used the Lysol disinfectant power toilet bowl cleaner as well and it literally melted away the dirt! I diluted it in a 2 pint cup. – about 4 ounces of cleaner with 2 cups of water. I took a scrubby sponge and dipped it in the solution, smeared it all over the tile and shower door. I then scrubbed lightly and rinsed and the bathroom smelled minty fresh!

    PS: I used gloves.

  14. Jen says:

    I keep a squeegee in my shower and since it is all marble, have kept either Method or Green Works in and spray it right before getting out and squeegee down. My children are always in there, with hands all over and so wanted something non-chemical and safe for them. I plan on trying some of the above remedies for a once monthly deep clean and will let you know.

  15. Zack says:

    Thanks for the tips guys. I tried Lysol toilet bowl cleaner and it worked, but WD-40 worked the best.

  16. Marissa says:

    Okay, tried the WD-40, worked well. However, after trying to wipe off, it left streaks and is still greasy. I tried with a cotton towel, and with a paper towel and it still left residue. Any tips?

  17. Brie says:

    Weiman’s Glass Cook Top cleaner works great for hard-water spots on glass doors. Use a rag or a soft sponge and work in a circular motion until the product is cleared off, then finish up with a coat of lemon-oil to help prevent future build up.

  18. Andrea says:

    I just got done using the 4oz toilet bowl cleaner and 2 cups of water mixture and it worked wonderfully!!! I used Green Works Natural toilet bowl cleaner (from Clorox). Thanks for the help!!

  19. Clay says:

    I use a wonderful product called Milsek that is actually marketed as a furniture polish and multi-purpose cleaner. It works GREAT on shower doors.

  20. Debbie says:

    For dirty, scummy tubs and shower doors, I use oven cleaner and there is hardly any elbow grease needed. Of course, spray the cleaner on a sponge or directly on the surface of the tub or shower doors. Scrub it away and watch how clean it becomes…

  21. Vickie says:

    I’m a house keeper and I have come across my share of difficult bathroom, but the worse by far is a bathroom coated with hairspray. If you have this problem use plain rubbing alcohol work like magic.

  22. Flo says:

    WD-40 is amazing! I’m open to anything – my shower doors aren’t new and I used hair products, shaving cream, liquid soap, etc., and they always seem to get cloudy fast. A little WD-40 first, then some scrubbing bubbles or your favorite bathroom soap worked wonders! TRY IT!

  23. D says:

    Toothpaste works to take the initial scum off. I used baking powder toothpaste, and Peroxi Care.

  24. Melanie says:

    OK, so I tried the WD-40 and it did not work, then I tried toothpaste – nothing. I think I am just going to take a sandblaster to this thing. lol!

  25. Gatorgal says:

    The toothpaste worked pretty well. And my bathroom smells minty fresh. Best of all, I assume that this is environmentally friendly.

  26. Paully says:

    I tried 4 oz. of toilet bowl cleaner in two cups of water and the shower doors are crystal clear! I scrubbed with a Dobie pad that you can buy at your grocery store, since it does not scratch the glass. I also used Green Works natural toilet bowl cleaner since it is good for the environment. I left the cleaner on for about two or three minutes.

  27. Rick says:

    I tried WD-40 on a side glass shower window and cheap toothpaste on the other side next to the door. WD-40 did nothing. Toothpaste did wonders! It did actually take the buildup away! There’s still some of it visible, if you get really close, but I just did it and it may need a second hand. The good part is that if you are about a foot away, you can’t hardly notice it. I am going to use toothpaste to clean the whole thing. I was amazed that the toothpaste works! Try it on a small area and see what you think! It works better than all those CLR, Lysol, and other expensive cleaners. I tried them! I recommend toothpaste.

  28. Just Me says:

    I have used everything that has ever been suggested on this site and a few other sites for cleaning (and keeping clean) shower doors.

    We live in the Sacramento Valley of California where it doesn’t snow, yet our clear glass shower doors always look like a they were hit by a snow blizzard!

    I think we all have a different make-up of minerals in our household waters and that determines what will work to clean our doors. We just have to find the right method for each of us.

    Well, I found the one that works for this Sacramento Valley well-water supplied house.

    It’s Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser & Polish. Comes in a goldish round can. I used a Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty green scour pad, as it’s tough, but gentle and won’t etch glass. My doors look absolutely new after I cleaned both sides. I am amazed.

    The only other thing I can recommend is to wear some sort of sandal (flip-flops) in the shower to protect the skin on your feet when you use the Bar Keepers Friend, as it contains oxalic acid. And as always, open a window or have on a ventilation fan while using any sort of chemical.

  29. Toni says:

    OMG… I tried the toilet bowl cleaner on my doors and they came out crystal clear! I never knew that would work so well. I’m a little afraid to try the WD-40 but I am going to get some cascade to put on the doors. If I do that once a month that would make life so much easier! Thank you everyone for your advice.

  30. KB says:

    We have hard water and own 16 apartments…new construction…for now nine months. In our clean-up for new tenant occupancy I have found that the tenants leave the showers/tub enclosure unit “CLEAN” but, left with the mineral deposits from hard water all encompassing the bathrooms, including sinks, showers, toilets. Mineral deposits from hard water are actually harder to remove than soap scum; they adhere to walls and won’t give in. Not the tenants fault – just did not know which products worked! After working three hours on a brand new shower enclosure only used for about nine months, I finally decided to use the best toilet bowl cleaner I have found. Lysol POWER (contains hydrochloric acid). I put gloves on and a respirator due to the fumes and used a damp rag and applied it to shower walls. It literally ate the build-up off. Be sure to RINSE, RINSE, RINSE!!! Also, try not to use it on faucet fixtures unless it’s very diluted since it is corrosive! (It does work wonders on them too, but use caution. Do dilute and apply and rinse several times! Don’t want to ruin fixtures!!! Use caution!) What a beautiful bathroom now! Looks brand new again!!!

  31. Jane says:

    I have read and tried everything listed here and then some. A-MAZ paste is the only product I’ve found available on a retail level that does anything for our layered hard water stains (we’re on well-water in Sonoma County; heavy in calcium). You need to leave it on for about 20 minutes and apply it thick enough so that it will not dry out completely in the 20 minute period. While it’s still workable (if it’s dried to a point where it flakes off, it won’t work and you’ll need to start over), scrub. It takes A LOT of elbow grease for layers of hard water staining. I am about to try a buffing attachment to my power drill to see if that will speed up the process.

    I think JustMe hit the nail on the head about identifying your minerals before you can effectively find a solution. I realized, though I may have just moved into the area, mineral buildup and staining continues to be a problem for everyone on well-water in my area. My recommendation is to go to a local hardware store and see what the people are using in your area.

    Something else to think about; hard water buildup may be unsightly on your windows, but will also create issues for your appliances if not maintained properly. We throw a few cups of vinegar in our dishwasher and washing machine every few months and bleed our boilers every six or so.

    A product called, “The Works” toilet bowl disinfectant does work on rust stains. BEWARE: the product is highly acidic and reacts with rust. Use a mask and DO NOT use it on anything porous with a pigment (stucco), as it will bleach out the color.

  32. Wayne says:

    I tried everything listed. The vinegar and toothpaste did the best job, but there are still streaks and spots.

  33. Amber says:

    Thank you everyone! I too, live in Sacramento and the hard water build-up is absolutely ridiculous. We have lived here for almost 11 years and I still have yet to find the product that will make our glass shower clean. I am going to try a couple of things mentioned.

  34. Angie says:

    I have been fighting my clear shower doors for eight years! I tried toilet bowl cleaner, WD-40, and every shower cleaner I could buy. The only solution was lemon oil to hide the etching. Today I used Cascade dishwasher gel. It worked! I just smeared it all over the glass, then waited 10 minutes to check on it. It was dry, so I lightly misted it with water to get it working again. I repeated this one more time, then got in with a sponge and rinsed the whole thing down. It sparkles and is streak-free with out drying. YA!

  35. Ana says:

    In a spray bottle with water.

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