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How To Clean Glass Shower Doors

Glass shower doors are always a nuisance to clean. They tend to collect spots of limescale, soap scum, and other gunk that nobody wants, and because they are glass, all this dirt really shows up. Getting your door sparkling and clean can feel like an impossible challenge, but with the right techniques, it will be a lot easier.

Many people choose to clean their shower doors using a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. This will tackle even the stubbornest spots and stains. You can also use commercial cleaners, half a lemon, or citric acid, and any of these should leave the door shiny again.

Published: November 26, 2022.

In this article, we’re going to look at the top methods for cleaning a glass shower door and making it look great. We’ll also briefly touch on some prevention methods that will help you to keep your shower door clean for as long as possible, to minimize the amount of cleaning you have to do.

How Do You Clean A Glass Shower Door With Vinegar And Baking Soda?

Vinegar and baking soda are probably among the most popular options for cleaning a glass shower door because they are cheap and highly effective. A lot of people have white vinegar available, and this is a fantastic cleaning substance that will kill germs, remove dirt, and leave glass shiny and clean.

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Before we start looking at this method, it’s important to note that you should check whether your shower can safely be exposed to acids. Stone showers, for example, may suffer if you spray vinegar in them, as they are porous, and the acidic vinegar will affect their surface. Most shower materials will not be harmed by vinegar, but you should check before using it.

Assuming that vinegar is safe, you should start by wetting the shower door. Next, put some white vinegar into a spray bottle and thoroughly spray the whole door, starting from the top and working your way down. Leave the vinegar for at least 10 minutes or for longer if the door is particularly dirty.

This allows the vinegar to interact with the scum that has built up on the glass. This scum will mostly be alkaline; both limescale spots and soap are alkaline. The vinegar, an acid, will fizz as it reacts with the alkalines and neutralizes them. This loosens the dirt on the door. This means you need to do a lot less scrubbing!

Once the 10-minute slot has passed, take a sponge and a bowl of baking soda and lightly dampen the sponge. Dip it into the baking soda and begin to scrub the door thoroughly, working from the top down. The baking soda will cause the vinegar to further react, and it will also provide abrasion that will help to loosen the dirt.

Keep working until you reach the bottom of the door, and then rinse it with clean water. If there are still dirty marks, repeat the whole process until the door is clean and sparkling. Next, buff it dry with a microfiber towel or squeegee. This is an important step because if you leave water on the glass, more spots will form, and the door will need cleaning again.

How Do You Clean A Glass Shower Door With Commercial Cleaner?

If you don’t want to use white vinegar, you can look into commercial cleaners. There are lots of products available, and these will similarly use acidic substances to interact with the limescale and soap scum, loosening them so you can easily wipe them off the glass.

Commercial cleaners will come with directions for use, so make sure you follow these. It’s important not to mix commercial cleaners with other cleaning fluids, so don’t add vinegar to the mixture to make it more potent. Simply use the cleaner as instructed by the manufacturer.

Most cleaners will work in a similar way to the vinegar and will need to sit on the surface of the glass for a while before they can be wiped down. Again, use a soft cloth so you don’t accidentally scratch the glass of the door.

When you’ve finished, rinse the door down and dry it with a microfiber towel.

Make sure you choose a cleaner that says it is suitable for use in your shower. Some will not be safe for use with stone showers or unsealed surfaces, so read the manufacturer’s guidance carefully before purchasing one.

How Do You Clean A Glass Shower Door With A Lemon?

Sometimes, a lemon is the best option for cleaning your shower door. It’s a common item in many households, and this can be a great way to use up an old half-lemon that is lingering in your fridge.

The lemon will work in the same way as the vinegar, using acid to counteract the alkaline buildup on the door.

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To clean a shower door with a lemon, cut the lemon in half, and dip the cut edge into a bowl of baking soda. Rub the lemon firmly back and forth across the shower door, starting from the top. Squeeze it lightly as you work, so that juice spills out and can interact with the alkaline.

Whenever you feel the abrasiveness decreasing, dip the lemon in some more baking soda, and resume rubbing it back and forth. You may need two halves to cover the whole door if it is quite dirty.

Once the door has been thoroughly scrubbed, leave it for 10 minutes or longer, and then come back and use a soft sponge and some more baking soda to scrub it again.

You can then rinse it with fresh water and dry it with a microfiber cloth. Again, if your shower is stone, avoid using an acidic product like lemon on the door.

How Do You Clean A Glass Shower Door With Citric Acid?

Citric acid is another powerful option for cleaning a shower door. It’s all-natural, too, which many people are looking for. As eco-friendly trends increase, finding natural cleaners has become more important for many individuals, and citric acid is a particularly excellent option.

As the name suggests, it is made from the juice of lemons and other citrus fruits, so you must make sure it is suitable for use in your shower before choosing it.

citric acid

To use citric acid to clean your shower door, you will need to dissolve it in a small amount of water. Put a couple of spoonfuls of citric acid into 100 ml of water, and then shake thoroughly. You may find it helps to warm the water up a little, as this encourages the powder to dissolve.

Next, tip the water into a spray bottle and use this to thoroughly spray the glass all over. Leave it for the standard 10 minutes or longer, and then come back and use the baking soda sponge to scrub the glass down.

As with the other methods, rinse the door using clean water and dry it with a microfiber cloth. You can also use citric acid to clean toilets, de-scale kettles, and make your taps sparkle.

Why Is My Door Still Dirty?

Some people try these tricks and are initially disappointed by the results because there are still marks on the door after their first attempt. However, this doesn’t mean that the cleaning methods don’t work: it means there is a lot of buildup on the glass. This often happens if you’ve been cleaning the door incorrectly for some time.

Remember that the acid can only work on the alkaline where there is direct contact. If you have several layers of soap scum and limescale build up on your shower door, it will likely take a few applications of your chosen acid to cut through to the base and leave the door sparkling.

Often, you’ll need to repeat the cleaning process several times to make your shower door look truly clean, especially if it’s got really dirty. If you clean the door regularly and effectively, this shouldn’t happen, and one dose of your chosen acid will generally be enough.

You can repeat the process several times in a row or just make a point of cleaning the door every day or two until you’ve cut through the buildup and reached the glass. At this stage, the door should be shining and clean.

Although this is frustrating, it’s something that almost everyone deals with; glass doors tend to show every spot. If you live in an area with hard water, it will be a much bigger challenge because the door will get limescale buildup as well as soap scum.

The limescale is a result of minerals in the water being left behind when the water spots evaporate.

Can You Clean A Glass Shower Door With Soap?

Scrubbing your glass shower door with soap often doesn’t work particularly well. Although soap cleans some things very well and it’s a go-to option for most people when they’re cleaning, it isn’t great for your shower.

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That’s because a lot of the dirt you’re trying to clean off your shower door is actually soap residue. It won’t react with more soap being added to it, so the cleaning power will almost exclusively come from you scrubbing at the dirt – rather than from the cleaning agent you’re using.

That’s generally pretty ineffective, and you’ll have to do a lot more work to get the door clean. It’s much better to use a cleaning product that will interact with the soap scum, loosening it and stripping it away, so you don’t have to put as much work into scrubbing.

The same is true for other alkaline cleaning products, such as chlorine bleach. A lot of people turn to bleach to remove marks and stains, but because it’s an alkali, it won’t be effective on mineral deposits or soap scum. It may whiten them, but it won’t remove them, so it’s not a good option for cleaning your shower door.

How Do You Reduce Dirt Building Up On Your Shower Door?

You can minimize how frequently you need to clean your shower door by wiping the door down with a squeegee every time you use the shower.

Keep one hung up in the shower for this purpose. After turning the water off, simply run the squeegee over the whole shower door, from top to bottom, to clear away the water spots and leave the door significantly drier.

This will prevent both soap and minerals from building up on the glass because these are trapped in the water and get left behind when the water evaporates. If you remove the water before it has had a chance to evaporate, you’ll also remove the vast majority of the water spots, and the glass will stay noticeably cleaner.

You can also dry the shower door after you’ve got out of the shower, but this is often more work, and few people want to do this every time they take a shower, especially when they are rushing to work. Running a squeegee quickly across the glass should only take a couple of minutes, so it’s usually the best option.

Some people opt to use a hydrophobic spray on their shower doors or wipe them down with oil to repel the water. This can work, but it’s an extra chore that needs to be done, as the spray/oil will not last indefinitely and needs to be refreshed. On the whole, wiping water off the door after each shower should be enough.

You will still need to clean the door every week or two, using one of the products mentioned above, but this will significantly cut back on limescale and soap scum and will make your door look much better in between cleaning sessions – so it’s a great option if you hate scrubbing the glass.

Can You Clean A Glass Shower Door With a Window Vacuum?

Window vacuums are designed for cleaning large glass surfaces, so many people wonder if they can be used for cleaning glass shower doors.

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The answer is yes, they can, just be sure to use the right cleaning detergent.

Namely, window cleaning detergents, especially those intended for external use only, can be too harsh for indoor use.

So, get the right detergent, and dilute it with preferably distilled water (if needed), spray the glass doors, clean everything using a sponge, and collect the dirty liquid using a window vacuum with its squeegee.

After cleaning, dispose of the dirty liquid. And that's it.

Using a window vacuum to clean shower glass doors can save a lot of time and some effort, just be sure to use proper detergent and, if possible, distilled or demineralized water - it leaves no streaks or marks even if some of it is left on the glass surface.


Glass shower doors can be a nuisance to clean, and a lot of people get frustrated when the standard cleaning products don’t work on them.

Make sure you are using an acidic substance that will react with the soap scum and limescale, and you’ll find your cleaning is both easier and more effective.

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