How to Clean Shower Doors? (from water stains and soap scum)

Bathrooms are an integral part of your home, but they are often the hardest to clean as well. Because bathrooms are where you wash off the dirt off your body, bathroom furniture tend to catch on dirt and other stains over time, especially if you do not maintain them regularly.

Shower doors are where the stains converge the most, and cleaning stains on these doors will certainly not be an easy task, in part because of the numerous stains that can affect your bathroom doors. In this guide below, we are going to show you how to clean some of the most common and stubborn stains on your shower doors.

shower door

How to Clean Shower Door with Hard Water Stains?

Hard water is water that is rich in dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Some of the water we use becomes hard during its transportation from the source to our water taps, catching along hard minerals like chalk, lime, calcium, and magnesium along the way. Normally, hard water is more nutritional and tastier than soft water.

However, the minerals in the water will vaporize under hot temperature, and attach themselves to your shower doors, creating hard-to-clean stains. Depending on how long the stains have been on your shower door, the stains could be very easy or very difficult to get rid off.

When we think of stains cleaning, we might opt for vinegar, lemon, or a combination of both. However, these substances have proven ineffective against hard water stains. If you really want to clean hard water stains off your shower door, the key is to use white vinegar. With it, along with a sponge and some warm water, you can easily scrub off these stubborn stains.

The first step is to prepare the solution. Fill a spray bottle with water and white vinegar, with the composition being 50% water and 50% white vinegar. Next, spray the solution onto your shower door and wipe it with a damp sponge. It should be noted that while you should not be too hard with the wiping, don’t be too gentle or the stains will not come off.

After you are done scrubbing, let the solution sit on the door for a few minutes, before you start applying the solution again. Finally, once you have been applying the solution continuously on the door for at least 5 minutes, rinse off the solution with warm water to see those stains getting washed off. If the result is not satisfactory, you can add more white vinegar to the solution and then try again.

How to Remove Soap Scum from Shower Doors?

Soap scum is a nasty bit of soaps that have attached themselves to your showers window. It is a result of an interesting reaction: soaps + hard water. As with hard water, whether it will be difficult to remove soap scum from your shower door will depend on the water quality and how long they have been staying on the shower door.

There are several ways to remove soap scum from shower doors. The first way is very similar to how you clean off hard water stains, by simply using white vinegar. The process is very simple. Soak the vinegar first onto a sponge, coat the door, and then keep applying white vinegar on it.

As usual, keep the door wet with white vinegar for at least 5 minutes before you can wash it away. If the smell is a concern, then do not worry, as it will usually go away very quickly. If you have a particularly bad and stubborn case of soap scum, then you could use boiling vinegar instead. Be really careful though, as it can leave a nasty burn if handled incorrectly.

You could also use ammonia to remove the soap scum. Ammonia has a very distinctive smell, and touching it can be harmful to your skin, so you must wear rubber gloves and ventilate your bathroom thoroughly.

shower door

Mix 1 part ammonia, 3 water into a spray bottle, and spray the solution on soap scum area. While the surface is still wet, scrub it to loosen the soap scum. Finally, rinse the door with warm water to wash off the solution, and dry it off completely.

Alternatively, you can use baking soda to remove soap scum. Mix baking soda with borax for maximum result, and then apply the paste on the shower door. Be extra careful that you do not use ammonia along with white vinegar, as they both are chlorine-based bleach. Using them together will create a toxic environment in your bathroom.

Read our article on how to prevent mold in your shower.

How to Clean Shower Doors with Vinegar and Other Methods

One of the most effective ways to clean your shower doors is to use vinegar, as they are extremely effective against most stains. Vinegar is best used to rinse away any solution you applied on your shower doors, so you should use it after the scrubbing process.

Alternatively, you can use aluminum foils instead of traditional sponges to clean shower doors. First, apply the solution you want to use, then roll up an aluminum foil, and use it to clean your shower doors, from top to bottom.

If the problem still persists after you have tried everything, maybe it is time to take a look at the root of the issue. Soap scum and hard water stain cannot stick to your shower doors surface if the surface is made smooth. Think Teflon!

There are many automotive products such as Rain-X and Water Armour that can also work for shower doors glass as well, so you could try spraying these products on your doors once every three to four weeks for the best result.

bathroom bathtub door


Cleaning your shower doors should not be a one-off task. In order to get the optimal result, you will have to do maintenance on a regular basis, intermixed with several deep cleaning sessions. If your shower doors keep turning up with so many problems, perhaps it is time to find a better alternative to that old glass, or it is time to stop using bar soaps altogether. See also our complete review and buying guide on the best frameless shower door.