How to Clean Shower Doors: Get Your Doors Sparkling

Updated
Grimy shower doors? Try out one of our strategies to get them squeaky clean again. 

Dirty shower doors can only be ignored for so long. You have to face them every time you use the bathroom, and the guilt can start to weigh on you.

The best solution for unpleasant chores like this is to just get them out of the way. We have you covered with our guide to six tactics for getting your doors from grimy to glossy. You’d be surprised which common household items can help you get the job done!


If your unsightly shower doors have you despairing, we have good news for you: there are plenty of scum-fighting strategies to choose from.

Almost all of our techniques make use of products and tools most of us already have at home. Skim through our list and pick the one that’s most convenient for you.

Take Note

If your shower doors have been sealed with a protective coating, don’t skip the first section. Methods that are appropriate for unsealed glass and plastic might not work for you.

Shower Doors with Protective Coating

Do your shower doors have a protective coating on them? If so, then you need to clean them according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

These sealants can be damaged if they aren’t treated with care. Acidic, abrasive or alkaline cleaning agents can damage certain coatings (1).

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How to Clean Shower Doors with Ammonia

This section is for the ammonia-maniacs out there. If you rely on this chemical for tackling messy chores, grab your bottle of ammonia and get to work.

1. Safety First

Put your gloves on and keep the bathroom door wide open. Crack all the windows open, if you have them. Inhaling ammonia fumes can make you sick (2).

2. Prepare Ammonia Solution

Mix approximately 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of ammonia in a bucket.

3. Transfer Solution

Fill a clean spray bottle with the ammonia solution. Secure the nozzle head tightly.

4. Apply to Shower Doors

Spray your homemade ammonia solution liberally over the interior of your shower doors. If necessary, spray the exterior as well, taking care not to hit nearby items (e.g., your toothbrush).

5. Scrub Away

Using a soft-bristled, scratch-free scrub brush or sponge, begin scrubbing at your doors. Continue until all stains and scum are gone.

6. Rinse Thoroughly

Rinse the doors with water, wiping with the soft side of your sponge to help the process along. Don’t stop until all traces of ammonia are gone.

7. Dry and Polish

Using a clean rag or a microfiber cloth, dry your shower doors off. Apply a glass or shower cleaner for extra shine if you want.

How to Clean Shower Doors with a Magic Eraser

Magic erasers can be potent weapons against stubborn hard water stains. The majority of these products are made of melamine foam, which has abrasive qualities. (3)

Read the Label

Check that the product you’ve chosen is compatible with plastic surfaces if you have plastic shower doors or trimmings.

1. Protect Your Hands

Magic erasers are fine to hold bare-handed for quick jobs like wiping fingerprints off your white doors or light switches.

For longer tasks, it’s best to wear gloves. The sponge can cause skin irritation if rubbed against your skin repeatedly (4).

2. Get to Work

Wet your magic eraser or your sponge. Then, rub it over your doors and watch mineral deposits and scum break down and vanish.

3. Rinse and Dry

Rinse your doors off and dry them with a cloth or a clean towel. Spray with a glass cleaner or polish for extra effect.

How to Clean Shower Doors with Dryer Sheets

You may have heard about various cleaning hacks using dryer sheets. If you have a pack handy, let’s get productive.

1. Wet Shower Doors

Rinse your shower doors to wet the surface.

2. Gloves On, and Doors and Windows Open

Put your gloves on — handling dryer sheets for too long can cause skin irritation. Those of you prone to asthma should keep the bathroom ventilated while you work. The fragrance of the sheets could be an issue in an enclosed space (5).

3. Scrub Doors with Sheets

Pull out a dryer sheet and rub your shower doors with it from top to bottom. Scum and gunk should come off without too much effort.

Replace each sheet once it becomes too dirty and continue until the job is done.

4. Rinse, Dry and Polish

Rinse your doors to remove residual grime. Dry them with a cloth and then polish with a glass cleaner for a finishing touch.

How to Clean Shower Doors with Baking Soda and Vinegar

A cleaning agent doesn’t have to be toxic or dangerous to be tough. Vinegar and baking soda go together like the gunge-fighting version of peanut butter and jelly.

Baking soda is mildly alkaline and abrasive, which allows it to remove dirt effectively (6). Acidic vinegar is the ideal partner, adept at killing certain bacteria, germs, and mold (7).

Warning

Be careful when using vinegar near natural hardwood and stone flooring. It can ruin the finish (8).

1. Prepare Your Mixture

Mix the two substances into a mid-sized bowl to create a paste. Add small quantities of each until your solution forms a paste. You don’t want it to be too liquid or too much of a powder.

2. Coat Your Doors

Using a sponge, dab your paste onto your shower doors. Aim for even coverage.

3. Let It Work

Leave the mixture to sit on your doors for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Clean Paste Off

Wipe the solution off your doors using a wet sponge. You can also rinse the doors with the showerhead to speed things up.

5. Squeegee Doors

Squeegee the doors to get rid of any remaining baking soda or vinegar.

6. Dry Doors and Finish Up

Dry your shower doors with a soft, clean cloth. Finish the job with a glass cleaner or water-repellant agent.

How to Clean Shower Doors with Lemon

We’ve all heard the term “lemony fresh” in at least one advertisement. We tend to associate the crisp, refreshing fragrance with cleaning.

This approach takes it straight to the source: real lemons. They have the added benefit of being wholly natural for people who dislike chemicals.

We don’t recommend buying lemons exclusively for this purpose. The price of lemons has gone up over the years (9).

Try it out if you have a surplus of lemons you don’t use. For instance, a lemon tree in your back yard or gifted lemons you don’t plan to use.

There are two ways you can use lemons to clean shower doors:

  • Directly on to the surface.
  • Squeezed to create a solution.

The Direct Method: Lemons Only

  1. Remove seeds: Cut your lemons in half and remove the seeds. Otherwise, when you squeeze them, the seeds will pop out into your shower.
  2. Apply the juice: Rub a lemon half against your doors.
  3. Wait: Once the surface is sufficiently wet, let the juice sit for 15 minutes to half an hour.
  4. Repeat: Reapply the juice if you notice that it’s dried out completely during this period.
  5. Scrub: Once the wait is over, scrub at your doors with a standard sponge.
  6. Rinse and dry: Rinse off the lemon juice and dry the surface, polishing if needed.

The Indirect Method: Using a Spray Bottle

If you don’t want to get messy, this method may be preferable for you:

  1. Juice: Squeeze a few lemons into a clean spray bottle.
  2. Apply: Coat your doors with lemon juice spray.
  3. Wait: Let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
  4. Repeat: Reapply your spray as needed if you notice the juice is drying out.
  5. Scrub: Once it’s been sitting for long enough, scrub your doors with your sponge.
  6. Rinse and dry: Rinse the juice off, and dry your shower doors thoroughly. Polish them off to get them sparkling, and you’re done.

How to Clean Shower Doors with Steam

Do you have an unused steam cleaner in your home? Now is the time to take it out of retirement.

If you don’t have one, you can always buy or rent one. The super-heated steam will take care of most of the work for you.

1. Prepare Steam Cleaner

Ready your steam cleaner for the task ahead. Fill up the water tank and let it heat up, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Accessorize

Keep one or more accessories nearby to switch between. For instance, begin with a soft-bristled scrub brush for the buildup and then change to a squeegee at the end.

3. Steam Top to Bottom

Run your chosen attachment over your doors, working from top to bottom. This way, you won’t spoil areas you’ve already steamed with dirty run-off.

4. Dry Doors Off

Using a clean cloth, wipe your doors down to dry them. Apply final products, such as a glass cleaner or temporary sealant for a glossy effect, if you want.


Admire Your Spotless Doors

If it’s felt like an age since your shower doors were cleaned, sit back, and appreciate the gleaming fruits of your labor. Wait for your housemates to see and marvel over the change.

These tricks are fun and effective, but the best long-term fix is preventative care. Don’t allow soap to turn into scum on your doors, or hard water to build up. After each shower, take the time to squeegee the doors, or apply water-repellent products every so often.

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About the Author

Sylvia Jones

Sylvia Jones is a hands-on, DIY aficionado from Indiana. She is passionate about home improvement, gardening, and environmental conservation. In her spare time, you can find Sylvia getting involved in home improvement projects around the house with her husband, or spending quality time out in the yard.
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