How to Clean Glass Showers and Keep them Spotless

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The best homemade glass shower cleaner to remove hard water stains and soap scum, plus secrets to keep your glass shower spotless like hotels do.

Spotless glass shower door and shower walls that look like new

If you’ve owned a glass shower for any length of time, you know it can be a struggle to keep it clean. Read on for my best tips to remove hard water spots and soap scum from your glass shower and clean the door tracks, too. Once you’ve got it spotless, you can use the hotel secret that keeps glass showers spotless for months.

How to Clean Glass Shower Doors and Walls

As you’ve probably discovered after cleaning your bathroom, getting rid of hard water spots and soap scum on glass shower doors and walls takes a little effort. It’s possible, though, and once you’ve taken the time to do it right, you can keep those spots from forming on your glass shower walls again.

Time Needed

Set aside at least an hour for this, but don’t worry —  most of that time is waiting for the homemade cleaners to work. 

Glass Shower Deep Cleaning Supplies

  • Spray bottle
  • Sponge or microfiber cloths
  • White vinegar
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Towels

Steps to Deep Clean Glass Showers

  1. Begin by emptying your shower of things like toiletries, non slip mats, and shower stools.
  2. Use a bucket or your shower sprayer to wet the walls and floor of your shower.
  3. Fill a spray bottle with 1/2 cup each hot white vinegar and hot water, then swirl in 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap. Spray this mixture generously on your glass shower walls and doors and let it sit for 30 minutes. (Do not exceed 30 minutes if you have a natural stone shower floor.)
  4. Dip a damp sponge or microfiber cloth into baking soda and scrub the glass to remove hard water buildup. The baking soda and vinegar will interact to produce a fizz that lifts away soap scum.
  5. After you’ve scrubbed all the glass, rinse it well with fresh water.
  6. Immediately buff the glass dry with a clean towel.

How to Clean Shower Door Tracks

The best time to clean your shower door tracks is right after you’ve deep cleaned the glass walls and doors. You’ll use the same cleaning supplies, plus an old toothbrush.

Begin cleaning your shower door tracks by sliding the doors all the way to one side. Place a towel on the floor outside of your shower to catch drips. In a spray bottle, combine 1/2 cup each white vinegar and warm water, then swirl in a few drops of liquid dish soap. Spray this on the track and wait 5 minutes. Dip a damp, old toothbrush into baking soda and scrub the track, paying attention to grooves and edges. Wipe the track with a clean, damp microfiber cloth, rinsing and wiping again as needed until the track is clean. Then, slide the doors and repeat on the other side.

How to Keep Glass Showers Looking New

Routine cleaning is the key to keeping your glass shower spotless. Frequent cleaning is why glass showers in hotels always look brand new. You don’t need to hire a housekeeper to keep your shower spotless, though.

Use a Daily Shower Cleaner

To keep mold, mildew and soap scum from growing, spritz it with a homemade shower cleaner made from 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol and 1 cup water. Do this as part of your daily cleaning routine or after the final shower of the day.

Squeegee or Wipe the Glass

It’s okay to let the homemade shower cleaner spray air dry on acrylic and tiled surfaces, but to keep shower glass spotless, you need to squeegee or wipe it dry after use. (I like this squeegee which comes in a variety of finishes to match your decor.)

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Ditch Bar Soap

Bar soap is the main cause of soap scum buildup in showers. Bar soap uses fatty ingredients to stay solid, and those leave a residue. Over time, that residue traps minerals in your water and each shower adds more. The result is a hazy, spotty mess that makes your shower look awful. The easiest way to prevent soap scum in your shower is by replacing bar soap with body wash or liquid soap, since they don’t contain the same fatty ingredients.

Use a Water Softener

If you live in an area with very hard water, you might want to consider a whole-house water softener. These work by replacing the calcium and magnesium ions in hard water with sodium ions. The result is soft water that does not contain minerals to leave spots. If a whole-house softener isn’t feasible, try adding a filter to your shower head that does the same thing. (We use this one in our basement shower.)

Wax Your Shower Doors and Walls

The hotel secret to keeping your glass shower spot-free is car wax applied every 3 months after deep cleaning. Look for a hydrophobic car wax or one containing carnuba. Use care to keep it off of the floor or seating surfaces, since the wax will make them dangerously slippery. To wax your glass shower doors, apply a very thin layer and let it dry for 5 minutes, then buff with a clean, soft cloth for a streak-free shine. Your glass shower doors will stay spotless and shiny clean up to three months.

Try a Dryer Sheet

If you’d rather not use car wax on your glass shower door and walls, try a dryer sheet instead. The substance that dryer sheets use to stop static cling is a type of wax. Rubbing a dryer sheet on your shower walls leaves a thin layer of wax that repels water spots, so your shower glass stays spot-free longer. (Here are more things you can do with a dryer sheet, too.)

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the questions I’m most frequently asked about cleaning glass showers and keeping them spotless.

How Often Should You Clean Glass Showers?

Glass showers look best when you pay a little attention to them on a regular basis.

Daily: Spritz daily shower cleaner spray to prevent mildew and fungus. Squeegee or wipe the glass to remove standing water. Leave the door open so air circulates.

Weekly: Clean your shower as part of your regular weekly bathroom cleaning routine. Use a glass cleaner to keep your shower doors smudge-free.

Quarterly: Deep clean your shower to remove any soap scum or hard water deposits, then wax the glass.

Can I Use Lemon Juice to Clean My Shower?

Lemon juice is an easy and effective natural alternative to remove hard water spots on glass showers if you don’t want to use vinegar. Use the steps above, but replace the vinegar with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Either fresh or bottled lemon juice is fine. Since lemon’s citric acid is not as strong as vinegar, you may need to repeat the process if the buildup is severe.

How Can I Get Rid of Haze on My Glass Shower Doors?

When glass isn’t cleaned often, it can develop a haze that even homemade soap scum removers can’t remove. That haze is the result of your shower glass expanding as it gets hot (like when you shower) then contracting as it cools off. This expansion and contraction process allows mineral buildup to get past the surface and etch the glass.

So, you might not be able to remove it at all. Before you replace your shower, though, try using an automotive polishing or rubbing compound and follow the manufacturer’s directions. You may be surprised at how much that can do to restore hazy, scratched glass shower doors!

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2 Comments

  1. Helen Playdon says:

    I decided I didn’t want the effort of keeping glass clean so replaced the doors with a fabric shower curtain which hangs inside the bath. I find that a monthly wash with my other laundry keeps the soap scum at bay but I am also meticulous about rinsing teh inside of teh curtain at he end of each shower. The bottom is weighted so I can turn the spray direcyly n th ecurtain and it does not lift out of the bath. So a long rinse at th end of each shower, plus leaving the curtain pulled cross until it dries each day is all the care it needs other than the monthly wash. I choose the date to coincide with my monthly deep clean in the bathroom. The hardest part is getting the stool to climb up to reach the curtain hangings. To minimise effort, I often hang it straight back up when it comes out of the machine and let it dry in situ, then put the stool away altogether. In the spring /summer I make sure to hang it outside in the sun (well when there IS sun in Britain!) The stool is also useful for cleaning the tops of the bathroom cupboards, another reason for working with my monthly cleaning schedule. And I take the opportunity to straighten the sheets and pillow cases inside the airing cupboard, on the top shelf. [For non-British readers, this is heated cupboard which holds the hot water tank, or a small heater. Laundry which is not bone dry can be place din eth cupboard to ‘air’, We set up a hanging space in ours and put clothes there straight from the clothesline onto hangers, after ironing. They hang there for 1 – 2 days to remove any remaining dampness then get moved to our wardrobes or drawers. We like our airing cupboard so much we built one specially when our new boiler meant we no longer had a hot-water tank. We included a very small heater from the central heating system in the cupboard so it is very warm. It actually doubles as linen storage for us; towels and sheets remain there until next needed.]

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You’re such a busy lady, Helen, and an inspiration!