The Top 3 Ways To Effectively Clean Your Shower Doors
Because everyone appreciates complete transparency.
Scrawling words and hearts and tic-tac-toe boards across foggy glass shower doors is strangely satisfying.
It’s like carving your initials into wet cement, but without any potential repercussions from angry contractors. You know what’s similarly satisfying, yet more productive? Using an actual squeegee on said doors once you’re done showering. This simple practice will cut back on soap scum build up and clingy mineral deposits. And it won’t leave creepy outlines for the next person who showers, your signature appearing out of the steam like a specter from showers past.
Unfortunately, as long as you’re bathing and using soap products, soap scum is just a part of your daily life. There’s really no avoiding it.
Basic soap scum formula:
Minerals in hard water + soap (paraffin, talc, fatty acids, etc.) + you (bacteria, dirt, dead skin, oils)
That’s just it. And soap scum is often most noticeable on glass, usually in the form of grayish colored spots. And shower doors are often made of glass.
So to really thoroughly clean your shower doors beyond the basic squeegee technique, follow our tips for three different ways to clean your shower doors for maximum transparency.
Start by pre rinsing your shower doors with clean hot water. Then let the hot water in the shower steam up the shower doors and prepare them to be scrubbed, loosening any bits of dirt or grime. Open all windows, open the bathroom door and turn on all fans for maximum bathroom ventilation.
- Using commercial glass cleaner, spray down both the inside and outside of your shower doors with it, carefully following the directions on the label. Typically, commercial glass cleaners do not need to be wiped off after using. Rub in the glass cleaner with a microfiber towel or paper towels in side to side strokes. Work in small sections at a time so that the solution doesn’t drip too much down the shower doors, leaving marks or streaks. You could also try applying the glass cleaner directly to your rag or paper towel (instead of spraying onto the doors) and then wiping it onto the door to avoid drippage. We recommend using Mr. Clean Clean Freak, an excellent all purpose cleaner that will remove soap scum, grease and grime from your shower, from the tiles and doors to handles and hardware.
Another option is Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, a textured melamine sponge that’s tough on dirt all around the house, especially in the bathtub as a soap scum remover. Simply wet the shower doors, wet the sponge, then scrub or spot clean. Leaving a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in your shower (maybe on its own soap dish, allowing it to try between uses) is a great way to work a daily shower scrub into your routine. In fact, the best time to clean the shower is right after you’re done using it, while it’s all warm and moist. So just before you hop right out of the shower, give the walls and doors a quick daily once-over with your Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to keep that soap scum in check.
- Alternatively, you can also use a DIY solution. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and use it instead of a commercial glass cleaner. You can also fill a small bucket with vinegar and then apply by soaking a sponge in the solution and wiping onto the doors. The acidic vinegar kills fungus and bacteria, and it also prevents the glass from streaking. And if you hate the smell of vinegar, try adding a couple drops of essential oil into it for a fresher fragrance. (Pro tip: Some essential oils—such as tea tree oil—are antimicrobial, meaning that they disrupt and prevent growth of microorganisms by creating an inhospitable environment for them to grow. Translation: Antimicrobials discourage bacteria, mildew and mold from growing on surfaces, like your shower doors!) Let the vinegar sit on the shower doors for about thirty minutes before wiping it off with hot water and a clean rag. If your shower doors are especially scummy, you can do a pre-wash with several drops of concentrated Dawn Dish Soap mixed with 2 cups of warm water to eliminate some of that grime prior to applying your vinegar wash.
- Another good DIY option is a mixture of baking soda and vinegar or water (1 cup baking soda to 1 tablespoon liquid) to make a scrubbing paste. Even glass occasionally appreciates a good exfoliating. You want the texture of the paste to be thick (like cake batter), so if it turns out too watery, add more baking soda. Generously apply your DIY solution with a soft damp rag, careful not to scratch the glass. The solution ought to sit for an hour, so go busy yourself by cleaning the showerhead or toilet—or both! After an hour, wipe off the solution with a clean wet rag. If you can’t stand streaky glass, best to use a microfiber rag to polish dry.
Follow up by squeegeeing the clean water away. Then wipe the shower doors dry with paper towels or a microfiber towel to avoid streaks.
Note: Don’t neglect the metal tracks that your shower doors sit in! Whatever your chosen cleaning solution may be, spray or pour some into the metal tracks and let it sit overnight. Spray clean with hot water in the morning, wiping out any residual solution.
We also recommend regularly sanitizing your shower with Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner to kill 99.9% of bacteria for 24 hours*. Just spray and walk away, allowing the product to air dry. Its powerful cleaning formula penetrates soap scum and greasy soils, leaving your shower sparkling clean.
Extra Credit: If you really want to go the extra mile and prevent streaky glass, you can use a rain repellent, typically reserved for car windshields to help the water bead up effectively. If you apply this product weekly, it should discourage moisture from collecting on your shower doors, making it harder for soap scum and mineral deposits to build up on them.
Ah, now your shower doors should be streak free and transparent AF. But did you know that other fun shower door cleaners include fresh lemons, hot black tea and shaving cream? Crazy, right? For more unusual bathroom cleaning hacks, of which we have many, check out our complete definitive list.
*When used as directed, effective for 24 hours against Staphylococcus aureus & Enterobacter aerogenes bacteria. Microban 24 does not provide 24-hour residual virus protection.