Shower glass — or a glass shower screen — add a sophisticated and classy look to any bathroom. There are a variety of options, from the more daring clear glass doors, to a translucent shower screen, to opaque or patterned glass. You can even add coloured designs!
Unfortunately, the trade-off for aesthetic is cleaning and maintenance. No — all that soap and running water does not keep your shower screen clean. Nothing ruins a pretty glass door quite like streaks or soap scum on the surface. To get that clear glass shine again, here are some tricks for how to clean glass shower doors.
What makes shower doors dirty?
There are several factors that affect the cleanliness of your shower doors. Mould and mildew can grow along the frames or rubber edges due to constant moisture exposure. Two other common culprits come from the substances that shower glass comes into contact with — water and soap.
This comes from mineral buildup, and is recognisable as whitish hard water spots all over the glass. Hard water contains calcium and other minerals, which leave residue on the glass surface after the water evaporates.
Limescale is a problem for pipes and kettles (which you should also regularly clean!), but it can also stain your shower door too. Check the water quality in your area to see if hard water is affecting the cleanliness of your glass shower doors.
Soap scum leaves cloudy or splotchy stains on the class, and can be a challenge to clean. It forms when soap combines with hard water, and leaves behind white or greyish residue not just on shower glass, but on tiles, tubs, and sinks too.
It’s important to rinse down the shower door to prevent soap scum from building up, but if you don’t remember (we don’t blame you), regular cleaning is still effective! There are also commercial products that help prevent the build up of soap scum on shower glass.
Shower screen maintenance tips
Cleaning is always made easier by regular maintenance, which helps prevent dirt — or in this case, limescale and soap scum — from building up. That leads to less effort when you do get around to deep cleaning!
It feels odd, but you can keep a squeegee in the shower and use it to wipe down each glass door after you’re done. It’ll help prevent hard water spots and soap scum from building up — and it’s pretty affordable, too!
You can DIY a shower spray to use for cleaning shower door glass daily or in between uses. Just combine one cup water, one-half cup vinegar, and a little dish soap in a spray bottle. You can add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to cut the scent (but if you have fur friends, make sure it’s pet-friendly!). Keep it in the shower, and spray the glass shower door down after use.
If you can, invest in a water softener to treat your water supply and reduce the calcium and magnesium build up. Showerheads are less efficient than water filtration systems, so this is a pricey solution, but may be more worth it in the long run.
How often to clean shower doors
Daily: Ideally, you should be wiping your bathroom shower doors down after every use to prevent limescale, water stains, and soap scum from building up. You can also opt to clean daily after everyone’s taken their baths — that way, the dirt is soft and loose from dampness.
Once a month: This is for deep, thorough cleans where you scrub the surface and any corners or seams — that’ll prevent mould from building up, too!
How to clean glass shower doors
There are several methods for cleaning shower screens, depending on what’s on hand. Most of them are right in your kitchen, and are natural cleaning products. Skip harsh cleaners with chemicals and pick one of these ways to clean your shower glass without streaks!
The almighty cleaning solution strikes again! Fill a spray bottle with pure white vinegar (or, if you want to dilute the scent, one part vinegar and one part hot water). Apply to your glass shower door, making sure both sides are thoroughly saturated.
Let the vinegar solution sit for at least ten minutes — longer if there’s significant build up on the surface. Rinse off with fresh water, then wipe with a microfibre cloth for a pretty shine.
TIP: If your shower has stone materials, do not use this — the vinegar will damage the stone!
Cheers for the second-zest (ahem) cleaner you’ve got in your kitchen. There are few things lemon juice can’t clean, and your shower screen isn’t on that list. The citric acid will cut through any build up just like vinegar, making it perfect to clean glass surfaces.
Cut a lemon in half, then sprinkle some bicarb soda or salt on the exposed side. Use it to scrub down your glass doors for a sublime shine. Rinse afterwards and ta-da! Clean glass — and with an ap-peel-ing scent to boot.
You can use it in tandem with vinegar or lemon juice, but on its own, bicarb soda is a formidable cleaner. Use it on the tougher water stains by making a thick paste, then scrubbing it onto the glass door with a damp sponge or soft-bristled toothbrush. You can also apply the same trick to any rubber edging around your glass shower doors — it’ll get rid of any mould or dirt there too!
TIP: Don’t use coarse or rough scrubbing equipment, or you’ll risk scratching your shower glass — and unlike streaks, those can’t be cleaned away.
If you want something already in your bathroom, look no further than toothpaste! Regular white toothpaste will do the trick for cleaning shower screens. Just apply with a damp sponge onto any stains or streaks, working in small circles. Rinse with clean water, dry with a microfibre cloth or paper towel for some minty fresh cleanliness.
Besides these handy ways to clean shower glass, here are a few other tips to keep in mind.
Alternative cleaning products
You may ask yourself, how to clean shower screens with WD-40? It’s actually possible! WD-40 displaces water, and breaks down hard water stains and soap scum. Spray a little on your glass screen and let it sit for around 15 minutes to break down any residue. Wipe clean with a clean cloth (preferably microfibre) afterwards.
2. Dryer sheets
Save any used or excess dryer sheets and use them on your glass shower doors. Dampen a dryer sheet, then wipe down the surface after everyone’s done showering. Rinse with warm water, and go over with a squeegee if necessary,
You can opt to spray your shower glass with products specifically made to deter water from adhering to the surface! There are also products that protect glass from hard water build ups. They’ll require reapplication over time, though, so consider if they’re practical for your lifestyle before purchasing.
In an ideal world, cleaning shower doors wouldn’t be necessary — but sadly, this isn’t the case. And if you’re living in a rental property, it’s especially important to stay on top of these chores. When you reach the end of your lease, your whole property — shower glass and all — needs to be sparkling clean from top to bottom, or else you won’t get your bond back!
If you can’t put in the elbow grease, or feel that cleaning shower doors is beyond you, there’s always local bond cleaners to rely on. They know best how to clean shower glass, and can get the rest of your rental property looking spick-and-span with it. But don’t leave out the shower maintenance in between deep cleans — you can’t avoid any cleaning, no matter how much we’d want to!