Cleaning shower glass

Jean HiddenMarch 20, 2006

Does anyone have a suggestion on how to clean the film off of a shower glass door? Regular spray cleaners (ie, Dowe) do not seem to work, and although I don't care if the glass is opaque, my cleaning lady keeps spending time on it and has even left scratches all over the glass as a result of scrubbing with something (while I am at work and not there to stop her :-).

Thanks in advance!

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I make a scrubber out of crocheted strips of nylon netting and use a good soap scum remover. Takes the combination to get the job done. Cleaners wanted to use the 3M green pot scrubbers, but I felt that they were too liable to scratch the surface. I do wonder if the softer scrubbers meant for Teflon pots and pans would work as well as my hand made scrubbers.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 8:10PM
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I just use a regular cellulose sponge with some water and comet. Cleans everything off and doesn't scratch.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 12:04PM
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I use the scrubber for Teflon that Sheilajoyce referred to, and it is perfect for the task. Takes the scum right off the glass, I don't need any cleansers or chemicals, and I just rinse with water after I wipe with the scrubber. ScotchBrite makes one called "Dobie", and Brillo makes one just called "scratchless cleaning pad". I think they cost about $.79, and can be found in any supermarket. I don't like to use Comet or any type of chemical, because I have a marble surround, and those abrasive or acidic cleansers could damage the marble. In any case, I don't need to because the Dobie works great.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 2:46PM
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If it is anything like cleaning the hard water stains off the black plastic tray that is beneath the exterior water dispenser on my refrigerator, I used Kaboom and did the normal cleaning, didn't really clean it that great.

But then I got my steamer and applied and "boy howdy", everything came cleaner than it has ever been. I think the steam really helped the Kaboom penetrate. So whatever you use for getting rid of the scum, try not to rinse it that thoroughly, then use a steam cleaner and then wipe clean.

One last suggestion, especially since your problem is with your shower door, I've heard that Rainx (which you can get at an autoparts store) works great keeping the glass clean once you have cleaned it. Don't put Rainx on the floor anywhere someone could slip but I have heard many testimonials that it works well on glass.

If you have to use harsh chemicals such as Kaboom or "Lime-Away" or vinegar or whatever, you will need to refresh the coat of Rainx afterwards but hopefully it should last a few months at least requiring only a gentle wipe down periodically.

FYI - I have a fiberglass shower. I have heard Rainx works there as well after fiberglass is cleaned but I tried WD-40 on the walls (had some WD-40 and didn't have RainX). Had to rub them down fairly strenuously so required a lot of elbow grease but the shower has never looked better and the treatment has lasted for several months. When I color my hair, I would get staining but the WD-40 seems to keep the hair-color from penetrating. Smell of WD-40 goes away withing 12 hours or so and last so long, you won't mind tolerating the smell for a while if you try this method.

Let us know how things work out. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 10:02PM
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Please do not use Rain-X. It is not meant for indoor use whatsoever. It is toxic and outgasses VOC's. The company that used to make Rain-X (they sold it to another manufacturer) makes a non-toxic VOC-free product that is specifically for indoor use called Clean Shield. It comes in a cream version for glass, and a gel version for tub and tile, to protect against mineral deposits, lime, etc.

I repeat, please do not use Rain-X indoors.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clean Shield by Unelko

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 11:55PM
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Thanks, akchicago for the info about RainX. Will definitely avoid. Don't want toxicity in my home if I can avoid it.

And also, regarding WD-40, I'm sure some think that's a bit strange. Wanted to comment that it doesn't stay greasy, especially after it is rubbed on with a lot of elbow grease.

As far as fiberglass, the WD-40 gets rid of that white, dry coat that sometimes appears when you've used a lot of heavy chemical cleaners (such as bleach, etc). Makes it look like new, IMHO.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 7:47AM
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If we are talking about new shower doors, new faucets, new surrounds, or tile; watch the chemicals. They can discolor or ruin the finish.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 11:02AM
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Our house cleaning team got rid of the soap scum (I don't know what they used, sorry!) but they told us to buy Arm & Hammer Shower Clean. After you use the shower you spray it on the door and walls. It keeps the soap scum and hard water spots from returning. It really is amazing stuff!


    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 11:18AM
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Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! Works wonderful for rough shower floors too.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 1:23AM
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I dip Mr Clean Magic Eraser in CLR and go to work. Without any elbow grease all the film is gone. Do this everytime you take a shower (it goes really quick) and you will always have a sparkling clean shower door.

Mr Clean is my best friend, it is truly a miracle product and I use it for all my tough jobs and it does a fab job.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 11:29PM
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Does anyone know whether Clean Shield will etch marble or travertine?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 9:42PM
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I was told by a lady that gets houses ready to put on the market that the best thing for shower doors is muratic acid. Mix 1 part mur acid with 10 parts water. Apply to doors and clean. Says it works miracles!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 2:51AM
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If you have had a halfway decent chemistry lab course and have learned how to handle muratic acid it is good stuff, as sparky's friend notes. Indeed, if you are in one the suburbs in the Western US that has boron problems something harsh may be your only remedy.

I have never quite understood the fascination with shower doors. The inside shower curtain liners are so cheap they are disposable. When we lived in an apartment and were not at liberty to remove the doors we just got a shower rod and hung an inside curtain liner inside the "glass" door and hung the decorator curtain outside the "glass" door. Washed the curtain liner a few times and threw the curtain liner away every few months. We could probably buy three liners for the price of one bottle of cleaner so it is probably less expensive.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 1:49PM
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Great point Albert! Please reccomend a curtain liner that is not stif and resistant when needed stacked back. We think they are perfect except for the difficulty hanging back neatly.
Vinager works well and not expensive for liberal daily use but I particularly appreciate products like Dial Clean Rinse that do NOT cause residue and thus eliminate the problem from developing! I always use this when I travel, with hot water before I bathe, and have been shocked especially with whirlpool tubs! Black foam means no bath for me here!
My point is, skin sensitivity matters, but if comfy, bathing in Clean Rinse solves, and never creates the problem, thus, I wish there were more options for clean rinse bath products non-irritating for sensitive skin.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 4:19AM
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Now remember, if the film is caused by soap scum and you are able to get rid of it, don't ever use bar soap or it will come back. That's what causes the film. Switch to liquid soap and the scum will never come back. We did as our contractor recommended (threw away the bar soap and switched to liquid), 8 years ago when we remodeled the bath and had a custom sit-down tile shower w clear frameless door installed. I have never had to scrub the tile since then.

Cleaning is mainly keep the glass free of hard water spots and for that, I use a product called Glass Wax. It comes in a pink square metal container and is made from some kind of petrol product. Strong smelling if you put your nose right down to the container, but does not leave any odor in the room. You wipe it on w a damp sponge, let it dry for a few seconds, and buff it off with a soft cloth. It cleans and shines any kind of deposit I've tried it on so far and works well for chrome also. It has the added advantage of helping water bead off of the glass for awhile, so it doesn't have to be re-treated very often.

If your film is caused by mineral deposits due to hard water and you did not want to use Glass Wax (works great on hard water deposits) then you will need some kind of acid to break it down. Sometimes plain white vinegar will do the trick, othertimes you need something much stronger like muratic acid, as the other poster stated.

What works and what does not depends on the origin of the film, but whatever you do, never use bar soap.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 12:32PM
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Make sure that any product that you use in your bath/shower area is not going to etch or damage the shower stall or floor. We have a natural stone shower and floor and none of these products can be used without etching or pitting the surface of the stone. We also use Minnwax on the shower doors before an owner takes posession of their home.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 7:23PM
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Bodica - To get a shower curtain that is not stiff go to Walmart and buy their cheapest liner. It is opaque clear, not crystal clear. Less than $5. That is what I used when I had a fancy shower curtain for the outside of the shower and a thin, go away one for the inside. It tucked all the way behind my beautiful panel.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 1:00AM
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To clean your shower door use a dryer sheet, just wet it and wipe it away.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 12:40PM
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We re-did a horrible house a couple of years ago.
I had to resort to strong stuff.
I used easy-off stove cleaner (foam) on the tiled shower room. Only thing that worked!
Use a mask--fumes as you know are terrible and could be toxic.
In another neglected home, I resorted to a razor blade! That also worked. No damage to surfaces. Just be careful to hold it at the right angle.
One stool I worked on was so bad I had to drain the toilet bowl, dry it out, and used an electric sander with fine grit.
Cleaning can be an amazing challenge.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 4:48PM
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As Bodica mentioned, use vinegar, any type that is colorless, ie: white distilled vinegar. I always keep a bottle of 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar solution for cleaning, deodorizing, disinfecting, removing water built up, scum, mold, to get rid of bugs, mosquitoes, etc..

If the stain is thick, spray the full-strength vinegar and leave it for awhile before rinsing it away.

I am in the process of restoring a dining set. I use vinegar solution to clean the wood. It brought back its beautiful glow without removing the finish.

Below is a good link for more information. It also warned not to use on marble.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 12:18AM
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After my mother in law's husband passed, we went there to help clean up the room /bath he was using during his convelescence? anyway, I sprayed on a 100% concentration of simple green and it melted away what was probably years of stains, specifically yellowing from cigarettes. It was nasty seeing that stuff but it worked...Another one of my favorites that cleans/strips/whatever virtually everything is a product called Krud Kutter, you can get it from Lowe's or Home seems to be a miracle product...not sure what it cant do. I'm about to strip the surface of my wood laminate floors with it...due to an unsightly build-up and constant haze...I used this before as well in my husbands bathroom on his shower curtain, where some unknown thing that was growing and hard water buildup I took it down, spread it out on the driveway, sprayed the krud kutter on full strength let it sit about 20 minutes, then I used a mop and scrubbed it down, then hosed it down with the garden hose, and seriously it got off the hard water buildup, the thing growing ;) and looked brand new....(I'm not a sales rep or anything, but it is pretty amazing).

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 1:56PM
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Brillo! won't scratch and removes water spots, lime etc perfectly.. I wet the brillo pad well..then I scrub the glass..if I am inside the shower, I fill a container with water to rinse..when doing the out side, I rinse with a wet sponge.. tried and true!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 2:10PM
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Hi! My first time in these forums adn I thought I'd chime right in!

For my shower doors, I went to the website for the manufacturer and used what they recommended. In this case it is Lysol Bathroom cleaner and it works quite well! Of course, I also squeegee the door after each shower, which I'm sure helps immensely. I don't have to clean the doors that often.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 1:44PM
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Gotta add my .02 worth here. I've seen many recommendations to use fabric softener sheets.

Well, after repeated tries with Mr. Clean magic sponge, which I love for many purposes, but I'm sorry, I could still "feel the scum" on the white tile shower wall and floor, and certainly see the white scum on the glass door.

So, I remembered the softener sheets, and used some cheap generic brand I got at the dollar store ages ago.

Wadded up a few, wet them, and worked the scum on the wall and floors first. Lo and behold, I could feel the scum coming off. Now the walls and floors are as smooth as the day they were installed, (about 20 years ago!)

The shower doors next, and I swear, they are brand new!!

Also, it doesn't need to be the expensive brand name like Bounce. I had cheap dime store brand, and voila' !!!!!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 10:33AM
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I don't have a glass door now so I haven't been able to try this for myself but I just read someone had great success with Resolve Carpet Cleaner! I'm keeping this in my memory bank for later when I have a glass shower door...HA!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 9:17AM
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Spot-X! I owned a cleaning company for a couple of years and tried sooooo many different things for shower glass. Some things "appeared" to work well, but after a shower most of the time it looked the same, or the time consuming rigorous effort of some others, just wasn't worth it (especially when I had to clean multiple homes on a regular basis). Anyway, I saw a bottle of Spot-X at Home Depot and decided to give it a try (literally, every time I would go supply shopping, I would buy a different product to try). It worked wonders! And not only on shower glass, but it makes steel fixtures sparkle and shine like new. The product itself is a natural gray powder and you wet a non-scratch sponge (comes with it) and scrub the surfaces, let dry and wipe clean. Maybe it's not the easiest cleaner to use (I don't mind it a bit, kinda fun actually), but the results I've seen have been incredible. Now the bad part... it must have been such a hit, they no longer sell it at Home Depot for $6, you can only get it on the internet, and the cheapest I found was for $11+S&H. I just bought 4 (one for me, and three for friends) so we split the shipping cost and it came out to about $15. Don't be turned away by the small size of the bottle, a little goes a long way.

After you try all the other cheaper fixes and still not satisfied, give this stuff a try. I love it!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 11:53AM
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Has anyone heard/used CRL Surface protector and can share an opinon?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 12:26PM
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I do not have shower doors, thank heavens. Love having a shower curtain and the rod is perfect for hanging drip dry clothes after washing. I hang my bath mat there to dry after it gets damp.

I use a hotel/commercial-quality, very heavy-gauge shower curtain, that comes already treated to be mildew-resistant. I found it at Ross Dress For Less for under $10. I like that it's white because it lets in a lot of natural light from the good-sized window in my bathroom.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 6:12AM
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Fuller Brush has a shower spray called bath clean. Just spray, wipe down,
and rinse. Your shower and glass door will stay clean for weeks

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 10:08PM
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RE: Cleaning shower glass ...
* Posted by florabelle1 ... on
Mon, Aug 24, 09 at 6:12 ...
I use a hotel/commercial-quality, very heavy-gauge shower curtain, that comes already treated to be mildew-resistant. I found it at Ross Dress For Less for under $10. I put the rod above the glass door and hang the curtain on the inside. I see a few showers a Lowe's or HD where this won't work but it will work for the overwhelming majority of showers.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 2:13PM
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They are expensive but those canister type steam cleaners work great on everything including the spots on shower glass doors, faucets , countertops and no chemicals are used in your home

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 8:37PM
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Everything natural helps, just ask at some cleaning store

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 2:16PM
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I have new shower doors and they have mineral deposits on them. They are less than six months old. I chose clear shower doors because we have gorgeous new tile surrounding the tub and I wanted to see it. We normally have soft water here. We have a squeegee but weren't careful about using it.

I called the water company and they said they used a different water supply in February (ground water) because the normal one (mountain lake) was muddy from all the rain we had.

I've used vinegar, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, Lysol foaming bathroom cleaner, dryer sheets and Lemi-Shine so far with no change in the doors. The minerals are still streaking down the glass. The sixty year old tub is spotless from the Magic Eraser though....

I just bought Kaboom, we'll see how that goes.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:20AM
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Ok. Here is the problem with a lot of this advice, the mineral stains from one location to another are different depending on what is actually in the water. Some types of cleaners / solvents work in one location, but not the next. And soap scum is another issue all together, so don't get the two confused. Oven cleaner works great on soap scum, but don't get it on any metal surfaces. Mineral deposits can always be removed with abrasives. I use 3000 grit sanding pads (from an auto parts store) lubricated with a slurry of cerium oxide (obtained online from CRL, mix to chocolate milk consistency). It takes a lot of elbow grease, but will remove any deposit, always, every time. End of story.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 1:06PM
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Ok, so I decided to start from the cheapest methods: vinegar- no result, full strength vinegar- no result so I decided to try Barkeepers friend that I use on my white glass cooktop all the time with great success. It took some time, scrubbing with a scouring pad, but the spots are gone! Best of all, the product will only run you around 3.00 at Walmart. I hope it works for you too!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:15AM
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We had one home with shower doors, never again. I told our builder "no shower doors". I didn't trust the contractors to get the message so I put a sign in the shower. They are the pits to clean. I have enough cleaning of tracks with the windows and patio doors without doing soap scum. And shower curtains adds color to the bathroom.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 5:35PM
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I generally use the water based cleaner to clean my shower glass using one part white vinegar and 8 parts of water add in a spray bottle and then apply on the shower glass, after using it glass will be shiny and fresh...

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 7:39AM
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I found something entirely by accident that works better than anything else I've ever tried. GoJo (or possibly any other type of pumice type of hand cleaner) I discovered it when I was using it in the shower to clean off from helping my husband work on our car I was a mess so I just took it in the shower with me and when I went to squeeze some in my hand it squirted into the shower door, I wiped it off using a circular motion and didn't think anything else about it until later that night I noticed that fist sized circle was spot free. I had the opportunity to try it out on a really tuff situation about a year later when our renter moved out. I dont think he cleaned the shower doors at all during the four years he lived there. I went over it twice but when I was done, they looked brand new

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 7:39PM
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