Best Methods to Remove Water Stains from Shower Glass Doors

South End Plumbing, Heating, & Air Expert Tips

Best Methods to Remove Water Stains from Glass Doors
Best Methods to Remove Water Stains from Glass Doors

Best Methods For Removing Water Stains from Shower Glass Doors

Hard water and some soaps often combine and create residue and stains on shower glass doors. The stains can become as bad as a layer of film or wax. It’s nasty and can lead to bigger issues like mold. How do you remove water stains effectively, but also easily, hopefully with products you’ve already got at home?

Solutions for Cleaning Shower Glass Doors

White Vinegar

One of the most well-known products for all bathroom cleaning is distilled white vinegar. It’s inexpensive and probably already sitting somewhere in your house. It’s also all natural unlike lots of other cleaning products out there.

One word of warning is do not use vinegar on any stone shower or fixtures. It can damage stone.

If you’ve never used vinegar for cleaning a shower, it’s easy to learn. Mix equal parts warm white vinegar and liquid dish soap. It’s easiest to pour both into a spray bottle, then spray the mixture on the door. Wipe with a soft sponge or cloth. The soap is lifting the oil while the vinegar cleans the residue. White vinegar and tea tree oil is another mix some like.

White vinegar works well on cleaning tracks and metal parts of a sliding shower door. Make sure to cover the drain with paper towels if there’s a chance of having vinegar run into the drain. Let the vinegar sit in the tracks or other tight, very scummy spaces, overnight for best results.

Another warning, do not use vinegar or ammonia with bleach. The two together create a bad, even toxic, fume.


For cleaning heavy stains off a glass shower door, mix three parts water with one part ammonia in a spray bottle. Spray the scum-covered glass and scrub the surface while it’s still damp with a brush. Rinse completely and dry the surface area entirely.

When cleaning with ammonia, keep your bathroom well ventilated by opening doors or windows if possible and by running the bathroom vent. This is a safety matter just as much as dealing with the scent. Wear rubber gloves. Do not mix ammonia with bleach.

When you don’t have a heavy film or build-up on the glass, another way to clean and get a streak-less finish, is to combine two quarts of distilled water and two tablespoons of ammonia. Spray it on the glass. Let it sit for five minutes. Wipe it with a dry cloth. Using distilled water prevents cleaning one stain but leaving hard water stains.

Baking Soda

Mix baking soda with water to make a thick paste. You’ll need about a half cup of baking soda for most shower doors. Spread the paste onto the glass with a soft cloth. Rinse it off with vinegar. Do not rinse with vinegar if you have rock or travertine in your shower.

You can also try a paste of baking soda and vinegar. Put it on the glass door and leave it on for 20 minutes, then rinse it off.

Lemon Juice

This is a potentially more pleasant, aromatic, choice for cleaning your shower door. Take the juice from three lemons and mix it with a cup of distilled water in a spray bottle. Spray the glass and let it sit for five minutes. Then wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth. Dry the glass with another clean cloth.

Another lemon trick is cut a lemon in half. Take one half and dip it in baking soda. Then smear the lemon half on the glass. Then follow the same technique with one cloth wet with distilled water, then an entirely dry cloth.

Magic Eraser

A Magic Eraser sponge or another similar product can remove stains well without other agents or chemicals. To get rid of scum, wet the Magic Eraser and use it on the glass door. If you know you’re going to use this method, use it right after taking a shower. The warm water will help the Magic Eraser lift scum and film.

What Creates Tough Water Stains on Shower Doors?

If you’ve had a brand-new glass shower door fitted, you’ll know the nice, shiny look doesn’t last as long as you’d hoped. Even if you clean it frequently and well, the water stains build pretty quickly.

The problem is, hard water stains on shower doors are difficult to fully clean. Hard water is mixing with other stuff, like minerals, oils, waxes, shampoo film and dust to cause the mess. This may lead to stains, a crusty layer or even hard deposits.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is water which holds dissolved minerals. It has these minerals because, on the water’s natural trip in the ground and eventually into a water system, it picks up calcium, lime, magnesium and other minerals.

Hard water is not a health hazard. With most treatments it’s fine in bathrooms and safe to drink. However, hard water can wear on appliances and fixtures faster. It can be bad on people’s skin.

Other Issues Hard Water Can Cause

The most common issue with hard water is limescale build-up it leaves. Here are more examples of problems hard water can cause:

  • Home appliances – Lime develops in any home appliances that use water, which minimizes their efficiency and lifespan. It requires the appliances to work more than they should.
  • Sluggish flushing toilet – As impurities build inside the parts in and leading out of the toilet, this narrows them which lowers water circulation and results in blockages.
  • Smeared “clean” dishes – Hard water is the cause of that scummy, overcast layer on your just cleaned dishes and glasses.
  • Hair – Hard water can leave mineral deposits in your hair. This takes away from its natural look and can build up on your scalp.
  • Skin – Since hard water stops soap from liquifying, it can also leave scum on your skin. This can make you feel itchy and lead to annoying skin issues like dermatitis or psoriasis.

South End Plumbing specializes in tankless water heaters, so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in plumbing remodels – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.

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