How to Clean Glass Shower Doors With Hard Water Stains?

Glass shower doors in a bathroom made a gorgeous addition to any home.  But when hard water hits the panes of glass, hard water stains can easily deposit.  This can make a bathroom look pretty dingy.  

As if hard water stains were not bad enough, you also have to worry about soap scum.  If you have hard water, once it mixes with soap, especially bar soap, a residue is left.  This, in turn, creates soap scum. The paraffin wax will settle on the glass shower door after you have showered, leaving a layer of soap scum behind.  

But why does hard water leave the stains behind?  Well, hard water has calcium that leaves behind mineral deposits once the water has fully evaporated.  Some homes have harder water than others.  It just depends on the area where you live.  

There is no reason to be embarrassed though when you have company over.  Everyone has seen hard water stains, whether it be on a shower door or a stainless steel sink.  While they look awful, they are a part of life.  But that does not mean that you have to live with it.  There are simple ways to clean glass shower doors.

Keep reading to find out the best ways to clean glass shower doors that have hard water stains. 

Glass shower doors

Hard water stains happen to the best of us.  However, one of the best ways to prevent these stains is to squeegee the door after every use.  This way everyone in the household is responsible for the glass shower doors, not just one person.  

We have found that purchasing an inexpensive squeegee for under $10 works great.  Hang it up on the shower so everyone can see it and will not forget to take care of the doors before they exit the shower.  

Another way to prevent hard water stains is to leave the door open for a while after you have gotten out of the shower.  This will allow the shower to dry.

You may also think about installing a water softener if your water is very hard.  This can help make your hard water spots diminish.  We also recommend spraying a product such as Rain-X to repel the product.  Products such as these are great because they work just as well on a shower as they do a car windshield.  You can apply the product following the manufacturer’s directions.  Products such as this make it impossible for water or dirt to stick, so, therefore, hard water stains will not appear on your glass shower doors.

Methods for cleaning glass shower doors with hard water stains

There are various ways that you can clean your glass shower doors with hard water stains.  If you use the shower every day, you will need to take care to maintain it every day.  With proper maintenance, you will not have as many hard water stains on your glass door.  

There are tons of products on the shelves that claim to assist with hard water stains.  Some of these products may work, but some are downright expensive.  And they can be toxic as well.  It is much better to use more natural solutions.  The great thing about many homemade solutions is that you have those products already in your home.  

Method 1:  Vinegar Mixture Spray

To clean your glass shower doors that have hard water stains on them, you will want to gather the following supplies:

  • 10 % white cleaning vinegar
  •  Water
  •  lemon juice
  • baking soda
  •  a scrub sponge
  • An empty spray bottle
  • a measuring cup
  • a small bowl
  • some old towels
  •  a squeegee
  • disposable rubber gloves

Step 1: Mix the liquids

 Mix one half of the water and one half of the vinegar.  Place them into your spray bottle.

Step 2:  Make a paste

 Incorporate one part of vinegar with three parts of the baking soda to make a paste. 

Step 3:  Place towels on the floor 

Place the towels on the floor to protect it.  

Step 4:  Scrub

 Place the lemon juice on a scrub sponge and scrub in a circular movement until the hard water stains begin to break apart.  

Step 5:  Use the paste

 Take the paste and go over the same area with a circular movement.  Then allow the mixture to sit for 2 hours.

Step 6: Use the spray

Spray the water-vinegar mixture onto the glass doors.  

Step 7:  Squeegee

Squeegee off the mixture off the glass doors.   Then dry the glass.

If you have water stains on your glass shower doors, consider purchasing a water softener.  A water softener will keep your home much easier to keep spotless.  

Method 2:  Vinegar and dish soap

To clean your glass shower doors with vinegar and dish soap, you will need to gather the following materials:

  • White vinegar
  • Dish soap 
  • Soft cloth
  • Spray bottle 

Step 1:  Mix the solution

Begin by mixing equal parts of warm white vinegar and dish soap. Place in a spray bottle. 

Step 2:  Spray 

Spray the soapy vinegar solution on the glass shower doors.  

Step 3:  Wipe down

Wipe down the shower glass door with a soft cloth.  Be sure to do a test patch first to ensure that it will not scratch your glass door. 

Note:  If you have stone in your shower, refrain from using this mixture. 

Method 3:  Baking soda paste

For this method, you will need the following supplies:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Soft cloth
  • Vinegar

Step 1:  Mix

Mix half a cup of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. 

Step 2:  Apply

Apply the baking soda paste to the glass shower doors using a soft cloth. 

Step 3:  Rinse

Rinse the paste with vinegar. 

Note:  This method should not be used in showers that contain stone or travertine. If this is the case, you can use the baking soda paste, but rinse off with water instead of the vinegar.  

Method 4:  Ammonia

You can also use ammonia to clean your glass shower doors that have hard water stains.  To use this method, you will need the following supplies:

  • Ammonia
  • Water
  •  Spray bottle
  • Brush

Step 1:  Mix

Begin by mixing three parts of water with one part of ammonia.  Place in a spray bottle. 

Step 2:  Spray

Spray your glass shower doors with the ammonia-water mixture.  

Step 3:  Scrub

Scrub the glass shower door while it is still wet with the ammonia mix.  

Step 4:  Rinse and dry

Rinse the shower doors well with water and then dry with a soft cloth.  

Note:  Anytime you use ammonia, be sure the area is well ventilated.  Open the window to help let out toxic fumes. 

Another method of using ammonia is to use two tablespoons to two quarts of distilled water.  This solution works well for shower doors that are not full of soap scum. The distilled water will prevent hard water stains from forming.  Simple mix and spray, then allow to sit for five minutes.  Then simply wipe with a cloth.  

Method 5:  Vinegar and Dawn

In this method, you must use Dawn dish soap (the blue kind) to get excellent results.  You will need the following to start:

  • Original blue Dawn dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Glass Dish 
  • Microwave
  • Funnel

Step 1:  Mix

Pour 2 cups of Dawn soap and 2 cups of white vinegar into a glass dish.

Step 2:  Stir and heat

Stir the solution well, then heat for 4 minutes in the microwave.  Remove and stir once again.  Take extreme caution so you do not burn yourself.  

Step 3:  Pour into a bottle

Using your funnel, carefully pour the solution into the spray bottle. 

Step 4:  Shake well

Shake well to mix the solution. Use as needed on shower doors.

To clean glass shower doors, you will need to spray the Dawn and vinegar solution on dry shower doors. Next, wet the shower doors to dilute the mixture. The cleaner will cling to dry shower doors better than wet ones.  Leave the solution on the glass doors for at least 2-3 minutes. You may also shower with the solution on the doors if you like.  

Next, you will need to wipe shower doors with a wet washcloth. The wetter the washcloth, the better. Rinse the shower doors with warm water. A handheld showerhead makes this very easy to do. Finally, wipe the shower doors down with a squeegee.

Method 6:  Lemon juice

Lemon juice is another all-natural method that smells great. If you do not care for the smell of vinegar, this cleaner may be for you.  

For your supplies, you will need the following:

  • 3 lemons
  • Distilled water
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 1: Juice the lemons

Begin by juicing all 3 lemons. 

Step 2:  Mix

Mix one cup of distilled water with the juice. 

Step 3:  Spray

Spray your glass shower door, then wait five minutes.  Wipe down with a microfiber cloth.

If you do not like the thought of juicing lemons, you can slice a lemon in half.  Then dip half the lemon into baking soda.  Gently rub the lemon on the glass door, then rinse off with distilled water. 

Magic Eraser

A magic eraser can also be used to remove hard water stains off glass shower doors.  These erasers can be bought at many stores and are convenient to use. There are many generic brands of these, and some of the cheaper ones are not as good as the more expensive ones.  Often the super cheap ones will fall apart easily with the slightest touch on a hard surface.  Brand name ones are more of a heavy-duty sponge eraser and tend to work a lot better.  They are relatively inexpensive as well.  Best of all, you do not need to use any cleaning agent with them.  Water is all you will need!  We have found that it is best to use a Magic Eraser immediately after showering as the warm water and steam will help the eraser work better. 

Preventing hard water stains on glass shower doors

If you have glass shower doors, you certainly do not want to be cleaning them once a week.  It is a very tedious process and after a while, it tends to get old.  Plus we all know that you have more important things to do than clean your shower for hours at a time. 

Therefore, you can make a solution to assist you in preventing hard water stains on glass shower doors in the first place.  It can allow you to spread out deep cleanings of your shower doors. 

Homemade solutions are great to use since you can control what you use.  This means you can make them non-toxic and for only a few pennies!  

Daily shower spray number 1

This daily shower spray is super cheap and can be effective.  We also like it because the essential oil used will help to disinfect your shower.  

Begin by gathering the following supplies:

  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup of white vinegar
  • A few drops of your favorite dish soap
  • 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil

Mix all of the ingredients.  After showering, squeegee the shower, then spray this shower spray over the glass shower doors and in the rest of the shower.  

One of the main reasons we love this do-it-yourself shower spray is because it is all-natural.  By using your favorite essential oil, you are creating a powerful and potent cleaning product.  This spray is also safe for your family.  Some of the best essential oils that have cleansing properties include lemon, lime, wild orange, bergamot, and melaleuca.  Here is a shortlist of some of the properties of essential oils.

  • Cinnamon:  antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial
  • Peppermint:  prevents the growth of harmful bacteria
  • Eucalyptus:  purifying and disinfecting
  • Lavender:  disinfecting
  • Lemon:  antifungal, disinfecting
  • Grapefruit:  can kill over 60 kinds of bacteria and yeast
  • Tea tree oil:  combats germs and disinfects, antiviral, antifungal

Sometimes essential oils can be overpowering on their own.  But if you mix two or more, they can complement each other.  Tea tree oil is an essential oil that can be very overpowering on its own.  But when mixed with a few drops of lavender oil, the scent is balanced out.  It is fun to experiment with scents to see what you like.  Just be cautious when using essential oils as if you spill them directly on the skin and leave it, it can harm the skin as these oils are so potent on their own.  Likewise, you will want to use caution around pets as some essential oils are deadly to them.  

The best time to clean the shower is right after the last person is done for the night.  If you make a habit of doing this, it does not seem like such a chore when your glass shower doors need a deep cleaning.  

Daily shower cleaner number 2

This second daily shower cleaner can also prove to be very effective.  You will need the following for this shower cleaner:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dishwashing rinse aid
  • Dish soap
  • Distilled water
  • 32-ounce spray bottle

Begin by mixing half a cup of rubbing alcohol with half a cup of hydrogen peroxide. Both of these products will aid in disinfecting your shower.  Add in one tablespoon of the rinse aid and one teaspoon of the dish soap.  Place in the 32-ounce spray bottle and fill the rest of the way with distilled water.  Do not shake this as it will foam if you do.  

Cleaning schedule

If you have a cleaning schedule for your bathroom and do light maintenance on it throughout the week, you will not have as much to do when you deep clean.  Consider following a plan similar to the one listed below.

Every day: After using the shower, you should squeegee the glass shower doors, use the homemade spray cleaner with essential oils, and leave the door open to air out. Everyone can make a habit out of squeegeeing and leaving the door open, but the last one for the night to shower should spray it down.  There is no sense in having everyone spray the shower down just to have the next person turn the water on and have the cleaner be washed away.  

Weekly: Once a week, the entire shower should be wiped down with a sponge or Magic Eraser.

Once a month: This is a deep clean of the shower.   Thoroughly scrub the entire shower, making sure to get in all nooks and crannies.


Glass shower doors can be hard to maintain if you have hard water.  But the great news is that there are many homemade solutions that you can use to clean the hard water off your door.  

By making everyone take their turns squeegeeing the doors, you will cut down on your deep cleaning sessions tremendously.