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Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

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My shower enclosure doors have suddenly got severe soap scum and nothing is removing it. It is on one fixed piece more than the others. What can remove this easily? I have tried vinegar, but nothing doing.

By Patricia


Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Justjean01/14/2012

If after cleaning with any of the methods suggested, and you find your door appears to have that permanent white etching, you can camoflague it really very well by wiping on olive oil and polishing it off with 4-5 paper towels per door. The door wil not look or feel oily. It will continue looking wet and clear. It will last a few days with daily showering. It is nice to know you can have it look good for when company comes or for a house sale. The door shown was cleaned and oiled this AM. It dates from 1979. It has a slight texture to it.

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

By brandeeyes06/28/2011

Ok became obsessed with mine! I tried every "solution" available the only thing after a week of soaking, scrubbing, home remedies, and lots of frustration, I even tried wheel acid for crying out loud anything I could think of, finally after scraping with a razor blade. I got the idea of using my electric car buffer and s.o.s pads. I tried in the corner first to see if it would scratch it didn't and so I continued. Now, my shower doors are like new, no spots, no haze, nothing on them! Try this and then apply rain x to avoid this from happening again. It is hard work not going to lie but if you want them to look their best and tried everything else go for it.

By Jimmy G04/23/2011

After having tried everything listed here I gave it one more try before replacing the shower doors with frosted glass. Kaboom Foam-Tastic did it.

By neicybird03/25/2011

Used Jet Dry, wiped with Magic Eraser then rinsed. Worked well and even cleaned the white shower pan without extra effort. My husband has suggested I use his motorcycle polish to "seal" it all when I am done. Should make water sheet off instead of build up. Probably same effect as Gel-Gloss (Home Depot) which I use on my jetted tub and countertops. Also have had success with Arm & Hammer Cleaner with Oxyclean in conjunction with Magic Eraser in removing build up.

By Adrian03/22/2011

Gumption multi-purpose cleanser is my weapon of choice. Wet the screens with cold water. Use a light scouring pad with plenty of Gumption. Rinse clean with cold water and bingo. Screen are as clean as the day they were installed. :-)

By Chris03/13/2011

I've tried WD-40, CLR, RustAway Plus, furniture polish, plus the whole lot of supposed products specifically for this occasion. I even tried oven cleaner, which was recommended in numerous places. Still have the lime! But the oven cleaner did manage to destroy the aluminum around the lexan shower door! I have come to the conclusion this stuff is harder than diamonds. Nothing can touch it. This seems to be the reason there are rough or frosted shower enclosures. I really don't care to watch someone shower anyway.

By Debbie11/16/2010

Wd 40 really works and resist new.

By Nidia08/17/2010

In our previous rental we had soap scum build up and was trying to leave the place really clean before we moved out and found this site. I didn't have baby oil so I used canola oil and it did a great job. We now live in a new rental with clear shower doors the other shower was a little bit clear and wavy design but not really frosted. These are clear shower doors. I tried vinegar, baby oil, magic eraser, windex etc and still had water spots so I thought of the fact that the Jet Dry rinse for dishwashers really takes the spots off my dishes so I tried it on the glass doors and spots removed. Clear like when we first moved in.

By Louise B. [5]07/27/2010

If this has happened suddenly, and did not happen before, I would suspect that something is wrong with your water softener and that it is not working anymore. You might want to check this out. Certainly something has changed -- either the soap you are using or the hardness of the water.

I would try CLR to clean this.

By Betty [104]07/25/2010

Nothing works like a razor blade. Put a straight blade in the holder and go easy. Then clean the door as usual. I've cleaned the shower stall with razor blades. Liquid soap does not form scum like the bar soap does. Once I switched cleaning is so much easier.

By Becca J [2]07/24/2010

Try a little salt with lemon juice on the sponge. Smells nice and works like a champ on both scum and lime deposits (without dissolving your hands.)

By shelly [2]07/24/2010

Cheap hair shampoo on a regular sponge. Rub it on and then rinse. It should come right off.

By Lilac [18]07/24/2010

It might not be soap. It could be hard water minerals. Try Lime Away on it.

By metroplex [81]07/22/2010

There's a lot of info on this site on that subject, but I seem to remember lemon flavored kool aid is supposed to work.
Good luck!


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

Does anyone know a good way of removing hardwater stains from glass shower doors? We recently bought this home and the shower doors don't look like they have ever been cleaned.


Archive: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

I have stains on my shower door! I don't know if they are hard water or soap scum. I use Tilex shower cleaner everyday. This stain is spotty and not all over the door, it's has a cloudy look to it. When wet it is hard to see but when it dries it is visible.

I've tried cleaning supplies, even razors on the stain. I've tried Oven Off, Spot X, all bathroom cleaners. If it says hard water or soap scum cleaner on it I have tried it. This is the second set of doors this stain has appeared on and the first set I threw out because I thought it was a flaw in the doors. Not the case.

This stain seems to penetrate the pours of the glass and bury itself beneath the surface. I am at a loss, if anyone has experienced these stains and found a solution let me know. Thanks!

Bill from Detroit, Michigan

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

I have been in the auto detailing biz for about 10 years on the island of Maui and now I am starting up in Bend, Oregon. I came across a product called "Nothin's Better" and fell in love with it! It is all natural no chemicals, perfumes or dyes and it works awesome! It cleans glass, tile, porcelain, fiberglass and stainless. I have spent a lot of money on stuff to clean water spots and this is one product that i have stuck with. If you want to find out more info you can contact me at final touch mobile auto detailing dot com. (04/07/2008)

By final touch

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

Is baby oil actually used on babies anymore? (04/10/2008)

By Clive

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

Is the oil cleaning the doors or is it just masking the coatings that have built up? If they don't show up when wet, but are visible when dry, doesn't oil just apply a permanent coating to them to make them look somewhat "wet"? (04/10/2008)

By Pamela

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

Eventually (even the maker will tell you this) Rain-X causes a permanent film on glass. (04/10/2008)

By Pamela

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

I cleaned my shower doors last night. They were really looking bad and I read some of the articles and decided to try the MR CLEAN Magic Eraser. With a very little big of elbow grease and a few drops of hair shampoo my shower doors now look like brand new. Thanks for all the suggestions. (04/13/2008)

By Rich

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

Once you get your shower doors clean the best thing that you could do to keep them clean is to keep a squeegee close by and dry off the glass EVERY time your done showering. If not the water spots will come back and you will be scrubbing away once again! (04/19/2008)

By final touch

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

Lemon Juice works great! I had a heavy build up of soap scum and hard water stains. 100% lemon juice removed it all. I was recommended to use lemon oil, but because I didn't have any at the time, I used what I had, 100% lemon juice. (04/24/2008)

By Vet

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

Thanks, the baby oil is a time saver. My shower doors were a mess, full of soap scum and a grimmy subtance. Within ten minutes my shower door was clean and gleaming. I love the baby oil!!!!!! (04/25/2008)

By Dawn Jones

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

I used the skin so soft and it was amazing. (05/02/2008)

By b marchuk

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

Bill: Use Lemon Oil. No hard rubbing and will also remove scum from frame. I learned this 25 years ago from a friend who cleaned houses for a living. (05/26/2008)

By KeriL

Archive: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

I have tried everything listed here to clean my shower door and glass walls. The house is only 4 years old and the glass was fine a few months ago. Now it is spotty, hazy and looks scummy.


Archive: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

What can you clean you glass shower doors with, so soap scum stays off of them?


Archive: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

I want to know other than ammonia, what can I clean my glass shower doors with that actually works and keeps the scum away?

By Shannon from Lacon, IL

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

Don't let your shower doors get dirty to begin with. Liquid body wash and clear glycerin soap leave much less gunk behind than standard bar soap. After showering, wipe down the shower doors with an old towel or use a squeegee. This helps keep the doors cleaner longer. (03/10/2010)

By OliveOyl

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

Best thing to do is prevent the scum in the first place. I switched from bar soap to liquid body wash and that solved the soap scum problem. I read this online. It costs more than bar soap, but I won't use bar soap again. (03/15/2010)

By TXBetty

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

Your shower doors will stay cleaner if you use a squeegee on them after showering. (04/19/2010)

By kemperjl

RE: Cleaning Stubborn Shower Doors

I tried lots. The thing that worked best with little work was Bar Keepers Friend. Scrub lightly, and rinse with water. Towel dry. Clean as the day the doors were installed. (04/25/2010)

By atthebeach

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