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How to Keep Water Spots Off Glass Shower Doors

Glass shower doors are beautiful to look at, as long as they’re sparkly clean.

But unless you wipe them every time you finish showering, soap scum, water spots and streaks will begin to accumulate on your otherwise pristine glass shower door.

In fact, these ugly water spots are one of the reasons why many homeowners are often discouraged from using glass shower enclosures and doors altogether.

Fortunately, cleaning water spots off glass shower doors is much simpler than you think. Moreover, following tips from our guide, you won’t even need to clean your glass shower door every day!

hard water stains on shower glass

Why Are There Water Spots on Your Shower Door

The main culprit of those ugly-looking water spots and streaks on your glass shower door is hard water.

If your household has hard water, these water spots will start appearing in your shower and on bathroom fixtures, including the glass enclosures. Hard water is water that contains excessive amounts of minerals: limescale, magnesium, calcium, and chalk. These dissolved minerals are notorious for leaving chalky, soapy scum and ugly mineral deposits behind when the water dries.

Once these deposits come into contact with soapy water, they will leave stains all over your shower, showerhead, and shower tiles, but the stains are even more evident on glass doors.

The pale-colored waxy spots on glass shower doors are soap particles, calcium, and other minerals from hard water. They will react with one another and create a persistent stain on the glass door that isn’t easily soluble with water.

How to Clean Hard Water Stains on Glass Shower Doors

The first course of action is to remove existing hard water stains on glass shower doors. There are varying homemade cleaners that can deal with persistent water spots. But you can also use commercial solutions. Choose whatever is most convenient for you.

Here are some of the best cleaners that can get rid of water spots on glass shower doors.

Vinegar And Water

Distilled vinegar is a go-to cleaner for shower doors, but always dilute it with water before spraying the solution on the glass door. It’s an inexpensive and practical solution for cleaning soapy buildup and removing water stains from glass.

Vinegar And Dish Soap

Combining vinegar with dish soap will also clean glass shower doors and remove hard water stains, including grime and oily buildup on the surface. But always do a final wipe with a clean, dry microfiber cloth to avoid more water spots.

Baking Soda And Water 

Combining water and baking soda to make a paste can remove any dirt and grime buildup in your glass shower door, including those ugly water spots and streaks. You can apply the paste on the water spots or pour a handful of baking soda on the damp glass door, then rinse it with warm water after several minutes.

Baking Soda And Vinegar

If the baking soda and water solution isn’t enough to get rid of hard water stains on shower doors, you can use water with vinegar. Baking soda and vinegar is a stronger solution, however, it’s recommended to let it sit on the glass shower door for at least 15 minutes before rinsing to get a new sparkly clean glass door.

Lemon And Water

If you don’t like the acidic smell of vinegar in the shower, you can use lemon instead. It’s another naturally acidic option that will remove soap scum and water stains on glass doors. Plus, it will leave your shower with a refreshing aroma.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are also natural and effective ingredients that can easily remove water stains on the shower door. Some excellent options for this are:

  • Tea tree
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint

But ensure that you dilute your chosen essential oil with a carrier oil, like baby oil, before using. A simple solution of essential oil and carrier oil will take out stubborn hard water stains on glass shower doors and leave your shower smelling fantastic.

How to Prevent Hard Water Stains on Glass Shower Doors

Although the quick fixes mentioned above are simple and cheap, they are not long-term solutions. If you want to avoid any more manual labor and scrubbing to maintain a sparkly clean glass door, preventing hard water stains from coming back is the key.

Prevention is always better than attempting to remove stubborn water stains on glass shower doors later. Besides regular maintenance of the glass door in your shower, some home remedies and simple practices can help prevent hard water stains on shower doors.

Switch Your Bath Soap

If you’ve been using a bar of soap in the shower, you might want to switch that into liquid soap or body wash. Most bar soaps contain talc, which, when combined with water, minerals, and body oil, encourages soap scum to take hold, causing that goopy coating that stains your glass shower door.

When you switch to shower gel or liquid soap, you’ll see less soap scum buildup. If you can find a talc-less bar soap, that will also work to reduce soap scum.

Air Out the Shower or Dry It Off

Getting rid of extra moisture in your shower will keep hard water stains from developing in the glass shower door. One of the simplest ways to do this is to air your shower out after every use. Open the shower windows or turn on your exhaust fan for at least 15 to 30 minutes after showering. Either way, airing out the shower will reduce moisture buildup and keep your shower door clean.

Drying out the glass door after you shower will also help rid it of any remaining moisture which will turn into hard water stains once the water evaporates. If you’re wiping the glass shower door, use one of these:

  • Dry microfiber cloth
  • Squeegee

These options are safe for your glass door and won’t leave any unnecessary marks or scratches on the surface.

Invest in Water Softener

First off, if your house has hard water, consider investing in a whole-home water softener. It’s the answer to most problems related to high amounts of mineral deposits in your water and will considerably reduce the number of water stains that appear on your glass shower door.

The only downside of using a water softener is that it’s expensive, costing around a couple of hundred dollars, if not more. But in the end, the amount you spend on your home’s water softener will depend on the hardness level of the water.

Apply Glass Treatment on Shower Doors

Glass is a porous material, meaning soap scum, dirt, grime, and mineral deposits from hard water can easily accumulate on it. Glass doors will thus cloud over time and become tough to clean. Adding a protective coating to your glass shower door ensures its longevity and clarity Glass treatment provides an extra protective layer against water spots and helps maintain the glass’ brightness and clarity.

Glass treatment solutions waterproof the glass shower door. Instead of accumulating, dirt, soap scum, and mineral deposits will fall off and won’t be able to stick on the treated glass door.

Treatments and coatings are best for frameless glass shower doors. If you have a framed shower door, remember to keep the product away from the metal frames or shower tiles to avoid damaging them.

How Often Should You Clean Glass Shower Doors

Cleaning your glass shower doors regularly will also help prevent water stains or any dirt buildup. Here’s a good example of a shower door cleaning schedule which you can follow to keep those glass doors sparkly clean.

Every Day. Ventilate your shower by opening windows and doors or using the exhaust fan.

Once a Week. Give your glass shower door a wipe down using a homemade glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth or squeegee.

Once a Month. Deep clean your glass shower door, making sure to include all nooks and crannies. Give it a thorough scrubbing and apply a glass treatment or a water repellant spray on the glass to prevent hard water stains from forming.

Mandy Phillips

As a frequent contributor to top US magazines and publications in the home improvement niche, Mandy has been known for sharing her expertise on how to clean, organize, and decorate bathrooms.

Additionally, Mandy has immense experience offering lifestyle tips and tricks to her readers.

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At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

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