Before and After pictures of the bottom corner of shower doors
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There is one area of our bathroom that always makes me cringe when I look at it. It’s our shower doors and tracks and the limescale and mineral deposits that had built up on them. Here is the blunt truth and no judging but I have never really cleaned around the shower frame or door tracks. How to clean shower door tracks? I really wasn’t sure.

Years of Neglect

So I’m pretty sure when we moved into our house years ago that there was already some buildup on the shower door frame and tracks. That combined with not knowing how to clean it or even if it could be cleaned and honestly, a little laziness, I just tried to ignore it. However, I finally realized that I needed to try to tackle it. Below you will find my process and results.

Starting Point

I tried to take some before, during and after pictures. I don’t feel like they fully capture the essence of the task at hand but I will give you one picture to start to give you an idea of what I was in store for.

Bottom corner of dirty shower doors

I did some research online looking for the best method (and easiest) to remove the build-up. I decided to start with the vinegar method. It seemed the simplest and I already had vinegar on hand so off I went.


Step 1 – Vinegar

The first step was to pour vinegar into the shower tracks. My tracks have little holes to allow the water to drain out so I plugged those with paper towels. That wasn’t the perfect solution as it still drained out once the paper towel was soaked but it did a good enough job. A rag or something thicker than a paper towel may work better.

Dirty Shower Door Tracks with a paper towel

After I let the vinegar sit for about 30 minutes, I removed the paper towels blocking the drain holes. Then I grabbed a clean paper towel and wiped out the tracks. Most of the grime and stains from within the shower door tracks were removed with that one swipe! I grabbed a toothbrush and scrubbed the hard to reach places that I couldn’t reach with the paper towel. (If you don’t have an old toothbrush, I found a multi-pack for a $1 at Walmart). There was still a little area under the door in the track that I couldn’t reach with the toothbrush. For under the doors, I used a paper towel soaked with vinegar and gently shoved it under the door in the track. Since I already had let the vinegar sit in the tracks, the grime was already loosened so it didn’t take much to clean it.

Clean shower door tracks

For the vertical tracks, I soaked some paper towels with vinegar and shoved them into the tracks and let them sit. As I removed the paper towels, I wiped down the tracks as I removed them and then used the toothbrush again for the tight corners.

Step 2 – Baking Soda

Now, I moved on to tackle the mineral build-up on the top and outside of the shower door tracks, as well as some vertical part of the tracks. I really didn’t know if they would be able to come clean but I was going to give it my best shot.

Bottom of shower door with calcium buildup
Bottom corner of shower door tracks with mineral deposit build up
Shower door tracks

I mixed some baking soda with water in a little bowl to make a paste. Using a rag, I applied the paste to the build-up on the top and outside of the track and in the vertical section of the track and let it sit there. I don’t remember how long I let it sit there as I was working on other things but I would say probably 30 minutes. I wiped off the paste with a wet rag and surprisingly, quite a bit came off in the first swipe. If your doors don’t have a lot of build-up like mine did (and I’m sure they probably don’t), you might be done with that initial cleaning.

Unfortunately, due to my lack of cleaning, this task was going to take some elbow grease. I repeated the baking soda step over again. This time instead of wiping it off with a wet rag, I used a little metal scraper and scraped the mineral deposit build-up. Some areas required more than others, especially the top of the shower door track right section next to the wall. Since that one spot had so much build-up, I actually had to chip away at it with the metal scraper. I repeated with baking soda over and over until finally the build-up was gone!

Bottom corner of metal shower door

Reebonz

Shower Doors

Again, I started with the vinegar. I poured some into a spray bottle and sprayed the vinegar at the top of the build-up and let it run down the grime. I also used the baking soda paste to remove the grime and build-up that was still left on the metal edges of the shower doors. Just as I did with the shower door tracks, I applied the paste to the door and let it sit. Then I wiped and scraped off the build-up from the shower door corners and along the bottom of the door. Thankfully, this was not anywhere near as bad as the tracks so I only have to repeat it once.

Bottom corner of shower door with dirt and build-up
Bottom corner of metal shower door with water droplets on shower door

**Disclosure** You may notice in the after picture that there is still some build-up on the door and edge. I had to stop to pick up my kids at school, so I will need to finish it on another day.

Rinse

After I finally got the limescale and mineral build-up off, I washed everything down. I gently poured water into the tracks to remove any leftover dirt and grime being careful to not overflow the tracks. I used a clean, wet rag to wash everything else.

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Final Tips

One of the benefits of the vinegar and baking soda method is that they are natural cleaners. I figured since they were natural, I wouldn’t need gloves. Through my lengthy cleaning process, I learned that while they are natural, gloves would have been a good idea. At the end of the day, the skin on my fingertips was incredibly dry and peeling. While this obviously isn’t a really big deal, it is a little sore and inconvenient. If I ever have to do an in-depth cleaning again, I will be wearing gloves.

If your shower door tracks have a lot of build-up like mine, I want to be completely honest. I don’t want to make this seem like a quick wipe and you are done. However, with some elbow grease, you can get the build-up off and it is definitely worth it!

Before and after pictures of dirty bottom corner of shower door and tracks

In order for me to not have to go through this again, I will be wiping my doors down and cleaning on a regular basis. Now instead of hating to look at my shower doors, I actually look at it and smile. I can’t believe the difference! I just wish I would have spent the time and done it years ago! Not only does it look so much better but it actually feels great to accomplish something!

70 thoughts on “How To Clean Your Shower Doors With 2 Simple Ingredients

      1. If you cover your drain holes with duct tape first, then pour in baking soda and then vinegar and let it foam up, sit for 30 minutes, and then wipe it down. See if that works any easier for you.

    1. For brand new doors send her a norwex window cloth. If she wipes them down after every shower, she will never have to scrub them.

  1. Thank you for this! I am going to try using these on our shower TODAY! I love that they are both natural cleaners, I’m preggo and worry about using harsh chemicals right now.

  2. What a difference! I try to use natural products when possible, it is so much better for us, our pets, and the planet! I’ve learned the hard way about waiting too long to tackle those type of things, and then it becomes such an ordeal.

    1. Yes, I definitely won’t be letting the shower tracks get like that again! I love the way it looks when it is clean so that’s another reason I won’t delay in cleaning 🙂

  3. Baking soda + vinegar = magic! I definitely have some buildup to get to on my shower doors! I’m not very particular about what cleaners I use, but this is for sure cheaper than CLR and much more effective!

    1. I would love to hear how the baking soda and vinegar combination works on your shower door buildup. Hopefully, your build up isn’t as bad as mine was!

  4. For the doors I use this mix bi monthly and it keeps the doors looking like new!

    DIY Recipe: Dish Soap, Water, and Vinegar
    In a spray bottle, combine equal parts water and vinegar.
    Add one to two tablespoons of regular dish soap.
    Seal and shake the spray bottle to mix the components together.
    Spray the mixture on soap scum and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
    Wipe down the surface with a damp washcloth

    1. Dawn and vinegar is also a great cleaner! I use it for my bathtub and shower walls all the time. I found the baking soda mixture cleaned better for my shower doors and tracks.

  5. I use baking soda and vinegar quite frequently with cleaning. The bathtub and shower doors are definitely a chore. I recently saw a pin that suggested using warm vinegar and the blue Dawn soap together. I heat up the vinegar in the microwave. (Then the microwave is easy to wipe down.) And mix the Dawn soap in the pyrex measuring cup. First time I tried it I poured the mixture in the plastic bottle too quickly and it melted my bottle. But it still works so it is good. I will then spray down the shower doors and the bathtub walls and let it soak overnight. It does take some scrubbing as well to cut through the grime build up. But it is so worth it. Try it! You’ll like it.

  6. For really tough grungy areas, apply your baking soda paste, then after about 20 minutes, spray w/ vinegar. After the “sizzle”is done (you’ll know) wipe it out. It works like a dream and helps to reduce the elbow grease needed.

  7. How could someone’s shower get to that point though?
    It would probably take at least 2 year of intentionally not cleaning them to be like that.

    1. OMG, I was thinking the exact same thing!! I wouldve thrown imaginary renters or anyone under the bus before owning the before picture of that shower!
      Or claimed it was an experiment in an upstairs unused or basement shower (to bathe inside of those doors and step over that I’m not sure I would feel clean!) I mean a putty knife or paint scraper would work at this point but a daily wipe of the water &/or a weekly sweep of the tracks with paper towel or tissue would have avoided this (at least to this extreme) I apologize but seriously wonder what the toilet, sink, floor etc might look like…

      1. If you don’t have something constructive to say, don’t say anything. I’m sure she knows her shower doors had gotten out of hand, but she was trying to help others who find themselves in that situation to show that what might look hopeless (which would make some people ignore it even longer) that it CAN be taken care of. Don’t criticize if you haven’t been there.

      2. Shame on you! She took the time to take pictures and share her experience with everyone in an effort to help others with a similar problem – not to be judged. How humbling that was of her to put herself out there like that. And she clearly explained the reason it had gotten to that point. I’m actually sick and tired of seeing these perfect families and images and lives on social media and it was nice to see a real mom and real family with real-life problems. I found this page on Pinterest looking for tips on how to clean my shower in a home we just purchased that had been neglected to the point that a normal cleaning wouldn’t work and was glad she shared what worked for her.

    2. FYI…when you have hard water unlike people who have city water, it doesn’t take very long for that kind of buildup. Quick cleans or average cleaning doesn’t begin to make a dent in the mineral deposits!

  8. Well I applaud your courage in showing the pictures, bravo! We’re not all clean freaks with “show room” homes every day of the week. I live in Australia, and while it’s not the politically correct thing to do, I use “Domestos” (well the generic equivalent of it) to clean my shower, as I have a very bad back, and can easily herniate or split a disc open cleaning it. So my shower can get very dirty before it gets cleaned. So my equivalent of Domestos is the Coles toilet cleaner which sells for about $1.80AUD per 2 litres and I just squirt it on neat, let it sit for a bit, then spread it around to cover everything, get in naked, cause the stuff will bleach your clothes – got to be careful cause the stuff is slippery, scrub a bit if necessary and rinse off while I’m having a shower. I do this about every 6 months, as we use shower gel and have a negative ions shower which reduces soap scum, so less dirt and mess. It’s the best I can do unless hubby does it for me.

  9. I have tried this recipe for years and it ALWAYS works. If you don’t like the vinegar smell I usually take citrus fruit peels and a mason jar and pour the vinegar over the peels and leave it for a week or longer. Then I strain the mixture into my spray bottle.

    1. Great tip! You can also add some essential oils for a natural scent. Tea Tree (Melacula) and Lemon also helps with mold and Lavender and Eucalyptus are nice scents too. Really essential oil scent you like could be used 🙂

  10. Hi Julie…I live in a hard water area…I mean white rocks on the shower door hard. My solution. I put a shower curtain inside the shower doors. It slides out of the way when not in use and prevents water and soap scum build up on the sliding doors. I also keep Dawn and vinegar in a spray bottle. If you start with a clean shower and spray it down every week or so, you’ll never have to clean it again. It works miracles.

    1. That’s a great idea! I also love the fact that it would allow me to add a splash of color with a shower curtain. The spray is also a great tip.

  11. Citric acid powder, that is recommended to clean coffee pots, works wonders on calcium build up. You can usually find it cheapest in the bulk food section of the grocery. Mix 2 tablespoons to 3 cups of water, stir to dissolve. I wet an old cloth or paper towel and wipe. For really heavy build up let the soaked cloth sit on the build up and then wipe off. very little elbow grease needed. be careful not to leave sitting on colored fixtures for too long . Rinse when you are done. Wear gloves, as it is drying like vinegar.

  12. Vinegar is a mild acetic acid so its best to wear rubber gloves. For heavy build up I sometimes also use ‘the works’ toilet bowl cleaner which is a bit stronger than the vinegar. Aluminum has an anodized finish to prevent it from corroding, which is easily damaged, I like to use a scotchbrite for scouring (which could still damage the anodizing but a softer one typically doesnt).

  13. Leave a dishwashing wand (the ones with the green scrubber) filled wth equal parts of vinegar and dishwashing liquid in the shower. Give the tiles and glass a quick scrub and rinse every week while having a shower, then dry off the glass with an old towel or squeegee. Even bigger kids can help with this. Saves so much time.

  14. I have been dreading cleaning mine. I know everyone likes the idea of the natural products and I use both vinegar and baking soda a lot when cleaning. I also got a tip somewhere about buying the Limeaway toilet cleaner for $1 and the $1 Store. It helps with the mineral deposit s and build up. Plus bonus it has a nozzle and not a squart bottle. Just make sure to use it and let it sit for a short time and rinse. Wear gloves for sure. Also I found Target carries these battery operated cleaning tools for $20 by Rubbermaid. Watch for it to go on sale etc. Has to different sizes of cleaning heads. Saves on having to scrub to hard. Mostly for people that have arthritis or problems with their hands. Happy cleaning!

  15. I love this post. I use that mixture in my kitchen all the time. Never thought of using it in the bathroom. Mine is also terrible. I have scrubbed with different cleaners and nothing works.

    Disregard negative replies. I appreciate the pictures and positivity that you showed.

  16. Thanks for your post. I’m going to try this. Having VERY hard water, my shower will get like this very quickly. Just hated using the chemicals to remove the build up. Can’t wait to try it. My hat’s off to you to show what can happen in the “real” world, so don’t listen to people criticizing. Love you showing your “Real Life”! Thank you!

  17. Hi I’m trying to find a few hints and tips for cleaning grout around the bathroom.bath/shower -please thank you-bye.

    1. I don’t have any personal experience cleaning grout, but I have read a mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and dish soap works.

  18. After cleaning my glass shower door I use a product that is sold to put on car windscreens. Is makes the water sort of run off so you don’t get droplets of water marking the doors.
    After using the shower we squeegee the door and give it a quick wipe with a glass cloth and it looks like new.
    I only have to use the stuff about 4 times a year.
    It’s used on cars to stop splattered insects from sticking to the glass. Eeeew! Nasty!

  19. I really dislike shower doors for the very reason of what you are dealing with. I found that by removing them and scraping the caulk residue off, the appearance is close to pre-shower door installation. I have a shower curtain that can be laundered. It’s much simpler to keep everything clean.

  20. Walmart & Lowe’s hardware carry “Cleaning Vinegar” stronger than regular vinegar and works faster! Even found some in a nice fragrance in a spray bottle.
    Add a little baking soda to your dishwater, you will feel a real clean with less dish washing liquid.

  21. Thanking u dear 👌😊
    @Allison can u please write the product name that u use for car windows or if possible click photo.

    @Kay
    What is the name of the product available in Target ?

    1. I would also like to know what the product is that you use for the car that works on this and bugs on the windshield. And also the product at Target ?

  22. I clean houses and Tupperware makes a citrus peeler that is my best friend when I clean bathrooms. It’s like a mini paint scraper, I use it around the toilet
    seat screws, the shower tracks, faucet knobs…anywhere there is grime that is hard to get to. Zep grout whitener is a great product. I use 0000 grade steelwool to clean water stains on doors. In my opinion the best window cleaner out is Sprayway. It a foam so it has time to work rather than just run off. It does an amazing job removing hair spray from tile also

  23. When I have to do a deep clean on my shower doors, which I do once a month because that pinkish mold starts forming, I take my shower doors off, one or two little screws and they lift right out. I then put them on my kitchen table with thick towels under and scrub the gunk out with good ole baking soda and water I use an old toothbrush for it all looks almost brand new. FYI: I finally got tired of cleaning them and took them out, now my problem is solved.

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