How To Clean Shower Doors With 2 Ingredients

There is one area of our bathroom that I always try to avoid looking at. It’s the outside of our shower doors and tracks mostly because of the limescale and mineral deposits that had built up on them. While I cleaned them when I regularly cleaned the inside of the shower, it didn’t really remove the hardened deposits.


So I’m pretty sure when we moved into our house there was already some buildup on the shower door frame and tracks. That, combined with my lack of knowledge on how to remove the build-up or even if it was cleanable, just made me try 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

Starting off, I’ll give you a picture to help you understand the task, even though it may not capture it completely.

Bottom corner of dirty shower doors

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

How To Clean Shower Doors and Tracks

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, shoved them into the tracks, and let them sit. As I removed the paper towels, I wiped down the tracks and 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 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

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 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 the amount of build-up, 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
Shower door tracks

Shower Doors

Again, I started with the vinegar. I poured some into a spray bottle and sprayed 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.


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.

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! Now that you have clean shower doors and tracks, check out my post on how to clean your shower walls.

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 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 of my clean shower doors! I just wish I would have done it earlier!

124 thoughts on “How To Clean Shower Doors With 2 Ingredients”

  1. I have glass shower doors that we have been trying to clean. My husband has used the “Pink Stuff” and it works a little but to me, it is still looks like dirty glass. We also have discolored tiles and dark stains on the grout inside the shower that I would like to get out. Any suggestions.

  2. Yes, I use vinegar on a ‘regular’ basis.
    Thank you for the Baking Soda tip.
    I am cleaning the white lino floor in our newly acquired 1996 motorhome.
    Other than 2 overhead compartments smelling musty(!!), the grimy floor,
    and ‘verryy c-r-u-d-d-y under-the-floor furnace registers and ductwork(!!)’,,
    the motorhome we call “Josephine” is immaculate. I will use baking soda
    paste to clean these. Then .. actually seal where the floor meets the walls
    & seal the edges of the hot-air registers to the floor so the buildup of crud
    doesn’t happen again!!!
    My husband actually offered to steel brush the registers and paint them
    to match the floor.
    If all else fails, we bought thick light brown vinyl planking 5 yrs ago for a
    bedroom but … may lay it over the lino in the motorhome. Guess we may need
    to glue it down what with all the jiggling of driving on less than perfect roads …
    If you have any hints after reading this, please send me yours ⁉️

    1. I use both vinegar and baking soda in my home as cleaners. My favorite is “Cleaning Vinegar” I recently heard about and Dawn Power Wash for my shower{ not a commercial} just what I do . This works very well on soap scum on my glass shower door. I spray the door with vinegar and power wash let it sit and it takes a lot off, especially hard water stains The cleaning vinegar is strong so have area well vented and wear gloves . Happy cleaning!

  3. Thank you for sharing this tip on the shower rails! I will definitely use this method on my clients houses
    Love from the U.K

  4. I have (re)discovered a product from the 50’s – 20 Mule Team Borax powder. It mixes quickly in warm water and dissolves the granules. Add about a half cup of the Borax to a gallon of warm water, then put in a healthy squeeze of Dawn liquid dish soap. Swish the mixture with your hands until granules are dissolved. Then you will have a wonderful mixture of common materials that has MANY uses! Rinse your hands off and dry them and you will have the cleanest hands of your life, and they smell wonderful. Also, if you’re in a camper like we are, it works great to clean toilet bowls and sinks!! 🙂

  5. Perfect timing for this post! Appreciating the time and effort you put into your website and in-depth information you offer. You’ve really covered up almost all the possible info that every home owner should follow. Worth sharing! Please do continue sharing updates! Thanks a lot!

    1. Excelente tips .
      Thank you so much, I love vinegar,
      Baking soda, and peroxide . My tree good friends , I love them .
      Again .
      Thank you
      Piedad Konda

    2. My shower has marble tiles walls, ceiling and floor and the grout is discolored with mildew. How do you suggest I clean the mold. All the cleaner instructions say not to use it on marble.

      1. You definitely do not want to use any chemicals on marble as it will etch the finish. The best process for grouted marble tiles is using steam, mild detergent and scrub brush. Steam machines can be purchased for about $100 at Home Depot

  6. harriette page Nichols

    when I clean my shower door by monthly after I finish I take WD 40 and spray in my tracks and all of the runners and wipe them down ,not only does it lubricate the tracks ,it shines them ,plus the glass, It keeps all the soap and hard water spots from forming and makes it so easy to clean .
    PS I don’t spray the floor of the shower

  7. Hi Julie, Thank you for your info on how to clean the shower doors and tracks. Yuck! I can’t stand mine because we have heavy mineral deposits in our well water which builds up quickly. My husband purchases “The Works” toilet bowl cleaner and puts it in a spray bottle to clean the shower. It is cheaper than most spray cleaners made for hard water and works very well. However, he neglects the tracks on the sliding doors so I am the one who tackles that part of the shower. Stay healthy everyone!

  8. Julie, if you grab either side of your shower door and lift up, they should come off the track. We had that exact frame up until last spring when we remodeled our bathroom. I’ll be using your vinegar tip on my new shower doors though!

    1. Taking them off sounds like a much easier way to clean! We actually have moved since I wrote this and we no longer have shower doors. Shower curtains are much easier to clean!

  9. I also use soda and vinegar to clean shower with, also lime and lemon DoTerra essential oil work very well. I take my shower doors off, mine you just lift and out, pulling out the bottom first, is very easy to do. I clean mine every 3 months, takes less time than waiting longer – takes longer. Also, spraying a microfiber cloth with WD40 and wiping down the shower doors and metal; wipe down again with a clean, dry microwave towel will really help keep the build up off, saving time and aggravation! Be careful of fumes while using toilet cleaner. I personally would never do that method!

  10. You can always add a couple of drops of lavender or orange oil to the vinegar to make it smell better! It really works well

      1. Catharina Williams

        Drying the shower walls and door is so much easier than all that cleaning. I only wipe mine out once a month and it is easy

  11. Got a better tip. Cleans all of this with little to no effort. Lysol lime and rust toilet bowel cleaner. Has to be the black labeled one. Wear thick cleaning gloves!! Apply. Run in a little with a rag. Remove with water. This stuff is magic. Even works on glass to remove soap scum.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    1. Thanks for your response. I would never have thought of a citrus peeler! I’ll take any extra help when it comes to cleaning the bathroom!

    2. I found a product called Perfect Glass. It’s awesome for glass but especially your stainless appliances.

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

    What is the name of the product available in Target ?

      1. Living in the south, you tolerate Love Bug season! If you don’t already know, Bounce dryer sheets a little damp takes them right off! And I mean fast! Then rinse with clear water.

    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 ?

    2. I believe it’s called Rainex. They make a product specific to bathroom use as well. Be sure to read the caution message before using as it does have some interactions. Additionally, it can leave the floor of your shower slippery.

      1. Great ideas!I’ve put a bowl of straight vinegar on the top rack in my dishwasher and run the short cycle. Never did I think of adding baking soda for extra measures,.
        Microwaves are easier to clean with a small bowl of straight vinegar for 2 minutes then wipe it down with a damp clean rag.
        Vinegar smell is very faint and goes away quickly!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

      1. It’s amazing!!! high traffic areas may require you to hit it a few more times with solution and elbow grease. Might want to leave solution on grout for added measure. We bought an inexpensive shark steamer that worked great!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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).

  24. I’ve been struggling with the glass doors, doesn’t the vinegar/baking soda past work well on that too?

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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 🙂

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

      3. Clearly, you don’t have the kind of minerals in your water that she does. My shower doors can get like that in a week. Very unkind remarks.

    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!

      1. Citric acid works wonder less scrubbing less time better results smells great to,lime hardwater,calcium,mold,soap scum deffintly rust I was wow about the power of citric acid

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

      1. I am very happy to see all these solutions.Didn’t realize vinegar was such a boon.I use it for my floors etc.And for those who have nothing helpful to say,DON’T SAY ANYTHING…….

  32. 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.

    2. after letting this mixture soak a bit you can use a plastic putty knife and scrape the soap scum off the shower walls easily-yeah, I’m lazy and let it build up.

  33. 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!

  34. 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 🙂

  35. 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.

    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. 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. I think Sharon was talking about the track drain holes, not the shower drain. Once the track is clean just remove the duct tape.

            If the gunk is left too long it will eat the metal rails. So make sure you clean them regularly. Otherwise, they will be discolored and could be eaten away.

          2. Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, there was some discoloration on my doors as it was left too long before cleaning. Thankfully it still looked better than before!

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