How to Clean Soap Scum Off Shower Doors

30 Minutes

Who else thinks soap scum is the enemy of all homeowners?
This past weekend I decided to put my cleaning plan into action and eliminate the haze on my shower doors that's from soap & hard water. I used the safe combination of baking soda and white vinegar to remove the soap scum. Then I applied Rain-X to the shower door glass to prevent this from happening again, or at the very least stop me from having to clean the doors as frequently.
I wanted to share this process because it worked better than I thought it would. You can view the blog post I put together at
If you don't do anything else you should view the video. Not only does it walk you through everything I did it shows you one crucial action I forgot to take-comb my hair before filming! But I don't mind embarrassing myself for the Hometalk community.

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Have a question about this project?

15 questions
  • Nws1022663
    on Jan 14, 2016

    Much vinegar and how much baking soda ?

    • Lynn
      on Jan 27, 2016

      @Nwstover if you go to his website, he will tell you there

    • Terrie Neudorf
      on Apr 3, 2016

      I use hotwater 50/50 vinegar and and table spoon of blue dawn. If really bad then I add baking soda till the mix makes a paste . Let sit a couple mins and wipe off. . Some dryer sheets are toxic so I don't use them , they will also cause a build up over time . I find its too much hassle to bother. And this works and it's clean .

    • Vivian
      on Jan 4, 2017

      Please remember do not use vinegar on natural stone.

    • Vivian
      on Jan 4, 2017

      Please remember do not use vinegar on natural stone.

  • Jennifer Kramer Pollon
    on Jan 14, 2016

    Does this work on the shower walls as well?

    • Mary Tonningsen
      on Jan 16, 2016

      @Jennifer Kramer Pollon I don't see why it wouldn't work for the walls. Baking soda and vinegar are good for cleaning just about anything! Great stuff! :)

    • Terrie Neudorf
      on Apr 3, 2016

      Yes the mix I use works on most cleaning surfaces . It's the main cleaner I use now. Even glass and mirrors . And they dry streak free.

    • Mary
      on Jun 29, 2016

      Wipe your shower doors down with a towel after your shower and it will never build up.

    • Alesea Casto Smith
      on Jul 7, 2016

      I cleaned the shower doors with vinegar & water mixed 50/50. I did the same only I used the liquid rain-x as a base coat. Works for at least a month! I will try the rain-x window cleaner also.

    • Shawn Brockhoff Maxwell
      on Jul 18, 2016

      YES YES - listen to Mary. Wipe your shower down with a towel when finished ( I even squeegee first) and you will never have the buildup. Shampoo will work if you don't want this. Professional house cleaners here use baby oil to get caked on scum off glass shower doors. Rain X and Glass Plus are also very helpful. I still have found the wipe down the best - still have to scrub the floor area due to my dirty garden feet.

    • Carol Ricard
      on Aug 3, 2016

      I use a squeegee everytime after a shower. Then once a week clean with glass plus. I do the whole shower. That way there is no buildup.

    • Jrb7031513
      on Sep 2, 2016

      The man that installed my tile in the shower told me to wipe the tile with the light Old English Furniture Polish then buff. That was 7 years ago. Haven't scrubbed my shower since. I polish my tiles every 6 months.

  • Jodi Moss
    on Apr 10, 2016

    Does it work as well on tiled showers?

    • Terrie Neudorf
      on May 25, 2016

      Yes it does . The only thing I add I'd a couple drops of blue dawn .

    • Dvcssr
      on Oct 11, 2016

      It works great. This is all I use to clean my shower and tub surround. Safe around pets not harmful fumes.

  • Richard Russell
    on Jul 5, 2016

    I've tried vinegar, and baking soda, soft scrub, toothpaste, 4 ought steel wools, cold acting oven cleaner, and still have water spots from hard water and soap scum. Help needed.

    • Liz Weiss
      on Jul 27, 2016

      Try the scurbing bubbles product. Make sure you use a scrub brush.

    • Tessie apostolo
      on Aug 11, 2016

      there is a product called BAR KEEPER. It is usually located by the comet. It works on all of the above!!!!

    • Maxine Waller
      on Aug 25, 2016

      Try Lysol with hydrogen peroxide - already included in the product. It works great! And easy!

    • Phyllis Grisanti
      on Aug 25, 2016

      Try CLR, works great on calcium buildup, soap residue, etc.

    • Julie B
      on Aug 26, 2016

      If all else fails, try rubbing compound and still wool pad. Had to do this on a shower and was very happy with the results.

    • Linda Kay
      on Aug 27, 2016

      Clr (calcium lime rust). Works like magic. Apply, wipe, (

    • Deb
      on Aug 30, 2016

      GooGone....but be careful...slippery.

    • Jba11091045
      on Sep 5, 2016

      Try Mr Clean scuff mark eraser, I'Ve tried everything, this works best

    • Drgoodie
      on Sep 11, 2016

      I am fighting this problem and recently for some mysterious reason, the bottom 1/5 of my shower door turned solid white. I wet dryer sheets and scrubbed and soaked and scrubbed and got most of it off. There are patches that are still white and I am still working on it. I only recently started using a squeegy after my shower and then drying all the walls with a towel. It makes a big difference but I am still working on getting all the cloudy areas clear again. I have tried everything listed here and more and the dryer sheets worked best so far.

    • Wtw7482807
      on Sep 17, 2016

      Avon Skin So Soft

    • Delores
      on Oct 7, 2016

      Lime Away

    • Elk2192192
      on Oct 7, 2016

      One thing I have found is make sure you squeegee every time you use shower really takes 1 minute. Bar keepers friend and a magic eraser and elbow grease. Lay down towels on shower floor and use rain x. Rain C works good but if it gets on shower floor very slippery. I have been battling the shower doors for years and found this works. I have modern smooth clear glass doors. This works for me. Good Luck!

    • Cynde Lee
      on Nov 6, 2016

      A large paint scraper with blades on smooth glass doors.

    • Susan
      on Nov 8, 2016

      Scratch all the elbow grease - use Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound. See my response @ V Valencia above. Easy and fool proof.

    • Linda Haslinger
      on Jan 4, 2017

      Magic Eraser- it's Awesome!!!

    • Dana Berg
      on Jan 4, 2017

      Don't laugh till you try it. When my shower glass gets really bad, I use Lysol Power toilet bowl cleaner, with a scrub brush. Cleans it all off including rust.

    • Mary Hofstra
      on Jan 4, 2017

      Have you tried the Blue Dawn, vinegar and water solution? I can't remember the ratios, but I want to say about 1/4 cup Dawn, 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup water. HEAT up the water and vinegar, then pour into your spray bottle. Now add the Dawn. Gently swirl it around to mix it. Once it's mixed thoroughly, spray liberally on your shower doors, wall surround anywhere you need in your tub/ shower area. LEAVE it on. The longer the better. We've left it on over night! Now spray it off using your hand held shower sprayer if you have one. If you don't have one, you can attach a hose onto your faucet and use a sprayer that way. This is the EASIEST and BEST way to clean your shower! Your welcome! Happy New Year and Happy Cleaning!

    • Beckj28
      on Jan 5, 2017

      For anyone with iron water.... cream of tarter! It's found in the spices and if you have iron water that leaves rust on everything including clothes put some in water and let it soak on stuff. It takes it out. For a load of laundry I use approx a 1/2 cup or more. There is no magic number just keep trying different amounts on things.

    • Emt9031931
      on Jan 26, 2017

      Borax 1cup, washing soda1 cup, 1 quart boiling water. Stir to melt borax. May need to reheat on stove. Cool. When ready to clean, pour 1/2 cup into spray bottle and fill rest of bottle with CokeACola. Stand over the sink while pouring it slowly in, it may fizz up. Spray on to keep area wet every few minutes. Scrub some with a sponge scratcher and rinse. I have hard water and If this doesn't work, I mix rubbing alcohol and washing powder and spritz it on then dip my scratchy into some borax. A little scrub and rinse.

    • Marilyn Zaruba
      on Feb 5, 2017

      When we bought this house, the fiberglass shower pan had a terrible build up on the sides which are about 4 inches tall. I have used everything including pumice and it is still there. The only thing here I haven't used is the Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound.. that is my next try. I had written to one of the flippers on TV because she would take antique tubs that were truly nasty and make them look like new, but she never answered me. Maybe this rubbing compound will work. Otherwise, I am tempted to redo the entire thing.

    • Maria Cosby
      on Mar 18, 2017

      I have a cleaning business and I'm facing the same battle with this glass doors, drives me nuts. I was also told if it was etched nothing was going to take it off and so far nothing has. Please let me know if you find anything that works 😧

    • Tracy Steele
      on Mar 18, 2017

      Mean green will get it off

    • Andi Risley
      on Mar 18, 2017

      The only one I didn't try is the wax and the Borax boiled. .Wish I knew about it while I managed the vacation rental I did. I tried Coke and even vodka I think. Read that somewhere too. Lol.

    • Panda
      on Apr 18, 2017

      Definitely use vinegear add DAWN instead of baking soda.
      Spray on let stand 15 minutes and go back with soft scubber scrub lightly and rinse. You can put rainex on but you don't need if doors are wipe down with dry towel between cleanings.
  • V Valencia
    on Aug 26, 2016

    I was told that the minerals in the hard water can actually etch into the glass. I am afraid this has happened to my doors because no matter what I use, there is still a hazy look to my door. I am wondering for any glass professionals out there, is it possible to remove this? Are there any other options for me other then to replace the glass?

    • Carey
      on Sep 14, 2016

      A WORD OF CAUTION: Just be very careful that you do not use any product that has HYDROFLUORIC ACID in it as it will etch glass, porcelain, granite and marble. It will not damage plastic, formica or fiberglass. I made the mistake of removing rust from a piece of fabric and used the top of my washer. It was etched everywhere that the solution touched it.

    • Susan
      on Nov 8, 2016

      The solution is Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound (probably in the automotive section at Walmart or even an auto supply). Just put on like silver polish, clean off with a soft towel. Your glass really will look like new. And, yes, treat with Rain-X. This is so simple and has fabulous results. I live in an area where the exterior windows are hard water etched by our sprinkler system. Using this method once a year prevents that etching and smooths out any that has alreafy occurred.

    • V Valencia
      on Nov 8, 2016

      Fantastic! I will definitely try this. Thank you!

    • Miss
      on Nov 9, 2016

      I tried Bar Keepers Friend- the liquid. Did NOT work at all.

    • Jojodalber
      on Jan 13, 2017

      I too have tried everything without success, so tomorrow I will try the wax treatment and rain-X to see if that will help. After that it's a new door

    • Vicky
      on Jan 29, 2017

      Prevention is the best: Wipe down shower walls & glass after every shower. When I was married, we had a double shower. He refused to do the wipe down; I always did my side. When it was time to sell, my side was clean. His side was rough to the touch & nothing would clean it. I finally resorted to fine grit sand paper everywhere that was coated. It worked great, but care needs to be taken, so glass & tile don't get scuffed.

    • V Valencia
      on Jan 29, 2017

      Thanks for your comment; I agree Vicky. I squigy my shower after use and there is very little build up. But, unfortunately, the largest shower and build up happened in my teenage daughters' shower. Need I say anymore ;)

    • Katie Hammond Myrice
      on Feb 1, 2017

      Lime-A-Way! A green bottle In the bathroom cleaning chemical sections at wal-mart. Do a quick rinse of your shower doors & stall. Wearing gloves take the lime-away & spray or squirting onto glass doors & waĺls. Use a scrubbie to spread it around and cover area that has white scum. Shoot extra on tougher spots. Let set 3 to 4 minutes & start rubbing with the scrubbing. You will see the white lime & scum disapearing off your glass doors, walls & fixtures.Rinse with cool water. Don't let set on your water fàucetss over 4 minutes as it will discolor your chrome faucetes.

    • Marianne Radley
      on Feb 4, 2017

      I use glass cooktop cleaner! Called Ceramacoat, itis used for cootops, but I figured hey, that's glass, my shower doors are glass, why not? It worked, and I haven't had scum/spots for 4 months so far!

    • Andi Risley
      on Mar 18, 2017

      I used to manage a vacation rental. The doors were already stained from hard water when I started working there. I tried every single solutions I could find. Lemon, vinegar, CLR, Lime-Away, baking soda, and more. Not one of them worked. I did not try the wax method. I'm interested to know if it worked for anyone on old build up. I even went so far as to try to scrape off with a razor. It did take some off but the majority was not budging.

    • Tracey Czajkowski
      on Mar 18, 2017

      Try "Off" mosquito spray

    • Forest Perea
      on Mar 18, 2017

      Find a Melaleuca dealer they sell a product called Tub and Tile. Sold as a concentrate. It will take all the calcium build up off and it is not a chemical. They also sell one called No Work and you just spray it in the shower when you are done and it doesn't allow the build up to happen again. No I am not a Melaleuca dealer but you should be able to find one in your area. LOVE all their cleaning products and all natural.

    • Lynne
      on Apr 18, 2017

      I am sorry to say that in most instances the glass has been etched at this point. I spoke with a glass dealer when I finally got my stall glass replaced. He said to squeegee the (new) glass after EACH use; clean the glass weekly with a reputable glass cleaner (or natural ingredients for those of you not using chemicals of any sort); and then use Rain-X monthly.
    • V Valencia
      on Apr 19, 2017

      As "Katie Hammond-Marice" mentioned here...Lime Away. I tried that and it worked the best thus far. (I get it at the 99 cent store ;) Since that time, I have also been doing what "Vicky" mentioned here...wipe down after every use. That has given the best, lasting results.
    • VickieC
      on Apr 21, 2017

      I too have a spouse who refuses to squeegee or wipe down the shower. more aggravating is he took the squeegee OUT of the shower to use on his car windows! Argh!
  • Nancy Flemming
    on Mar 18, 2017

    I am not sure if my shower doors and surrounds are glass or some sort of acrylic or plastic, but I cannot get the scum off, have tried vinegar and baking soda, lime a way, and CLR. Any suggestions?
    • Candy Dean
      on Mar 19, 2017

      I used "Bar Keepers Friend" on a tuff build up of soap and hard water. Seems to of done the trick, (altho the shower is older, not new, and fancy) I also have a old porcelien tub.....this stuff amazes me............Soft cloth and light circular scrubbing.......wa la!! good luck...........I tried everything!!!

    • Nancy Flemming
      on Mar 20, 2017

      Thank you, not a product I have heard of, where do you buy it?

    • Pea Jaye Higgi
      on Mar 20, 2017

      Got mine at Walmart-it is with the cleaning products ..its with cleansers like comet

    • Nancy Flemming
      on Mar 20, 2017


    • Sharon Tharp
      on Apr 3, 2017

      I have used Brillo or SOS on my glass doors. Doesn't scratch the glass and you can see the soap scum come off. I also finish with RainX original.

    • Nancy Flemming
      on Apr 3, 2017

      Thank you I had thought of using sos pad but am not sure if it is glass or acrylic, I know it won't scratch the glass but will scratch acrylic and plastic, maybe I will try a small spot. Just did my my windows with sos and now we can see out of them.

    • Carolyn from NH
      on Apr 18, 2017

      The Brillo pads with the soap already in it.
    • Mary Ann
      on Apr 28, 2017

      Just a hint save the softener sheets that you used from the dryer wet them first and use on the glass doors and tiles instantly the scum is gone.
    • Nancy Flemming
      on Apr 28, 2017

      I will try the dryer sheets
    • Diane Richards
      on Nov 17, 2017

      Dryer sheets did not do the cleaning I expected.

  • Glenda
    on Apr 18, 2017

    Any suggestions for removing soap scum from travertine tile and grout?
    • Pat Martinez
      on Apr 18, 2017

      Believe it or not I use fabric softener sheets. Wet the tile and the sheet and scrub away. It may take a few softener sheets. The tile will "soap up" rinse well and dry with a squeegee ! I do the dame with the shower door.
  • Dd221538625
    on Apr 24, 2017

    would this work to clean the haze off my car headlights?
    • Kit21416051
      on Apr 24, 2017

      I have heard from others to keep them clean & use car wax on them.?
    • Linda Lee
      on May 13, 2017

      use tooth pastee
    • Mary
      on May 15, 2017

      Toothpaste - definitely.
    • Diane Chalmers Russell
      on May 16, 2017

      Plastic polish or a headlight restore kit. It's just plastic buffing polish and a set of pads to put on a drill. The dealership wanted $80 to do my mother-in-law's car. The kit was $25. But,I had all of the stuff available at home already.
    • MacKenzie Scholl
      on Sep 11, 2017

      Brake fluid works very well. Husband is a detailer/mechanic and used brake fluid all the time in the detailing shop to clear foggy or hazy headlight covers.
    • Pat Cargill
      on Sep 11, 2017

      dont get any brake fluid on your
      paint. it will remove the paint
      off ur car!
    • Mar16215933
      on Sep 15, 2017

      Deep Woods Off cleans headlights also. You can YouTube it.
  • Jennifer Lewis-Nunez
    on Jul 16, 2017

    What is the safe amounts of the vinegar and baking soda? How long is to long to keep on? And what is the process of using the Rain-Ex? This sounds like a wonderful idea!
  • Gillian Whitman-Coleman
    on Sep 21, 2017

    Can I use rainx on my fibre glass shower?
    • Marva
      on Jan 31, 2018

      I used car wax on mine except on bottom of the shower. Worked great for fiberglass

  • Dlw28363182
    on Feb 24, 2018

    are you saying , to use vinager only.?
  • Jeanette Jordan
    on May 19, 2018

    Does this work on tile?

  • Faye Solod
    on Jan 5, 2019

    How much vinegar and how much baking soda?

  • Debbie
    on Jan 6, 2019

    Do you put the vinegar on first then to soda

    • Joyce
      on Aug 13, 2019

      Debbie, you’re going to mix them together in a spray bottle.

  • LaRue
    on Nov 4, 2019

    What do you mean by "safe combination "?

Join the conversation

2 of 218 comments
  • Jen Tyler
    on Jun 12, 2018

    Thank you it was fun to watch (your hair looked fine) I will give this a go this weekend Jen

  • Connie Murphy
    on Nov 4, 2019

    Yep, I will try this, I have tried everything else.

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