Like dishwashers and washing machines, shower doors help get other things clean — while accumulating an impossible-to-get-rid-of ring of soap scum themselves. Luckily, a little preventive care, and a few quick cleaning tricks, can help your shower door stay sparkling clean.
1. Banish buildup with pantry ingredients.
People swear by the incredible soap scum-slaying ability of distilled vinegar (heated first) mixed with grease-cutting dish detergent such as Dawn, in equal proportions. If your shower is made of stone, however, the vinegar could damage it. Instead, mix some liquid soap with baking soda until it's the consistency of frosting, says Kris Koenig, CEO of Natura Clean. Scrub it onto the glass shower door with a nonabrasive sponge.
2. Multitask by cleaning right after a shower.
Clean the shower door as you're finishing up your shower. The warm water has already loosened up the grime, plus you don't have to worry about getting messy or wet. Use a sponge or foam cleaning pad, and you won't need to mess around with additional cleaning products or chemicals.
3. Use a lemon to clean.
Leslie Reichert, aka the Green Cleaning Coach, offers this trick for cleaning your glass shower door: Cut a lemon in half. Dip one half in baking soda, then rub on the glass door. "Once you get the glass clean, I like rubbing it with a little lemon oil, too," she says. "The oil will repel the water so the soap doesn't dry on the glass."
4. Find the right tool for the job.
Use a toothbrush for scrubbing the metal frame around your shower door. A paint scraper can help get the gunk where the metal meets the shower or door, and a razor, carefully and gently applied, can scrape mineral spots off flat glass.
5. Use a squeegee.
Prevention is key. "The best thing you can do is squeegee the door after each use," Koenig says. Keep one hanging in your shower to make it easy. "It'll help keep hard-water deposits from building up, so you won't have to scrub so much later," she says.
6. Make your own daily shower spray.
Using a shower spray daily gives you more time between deep cleans. Make your own on the cheap — and without harsh chemicals — by mixing 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, a little dish soap and 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Keep it in the shower and spray the glass door down after squeegeeing. (Skip the vinegar if you have a stone-tile shower.)