At B&L Glass, we hear from Sonoma County residents about a wide variety of issues. And we get questions on both residential and commercial glass installation and maintenance.

But there is one question we seem to get more than any other: “How can I get the soap scum off my glass shower doors?”


Glass Shower Doors and Cleaning Challenges

There is nothing more elegant and stylish than clear glass shower doors. They provide a spacious and clean feel to most any bathroom area while providing great functionality and structural integrity.

But they need to be cleaned.

Perhaps the only real downside to clear glass shower doors is that any stains or residue can be readily seen. And these can be caused in a variety of ways.

Limescale, for example, is a common issue in areas that have so-called “hard water.”

Mineral deposits, or limescale, is typically a hard, chalky deposit that consists primarily of calcium carbonate. This residue often builds up inside hot water boilers pipes for hot water, as well as glass windows and doors.

It is left behind when “hard water” has evaporated and leaves behind a hard film, or scaling deposit, that appears as an off-white, gray, or even pinkish stain, depending on the other minerals present. The darker colors come from iron compounds in the water along with the calcium carbonate.

Another common cleaning issue for those with glass shower doors is soap scum. And this can occur regardless of what type of water you have.


Soap Scum and Glass Shower Doors

What is soap scum, anyway? Is it just “left-over” soap residue?

Soap scum does contain soap particles, but can also include calcium stearate and other minerals from hard water. These react with one another, resulting in recurring and persistent stains on the glass shower doors. And, as you already know, they don’t wash off with just water and not even with most standard glass cleaning products.

There are a few ways you can approach the task of cleaning soap scum from your shower doors. One of these is with a paste of baking soda and water.

Spray your shower door with warm water then apply a half-cup of baking soda onto a wet cloth and wipe the shower door. Once the baking soda comes in contact with water, it will act as an effective scrub. Once you finish scrubbing your glass doors, simply rinse them off with warm water.

This can work for most soap scum stains, depending on where you live and what kind of water you have. However, for those with “hard water,” the degree of soap scum stain can be much more intense and may not come off with just baking soda.

That’s when it’s time to take it to the next level.


The Number One Method for Removing Soap Scum from Shower Doors

While there are literally dozens of suggested formulas and combinations of materials for cleaning glass shower doors, there is really just one, sure-fire method that has shown itself to be truly effective for even the most stubborn soap scum:

This combination is guaranteed to be one of the best, if not the best, soap scum busting recipes you can use.

Simply combine equal parts of Dawn® dishwashing soap and white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle and shake gently to mix them. For especially tough deposits, heating the vinegar in the microwave before mixing it with the dishwashing soap may provide a bit more cleaning power.

This mixture can be used on most bathtub and shower surfaces, so you can spray it all over the tub or shower. Let it sit for a few minutes or even a few hours. Because of the thickness of the mixture, it tends to cling to the shower doors rather than running right down.

When you’re ready to clean, you may even find that little actual scrubbing will be needed and, in many instances, you may be able to simply spray it off with clean water and have clean, clear glass.

While the vinegar can create a distasteful odor while it is cleaning the surfaces, once the mixture and all the residue is rinsed away, the remaining scent is more of the Dawn® than the vinegar.


And what about that vinegar? Is it safe?

Well, that’s the best part. According to How Stuff Works, for example,

“It’s non-toxic, antibacterial and its acidic content is completely safe for skin, pets, children, and living things in general. So, whether you’re out of your usual glass cleaner or you’re just looking for a cheaper option, white vinegar can work wonders on your windows and mirrors.


Glass Shower Doors and Other Glass Installation for You

Do you have glass installation needs? The good news is that you can find the best solutions with one of Santa Rosa’s best glass companies.

B&L Glass delivers great options for all kinds of clients. In addition, we do so with our team of highly skilled glaziers, all with a passion for glazing and the satisfaction of a job well done.

Whether you need residential glass for luxury windows in a master bedroom, or commercial storefront glass at your place of business, we have the skilled professionals required to execute your ideas with the highest level of expertise.

Providing the necessary attention to detail needed to craft custom luxury doors with glass, and the capabilities to work even at the largest scales, we offer you the most reliable solution for the outcomes you’ll love for years to come.

Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you, or to discuss your project with our team.