shower doors nightmare

September 17, 2006

Hello there. My boyfriend is about to sell his house, but the shower doors in the guest bathroom have water spots all over them. We have tried everything we can think of. I know there used to be a thread on here about this subject, but I wasn't able to find it. We've tried a Mr. Clean magic eraser, bleach (clorox), Commet, The Works shower cleaner and toilet cleaner (which is usually a last resort that cleans ANYTHING), vinegar, and a constarch paste... not to mention Tilex soap scum and mildew remover. None of them even TOUCHED the white spots covering the door. He has a water softener (the salt kind)... uses well water from Florida, and usually uses bar soap. I have no clue what the spots are, so I don't know how to attack them, but we have to get them off before he puts the house on the market. He always fixes my car, so I want to help him solve this issue, but nothing is working. I know CLR is worthless... any other suggestions? The inside of the doors are textured if that makes any difference... not the smooth flat glass. Does Lime away get calcium too in case that is what it is? Is there a way that I can test to see what the spots are made of? I would appreciate any advice.

Comments (33)

  • mikie_gw

    I dunno ifn it' would work out for you, but I clean some of florida's finest shallow well water misted spots off smooth windows with scotchbrite pads , and liquid dish soap water.

    I tried so many diff cleanser things & was about to buy a razor scraper, until by chance I used that scotchbrite sponge.. and it amazed me.

  • dchall_san_antonio

    There is a product called Clean Shower. You spray it on after you shower and it starts to dissolve the soap scum and calcium. Notice I said it 'starts' to dissolve it. It never really washes it away. After a couple weeks of daily spraying you can then come in with a Scotchbrite pad and practically wipe it away. This might not help you immediately, but if you start now you can be in better shape in October.

  • kris_zone6

    Try WD-40. I just received an email from them that said it would remove water spots from shower doors.

  • kelra59

    vacuumfreak -- you'll love how easy this solution is! Sounds like the shower door is clean since you seem to have used everything under the sun to scrub it. Now, just use a papertowel, or soft cloth, and wipe on a thin coat of lemon oil. Same bottle of stuff you would use on wood furniture. It's magic -- the shower door will sparkle.

  • doodles32162

    We live in Florida (near Orlando) and have a real problem with water spots on our shower door. I use straight vinegar and soak in into a sponge and wipe the door with it. The spots go away..howevern we would not have the spots if my husband would just wipe the glass after every shower..but that is not to be.

  • albert_135   39.17°N 119.76°W 4695ft.

    I have dropped by the cleaning forum a couple of times a year for several years and one of the most frequent reoccuring questions I find has to do with shower doors.

    One possable solution I have not seen suggested in scanning two threads today is oven cleaner, not the old caustic kind with lye but a newer rather another sort. This may remove your soap scum, you may then have to do something different for any water spots.

  • patrice607

    Vac -

    I posted a similar "nightmare". The bad news is that Tilex permanantly etched my glass. I sent the doors off to tilex and they sent me a check for new doors. You have to be very careful of what you use on glass. I hope your doors aren't new. Mine were...

    Good luck.

  • vacuumfreak

    Doodles, I too am near Orlando and have the same problem. If you find something local, let me know! We could be neighbors.

  • Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

    Here is a link to the other post you had seen b4 but couldn't find.

    If they are really that bad, and you can't get them looking any better, would replacing them, removing them, and/or covering them with a pretty new shower curtain possibly be an option?


    Here is a link that might be useful: Another shower door thread

  • jrcfry

    I had the very same problem and read on this forum about the miracle of dryer sheets. I tried it & it worked.....
    Dampen dryer sheets and wash over on dry glass door. The spots were GONE!!!!!!!!!!
    Good luck!

  • bluesbarby

    I have tried everything above and more. Totally worthless. I know the scum is gone because the glass now feels smooth but I'm still battling the mineral deposits/hard water spots whatever. Last weekend I scrubbed with Kaboom and scotchbrite then rinsed with a wallpaper steamer full of vinegar and water. After about 90 minutes I noticed a small area turned clean. 3 inches or so. Then I tried ammonia and vinegar in the steamer. It's coming off, little by little. I figure I might get it all off in a year. Anybody got anything quicker and less labor intensive? Oh, I did all of the above wearing a respirator just to be on the safe side.

  • loveflowers

    I have clear glass shower doors and my contractor that installed them, thought I was insane. Little did he know, I knew how to keep them clean. The secret is, Shower Power spray. Spray it on, clean with a sponge, rinse, and then a squeegee to wipe them dry. No water spots!
    Family members now know to always wipe the doors after their shower.
    Also, if you do not want soap scum, switch to a liquid soap. I use Dial and it's really good.

  • marie26

    Can someone tell me what properties there are in bar soap that cause soap scum. DH uses liquid soap in the shower but I prefer the Evelyn & Crabtree gardener's scub bar soap.

  • terezosa / terriks

    I have heard that it is the talc in some bar soaps that cause the scum.

  • thankurnmo

    I will second the suggestion about the dryer sheets. I had tried everything too and was amazed at how effective and easy the wet dryer sheets were.

    I still am trying to find something thought to "restore" the chrome faucet and frame that I may have overzealously cleaned and shined too many times. I have tried vinegar, alcohol etc. They are cloudy looking. Any thoughts?

  • acts10

    I've encountered those cloudy , spotty shower doors many times, being a house cleaner. The barkeepers and soft scrub pad works good(being sure to keep the powder mildly wet-pasty) then let it sit for about 5 minutes, rinse, dry, and apply rain-x. apply rain-x regularly. If the doors are real bad .take outside and use muratic acid. or simply buy new doors as a investment for the sale. The granite/marble companies can polish that stuff off too.

  • lkangela

    Barkeepers Friend, as above. Works fabulously on both glass and chrome/stainless. I even use it to get the horrible hard water spots from sprinkling the lawn off the outside of the windows. Nothing else even comes close to getting that off.

  • yamapfaff_carolina_rr_com

    Try a product called A-maz water stain remover especially for glass shower doors. It is a paste and comes in a 14 oz container.A bit pricy (14.95 usually for 14 oz.) but it goes a long way. In fact, don't forget about having it or it may dry up like the container I have. It can be found usually in professional glass installers/sales companies. It absolutely works.

  • alyson_2008

    I recently bought a German made refrigerator with glass shelves and the manufacturer recommended cleaning the glass periodically with a compound of dishwashing detergent. I never thought of that but it made sense. You might try it on your problem...

  • rachelellen

    My husband is a window cleaner, and he's tried everything. He finally just tells customers that he can make it look a bit better with Old Dutch Cleanser, but that they're pretty much stuck with the sprinkler water stains. Here in our CA Central Valley town, the water is so hard the spots can be almost impossible to get off. I am a housekeeper and must use my pumice stone on client's toilet bowls every visit.

    The only thing I've found that even comes close to doing anything about really bad spotting is lemon oil and a lot of elbow grease using the finest grade steel wool. I wouldn't want to put that much effort into an entire shower door of my clients has one I've been working on for months, a tiny bit at a time. I guess I'll get the whole thing fairly clean in a year or two.

  • harry_wild

    Remove the shower drawers and take them to a coin operated self clean car wash. Remove them from your vehicle and place them against the wall of the car wash. Do the wash, brush and rinse cycle. Afterwards, they should like new again.

  • carolpolki

    1. Invest in new doors that are frosted (not clear).
    2. Use only soap-free soaps and install a removable shower head so you can spray the walls down when you're finished showering.
    3. Invoke this new rule: the last person to shower must wipe down the doors and the chrome (with a micro-cloth that is stored right in the shower). This takes less than a minute to do and you will never have this problem again. Guaranteed.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Soap-Free Soaps

  • Stephjoy47_yahoo_com

    Omgggggoodness! Whoever suggested using Pledge and dryer sheets? Thank you two! Between the mix of both, my shower door is spotless!

    I sprayed the lemon oil Pledge on the glass and let it sit for about 5min. Used a squeegee and kind of scrubbed at the glass with it. Then used a sponge and shower to spray the goop off!

    There were still spots, but clearly a difference. So I thought I'd give the dryer sheets a shot.
    Hallelujah! Lol :) I got them damp, about 3 of them, and scrubbed as hard as I could in circular motions. Gotta use some "elbow grease" as my mom would say ha!

    TRY THESE TWO! They work!!!

  • mshofran_verizon_met

    The damp dryer sheets are amazing! They completely took all of the soap/water spots off of my shower door and glass walls!! Thanks to whoever suggested this

  • lboeding_aol_com

    I GOT IT!
    Barkeepers Friend + a pumice stone did it!

    I had tried EVERYTHING...oven cleaner, Mr Clean Magic Erasers, Pledge, dryer sheets. I think there are tiny scratches on the glass, but at least you can see through it now...looks GREAT.

  • SharperClean

    Take lathered up steel wool pad and clean the shower door from top to bottom and side to side as well as all other glass in the shower. This will make sure that you get all or most of the dirt and stains. You may want to clean in sections at a time if you have a lot of glass to clean.

  • phoenix

    A mixture of hob brite and barkeepers mixed to a watery paste and applied with one of those netting type shower sponges did it for me this weekend. Can't believe it. Thanks to those above who offered the solution.

  • AngelStorm

    Got to talk to a professional about this very problem and this is what he told me:

    1: Barkeepers Friend: liquid not powder
    2: Brillo Basics (Estacell no scratch). Found this at the Dollar Tree
    3: Windex
    4: Turtle Wax

    1; Barkeepers Friend on damp Estracell. Scrub glass. Add a minute amount of water and scrub some more. Rinse.
    2. Once dry use Windex to put on the shine and get the residue off the doors.
    3:Turtle Wax the doors. Rain-Ex works but has to be applied more often. Turtle wax could last the life of the shower.

    This worked for me on the first round, but he did tell me if it was bad it could take a couple of scrubbings.

    The doors now sparkle. Oh and don't forget to check the outside of the doors as well. We tend to splash water on the doors when drying off, did mine anyway just to make them as clear as possible.

    Good luck!

  • tbgbp

    Don't know if this will work for you in your situation or not, but I just got good results making a paste out of "Tough Jobs" -- an "oxygen powered multi-use stain remover" (much like Oxy-Clean) and Calgon Bath Oil Beads. I made a very thick paste out of those two ingredients and a little bit of water, then rubbed in a circular motion on the glass shower doors and fiberglass shower stall. I let it sit for a good hour, then re-applied the paste and scrubbed again, then rinsed.

  • emma

    This is exactly why I made sure my new home had NO shower doors. I even put a sign in my shower area stating, No shower doors. I have not had one bit of mildew on my inner shower curtain and if I ever do it's so easy and cheap to replace.

  • robobar

    I tried everything listed above and though I removed most of the water spots, a haze remained that nothing could touch. Then I remembered the auto headlight lens polish in the garage. Guess what, it worked. It took a fair amount of polish and polishing, but the haze is now gone. Now I'm going for some Rain-X to prevent the problem from reoccurring.

  • emma

    I googled and found a way to remove the water spots from my shower faucets. It won't work for you unless you can remove the doors. I would think they would be easy to remove from the frame in case the glass had to be replaced. Any way use some old towels, put them in vinegar water, I forgot the increments and lay them on the glass for a day. Repeat the process if needed. For my faucets I just used wet paper towels that were soaked in vinegar water and left it over night. Every spot came off.

  • France Jolicoeur

    Just vinegar, pure vinegar on a lint free cloth. It removes calcium off anything including car carpets from winter stains.

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268