How Do Hotels Keep Glass Shower Doors Clean? (Pro Tips)

Yes, it's possible to keep your shower doors as clean as a hotel. Learn how hotels keep glass shower doors clean and free of water stains and mildew.

Hotels don’t seem to have any trouble keeping their glass shower doors spotless. Is it too much to ask for the same at home? 

How exactly do hotels keep glass shower doors so clean? We have the insider tricks and we’re ready to spill. 

We’ll walk you through how hotels keep glass showers clean and free of water stains and mildew. We’ve also included bonus tips for maintaining that sparkle and shine once you’ve achieved it.   

If you'd like to save time cleaning your glass shower doors, or if you need help cleaning other parts of your home, Homeaglow is here to help. Book a professional, affordable cleaner in your area today. 

How do hotels keep glass shower doors clean?

The real secret hotels use to keep glass shower doors clean is regular maintenance and using the proper cleaning techniques.

By regularly cleaning (and thoroughly drying) your glass shower doors, it’s possible to avoid soap scum buildup and hard water stains — the two main culprits for dirty shower doors. 

Choosing the right cleaning tools is also crucial. Use poor-quality towels and you run the risk of leaving soapy buildup behind, or even worse, permanently scraping your glass doors. Use the wrong cleaning solution and you’ll only add more streaks to your glass shower doors.

What you’ll need to clean your glass shower doors at home

  • A spray bottle
  • 2 microfiber cloths 
  • Distilled water
  • One of the following: ammonia, white vinegar, lemon juice, or WD-40

What makes hotel (and home) shower doors dirty?

In a minute, we’ll go over four tried-and-true techniques hotels use to keep glass shower doors clean. But first, what exactly makes hotel and home shower doors so dirty to begin with? 

Here are the culprits.

Hard water

Hard water contains many dissolved minerals, including calcium and magnesium. After a shower, these minerals evaporate and condense on glass shower doors, leaving telltale spots or streaks behind. These spots are called limescale because they resemble shingles or scales.

Soap scum

When soap and hard water combine, the magnesium and calcium ions react with the soap molecules to create what’s commonly known as soap scum. Soap scum accumulates on glass shower doors, tracks, and strips, appearing as a white or gray filmy layer.

Mold and mildew

Mold and mildew are fungi that thrive in warm, moist environments like the crevices where your shower door's glass meets the frame. Besides making your shower door look dirty, mold and mildew can trigger asthma or allergy symptoms, making it a serious health risk for some people. 

How hotels clean glass shower doors

Here are four standard cleaning methods hotels use to clean their glass shower doors.

Method 1: Ammonia and distilled water

Many hotels use ammonia-based cleaning solutions because ammonia readily cuts through dirt and soap scum. Because of the way it dries, ammonia also decreases the possibility of streaks on glass.

That being said, exercise care when handling ammonia. 

Open your bathroom windows and door to allow airflow as you clean, and never mix ammonia with chlorine bleach — it creates toxic gasses. We’ve also included three safe, non-ammonia methods that are (in our opinion) as effective for cleaning glass shower doors.

Step 1: In a large spray bottle, mix one tablespoon of ammonia with one liter (34oz) of warm distilled water. 

Step 2: Spray the glass shower door, then wait at least three minutes.

Step 3: Wipe the surface clean with a microfiber cloth. 

Step 4: Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to remove any streaks.

Pro tip: By performing a final wipe with a dry microfiber cloth (or a squeegee), hotels ensure no moisture remains on the glass shower doors, which could result in water stains.

Method 2: Vinegar and distilled water

Vinegar is a cheap and effective home cleaner with built-in disinfecting capabilities. In addition, its acidity temporarily minimizes soapy buildup while being safe for the environment and your family. 

Besides cleaning years of soap scum from your bathroom shower door, vinegar works wonders to clean all types of wood dining tables and upholstered chairs.

Step 1: Combine one part white vinegar with three parts warm distilled water in a spray bottle.

Step 2: Spray the cleaning solution over the glass, its edges, and the track, then let it sit for 15 minutes. 

Step 3: Wipe down with a soft cloth. 

Step 4: Dip a fresh microfiber towel in clean water and squeeze it out. Use the wet towel to wipe the glass clean.

Step 5: Wipe away any remaining moisture with a dry towel to restore the sliding doors to their original condition.

Method 3: Lemon juice

Another naturally acidic solution for cleaning your shower door is lemon juice. 

Step 1: Combine four tablespoons of lemon juice with one cup of distilled water.

Step 2: Stir the mixture and pour it into a spray bottle.

Step 3: Spray the cleaning mixture onto your glass shower doors and let it sit for five minutes.

Step 4: Use a clean sponge or microfiber towel to wipe everything down. 

Step 5: Use a second microfiber towel to dry and polish the glass and frame.

Method 4: WD-40

WD40 is a fantastic cleaning product that hotels use to remove tough stains from glass shower doors quickly.

Step 1: Spray WD40 on your shower doors and let it set for fifteen minutes.

Step 2: Wipe the glass shower door in a circular motion using a microfiber cloth.

Step 3: Spray hot water on the shower door to rinse it.

Step 4: Dry with a fresh microfiber cloth. 

How hotels clean the strip below the glass shower door

Unless your bathroom has frameless glass shower doors, cleaning the shower-door tracks and strips beneath the door is also necessary. If left unchecked, these areas can gather an unsightly buildup of soap scum and filth. 

Here’s how hotels clean the strip below the glass shower door.

What you’ll need

  • Baking soda
  • Soft sponge
  • Toothbrush
  • White vinegar
  • Rubber gloves
  • Face mask
  • Soft sponge

Steps to clean the strip below the glass shower door

Before beginning, put on rubber gloves to protect your hands and a face mask to protect yourself from inhaling any mold.

Step 1: Remove the strip

Pull the edge of the seal down until it yields, then slip the strip off. Place the strip aside. 

Step 2: Create your cleaning paste

Combine equal parts white vinegar and baking soda. Mix this with a small amount of water to create a paste.

Step 3: Apply the paste

Apply the resulting paste to the tracks in a thick layer. Let the paste sit for 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 4: Scrub

Carefully but thoroughly scrub the track with a soft sponge.

Step 5: Clean the rubber strop

To clean the strip itself, you'll use a toothbrush to reach all the cracks and crevices.

  • Soak the strip in vinegar and water cleaning solution. 
  • Use a toothbrush to scrub through the crevices and lines.

Step 6: Rinse everything thoroughly 

Use a high-pressure hose (a detachable shower head works well) to thoroughly rinse the tracks and strip.

Step 7: Dry with a microfiber towel 

Use a dry, microfiber towel to mop up moisture from the tracks and strip. This will prevent it from rusting and molding. 

Step 8: Reinstall the strip

And enjoy your clean shower. 

Tips for ensuring your shower doors stay clean like a hotel

Developing a regular cleaning routine is the best method to keep your shower door as spotless as one you’d find in a hotel

Always keep your shower doors and surrounding area dry

Since the shower is one of the house's most humid rooms, it encourages mold formation, hard water stains, and soap scum. After each shower, use a dry microfiber cloth or squeegee to thoroughly dry your shower doors. 

Make it a habit to clean your shower doors regularly

In between your weekly bathroom cleaning, keep your shower door free of soap scum by spraying it down with a homemade cleaning solution after each bath. (One cup distilled water, half a cup white vinegar, a few drops of liquid dish soap.) 

Employ a water softener and use talc-free soaps

If your shower soap contains paraffin wax, which creates scum, switch to body washes, liquid soaps, or talc-free bar soaps. Additionally, if you live in an area with hard water, consider investing in a whole-home water softener.

Waterproof your shower doors

Use a waterproofing product on your glass shower doors to keep water from remaining on the surface. The defense barrier that the water repellant builds will slow the buildup of scum and the hazy film that tarnishes the appearance of your glass shower doors.

Keep your glass shower doors clean like hotels do

With regular attention, it's easy to keep your glass shower door as clean as a hotel. 

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