How to Make the Best Shower Door Cleaner Ever with Dawn & Vinegar


Here’s how to make the best shower door cleaner EVER using Dawn & vinegar~a powerhouse combo to leave glass shower doors sparkling clean.

DIY Dawn Vinegar Shower Door Cleaner


Update: I recently discovered that the Dawn-Vinegar solution also works to clean the greasy gunk from oven doors.  I’ll share this great discovery at the end of this post!

Why shouldn’t I use a traditional shower cleaner?

Using a store-bought shower cleaner often exposes you to harsh chemicals. The traditional cleaners will effectively clean your shower, but if you are wanting to avoid harsh chemicals and intense smells, then this homemade shower cleaner is a great option for you! It is much easier on your nose than many store-bought alternatives. 

Can I save money by making my own shower cleaner?

Absolutely! These two basic items are almost certainly already inside your house. By using these, you can save yourself from having to buy a new cleaner and just use these instead. SUPER easy and perfect for when you need to clean your shower in a rush. 

What are shower doors made of?

Most shower doors are made of tempered glass, a special type of glass that is safer if broken than regular glass. In this post, I have only tested this solution on glass shower doors. I am not recommending it for any other shower door or for any tile, stone, or marble.

What causes white stains on shower doors?

Most white stains on shower doors are hard water stains, sometimes called soap scum.  It is what remains on shower doors when hard water mixes with dirt, soap residue, and body oils.  If allowed to build up over time, the deposits harden and can be very difficult to clean.  The most common place for soap scum to cling is to the shower doors that are used regularly. The steam, water, soaps, shampoos, and other bathing products eventually end up causing a cloudy film on the shower doors that is very unattractive.

What dish soap works best to clean shower doors?

Dawn is the only dish soap that I ever use for dishes and for cleaning shower doors. Why? In a word~grease. Dawn is the only dish soap (to my knowledge) containing a special grease-fighting agent that almost melts grease into oblivion.

What is the best vinegar to clean shower doors?

The vinegar that works in this dynamic Dawn & vinegar duo is plain white distilled vinegar.  It is the least expensive vinegar you can buy, and it is also the best one to tackle this and other household cleaning tasks. Distilled white vinegar is the “workhorse” or all vinegar!

What tools do I need to clean my shower doors?

The tools that I use to clean my shower doors with the Dawn & vinegar solution are a microfiber cloth or clean washcloth to wipe down the shower doors after they have been sprayed with the solution, a good spray shower to rinse the solution, and a squeegee (if I can find it) to wipe the shower doors dry.

Dawn & vinegar works better than store-bought cleaners.

I’ve tried myriad cleaners specifically for bathrooms~from Rain-X to scrubbing bubbles and beyond. I’ve never had any store-bought cleaner work better than this easy, inexpensive, DIY Dawn vinegar solution. 


Dawn vinegar shower door


What is so special about Dawn and vinegar?

  • Dawn breaks down grease and grime. Of all the dishwashing soaps you can buy, Dawn is the best at removing oils. In oil spills, it is the best solution for cleaning the birds’ feathers without harming their skin. The reason? Dawn contains petroleum. It sounds counterintuitive, but it works.
  • Vinegar removes residue and imparts shine. It is a nature’s wonder that can be used for so many purposes. My dermatologist Dr. Jo Herzog shares what it does in this post on Listerine vinegar foot soak.

How effective is vinegar as a cleaner?

Vinegar is extremely effective as a cleaner, besides just removing residue, vinegar is also pretty effective in killing mold. Bleach does this as well, but vinegar is a much safer alternative while being just as effective. Vinegar is a great solution for a mildewy shower. 

Which Dawn should I use for shower door cleaner?

 If you want the breakdown of the different Dawn dish detergent options, I list them below. In my opinion, any Dawn will do a beautiful job, along with vinegar, of cleaning shower doors.

  • The New and Improved Dawn Ultra Blue contains “3X More Grease Cleaning Power.” It is 3 times stronger than non-ultra Dawn (regular Dawn).
  • 3X Dawn is 50% stronger than the 2X varieties.
  • Note that some other varieties of Dawn Ultra still say “2X Grease Cleaning Power.”

The recipe for Dawn & vinegar shower door cleaner.

  • Use equal parts Dawn + vinegar. You can also cut the Dawn if your mixture is too thick.
  • Heat the solution in the microwave for 2 minutes (do not boil). Stir well, and pour into the bottle when not too hot. This is key for the effective mixing/blending of the mixture.
  • Put the solution into a good spray bottle.  These clear spray bottles come in a set of 3 and are less than $20.
  • Use a funnel for mess-free pouring.  Collapsable funnels like these are ideal as they don’t take up drawer space.

How to clean shower doors with Dawn + Vinegar.

  • Spray the Dawn + Vinegar solution liberally on dry shower doors. Wet shower doors dilute the mixture. Also, the solution clings to dry shower doors better than wet ones.
  • Leave it on for at least 2-3 minutes. I shower while the solution is on my shower doors which takes about 5 minutes.
  • Wipe shower doors with a wet washcloth. I toss an extra washcloth into the shower with me when I plan to wash the shower doors. I let it get wet while I am showering, and it is ready to use when it is time to wipe the Dawn + Vinegar solution off the shower doors.
  • Rinse shower doors with warm water. My shower head is handheld, so I start from the top and rinse all the doors until they are crystal clear.
  • Wipe the doors down with a squeegee. This white Oxo squeegee is something I love and keep it in the shower just for this purpose. If you don’t wipe the doors with a squeegee, the doors will still be clean, but they won’t dry as crystal clear.

Baking soda also works to clean shower doors.

Baking soda acts as an abrasive, and combined with vinegar, can be very effective at dissolving many hard water spots and soap scum. If you want to try this method, simply saturate a sponge or cloth with vinegar, then coat it with baking soda.  Use a little elbow grease to scrub until the soap scum disappears. Rinse with warm water to remove any remaining residue.

Watch me use this to clean my shower doors.

In the short video below, I mix up a solution of Dawn & vinegar and show how quick and easy it is to clean shower doors. It really takes no scrubbing~just a tiny bit of elbow grease and a good shower head sprayer.

Note: If you do the process while showering, be prepared for a strong vinegar smell. This doesn’t really bother me at all since vinegar is natural and non-toxic.

Dawn Vinegar Oven Door Cleaner
Dawn Vinegar for Oven Door Gunk

Watch me use Dawn & vinegar as an oven door cleaner.

I recently discovered that Dawn & vinegar shower door solution is hugely effective at cleaning oven doors. If you have an oven, you know how the doors get covered in “gunk” made of grease. See below how effective this solution is at removing oven door gunk.

Dawn vinegar shower door

Dawn & Vinegar Shower Door Cleaner

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Active Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes

How to make the Dawn-Vinegar shower door cleaner that works better than anything store bought.


  • Original (blue) Dawn
  • white vinegar
  • spray bottle


  • funnel
  • 8 cup glass measuring bowl


  1. Pour 2 cups Dawn and 2 cups vinegar into a glass bowl.
  2. Stir; heat 4 minutes in the microwave; remove and stir again.
  3. Using a funnel, carefully pour the solution into the spray bottle. *
  4. Shake well to mix the solution. Use as needed on shower doors.


* Be careful not to burn yourself if the solution is hot.

** If Dawn is a thicker, commercial type version, use 2 parts vinegar to one part Dawn so that it won't be too thick.

What to do if your Dawn-Vinegar gets thick.

If your your Dawn vinegar solution gets thick or is difficult to spray from the bottle, there is an easy solution. First, empty your bottle that is too thick, and rinse the sprayer well with water to flush out the sprayer. Second, mix a new solution following different proportions that I share in the short video below.

So there you have it~my favorite cleaning hack for the bathroom~Dawn + Vinegar Shower Door Cleaner. I hope you try this; if so, please comment so the rest of us can hear your thoughts!!!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay (shower door) savvy!!!







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  1. This homemade cleanercof Dawn and vinegar is amazing!! I do housecleaning fffor many snowbirds, and with the high lime content in our area I have always struggled with getting and keeping shower doors truly clean. This mixture saves me SO much hand scrubbing!! I have also used it on tempered glass shower doors, ceramic tile shower walls and plastic tub surrounds. It works great on all of them and has not damaged them in any way. I have not tried it on an oven door yet, but I definitely will when I get a chance! Thank you so very much for sharing this fabulous recipe with us!!!

  2. Dear Jamie,
    Quick questions: Does the dawn/vinegar solution have to be heated each time I use it?
    Also, does the solution work for tile and fiberglass showers/tubs?

    Margarett Moore

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