Here’s the easy DIY recipe for the best shower door cleaner EVER using Dawn & vinegar~safe, non-toxic, and inexpensive!
Note: This solution is only recommended for shower doors. I have not tested it nor am I recommending it for use on tile, natural stone, or other shower material.
Soap scum is the biggest problem with shower doors.
What is 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 commonplace 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 is the best way to remove soap scum?
I am a stickler for clean shower doors and have searched for years for the “best product” to do the job. A few years ago, I was surprised to find out that the best shower door cleaner was a surprising mixture of inexpensive products that I already had at home. This mixture can’t be bought “ready-made” at the store, but a simple DIY recipe does the job perfectly.
Store-Bought Cleaners are Not the Best
This might sound shocking, but try it yourself and see. I’ve tried myriad cleaners specifically for bathrooms~from oxy versions to scrubbing bubbles versions to bleach versions. No only have I not found one yet that leaves shower doors sparkly, but I dislike the fumes and harsh chemicals of these cleaners. Just read the back of most of these and you’ll find warnings about harmful fumes.
Dawn + Vinegar DIY Solution Works Best for Soap Scum
Dawn and vinegar are the dynamic duos to turn soap scum covered shower doors sparkly and clean. Although I am not a scientist, my research on it has revealed the following.
- Dawn breaks down grease and grime. Of all the dishwashing soaps you can buy, Dawn is the best at removing oils. In oil spills, Dawn 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. Vinegar 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.
Which Dawn should I use for shower door cleaner?
Standing in the grocery aisle choosing a Dawn can be confusing lol; there are many varieties. I’ve used almost every variety, and honestly, I can’t tell a difference. There might be a subtle one, but I haven’t seen it. Every Dawn + vinegar mixture that I’ve used to clean shower doors has done a stellar job. But if you want the breakdown of the different Dawn options, here goes.
- 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.”
Just try the different ones and see if you see a difference. Remember~you will be adding equal parts vinegar to any Dawn you use, so the “cleaning effect” is not just Dawn~but Dawn combined with vinegar.
How to Make Dawn Vinegar Shower Door Solution
- Use equal parts Dawn + vinegar. If your Dawn is a thick version, use a bit more vinegar to “cut” the thickness.
- Heat Dawn & vinegar 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. I use collapsable funnels like these that don’t take up drawer space.
The pyrex glass bowl below is perfect for heating the Dawn-Vinegar solution. The spout makes it easy to pour into the funnel once the solution is heated and mixed.
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 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. I have a shower head that is handheld, so I start from the top and rinse all the doors until they are crystal clear.
- Wipe shower doors down with a squeegee. I love this white Oxo squeegee 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.
In the video below, watch me make the solution AND use it to clean my shower doors.
Note: If you do the process while showering, be prepared for a strong vinegar smell. This doesn’t bother me at all, as vinegar is natural and non-toxic.
- Original (blue) Dawn
- white vinegar
- spray bottle
- 8 cup glass measuring bowl
- Pour 2 cups Dawn and 2 cups vinegar into a glass bowl.
- Stir; heat 4 minutes in the microwave; remove and stir again.
- Using a funnel, carefully pour the solution into the spray bottle. *
- 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 you experience your Dawn vinegar solution getting thick or clumping, there is an easy solution. First, empty your bottle of the solution 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!!!