How Do Hotels Keep Glass Shower Doors Clean? (Find Out Here)

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When you stay in a nice hotel, you can be certain of one thing: the bathroom is guaranteed to be spotless.

One of the biggest mysteries of hotel cleaning relates to the shower door. How do hotels keep glass shower doors clean? Do housekeepers have any cleaning secrets that you can steal for your own home? How do they keep the water spots at bay?

Find out everything you need to know in this guide.

📌 Key Takeaways:

  • Hotels keep glass shower doors clean by adopting regular deep cleaning practices.
  • The most common causes of dirty glass shower doors are hard water deposits, soap scum, mold and mildew, and leftover shower products.
  • You can use both natural and commercial solutions for cleaning shower doors like hotel staff.

🤔How Do Hotels Keep Glass Shower Doors Clean? Overview

There are three key reasons why hotel shower doors are always so spotlessly clean:

  1. Hotel staff keep on top of cleaning them, usually with once-daily cleaning or at least two-to-three deep cleans every week.
  2. Staff know the best way to properly and thoroughly clean glass shower doors to avoid the buildup of soap scum and hard water stains.
  3. Some hotels have water softeners that reduce cleaning efforts by removing the cause of limescale and soapy buildup before it can stain surfaces.

So, it’s actually not such a secret now you know it: hotels keep glass shower doors clean simply with persistent and thorough cleaning, and some might prevent water spots and scale formation with a water softener.

Hotel staff cleaning shower glass

🧫 How Do Glass Shower Doors Get Dirty?

There are a few causes of a dirty glass shower door, including soap scum, hard water buildup, leftover shower products, and mildew and mold. We’ve discussed these in more detail below.

Wondering why your glass shower door seems so much dirtier than glass doors in hotels? The answer is that you most likely don’t have the time to clean as frequently as a housekeeper whose sole job is to maintain a sparkling, sanitary environment for hotel guests.

Here are some of the reasons why glass shower doors get dirty:

Soap Scum

Soap scum is formed when you use soap with a hard water supply. A chemical reaction occurs between the calcium and magnesium hardness minerals, forming a scummy residue called soap scum.

You’ll notice soap scum accumulating on your shower doors, seals, and tracks between cleaning. Soap scum is gray or white and has a filmy texture.


Limescale is another product of using hard water. Limescale forms on all surfaces that hard water comes into contact with, regardless of whether or not soap is used.

The minerals responsible for scale deposits are calcium and magnesium, and the more of these minerals your water contains, the faster the limescale will accumulate.

Limescale is gray or white in color and has a chalky, tough texture that makes it difficult to remove from a glass surface.

Limescale on shower doors

Leftover Shower Products

If there are random splotches of liquids on your shower glass screens that reduce their transparency, it’s likely leftover shower products.

Unless you’re an uber-neat and methodical showerer, you’ve probably splashed shampoo around your shower unit or dripped conditioner onto your shower doors before.

You might try to wipe these products away when you notice them, but they’re not always easy to spot, so they end up accumulating between cleans.

Mildew and Mold

Finally, mildew and mold are two other culprits that may be responsible for a dirty glass shower door.

The warm, moisture-heavy environment of your shower unit provides the perfect growing conditions for these microorganisms.

You’re most likely to find mold and mildew in the grout between your tiles and the sealant around the edges of your shower base.

In particularly humid conditions, mold and mildew might even grow on your shower glass door.

🧽 How To Clean Your Shower Door Like Hotel Staff

So, now you know the obstacles you’re up against in your efforts to get your glass shower doors sparkling clean.

It’s time to focus on how to achieve the desired result by adopting a few cleaning habits of hotel staff.

Keep Your Shower Door And Surrounding Areas Dry

Even when hotel housekeepers don’t do a full clean of the bathroom (such as when they’re doing a clean while guests are still in the room), they’ll still make a quick round of the bathroom with a cleaning towel and wipe everything dry.

Maintaining dry surfaces will prevent moisture accumulation, therefore reducing the likelihood of water spots and mold formation. It’ll also remove shampoo or conditioner blobs before they can properly adhere to surfaces.

Get into the habit of squeegeeing or toweling your glass shower door and surrounding areas to dry them off after taking a shower.

Use Hotel Standard Cleaning Practices

Hotels use special commercial cleaning products to keep their glass shower doors clean.

You can use similar products at home to quickly cut through soap scum, water spots, and other stains on your shower doors.

Below, we’ve shared some of the methods used by hotels for effectively cleaning glass shower doors.

High-Acidity Cleaners

Acid cleaners, or cleaning formulas with a low pH, are particularly effective at cleaning hard water stains and other organic deposits on surfaces.

While high-acidity cleaners are one of the best cleaning options, they’re not for everyone. There are risks associated with breathing in the chemical fumes, and you might prefer a more natural cleaning option.

Make sure to follow the instructions on the label and take safety precautions when using acidic cleaners to prevent acid burns to your skin or eyes. Dilute the product in water if needed, and vent out the space by opening a window while you clean.

Spraying shower doors with limescale remover formula

Ammonia And Distilled Water

Ammonia is another of the commercial solutions used as a shower glass cleaner by some hotels. Ammonia is an effective method of cutting through soap scum and dirt, and it reduces the likelihood of streaking on glass surfaces as it dries.

As with an acidic cleaner, you should take extra care when using ammonia to keep your shower door clean.

Allow airflow by opening your windows wide, and don’t use ammonia in combination with chlorine or you’ll expose yourself to toxic fumes.

Here’s how to use ammonia to achieve stain-free, sparkling glass doors:

  1. Combine 1 tablespoon ammonia with 1 liter warm distilled water.
  2. Pour the liquid into a large spray bottle.
  3. Spray the solution on your shower doors.
  4. Wait for 5 minutes, then use a fresh microfiber cloth to wipe the surfaces clean.
  5. Follow up with one more wipe-down with another microfiber cloth to minimize streaking.

💡 Our tip: Doing a final wipe of your shower door removes lingering moisture, which reduces the likelihood of water stains.

Vinegar And Baking Soda

Many hotels allow housekeepers to use their products of choice for cleaning – and those who prefer to use a safe and natural cleaning method may use vinegar and baking soda for keeping shower doors clean.

There are numerous natural cleaning methods that simply aren’t strong enough to remove tough stains, but vinegar and baking soda are an exception.

Baking soda chemically reacts with white vinegar, and the outcome of this reaction helps to lift stains from surfaces. You can use lemon juice in place of baking soda if you want to keep your bathroom smelling naturally fresh.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Add two parts white vinegar (or lemon juice) and one part baking soda to a spray bottle.
  2. Shake to combine.
  3. Spray on your glass shower doors or screens.
  4. Leave for 15 minutes.
  5. Scrub with a soft sponge or a paper towel.
  6. Use a microfiber cloth or towel to wipe the surface clean.

💡 Our tip: You can add a couple of drops of dish soap to the white vinegar solution to utilize the dish soap’s ability to lift stubborn stains.

Vinegar and baking soda cleaning solution


Another unexpectedly effective cleaner for removing hard water spots from glass doors is WD-40. This lubricant keeps glass showers clean by displacing the water in stains, helping to break them down and make them easy to remove.

WD-40 is great at tackling mineral deposits and soap scum, and can also prevent mildew from returning. Though it’s not the most common cleaner used in hotels, a few in-the-know housekeeping staff may use WD-40 as their preferred cleaning tool for shower doors.

Here’s how to use WD-40 in your glass shower door cleaning routine:

  1. Spray WD-40 onto your entire shower door.
  2. Leave it for 15 minutes to take effect.
  3. Use a microfibre cloth to wipe the glass doors clean, using circular motions.
  4. Rinse the glass door with hot water.
  5. Use a clean microfiber cloth to dry the glass panels.

Don’t Forget About The Strip Beneath The Shower Door

The glass isn’t the only part of a shower door that needs to be cleaned. A shower cubicle with frames around the doors can quickly accumulate grime and mold in the strips and seals along the bottom, which is particularly difficult to remove.

How do hotels keep these parts of shower doors clean?

They might use a few different methods, but here’s what we recommend:

  1. Remove the seal by pulling the edge down until it yields, then put it to one side.
  2. Combine equal parts baking soda and white vinegar, then add a splash of water to form a paste.
  3. Apply the cleaning solution to the tracks underneath your glass shower door.
  4. Leave it to sit for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, soak the seal in a solution of vinegar and warm water.
  6. Use a sponge to scrub the solution on the track to remove the stains.
  7. Rinse the track and the seal thoroughly.
  8. Return the seal to the track and give everything a final wipe.

💡 Note: If you have a frameless glass door in your shower, good news! This cleaning job doesn’t apply to you.

Adopt A Regular Cleaning Schedule

We mentioned earlier that one of the key reasons why glass shower doors in hotels always look so clean is because they’re cleaned so often.

So, if you adopt a regular cleaning schedule in your own home, you’ll be able to keep glass shower doors in your home looking more consistently clean.

Increasing your cleaning frequency means there’s less opportunity for hard water mineral stains and mold to accumulate. It also makes cleaning easier because you won’t give the stains a chance to become so caked-on that they’re impossible to remove.

Wiping shower doors with a cloth and cleaning solution

Switch To Moisture-Resistant Shower Doors

Don’t have the time for regular cleaning? Consider swapping your current shower glass doors or screens for moisture-resistant glass.

You can buy waterproof shower screens and doors that are made from materials that resist moisture and repel water.

While these screens and doors won’t completely prevent water spots and mold from forming, they should reduce the likelihood of problems that occur in a damp, moist environment.

Install A Water Softener

All of the above methods tell you how to effectively clean glass shower doors – but what if there was a way to eliminate the source of the stains and significantly reduce the need to clean your glass surfaces?

The best way to prevent the formation of hard water stains and soap scum is to install a water softener upstream of your hot water heater.

Water softeners use a process called ion exchange to replace calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. In its new softened form, water no longer contains the minerals that are responsible for limescale, so it will no longer leave hard water stains on your glass showers.

Springwell salt based ion exchange water softening system

Use A Bathroom Exhaust Fan

On the same subject of reducing your need to clean in the first place, we recommend installing an exhaust fan in your bathroom if you don’t already have one.

Bathroom exhaust fans are mechanical ventilation devices that suck out moist air and expel it through a vent outside your home. This greatly reduces moisture problems in your bathroom and should prevent mold and mildew accumulation.

If you’re in the process of saving up for an exhaust fan or vent for your bathroom, you can still reduce humidity in the space by opening your window wide after showering to let out the steam and moisture as quickly as possible.

Related Content: Spotless Surfaces: How to Remove Hard Water Stains (6 Easy Methods)

📑 Final Word

There’s no secret remedy to keeping your glass shower door as clean as hotel doors. The solution is simple: regular deep cleaning and thorough drying to prevent water spots.

While many hotels use commercial cleaning chemicals to clean shower doors, we think you can get the same results from using homemade cleaners, which are safer and more enjoyable to use.

You don’t need a lot to get started – just a spray bottle, a sponge, a microfiber cloth, and your cleaning solution of choice. Fresh lemon juice, dish soap, and white vinegar or our top choices for cleaning a shower door.

Thanks for reading, and happy cleaning!

  • Laura Shallcross
    Senior Editor

    Laura is a passionate residential water treatment journalist who holds an undergraduate degree in Print Journalism and a master’s degree in Creative Writing. Over a span of 5 years she's written on a range of topics including water softening, well water treatment, and purification processes.

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