The DIY hack of using a vinegar and Dawn dish soap mixture for cleaning showers has been around for a few years now. It was something I tried almost 10 years ago, but didn’t have a good experience with. But now I’m living in a different house and have found myself trying to keep glass shower doors clean, something I didn’t have before. So . . . I decided it was time to give the vinegar and Dawn dish soap hack another try and this time it went much better! Here’s what I learned the second time around that I hope you’ll find helpful too.
Mixing the Vinegar and Dawn Shower Cleaner
The instructions for making the vinegar and Dawn shower cleaner always say to start with hot vinegar. But hot vinegar has a very pungent smell and the first time I tried this recipe the fumes when using it were too much for me. So this time I did things a little differently.
Apparently the point of heating the vinegar is simply to help it mix with the dish soap. The mixture does not have to be used while it is hot (something I didn’t understand the first time around).
So this time around I heated a 1/2 cup of vinegar for only 1 minute in the microwave. This worked just fine as the vinegar had some warmth to it but was not yet giving off a strong smell.
Next, I mixed a 1/4 cup of Dawn dish soap into the warm vinegar. Everything stirred together just fine and the mixture turned a cloudy blue color.
Note: Many recipes like this call for equal amounts of vinegar and Dawn, however I used a little less soap which worked out well as it still had cleaning power but was a little easier to rinse away.
At this point I went ahead and transferred the mixture to a spray bottle. You could also wait until the vinegar has cooled completely if you wish. The mixture does not have to be used while it is warm.
4 Steps For Cleaning Glass Shower Doors
OK, the homemade cleaner for glass shower doors has been made and it’s in the spray bottle. Time to get busy and start cleaning! Here are the four steps I used and yes – I had sparkling clean glass doors when I was done. Yay!
Step 1: Spray on the Cleaner
For this cleaning process I was only working on the inside of glass shower doors (I’ll have a hint for cleaning the outside of the doors below too). The first step is simply to spray your cleaner liberally onto the door.
Step 2: Scrub the cleaner around
Now that the cleaner is sprayed on, use a sponge or a cloth to scrub it around. My glass shower doors seem to get more soap-scummy looking near the bottom so I gave those areas a little extra scrubbing.
Step 3: Rinse
After the scrubbing is done, it’s time to rinse the cleaner away. If you have a handheld shower head, you’re in luck as it makes a great tool for this rinsing step. If not, just use a sponge with fresh water to rinse away any of the remaining vinegar/dawn mixture from the doors.
Step 4: Dry
Once the cleaner is rinsed away, dry your doors using a squeegee or a cloth. I ended up using both, using the squeegee first and then wiping away any final streaks with a dry cloth.
And then I stopped using my serious face that I had on in all the cleaning pictures above, and instead put on my happy face because I had nice clean shower doors. Even the soap scum at the bottom wiped away easily! This second try with vinegar and Dawn has finally gotten the thumbs up for success!
I wish I could have gotten better before and after photos of my glass shower doors but glass is not an easy thing to photograph, especially in the confines of a small room such as a bathroom. But trust me – the doors looked a whole lot better when I was done.
Bonus Idea for the Outside of Glass Shower Doors
The above process using vinegar and Dawn for glass shower doors will indeed get them sparkling clean but sometimes I want to do something quicker and something that doesn’t require all the rinsing. For those times, I discovered that my homemade daily shower spray makes a great cleaner for glass shower doors too. To finish up this project, I got out my spray bottle of DIY daily shower cleaner and quickly cleaned up a few spots on the outside of the glass door too.
Yup, I had to put on my serious face again, there was just a wee bit more cleaning to do!
Once before I wrote about how my homemade daily shower spray became an unexpected DIY window cleaner for me when I had super water-spotted windows after a small tornado went through our neighborhood. It turns out this cleaner makes a great spray for a quick clean of the outside (or the inside) of your glass shower doors too.
Recipe here: Homemade Daily Shower Spray
I should note here too that I’ve not been using my homemade daily shower as much with my new bathroom, and instead have been relying more on the squeegee after each shower. Maybe I will have to rethink that!
I’m really glad I gave the vinegar and Dawn cleaner a second chance. The changes of not heating the vinegar as much, and of using less soap, were both changes that helped me to have success. I hope it works for you too!
DIY Cleaner for Glass Shower Doors
- 1 Spray Bottle
- Squeegee or Dry Cloth
- 1/2 cup White Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Dawn dish soap
- Pour the 1/2 cup of vinegar into a microwave safe container (I use my glass measuring cup)
- Heat the vinegar for 1 minute in the microwave.
- Pour the Dawn dish soap into the warmed vinegar and stir to mix.
- Transfer the mixture to a small spray bottle.
To Clean Glass Shower Doors:
- Spray the vinegar/Dawn mixture liberally onto the inside of your glass shower doors.
- Use a sponge or a cloth to scrub the cleaner around, especially in any areas that might have heavier soap scum.
- Rinse the cleaner away with fresh water (if you have a handheld shower head, it works great for this step).
- Finish by drying the shower doors with a squeegee or a cloth (I usually use both, starting with the squeegee, and finishing by wiping away any remaining streaks with a dry cloth).