Clean Glass Shower Doors with Vinegar & Dawn


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 this two ingredient recipe using vinegar and Dawn dish soap 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.

homemade vinegar and Dawn shower cleaner

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.

mixing vinegar and Dawn dish soap to clean a shower

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.

Mixing vinegar and Dawn shower cleaner

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.

pouring vinegar and dawn into a spray bottle

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.

DIY hack to clean glass shower doors

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.

DIY cleaner for glass shower doors

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.

Rinsing away the homemade shower cleaner

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.

cleaning shower doors with a squeegee

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!

Using a homemade cleaner on glass shower doors

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!

Using homemade daily shower spray on glass doors
Using homemade daily shower spray on glass doors

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

This quick mixture of vinegar and Dawn dish soap works great for getting rid of soap scum and is a great option for getting your glass shower doors sparkling clean.
Prep Time3 minutes
Active Time4 minutes
Yield: 1 Batch (3/4 cup)
Author: Beverly


  • 1 Spray Bottle
  • Sponge
  • 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).


This vinegar and Dawn mixture can work in any area of a tub or shower where you want to get rid of soap scum. The only thing to be mindful of is that vinegar should not be used on soft stones such as granite or quartz.
The vinegar is warmed only to help with mixing the two ingredients. This final mixture does not have to be used while it is warm and can also be saved for more cleaning later.

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  1. Beverly – thanks for this recipe and the daily shower spray. Been using the daily spray for about a year and it really helps.

    Question – does the dish soap have to be Dawn or will any dish soap work in this recipe?

    1. If you want to use a different dish soap, I would look for something that is still labeled to be good at cutting through grease as that is what makes Dawn the first choice for cleaning recipes (even when you aren’t cleaning something obviously greasy such as dishes).

    1. I’m not sure why that happened for you. Perhaps the vinegar needed to be just a bit warmer to get things mixed well initially.

  2. Question for you….

    I’ve been using the Dawn/Vinegar solution since having our shower re-done. I’ve always heated the vinegar, used it. If there were some left, I would save it to spot clean the fiberglass shower pad. I would have to re-heat it, because it would thicken up. does this one stay liquidy?

    I like the idea of less ratio. I will try it soon! I wash my shower walls every month even after using a daily shower rinse.

    One idea for you, I found it easy to wipe down my glass shower doors with a microfiber cloth after the last one takes a shower. Removes water, and most scum that’s easy to keep up on. A hint from the installers!

  3. So interesting that soap helps with removing the soap scum. I struggle with residue in the shower, and this sounds like a great method to try. So many bathroom cleaners have a strong scent, and it is nice to be able to have something that is not overpowering.

  4. Thanks for this great post, Bev! I agree about the ratio of vinegar to Dawn, but had never heard of heating the vinegar! Will definitely give it a try as I always have to shake shake shake to mix it up before each use (more than with most DIY mixes). This combo is great on stainless steel sinks which is what I primarily use it for–keeps them clean and spot free longer.

    Had to laugh about your comment in your newsletter about Chocolate Hummus being a better term than Chocolate Bean Dip! Lol!

    1. After reading your comment I tried it on my sinks and had great results too. Thanks for sharing that idea!