Are Glass Shower Doors Hard to Keep Clean?

Are Glass Shower Doors Hard to Keep Clean? The short answer is: It depends.

There are several important factors to consider when determining the ease of which they maintain their cleanliness including:

  • The source of the water
  • The design of the shower space and surfaces
  • The design of the actual shower door

Our water supply comes from a variety of sources, ranging from on-property wells to municipal purification and pumping stations. Each source “affixes” its own characteristics to the water, including the way it tastes and smells, its acidity, and the water’s mineral and fluoride content. Each of these characteristics can affect glass differently. This means that some of our customers report that they have never had a problem keeping their 20-year-old shower enclosure clean, using only a quick wipe down with Windex every few weeks. Meanwhile, others report that a “white haze” has formed across the bottom of their glass that is impossible to clean off. The crazy thing is that both outcomes are distinctly possible.

It is the water sources with characteristics that cause it to leave the “white haze” that we are concerned with. The surface of all glass, when looked at under a microscope, is not actually as smooth as it looks and feels. Up close, you’ll see glass actually has “pits and valleys” where minerals and soap scum can adhere and eventually penetrate the surface. Once this penetration occurs, it may be difficult or even impossible to restore the original clarity of the glass, and it may have to be replaced. So, it is important to consider glass protection.

There are several aftermarket coatings that protect glass and are easy to apply, including Clean-X Invisible Shield and Rain-X Shower Door Water Repellent. However, these coatings wear off quickly and must be reapplied continuously to remain effective. That is why we recommend and provide ShowerGuard glass by Guardian Industries, which has a permanently bonded seal against stains and corrosion and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Shower and toilet area of a bathroom. This shower is using a glass door with sliding mechanics. The tile in the shower and floor use differing textures and patterns.

There are also some best building practices that can help keep shower glass clean. If you are just starting your project and have the opportunity to design your shower from scratch, we provide some do’s and don’ts found including these steps. Following these design tips will help ensure your new shower doesn’t leak and stays looking as clean and fresh as the day it was installed. For instance, by positioning your shower head to spray away from the glass and toward a wall, you can keep the minerals in the water off of the glass and prevent etching.

When considering glass cleanliness, it is also important to control humidity. Mildew is one of the biggest obstacles to maintaining a clean shower. While there are several tile and surface cleaners that help fight mildew where it appears, the best solution is to prevent the mildew from forming in the first place. This is achieved by designing a shower that is well-ventilated and can dry out after each use. An overhead vent fan is a must, preferably inside the shower if possible. And all surfaces, especially the shower curb, should slope inward toward the drain. This design prevents water from pooling against the shower walls or shower door.

For more information on cleaning glass in your home and the specific steps, follow these cleaning steps.


Visit the Drexler showroom today and let one of our helpful designers show you what we have to offer and walk you through the process. We’re here to help!