How Do Hotels Keep Shower Doors Clean?

No one likes the look of hard water stains, soap scum, and especially not mold and mildew build-up in a shower. Unfortunately, all of these are frequent, unwelcome visitors for many homeowners. This begs the question: how do hotels keep their glass shower doors so impeccably clean?

We talked with three housekeeping and hospitality experts to uncover tips and tricks from the pros. With this combination of consistent cleaning and drying techniques, you'll be able to keep pesky stains away and maintain a sparkly clean shower door.

Meet the Expert

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Clean Your Shower Once a Week

The primary reason hotels can keep their shower doors so clean isn't because of the cleaning solutions or tools they use, but how often they use them.

"Most hotel guests are staying short-term, so shower doors are cleaned often to ensure water spots and soap don't have a chance to build up," says Maricela Padilla, executive housekeeper at the Moxy Phoenix Downtown. This said, consistent cleanings are another great way to keep your glass shower door clear, bright, and stain-free.

"Clean your shower doors on a regular basis to make sure you don't get a buildup of water spots and soap," Padilla says.

Pick Effective Cleaning Solutions

Stains on glass shower doors can be especially stubborn, but the right selection of cleaning materials and solutions will make a significant difference in the end. Many experts rely on a combination of one part white vinegar and three parts distilled water for cleaning, but our pros offer some additional suggestions.

"I like to use a damp Scotch Brite green sponge and liquid Barkeepers Friend," says Alisha Firestone-White, co-owner of Northwest Housekeeping in Salem, Oregon. Firestone-White says this combo is especially effective for removing soap scum, but she's also found it helps soften more obstinate stains from hard water as well.

Padilla, on the other hand, prefers Ecolab products, such as the heavy-duty alkaline bathroom cleaner, foaming shower and tub cleaner, and lemon lift heavy-duty kitchen and bathroom cleaner.


Lemon juice, dish soap, and baking soda are also recommended by some cleaning professionals in conjunction with vinegar. Baking soda provides a mild abrasive, which is especially helpful for tricky stains.

Use Soft Sponges and Scrubbers

Hard water stains and mildew can be tough to remove, and some homeowners resort to abrasive sponges and scrubbers for assistance. Unfortunately, glass shower doors are susceptible to scratches, so these cleaning tools can do more harm than good. When you're preparing to clean your shower door, make sure you choose a soft sponge or scrubber paired with an effective cleaning solution like white vinegar. Use the same tools for your shower's metal hardware as well.

Install a Water Softener

If your glass shower doors are covered in filmy stains from hard water, they may be there to stay.

"Water stains are almost impossible to remove once set because they etch the glass," Firestone-White says. The combination of Scotch Brite green sponge and liquid Barkeepers Friend is the most effective method Firestone-White has found for minimizing the appearance of these stains.

Padilla suggests installing a water softener to prevent these stains from collecting in the future. This is another simple strategy many hotels use to keep their shower door looking shiny and clear.

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Don't Forget the Strip Below Your Door

There are plenty of tried-and-true methods for cleaning shower door, but the base of your door can be more challenging to address.

"The strip below the door is often overlooked," says Aaron Green, owner of Essential Home & Garden. However, even when homeowners remember to clean this section of their glass shower door, it can be difficult to to access.

"We use an old toothbrush to get into those hard-to-reach crevices," Green says. Firestone-White prefers the OXO Good Grips Deep clean brush set in her business. Despite their differing methods, both experts use non-toxic cleaning solutions such as vinegar and Barkeepers Friend to clean shower doors thoroughly.

Dry Your Shower Door After Each Use

It may seem tedious, but one of the simplest ways you can prevent mold and mildew from developing in your shower is to keep it dry. With this said, all of our featured professionals advise homeowners dry off their shower door after each use.

Padilla and Green suggest a squeegee. "Using a squeegee after each use can reduce water stains and soap scum buildup, making deep cleans easier," Green says.

For good measure, Firestone-White prefers a quick wipe-down with a towel. "You could also use a squeegee, it's difficult to get the frame," she says.

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