(Last Updated On: February 26, 2023)
When I was researching the internet to find out how to clean the hard water stains off of my glass shower door, I came across many homemade solutions of white vinegar + blue Dawn. Everything I found online said it has to be Dawn dish detergent and the blue kind at that. I am going to introduce a new way to make a homemade shower cleaner with vinegar not using blue Dawn detergent.
Those hard water mineral deposits can be stubborn to remove. I wanted to get my shower clean, but I didn’t have any Dawn detergent at my house. So, I thought I’d give a different dish detergent a try to see if it could still get the job done. In my cupboard under the kitchen sink, I had some green Palmolive dish liquid handy and so I gave that a go!
In this post, I will explain the process I took using this alternative dish cleaning liquid + white vinegar solution, the recipe for this natural cleaner, and lots of photos to show the before and after.
Warning: My shower was pretty dirty so the before photos are not pretty.
🛁 How to Clean a Shower with Homemade Vinegar and Dish Soap Solution
Step 1. Get an Empty Spray Bottle
The first step is to find a spray bottle that will hold at least 2 cups of liquid.
Step 2. Combine Dish Liquid and Vinegar in a Glass Bowl
The ratio for dish liquid and vinegar is 1:1 and I used 1 cup of each. Put one cup of straight vinegar plus one cup of dish soap into a glass bowl.
Step 3. Microwave for 2 Minutes
This cleaner will clean your shower better if it is warmed up. So, for the best results, microwave the cup of vinegar and cup of dish soap in the glass dish for about 2 minutes and then stir it up.
Step 4. Transfer into the Spray Bottle
Next, pour the warm vinegar solution into a spray bottle. If the bottle is not filled to the top, you can even add a little bit of warm water to fill the bottle completely.
Now the homemade cleaner is ready to use to clean your shower.
🚿 Using the Cleaner on Your Shower
While the homemade cleaner with vinegar solution is still warm, you are going to want to head over to your shower and spray it down really well. I like to get the shower walls a little bit wet first with regular water, then spray with the warm homemade cleaning solution. Let the cleaning solution sit in your shower for a least 10 minutes.
If you have a glass shower door, spray it down really good with the solution too, and let that sit for 10 minutes as well. This cleaning solution is really good at cleaning those hard water stains off of glass doors. I have not used this on a shower curtain, so I cannot comment on using it on that.
My shower floor pan is white and as you can see from the photo below, the dirt has stained it pretty well. Regular scrubbing with an over-the-counter cleaning solution does not remove the dirt stains. So, what I did was spray down the shower pan with the same homemade dish liquid + vinegar solution and then sprinkled baking soda on top of that. This part will require a bit of scrubbing muscles, but it does remove the dirt that has caked its’ way into the pan crevices. Baking soda when combined with this homemade cleaner can really work some magic!
I used the brush seen in the photo below to scrub the shower pan with. It is just a generic brush with soft bristles. You can try using an old toothbrush for this part, but I’m not sure if those bristles will be strong enough. I guess it depends on how dirty your shower pan is. If you need some extra deep cleaning, try using a brush with wire bristles.
After the cleaning solution has soaked in for at least 10 minutes, it’s time to gently scrub the glass shower doors and shower walls. The dirt and grime will start to melt away. I like to use the brush in the photo above and scrub in circles on the glass shower door. As I do this, I can feel the glass get super smooth and that’s when I know the hard water stains are now gone. I also scrub down the shower walls a bit just to remove the pink stains and other visible stains. A microfiber cloth can also be a good tool to use when scrubbing shower doors.
Finally, after I’ve done all the scrubbing, I then rinse the entire shower with hot clean water from the tap. For me, it is very satisfying to see all of the dirt, built-up grime, and remaining residue rinse away with the hot water down the shower drain.
Scroll down to see the shocking before and after pictures!
🧼 Optional Homemade Cleaner Variations
- Add a bit of lemon juice to the solution to get a fresh lemon scent. Lemon juice also helps to clean as it is high in citric acid, has a low pH, and has natural antibacterial properties.
- Add about 10 drops of tea tree oil to the cleaning solution. Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties. Adding a bit of tea tree oil to this cleaning solution can also help eliminate odors.
- Substitute the white vinegar for apple cider vinegar. One downfall to this is that white vinegar is slightly more acidic than apple cider vinegar so using this as a substitute might not be as strong as a cleaning solution.
Warning: Do not mix hydrogen peroxide into this solution. This is not a good idea. Mixing hydrogen peroxide with vinegar will form peracetic acid with can irritate your skin, eyes, and respiratory system.
📝 Final Thoughts Using the Homemade Cleaner
For me, the shower pan took the longest to clean. I let it go too long before cleanings and the dirt really got stuck in there. I had to scrub a lot and I kept adding more baking soda to really get that dirt gone. Overall, I found that soap scum buildup, water spots, and dirty grout are some of the main things this cleaner is really good at getting rid of. I was also amazed at how well it can clean shower glass doors. If you are a person that likes cleaning with natural products, then I definitely recommend making this homemade cleaning solution.
Out of all of the over-the-counter cleaning products, I have yet to find anything to clean my shower walls and shower door better than this homemade cleaner. And I’ve tried it all from the Magic Eraser, Scrubbing Bubbles, Clorox Cleaner + Bleach, to Kaboom. This vinegar cleaner is definitely the best way to get the shower clean! Next, I’m going to use this cleaner to tackle some toilet stains, dirty bathroom tiles, and dirty bathroom grout. I’m also going to use it as a glass cleaner for windows around the house!
Below I will share some before and after photos.
FYI, my shower was pretty gross and dirty. Maybe yours is not this bad. I let it go awhile longer before I should have cleaned it. My goal is to use this dish liquid + vinegar cleaning solution much more regularly. This way the dirt and water stains will not build up to be this bad.
I am very happy with the results! Using a dish liquid detergent for this cleaning solution that is not the blue Dawn brand worked great! I am here to say that cleaning my shower still worked while using a different brand of dish liquid detergent than what the rest of the internet said to do.
😳 Before Using the Cleaner Photos
🎉 After Using the Cleaner Photos
How to Clean a Shower with Vinegar and Dish Soap
- Dump the dish liquid and vinegar inside a microwavable bowl.
- Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
- Stir the warm solution with a spoon.
- Transfer to a spray bottle.
- Wet down your shower walls and shower door with tap water.
- While the solution is still warm, spray down your entire shower liberally.
- Let sit for at least 10 minutes.
- If your shower pan is really dirty, this is where you can add some baking soda to that and scrub really good.
- Scrub down the shower door with a circular motion and the shower walls.
- Spray down your entire shower with hot water.
Ex-Division I basketball player who has always loved eating food, but has not always loved cooking it. After the birth of her daughters, she now loves cooking new meals and recipes for her family to try and enjoy. She loves to stay active, work on DIY projects, spend time with family, and all things photography. More by Tammy ➜