How To Polish Shower Glass

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Even the most fastidious person can miss a spot while cleaning a glass shower — and as the grime builds up, soap scum and water spots will make the glass look dull and dirty. Thankfully, polishing your shower glass and removing such unsightly stains is easy.

Use fine-grit #3000, #5000, and #7000 sandpaper to remove stubborn buildup from shower glass. Wet the glass and the sandpaper, then gently rub the affected area in a circular motion. Start with the coarser sandpaper (#3000) and work up to finer grades.

Let’s take a closer look at how to polish shower glass and the best cleaning solutions. We’ll also go through the other supplies you’ll need for the job and some tips for keeping your glass sparkling clean after polishing.

Can You Polish Shower Glass?

Woman cleaning bathroom

Yes, you can polish shower glass. The process isn’t difficult, and the average shower should only take around an hour to clean.

Because shower glass is more delicate than other surfaces, choosing the right cleaning supplies is essential. Many standard household cleansers won’t do the job and may even cause damage like scratches, discoloration, or etching. 

Instead, you’ll need to use cleaner and polish that are designated as safe for glass.

What’s the Best Cleaning Solution for Shower Glass?

A few different products can effectively clean shower glass, depending on the type of dirt or discoloration you’re trying to remove.

Here are some of the best cleaning solutions for shower glass:


A diluted solution of ammonia (on Amazon) and water is a great all-purpose cleaner for removing dirt and grime from the surface of your shower glass. It’s also an effective deodorizer, so it will help to keep your bathroom smelling fresh.

Use a mild recipe with one part ammonia to at least three parts water.


Distilled white vinegar (on Amazon) is effective at cutting through soap scum and mildew stains as well as removing hard water deposits and calcium buildup from the surface of the glass.

You can make a cleaning solution with one part vinegar to four parts water. If the stains are especially stubborn, you can increase the vinegar to one part and two parts water — or use it undiluted.

Dish Soap

Mild dish soap, such as Dawn (on Amazon) or Palmolive (also on Amazon), contains surfactants that help break down dirt, oils, and grease. 

To maximize its cleaning power, you can mix dish soap with white vinegar for a potent solution. Start by combining one part mild soap with four parts vinegar, then adjust the recipe as needed.

You can also use a cleaner like Bar Keepers Friend (on Amazon), which is specifically designed to remove tough stains from hard surfaces and restore their shine. Just follow the instructions on the package for optimal results.

What Other Supplies Will You Need?

You’ll need to use a more abrasive approach if the surface of the shower is severely stained and etched due to hard water minerals becoming embedded on the surface.

Sandpaper is the most effective tool for polishing shower glass, as long as you use low-grit paper and gradually move up to higher grits until you get the desired level of shine.

Here are some supplies you’ll need to polish shower glass:

Once you’ve gathered these supplies, follow these steps to polish shower glass:

  1. Start by cleaning the surface of the shower glass with a sponge and your preferred cleaning solution.
  2. Put on protective eyewear and dampen the surface of the glass and the sandpaper with water; both need to be wet to provide lubrication and avoid scratches.
  3. Start polishing the glass in circular motions with #3000 grit sandpaper and work up to a finer grit if necessary.
  4. As you polish, use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe away any residue from the sandpaper, so the debris doesn’t scratch the glass.
  5. When you’ve finished polishing, rinse away any residue and dry the shower glass with a microfiber cloth.

Remember, this method is for severe staining and etching and shouldn’t be used for regular cleaning and maintenance.

Tips for Keeping Your Shower Glass Shiny

Female cleaning polishing shower glass with a washcloth with microfiber

Now that you know how to clean and polish shower glass, here are some tips for keeping it looking its best:

  • Wipe down the shower glass after each use to prevent soap scum and mineral deposits from building up.
  • Use a squeegee or microfiber cloth to remove water droplets from the surface to reduce staining, etching, and discoloration from hard water minerals.
  • Clean the shower glass with a mild cleaner and sponge once a week.
  • If you have hard water in your area, consider installing a water softener or using distilled water for cleaning.

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