How To Clean Overlapping Sliding Shower Doors: 4 Easy Methods

Keeping a shower clean is relatively easy. However, certain spots, such as where shower doors overlap, can be difficult to reach and get squeaky clean. 

Thankfully, there are some easy methods you can do to get this area as clean as the rest of your shower.

How To Clean Overlapping Sliding Shower Doors

The methods below offer multiple ways to clean shower doors that overlap. 

Your shower should be cleaned one to two times a week to prevent the buildup of soap scum.

What You’ll Need

  • Cleaning solution (choose from below)
  • Spray bottle(s)
  • Crevice cleaning tools
  • Microfiber towels
  • Water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Screwdriver
  • Funnel
  • Squeegee

1. Choose A Cleaning Solution

Hard water can leave mineral deposits on your shower walls and doors, along with soap scum, mildew, mold, bacteria, dust, and more. 

There are several types of DIY and commercially made products that you can use to clean your shower or tub area. 

Choose a cleaner that will work on glass surfaces that will remove soap scum and grime. 

DIY Cleaning Solutions

The following cleaners can be used on all surfaces of your shower or tub unless otherwise indicated.

Vinegar And Dish Detergent

Acidic vinegar breaks down grime while dish detergent cuts through grease and oils. Together, they effectively remove soap scum and more. 

To make the solution, heat vinegar in the microwave until it is warm to touch. If you do not have a microwave, you can warm it up on the stovetop, or leave it in a sunny window.

Pour and mix equal parts of dish detergent and vinegar into a spray bottle.

You can also try vinegar only without the soap, but you will need to apply more scrubbing action.

Alternatives To Vinegar And Dish Detergent

Instead of dish detergent, you can use castile soap or clarifying shampoo, which also helps remove buildup on surfaces. 

Instead of vinegar, you can opt for bleach; mix one-part bleach with ten parts water and two tablespoons of dish soap. 

Lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide also can be used instead of vinegar.

Baking Soda Paste With Acidic Cleaner 

Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that dissolves soap scum and grease. Use it with an acidic cleaner such as vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or lemon juice to eliminate mold, mildew, bacteria, and more.

Make the baking soda paste by mixing a few tablespoons of water with one cup of baking soda. Adjust the amount of water and baking soda in small increments until you have a paste-like consistency.

When cleaning, apply the paste first. Then, spray vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or lemon juice onto it for cleaning foaming action.

Ammonia, Rubbing Alcohol, Water, And Dish Detergent

Ammonia is commonly added to glass cleaners. It evaporates quickly and won’t leave behind residue that collects grime or dust. This should not be your first choice in cleaning, since ammonia can damage the glass if used frequently.

Use extreme caution with ammonia. Cover your skin, wear a mask, and ventilate the work area. Never mix it with bleach.

  • Mix ½-cup of rubbing alcohol with 26 ounces of warm water in a spray bottle.
  • Add in two tablespoons of ammonia, using a funnel to avoid spills.
  • Tighten the spray top of the bottle. Shake gently to mix.
  • Label the spray bottle with its contents. Close the spray mechanism when not in use if there is a leftover solution.

Commercial Cleaners

There are many products made especially for cleaning glass that a quick search online can help you find. 

While you are using it on glass, it is likely the cleaning product will touch other surfaces in the shower. Check each product’s informational label to make sure it can be used on tile, acrylic, fiberglass, porcelain, and so on. 

The following are popular options for tackling grime in the shower or tub:

Bar Keeper’s Friend (Soft Cleanser)

This product is great for hard-to-reach places. It will adhere to glass and tarnished surfaces to remove soap scum, mineral deposits, and more. 

It contains oxalic acid, which can be harmful if ingested or inhaled. Wear gloves, and a mask, and ventilate the bathroom when spraying. 

Soft Scrub All Purpose Bath and Kitchen Cleanser or Scrubbing Bubbles

These will disinfect and clean glass that has buildup on it.  

These products contain bleach, so use them in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves. 

Calcium-Lime-Rust (CLR) Remover

This non-toxic spray product removes limescale and mineral deposits on surfaces.


This is a penetrating oil for multiple uses that can remove adhesives and things that stick to windows, mirrors, and so on. The “WD” stands for “Water Displacement”. 

Nail Polish Remover

Choose a remove that has acetone in it. Acetone will break down oils and strip them away.  

Comet or Ajax

These can be made into a paste, much like baking soda and water to clean up areas with grime and grease. They are also available in spray form.

Glass Cleaners

There is a large variety of glass cleaners available. Read the informational labels to see if they will work for your shower door needs.

2. Prep: Steam The Shower Doors

Hot water and steam will loosen up grime and debris. 

To prepare the shower doors for cleaning, close the bathroom doors and windows.

Turn on the water at the hottest level for ten minutes, allowing the steam and hot moisture to build up.

Alternatively, you can use a steam cleaner. Plug it in a GFCI outlet and follow the user manual instructions. 

If you are removing the doors from the shower tracks or rollers, wait to steam them until they are removed and in a stable position on the floor or against a wall. Otherwise, the doors will be slippery when trying to lift and remove them. 

3. Clean The Overlapping Shower Doors

The following methods can be used to clean between the shower doors. If your doors are textured, it will be essential that you thoroughly douse the area you wish to clean to get into the crevices.

1. Use A Tool To Clean Between The Shower Doors

Sponge paint brushes are a popular option for cleaning between overlapped doors. They can be found in the paint section at a home improvement store or in an art store. 

Typically, they are wooden sticks with flat black foam on the end. Choose at least three small ones that you can squeeze between the overlapping space of your shower doors.  

Alternatively, use a microfiber dusting wand. These are flat wands with removable and washable microfiber cloths and a telescoping handle. 

You could also use a flat ruler, butter knife, or small dowel rod with a microfiber cloth wrapped around it. 

Make sure that the cloth extends out from the overlapped area so that it doesn’t get stuck. If it does, then you may have to take the doors off to retrieve it. 

Q-tips will work as well, it just will be time-consuming to work with a small tool. 

You can also put on rubber gloves and apply the cleaning solution with your fingers. Just don’t get stuck!

Even better, you can find cleaning tool kits that come with small scrub brushes and flat microfiber-covered wands. They are an excellent option for cleaning the shower tracks and connectors as well. 

To clean with the sponge paint brushes, do the following:

  1. Lay towels down on the surrounding areas to collect cleaning water and residue.
  2. Soak the sponge or microfiber end in the cleaning solution.
  3. Push the tool into the space where the doors overlap. Push and pull it back and forth to remove the grime.
  4. Clean the sponge or microfiber with water to remove debris buildup from it as you clean. Reapply the cleaning solution after cleaning the tool.
  5. Use a new damp cleaning tool with water only to remove any leftover residue.
  6. Slowly pour water into the overlapped water to rinse any remaining debris. Repeat the above steps until the area is clean.
  7. Push a new and dry sponge into the overlapped part to remove any excess water to help dry out the area more quickly.

If you use baking soda paste, use the tool to apply the paste. Then spray the vinegar, lemon juice, or hydrogen peroxide into the overlapped part. Rinse with water.

If you can’t find a sponge brush to fit, you can try using folded paper towels in the same way. They are not as firm but paired with a powerful cleaning solution you can have some success.

If you use WD-40 as your cleaning solution, you can use the flexible straw to spray into the overlapped section and work it in with the sponge, microfiber wand, or paper towel. A final wipe with a clean sponge or microfiber tool will eliminate streaks.

2. Power Spray With Water

You can hook a hose up to your sink or bring one through an open window. The force of the water in conjunction with a cleaning solution can help to remove soap scum and more.

Ideally, if you can use hot water from the sink, the grime will release from the surface better.

This video demonstrates how to connect a hose to an indoor sink:

What to do:

  1. Lay down towels to collect water so you do not slip. Electrical devices, such as hair dryers, should be put away.
  2. Spray your cleaning solution into the overlapped area and let it sit.
  3. Use your hose to power spray wash the overlapped area to rinse the cleaning solution and grime out.
  4. Ventilate the area to promote quick drying.

If you have a detachable and adjustable shower head that can reach the overlapped part, you can apply water pressure with this instead of a hose. 

Use the showerhead at its highest pressure setting at the hottest temperature. Use care not to scald yourself.

3. Remove And Clean The Overlapping Shower Doors

If you cannot effectively clean between the overlapping spot of the sliding glass doors, then you will need to remove them. This option should be your last resort. 

Glass doors are very heavy, so you will need someone to assist you. This is also time-consuming and could prove difficult to do weekly for cleaning. 

If this is the only method that works for you, you can clean them once a month, keeping in mind that you may need a little more elbow grease to remove more buildup.

The design of your shower doors may differ depending on if they are trifold, flat, or curved. The steps here are general instructions. 

It will be beneficial to refer to your installation guide for your brand if available. Home improvement stores or a search online may lead you to specific information for your doors.

What to do:

  1. Lay towels on the floor or determine what to safely put the door on so that it will not fall and break.
  2. Check the bottom and top of the glass doors to find the mechanism for stopping and holding the moving glass door on the track. Take a picture of the way it is assembled so that you can put it back together later. 
  3. Remove the stopper or mechanism so that the door can be lifted off of the track. 
    • You may need to lift it up and at an angle to get it off the bottom track first. Use assistance when lifting.
  4. Clean the doors with your choice of solution.
  5. Buff them dry and inspect them to make sure all residue is gone. Repeat the cleaning process if necessary. 
  6. Clean the tracks with a small toothbrush or scrubbing tool and allow them to dry before reinstalling.
  7. Reinstall the removed door. Typically, you will push it up and into the top track at an angle and then lower it down onto the bottom track. 
  8. Tighten any screws or mechanisms used to hold the door in place. 
  9. Test and move the door to make sure it is secure.

4. Drying Maintenance

To keep your shower doors in pristine shape or with less buildup, dry them after every shower.

Use a squeegee tool on the large surfaces, pulling off as much water as you can.

Run a microfiber cloth or towel over them. If possible, squeeze the towel into the overlapped space to remove water droplets. 

Start drying from the top and move down.


How do you clean sliding door shower tracks?

You can clean sliding door shower tracks using a small scrubbing tool and vinegar.

Do the following:

  1. Spray vinegar or a compatible cleaning solution onto the shower tracks. Use a sponge or directed spray to get into all of the groves and corners. 
  2. Let it sit for 15 minutes. 
  3. Scrub with a grout tool or toothbrush. 
  4. Rinse and inspect for any remaining grime, repeating as necessary. 
  5. Dry thoroughly.

How do you clean the plastic strip at the bottom of the shower door?

If the strip can be removed and put back on without damaging it, take it off and soak it in hot water in the sink before cleaning.

Spray your cleaning solution, such as vinegar or a mold and mildew remover, onto the plastic seal or strip. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Scrub with a scouring pad or toothbrush. Rinse clean and dry.

In Conclusion

Cleaning the space between overlapping sliding shower doors can feel impossible.

However, it can be done with an effective cleaning solution and a tool or power wash. Removing the doors is an option that can be reserved for last if all else fails.

Follow the methods above, including daily drying maintenance, and your shower doors will stay in great shape.

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