Cleaning the shower screen so that it's sparkling and streak-free can sometimes feel like an impossible task. Shower screens are a hotbed for soap scum and limescale, so it's important to know how to clean cleaning a shower screen, and keep on top of it so that bacteria doesn't build up over time.
While an essential part of cleaning a bathroom, frustratingly cleaning a shower screen can often result in more marks than were there to begin with. We may have cleared bacteria from their surfaces, but we're still left with streaks and white marks at the end.
The best way to clean a shower screen will result in a spotless finish, making any shower room ideas look fabulous. 'While cleaning shower screens is a relatively easy task, it is also a bit of an art form when it comes to trying to achieve a streak-free finish,' says Chris Wootton, Managing Director of Poppies.
Fortunately, the best method is easy enough as you don't need to buy any special cleaning products. The two store cupboard ingredients you need - white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda - are items you probably already have in the house.
Our guide will show you how to clean a shower screen for both regular and deep cleaning so that you know the best ways to keep on top of the job. Whether your shower screen has collected unsightly limescale and is in dire need of a deep clean, or just needs a quick spritz to make it sparkle, the simple steps below will get your bathroom back to tip-top condition in no time.
How to clean a shower screen for regular cleaning
1. Create a white vinegar cleaning solution
Aside from being an easy way to save money, cleaning with white vinegar is the best way to get your shower screen in sparkling condition. 'White vinegar is a great natural option for cleaning your shower screens as the acid in it helps remove the residue and limescale', explains Chris from Poppies. 'It can also dissolve stubborn watermarks, soap scum, and other horrid build-ups.'
To make your own white vinegar cleaning solution, mix a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Where possible, use purified water as most tap water contains minerals like calcium and sodium which can leave ugly marks on your shower screen.
2. Wash the frames first
If your shower screen has frames, always clean these first, so you don't drip dirty water onto the panes. It's fine to clean these with warm soapy water. Fill a bucket up and wipe around the frames with a sponge. Dry with a clean, soft cloth before moving on to the next step.
3. Clean the panes
Spray your white vinegar solution on the shower screen, being generous with the amount you use. Wipe this into the surface thoroughly with a clean microfibre cloth, making sure to go all the way into the corners.
4. Wait, then dry
Give the solution a couple of minutes to sit on the shower screen before wiping it off with a clean, dry microfibre cloth. Similar to the method for how to clean windows, microfibre cloths are best suited to this task because they're lint free, so they won't leave any streaks behind. Once you've wiped the solution off, your shower screen should be spotless and sparkling.
How to clean a shower screen for a deeper clean
1. Prep the shower glass
Start by wetting the shower screen with lukewarm water. Do this with either a spray bottle or with a small jug or bucket of water.
If you're doing the latter, put some towels on the floor to avoid creating puddles! Remember to clean your frames with warm soapy water if your shower screen has them.
2. Soak the screen in white vinegar
Next, refill your spray bottle with white vinegar and use it to thoroughly saturate the whole shower glass. 'Always remember to wear rubber gloves when handling chemicals to prevent irritation and drying out your hands', advises Yvonne Keal, Senior Product Manager at Hillarys.
Leave the white vinegar to soak on the glass for at least 10 minutes. Stubborn stains may need longer, so leave for up to 30 minutes if necessary.
3. Scrub the screen
Using a scrubbing sponge and baking soda, clean the shower screen. Bicarbonate of soda is a powerful abrasive and will remove any remaining limescale and soap scum which the vinegar will have started decomposing. Don't overdo the scrubbing though - use a gentle approach and let the ingredients do the work.
4. Rinse off and dry
Once you're happy the screen looks clean, rinse off the vinegar and baking soda with lukewarm water. Dry off with a clean microfibre cloth, and voila! Your shower screen should look as good as new, and be free of any limescale and bacteria.
What's the best way to clean a shower screen?
The best way to clean a shower screen is to regularly give it is a spritz with some white vinegar cleaning solution, so that bacteria doesn't have the opportunity to build up over time.
'One of the most effective ways to keep your shower screen sparkling clean is to make sure you are keeping on top of limescale and soap scum build up which is what causes the white marks on the screen,' says Amanda Lewis from Elbow Grease. 'The longer you leave it in between cleans, the harder the limescale and soap scum is to remove.'
In terms of the best products to use, white vinegar will suffice for regular cleaning, as its acidity is ideal for decomposing bacteria found in warm, damp environments such as the shower. 'Although there are specialist cleaning products on the market it is a lot cheaper and more effective to create your own cleaning solutions,' says cleaning expert Chris. 'These are also less damaging to the environment.'
How do you clean limescale off a glass shower screen?
To fully remove any limescale from a glass shower screen, a combination of white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda works best as a natural cleaning hack. Soak the screen in white vinegar for up to 30 minutes before applying baking soda.
'Dip your scrubbing sponge in baking soda and scrub the glass,' advises Yvonne from Hillarys. 'Remember to dab any stubborn stains rather than rubbing it, as this will most likely make it worse.'
Glass screens are delicate, so while you want to give the screen a deep clean to remove the limescale, a gentle approach is required to avoid causing damage. 'When cleaning your shower screen, avoid using brillo pads as these can scratch and damage your glass over time,' says Emily Barron, cleaning expert at Rezigo.
How do I make my shower screen sparkle?
Once you've cleaned your shower screen with white vinegar or baking soda (or both), you can top it up with some glass cleaner as the best cleaning product to give it an ultra-sparkling finish if you wish. Apply this with a fresh cloth so there are no streak marks.
'You can also use a mixture of water and lemon juice to keep your glass sparkling clean - and your bathroom smelling fresh,' says Emily from Rezigo. If you want to cover up the smell of vinegar and maintain a sparkling finish, lemon juice is a good option to finish the job.
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Katie Sims has been writing for Ideal Homes since spring 2022. She qualified from her Master’s in Media and Journalism in 2021 and has been writing freelance since. She has worked on Ideal Home’s ecommerce team where she researched the best home products on the market, and on the news team, researching the latest trends for feature pieces.
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