How to clean a stained shower enclosure

Updated February 21, 2017

Shower enclosures get a lot of use and can become stained if you do not clean them properly on a regular basis. Mineral deposits can cause water spots, and soap scum can build up into a stained mess that is difficult to remove. Keep in mind that cleaning products that are safe for glass shower enclosures may damage fibreglass shower enclosures. Follow some tips to keep your shower enclosure clean and free of stains.

Mix 2 parts baking soda with 1 part white vinegar in a bowl. Apply this paste onto scum and water stains with a paint brush. Leave the paste on for 10 minutes. Rinse off the paste, and wipe the areas with a sponge to remove excess paste.

Mix 1/2 cup of ammonia with 1 gallon of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the glass and tile enclosure. Leave the mixture on the enclosure walls for about 10 minutes.

Rinse the enclosure and squeegee the glass doors to prevent streaks and water marks.

Apply chrome or metal polish to any chrome or metal areas on the shower enclosure with a soft cloth.

Polish the chrome or metal pieces, and wipe away any excess polish.

Spray a non-abrasive commercial bathroom cleaner onto a small area of the fibreglass enclosure as a test spot. Leave the cleaner on for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Rinse the test spot and examine it for pitting, scratches or discolouration.

Spray the entire fibreglass enclosure with the commercial bathroom cleaner if there is no damage, and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse the enclosure, squeegee the walls to prevent streaks and spots, and dry it with a soft cloth.

Apply liquid car wax to the fibreglass shower enclosure with a soft cloth, and wait for about 30 minutes. Buff the enclosure with a clean, dry cloth.


Use a non-abrasive commercial bathroom cleaner with a pH of about 7 to 9. Try the cleaner on a small spot in the enclosure first if you are not sure of its pH. Apply liquid car wax to the fibreglass enclosure every six months to prevent alkaline build up and water spots.


Acidic or abrasive cleaning products and scrubbers may ruin the finish of natural and synthetic stone shower enclosures, as well as the finish on a fibreglass enclosure.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Bowl
  • Paint brush
  • Sponge without abrasive side
  • Ammonia
  • Spray bottle
  • Squeegee
  • Chrome or metal polish
  • 2 to 3 soft cloths
  • Non-abrasive commercial bathroom cleaner
  • Liquid car wax
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About the Author

Mary McNally has been writing and editing for over 13 years, including publications at Cornell University Press, Larson Publications and College Athletic Magazines. McNally also wrote and edited career and computer materials for Stanford University and Ithaca College. She holds a master's degree in career development from John F. Kennedy University and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in counseling.