It is all glass (transparent) but has become translucent because of salt stains (slightly hard water). What is the best way to clean without using harsh chemicals? My toddler is allergic to harsh chemicals like Ammonia.

  • 2
    People don't have allergies to harsh chemicals, they have allergies or sensitivities to specific things. "Harsh chemicals" is a generalization with little meaning. If the types of products you use in your home are important for your son's well being you should take him to an allergist to find out exactly what he is allergic to. – OrganicLawnDIY Feb 25 '15 at 5:05

Ammonia is not the right chemical anyway. Try vinegar; if that's too much of a chemical for you, get out a razor blade and start scraping. Or rinse after using it....

Once you have it clean, use a squeegee to remove any water from it before it dries after each use to keep it clean.


This really depends on the exact cause of your water issues. When I buy a house with a lot of build up on the glass I try the following steps in pretty much this order:

  1. Hot vinegar on paper towels. Stick paper towels on door. Note that when using vinegar you can ruin nearby towels/clothing.

  2. Hot vinegar/Dawn/baking soda paste. Rub it on door, let sit for 10-15 minutes and hit it with a heavy pad. If the glass is flat I would suggest a few SOS pads.

  3. Lemon juice. The acids in lemon juice tends to break down the things vinegar doesn't.

  4. Then we are on to CLR and whatever we find at store.

However if this is an ongoing issue at your house I suggest using an auto glass sealant like RainX so that the buildup is much much slower.


Couple things I have used that work well and are fairly mild are Barkeeper's Friend Soft Cleanser and Simple Green Clean Building Concentrated Bathroom Cleanser along with a blue scotch sponge. It's important to leave either cleaner on the glass for a while before you start scrubbing to let it work. The more you leave it on the easier it is to clean.

Neither one has a very strong scent to it. If you keep the window open and rinse everything well when you're done I don't see how that could be an issue but I'm not a doctor.

Barkeeper's friend is oxalic acid and citric acid. MSDS lists it as a moderate health hazard. It's very good at getting rid of heavy buildup. Once you get it clean the easiest way to to keep it clean is to squeegee the glass after every shower. 0 chemicals.

The Clean Building Bathroom Cleaner is from a line specifically developed to be safer. The MSDS lists it as a slight health hazard. Dwell time is very important for this one. Spray it on and let it sit on the glass for a good 15-30 minutes then scrub lightly with a blue scrub sponge. Be careful cleaning the glass, they do break. If your build up is very bad you may need to let it sit on the glass longer and come back and respray every so often to keep it wet. May need multiple cleanings but once you get it clean it's easier if you clean it regularly.

I've been using the Clean Building for a while now because it works well for me and you only mix about 1oz or so per spray bottle so it's very cheap in the long run.


You can also try a shot of vinegar concentrate poured into a small bowl with water.


If you are sure it is hard water deposits- CLR. If it is soap film (and it might be)- cleanser with phosphoric acid. Close the door and keep your sensitive child (really, all kids) out. Rinse and repeat ad nauseum... then ventilate.

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