How to Remove Water Spots from Glass and Windows

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How to Remove Water Spots from Glass and Windows

Removing water spots take more than a little elbow grease. For one, it depends on the type of glass. We’ve all seen water and grime buildup on shower doors for instance, and sometimes a traditional glass cleaner won’t do the trick. Depending on the type of glass and durability, each water spotted area has a different cleaning solution.

Here are the tricks of the trade for each kind of glass surface:


For clear glass and windows, the best solution is often the simplest. Glance in the kitchen, and you’ll find the fundamental tools needed to clean water spots off of windows.

When you mix equal parts of water and vinegar, this solution will often do the trick. Saturate the area with this mixture and let it sit for a minute. Then scrub vigorously with a textured towel. Repeat this process if water stains are extra stubborn.

Do you enjoy lemons? Slice one in half and rub the opened half against the glass surface. Wipe clean with a regular glass cleaner and paper towel or newspaper.

Lastly, stir together baking soda and water into a paste form and scrub on the water spots. The granular texture of the baking soda breaks apart the water spots leaving your mirror smooth afterward.

Shower Enclosures

Cleaning a shower enclosure or door is more than just removing water spots. There is often a mixture of soap scum and a textured surface to deal with as well. Remember vinegar and baking soda from cleaning your windows? Like a science experiment, mix them and watch them fizz up. After the fizz dies down, what remains is a dilute solution of water and sodium acetate. This solution is perfect for scrubbing your shower door with a non-scratch scrub sponge as to not cause any damage to the glass.


Similar to windows, mirrors get water spots regularly and often. Also identical, vinegar does the trick. For extra tough stains, many experts suggest repeating the vinegar scrubbing process over and over again until water spots are eradicated. This can be accomplished by in between cleanings of regular glass cleaner. Spray, clean with paper towel, and repeat the process.

Textured and Patterned Glass

This list may include decorative or frosted glass which has a different texture than regular glass products. Unlike other glass, vinegar is not the best solution for cleaning water spots as it is too acidic. Instead, use a paste of baking soda and water to lather up the surface and scrub. It’s best to work in different sections and let them sit for a couple of minutes and rinse off. Repeat as necessary.

To prevent any damage, test a small area first and see the results. Getting rid of water spots on various glass surfaces is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each surface requires different cleaning techniques and methods. And indeed, these methods may need a few attempts before getting the surface perfectly clean. Other strategies like using a newspaper on smooth glass have been used for years to help get rid of the streaking that paper towels or rags would often leave. Preventing water spots is just as important as cleaning them off!

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