Glass is a beautiful complement to just about any part of your home. The endless choices of shape and texture can provide a perfect match or beautiful contrast to your décor. Glass can also provide a practical surface. This is especially true in the kitchen or bathroom, because water doesn’t damage glass and the smooth surface is easy to clean.
It doesn’t clean itself, however, and any surface that’s exposed to water and minerals for extended periods of time will be a challenge to clean. We’ve learned a few tricks along the way, however, that will help you clean your glass shower door and walls and keep them looking new for good.
The most common challenges you’ll meet in a neglected bathroom are soap scum, lime scale, and hard water stains.
• Soap scum – The solid white residue left behind when soap mixes with hard water
• Lime scale – Chalky calcium carbonate residue left behind by hard water
• Hard water stains – Limestone, calcium, and magnesium deposits left behind by hard water
Obviously, hard water is source of most of these problems. If you’re wondering how to differentiate the problems, don’t bother. Fortunately, the cure is the same for all three – mild acid, which can be found in normal household products.
Getting rid of hard water stains, lime scale, and soap scum is easy and cheap, although it may require a bit of scrubbing. The easiest way is to soak the area in white vinegar or spray it with lemon juice or lemon oil (commonly found in furniture polish) and scrub it with a Scotch Brite pad. If you don’t have a Scotch Brite pad, you can simply wipe your shower down with a vinegar-soaked rag, but this will take more time and effort. Either way, remember to wear gloves during this process. Of course, the longer it’s been since the last cleaning, the tougher it will be to get the shower clean.
Once you’ve cleaned the shower, rinse all the surfaces thoroughly, so no vinegar or lemon oil remain. Now, you’ll want to spray a hydrophobic silicone polymer, like Rain-X, on all the glass. This will cause the water to bead up and roll off, rather than letting it dry and spot the glass. The water spots will return eventually, but it will take much longer.
Another way to keep your shower looking clean longer is to squeegee the water off after every use. Some shower-specific squeegees even have a suction cup attachment that allows you to conveniently hang the squeegee from the shower door, wall, or tile.
There’s no question that glass makes your shower more beautiful and easier to clean. Still, there are a few tricks to further reduce the maintenance required to keep your shower looking good. With a few simple, inexpensive steps, you can keep your shower looking like brand new for years with very little cleaning.