Cleaning and Maintenance of Clear Glass Shower Doors
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Everyone loves the look of a freshly cleaned, spot free, glass shower door. The trick is getting it to look that way and have it last. Clear glass requires more upkeep than frosted or opaque. Many of the newer glass doors have specific cleaning needs. They cannot be cleaned with harsh chemicals or cleaning tools that can potentially scratch the surface, like window cleaners with ammonia, abrasive sponges or brushes. Ammonia-based products wear down certain films or treatments that were applied to the glass by the manufacturer. They also damage the surrounding metal, including the handle, frame and track. Ammonia eats through the metal’s finish over time, leaving behind an uneven color and texture and marring the look of your shower. Any type of glass can be safely and effectively cleaned using eco-friendly, non harsh cleaning products.
Shower doors have two major problems to deal with: soap scum and hard water build up. Hard water appears when water comes in contact with limestone or chalk deposits. When the hard water mixes with your soap, it can leave stains on your shower door glass called soap scum. Glass is porous, allowing those hard water minerals to seep into the glass over time and cause corrosion. Hard water and soapy buildup allowed to accumulate on glass shower surfaces can cause etching and permanently damage the glass. While regular cleaning will improve the condition of the door, it is possible that the surface may never return to its original state. So, don't worry that you're doing something wrong because your shower doors don't look brand new after you've cleaned them.
For tackling soap scum build up, give our method a try. First spray down the inside of the glass with an eco-friendly degreasing solution. Bright at Home Cleaning uses Simple Green Industrial Cleaner and Degreaser in a fairly concentrated form. The bottom third of the glass usually has the most build up, so focus more on this area.
The next step is to spray down the inside of the shower with a mixture of blue Dawn and
water. Let these solutions sit on the glass for several minutes. Wet down a magic eraser and start scrubbing the glass from top to bottom. Rinse the door off with warm water. Use a squeegee to pull the water off and a microfiber towel to dry completely.
If the glass still has hard water spots, spray the inside of the door with a window/mirror cleaning solution of water, vinegar, and a little blue Dawn. Leave it on the door for awhile and then wipe it down with a dry microfiber towel.
An added cleaning tip for those older glass or frosted/opaque glass doors is to use a steel wool soap pad to scrub off really bad build up of soap scum and hard water.
Now that the glass shower door is clean, what is the best way to maintain it? Use a squeegee after showering. A microfiber towel or shower chamois to dry off the glass are great fast and easy ways to keep your door looking clean and spotless. Also, if you can, avoid using bar soap! Almost all bar soaps contain talc, which produces the buildup. Consider switching to a non-talc-containing soap (such as Dove or a natural soap), or use liquid soaps and body washes.
This cleaning tip brought to you by Lori, head cleaning technician at Bright at Home Cleaning.