How to Clean Glass Shower Doors
When it comes to the marks and stains on shower doors, there are two main culprits: hard water and soap scum. Hard water stains are unsightly but harmless. Soap scum, however, can sometimes harbor dirt and bacteria, so it’s best to keep your shower free of this grime. Here are some cleaning tips for tackling both of these problems.
Getting Rid of Hard Water Stains
Water that’s high in mineral content, particularly calcium and magnesium, is referred to as hard water. It’s not dangerous to consume or wash in, but it often makes things harder to clean, including your shower. When drops of hard water are allowed to dry on a surface, they can leave behind a film of these minerals that’s easy to see on glass, particularly transparent glass.
To get rid of these stains, you need a cleaner that’s not too abrasive; otherwise, you might scratch the glass. Make sure to avoid scouring pads as well. A damp sponge or a brush with soft plastic bristles will work well.
Windex and other cleaners are specially designed for cleaning glass, but if you want to avoid harsh chemicals, get some distilled white vinegar. Warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds, then put it in a spray bottle and mist the shower doors. Let the vinegar soak for five to 30 minutes, and then scrub the glass and rinse. For more severe hard water stains, mix equal parts of the warmed vinegar with a grease-cutting dish soap and let it soak for up to 30 minutes before scrubbing.
However, if you have a shower with natural stone tiles, avoid using vinegar or other acidic cleaners, which can damage the stone. Instead, mix the dish soap with baking soda to form a paste, apply it to a damp sponge, and then lightly scrub the glass.
Getting Rid of Soap Scum
The build-up that forms in baths and showers from using bar soap with hard water is called soap scum, and it can be annoyingly difficult to clean. For this, add a little bit of vinegar to baking soda. The mixture will foam up, but when the bubbles die down, you’ll have a paste you can spread on any soap scum. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes before scrubbing it with a non-scratch sponge and rinsing.
If you don’t want to use vinegar, you can cut a lemon in half and dip the cut area in baking soda. It will bubble gently and leave behind a foam you can scrub directly on the grimy glass. If this isn’t working, you can sprinkle on a little table salt and scrub again. Keep in mind that salt is an abrasive, so avoid scrubbing too much or too hard when using it.
Getting Rid of Streaks
Once you’ve done the tough cleaning, you may find that there are still streaks of water or cleaning solution on the glass. To get a perfect shine on your shower doors, use a mixture of ammonia and water. Combine two cups of water with two tablespoons of ammonia in a spray bottle and spray the shower doors. Leave the solution on the glass for three minutes and then buff the streaks away with a dry microfiber cloth.