If you have glass shower doors, you may have discovered that there is a good reason manufacturers recommend using a squeegee or a microfiber cloth to wipe them down after every use. This prevents the soap scum and mineral deposits in your water from building up on the glass and ruining the appearance of your sparkling shower doors. If you have neglected to follow instructions, you may have noticed that your glass doors have developed a dull haze. But, all is not lost. You can remove the soap scum and mineral deposits with common household products. Try these home remedies for cleaning your shower doors and keeping them clean.
Removing Soap Scum
When the calcium in hard water combines with soap, it creates soap scum. Body oils make the problem even worse. The resulting soap scum is sticky and clings to the shower doors. Removing soap scum requires breaking down the oils so that the residue can be rinsed away. There are several methods for removing soap scum.
- Dish Detergent. Dish detergent is designed to cut the grease that clings to your dishes. It will do the same thing for your shower doors. Add a few drops of dish detergent to a bucket of warm water. Use a soft cloth or soft-bristled scrub brush to scour the shower doors and remove the layer of soap scum. Rinse the area with water and dry it with a soft, dry cloth.
- Fabric Softener: Fabric softener is also reported to break the bond between soap scum and your shower door. You can either use dryer sheets or liquid softener to get the job done. Wet a dryer sheet and scrub the shower door to remove soap scum. If this doesn't solve the problem, dissolve liquid fabric softener in a bucket of warm water and use a soft cloth to scrub the doors. Rinse and dry the doors.
- Shampoo or Body Wash: Shampoo and body wash are designed to break down body oils and will work as cleaners for your shower doors. Mix them with warm water and scrub the areas with a soft cloth or brush. You can even use an old body scrubber or shower puff if the soap scum resists your efforts. Plastic scrubbers will not scratch the glass. Rinse and dry the doors when you are finished scrubbing.
Removing Mineral Deposits
Mineral deposits are the residue left behind by the minerals in hard water. These consists primarily of lime scale, which looks white and crusty. If you have iron in your water, it may color the mineral deposits, giving them a rusty, orange appearance. Mineral deposits are more difficult to remove than soap scum, but these natural products will help dissolve the minerals so you can remove the deposits.
- Lemon Juice or Vinegar. Lemon juice and distilled white vinegar are both acidic and will dissolve the mineral deposits. Saturate a cloth with either lemon juice or vinegar and lay it over the area with mineral deposits. Let it set for several minutes and then scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush. You can use an old electric toothbrush to get into tight areas and lift the deposits from the glass.
- Baking Soda and Salt. Try baking soda and salt for making a mild abrasive to clean the glass. Make a paste of equal amounts of baking soda and salt. Spray down the glass with vinegar and then apply the paste and scrub with a brush or cloth. Rinse and dry as usual.
- Razors. Resistant areas of mineral deposits may require more aggressive methods. Use a single-edge razor blade to scrape the remaining deposits from the door. Use care not to scratch or damage the glass.
Preventing New Soap Scum or Mineral Deposits
Once you have removed the soap scum and mineral deposits, it is time to begin a routine of preventive care to keep your shower doors sparkling clean and free of soap scum and mineral deposits. Try these methods.
- Squeegee. Use a squeegee to remove the water from the glass after every use. This removes both soap scum and mineral deposits and prevents them from building up on your shower doors.
- Microfiber Cloth. Wipe the shower doors down with a microfiber cloth to remove the water after every use. These cloths are both absorbent and non-abrasive and will keep your shower doors clean.
- Rain Repellent. Apply a thin coat of rain repellent sold for car windshields to the inside of your glass door. This will prevent water from sticking to your doors and keep soap scum and mineral deposits at bay.
- Lemon Oil. Coat the inside of your shower doors with a thin coat of lemon oil furniture polish. This will create a barrier to water and prevent soap scum and mineral deposits from building up on your shower doors.
Taking the time to thoroughly clean your shower doors and then developing a routine for keeping them clean will help you maintain the beauty of your shower. For more information, contact a company who specializes in custom shower enclosures.