Glass shower doors are very elegant. They add a simplistic, yet sophisticated charm to your bathroom and shower. If you have etched glass shower doors, they are even more attractive, but they are also difficult to care for. Too many homeowners tend to wash their bathrooms with bleach, failing to understand that under certain circumstances, bleach is not always best. Here are some reasons why you should skip the bleach (and other harsh cleaning methods) when you have etched glass shower doors:
The Etching Process
When etching a glass door, the glass is first scratched with a special tool. This tool does not cut the glass. It just leaves a visible mark. The marks create the design on the glass prior to the application of the etching cream. The etching cream creates a lighter frosted design on areas outside the "scratches," and inside the "scratches," the etching cream creates a darker, heavier and more defined pattern. The lines provide a way for the etching cream to eat its way deeper into the glass.
What Happens When You Use Bleach on Etched Areas
Even though the etching cream is washed off, there is still a remote chance for a chemical reaction when you apply bleach. Both etching cream and bleach are corrosives, and they do not play well together. You end up with a powerful acid-like substance that can eat holes through your skin and create weak points in the glass of your shower doors. Any residual etching cream combined with bleach can create microscopic weak points, or "holes," in the glass. All it takes then is a few repeat cleanings with bleach and a tap on the glass before it cracks.
Other Abrasive Cleaners
Additionally, you should not use other abrasive cleaners on your glass. This includes baking soda and scouring soap pads or steel wool. It can create small scratches in the glass, which leads to a foggy door appearance over time. Window cleaner is the only thing you should be using on your glass shower doors. Your bathroom remodeling contractor can also suggest some cleaners that are recommended for etched glass and shower doors. The manufacturer may also have some instructions included with the doors on the care and maintenance of your shower doors. You should follow these instructions closely in order to preserve the beauty of your shower doors and keep them looking their best for years to come.