There are many different reasons to use glass to enclose a shower or tub. It can add decoration to the room, it contains water better than a curtain, or it can stand back and let the beauty of a custom tiled shower show through to name just a few.
The problem with that last reason, is a problem we are often asked about. How do you maintain the appearance of the glass? A clear glass shower enclosure adds depth to a room, is a ‘classic’ look, and allows the beauty of tile or other surfaces to be seen. Except that is when the glass gets hazy with soap scum and mineral deposits. So what to do? Unfortunately there is no self cleaning glass that relieves us of having to deal with this issue, but there are ways to reduce the amount of minutes in your life spent scrubbing a glass door. We like to keep maintenance to a minimum, so we wanted to share our thoughts on this.
The first step is to know if the glass you wish to clean is a coated glass or uncoated. Many of the shower enclosures and other products we sell are available now with coatings to make maintenance easier. If your glass is a coated glass, see below for special care requirements for these products. For those trying to clean an existing shower door without coating we will provide some suggestions for cleaning. Cleaning glass can prove to be difficult and frustrating, due in large part to its surface. Here is a visual of what you’ll be cleaning:
While glass looks and feels smooth and flat, it is in fact very irregular with pits, craters, and pores. Lots of areas for build-up to collect. For this reason, we recommend using something that can be slightly abrasive. 0000 steel wool is a product we like for this; the 0000 grade designates the coarseness and this is a very fine steel wool, fine enough to get into the pits of the glass and yet not too coarse to scratch the glass. We have also heard from customers good reports on dryer sheets and Mr. Clean Magic Eraser as other scouring utensils. Use one of these in conjunction with your glass cleaner or something soapy and lots of elbow grease. In the case that the 0000 steel wool and cleaner combo fails, the glass may be etched/scratched from minerals in the water.
Once you get through the cleaning process, coat the glass so you don’t have to go through that mess again! Rain-X or Invisible Shield can be used to coat the surface of the glass, fill all those small pores and pits, and help make things easier to maintain. These types of aftermarket coatings need to be reapplied every few months or as you notice they are not working as well. Keep the glass free of water as much as possible, squeegees help, though we recommend a quick towel down of the glass. Water left on the glass will evaporate leaving behind minerals on the glass, and while this will be easier to clean on glass you have treated with a coating, a little wiping down up front will save you time later.
For coated products, cleaning instructions are different than normal untreated glass. We sell a variety of coatings by different manufacturers, ClearShield, GlassGuard, Diamon-Fusion, and ShowerGuard are just a few of the warrantied coatings we have available. Each of these coating manufacturers have their own specific care instructions and we strongly recommend visiting their websites for specific instructions. If you are unsure how to find them, or unsure what coating you may have, please contact us and we will be glad to assist you. Some of the important things to keep in mind with coated glass, are that coated glass products are not self-cleaning (unfortunately!). These products are designed to reduce the amount of time required to maintain the glass, and to protect your investment – to keep the glass looking equally as good in the future as it does on day one. Our recommendations are to use no cleaners, but rather to squeegee, or better yet, towel off the glass where water may contact the glass. This will keep mineral deposits off of the glass when water evaporates, and will reduce time spent scrubbing to nearly zero. In the event that there is some mineral build up, or other build up, visible on your glass, fear not, coated glass makes it easy! Our recommendation to remove any build up is to use warm water and a soft nylon body poof, that’s it! Coated glass products continually change and are enhanced to make our lives easier and our glass looking good, and we strive to keep up and follow these trends, understanding the value of our customer’s business and time.
All of these recommendations are for tempered glass in a shower or tub enclosure, we do not recommend using these materials to clean your shower enclosure frame or hardware, or any enclosures that use plastic or acrylic in place of glass.
No or low maintenance is a trend we like so we will do our best to help keep glass looking good, but in the meantime if your glass isn’t, try the above, and share your tips with us, we’ll pass them on!