Keeping a bathroom spotless can seem like a mammoth task and not one that is likely to top the 'enjoyable chores' list for anyone, but hard water stains can take hold quickly and usurp all the hard work that a bathroom designer has put into creating the perfect home spa setting. There are a number of obvious items that need to be cleaned regularly, such as the toilet and handbasin, but what about the easily forgotten elements that need a good wipe-over too? We're talking about glass shower doors.
A lot of people seem to believe that a shower cleans itself, when used, but that couldn't be further from the truth! This guide will explain why we all need to be vigilant in our glass cleanliness and, more importantly, how to guarantee a dazzling sparkle and shine.
It might seem a little reductive to explain, in full, why glass shower doors need to be kept clean, but as we've already said, some people genuinely believe that showers and their surrounding enclosures are self-cleaning, due to the amount of water being used in them every day. This absolutely is not the case, however, as the following issues can quickly build-up and create a nasty problem:
- Water stains. Left unattended to, water stains can crystalize and form a crust on a glass door. This makes them very hard to remove, especially without causing scratches.
- Soap and shampoo residue. It's easy to think that shampoo and soap will simply rinse away in the shower, but as it gets slathered on, residue will naturally fly around, coating the glass door. This scum will dry pretty quickly and create terrible smears.
- Mold build-up. Left wet and streaky, excess moisture can easily turn into mold and mildew in a shower, leaving glass doors looking like a veritable health hazard.
Now we know why glass shower doors need to be cleaned, let's find out how.
Taking some tips from professional window cleaners won't go amiss in a shower situation, as a simple and small squeegee will make light work of removing any and all excess water, just before from glass doors and it can be done just before leaping out of the water and into a towel.
Start at the top of the doors and work down, moving in sweeping side-to-side movements and to make things extra easy, add a hanging strap or suction pad to a squeegee to keep it inside the shower itself. Everyone has a sponge or a body polisher in there already, so what difference will one handheld cleaning tool make?
If the idea of hanging a squeegee in a shower doesn't appeal, aesthetically, a microfiber would work just as well for a quick degrease and wipe and can be dried quickly and popped away with all the other cleaning products. In fact, a microfiber is very effective for wiping away any residual soap suds, to leave a gleaming shine.
It's best to use a cloth when the glass doors are still wet, so as to avoid streaks and a quick spritz with white vinegar will leave an absolutely incredible crystal clear finish.
Investing in a daily shower spray is a terrific idea that can take all the effort out of maintaining a clean finish and the sprays themselves take absolutely no elbow grease to use! All that's needed, post-shower, is a quick spritz over every glass surface and it will help to prevent water droplets from staying in place. It's honestly as simple as that!
Working with the steam that a shower naturally produces, a daily spray will simply evaporate away, leaving a perfectly clean finish behind. This is a great way to tackle a little cleaning every day, before undertaking a deeper scrub once a week. Oh, and shower sprays can be used on tiles too, to keep grout mildew at bay.
While a daily shower spray or quick squeegee will keep glass doors clean and hygienic, the connecting tracks and frame will also need to be properly cleaned, otherwise mold and mildew can quickly develop in the crevices before creeping up the doors themselves. Once in place, these bacterial problems can be very difficult to totally eradicate, which is why a regular deep clean is essential.
A good technique is to use an old toothbrush to really get into the tracks and frame niches, after rinsing the glass itself. Letting everything run down to the bottom will allow for a far easier cleaning process, but if the shower cubicle is small and difficult to get into, it might be worth considering taking the doors out and giving them a scrub, in the bath.
Chemical-free cleaning is becoming exceptionally popular right now, which is why store cupboard cleaning products are a must. Easy to make and even simpler to use, they can offer the same levels of grime-free living but on a budget and without running the risk of health problem.
A simple cleaning solution, suitable for glass shower doors, can be made by mixing baking soda and water. The thicker the paste, the more effective it will be, not to mention easier to press into annoying little nooks and crannies. To use the paste, simply rub it over any and all shower surfaces, including the glass doors, then simply rinse away with a water and white vinegar mix. It's shocking just how effective this solution can be, despite the lack of ammonia and bleach.
Prevention is better than cure, as we all know and there are a few ways to make sure that little cleaning needs to be done. Glass is so pretty, but shows every speck of dirt and water, so it makes sense to minimize the risks, wherever possible. A few good rules of thumb are as follows:
- Don't use bar soap. Liquid soaps are, generally, far easier to clean away. Bar soap tends to congeal and stick to any and all surfaces, which will require far more scrubbing.
- Angle the shower head away from the doors. The less water that directly hits the shower doors, the better, as there will be far less chance of hard water stains being left behind.
- Do little and often. If nothing else, be sure to actually invest in a daily shower spray. It's the perfect solution for lazy cleaners.