How to Clean Your Glass Shower Doors When You Have Hard Water

Hard water is a common concern in various areas of the country. If city or well water is filtered through lime or chalk in the soil, calcium and magnesium deposits can build up. Over time, the deposits accumulate in the plumbing fixtures and can stain items like your tub, your glass shower doors and even the dishes in the dishwasher. While a water-softening system can go far in reducing the amount of mineral deposits entering your pipes, these systems tend to be expensive and not completely effective. If you have calcium or lime stains on your glass shower doors, here are some ideas to try to keep the doors cleaner and looking much better.

Remove the Soap Scum

Some of the buildup you're seeing on your shower doors is actually soap scum, most likely. Because the mineral deposits make the surface of the glass rougher, it's easier for soapy residue to stick to the glass. Removing this scum from the glass will make it easier for you to tackle the mineral deposit issue. Also, it will make your shower look better in the meantime.

You can use any shower cleaner to remove the greasy soap residue, or you can save money by using your regular shower gel or a cheap shampoo. Just apply either one with an old washcloth or sponge and scrub gently, then rinse.

Strip the Mineral Deposits

Once the soap scum is gone, it will be very clear to you that you can't just wipe away hard water deposits. You're going to need to use both a special deposit remover and some elbow grease. Some people swear by the use of vinegar; you can buy stronger "cleaning vinegar" in the cleaning aisle of many grocery stores, but regular vinegar (the type that you might put in a salad) can work, too. Spray it on, let it sit and scrub it off.

If that doesn't work, try one of the commercial products designed for removing mineral deposits. Read the instructions carefully. Some products can simply be sprayed on and wiped off, but others need to be applied with a sponge and rinsed afterward.

Whatever you use, be careful not to mix chemicals. If you were using bleach to clean out your shower, make sure it's well-rinsed before you apply any other chemical to the glass doors, and use a different sponge than the one you used with the bleach solution.

Keeping the Glass Doors Clean

Once your shower doors are clean and deposit-free, a bit of extra work every time you take a shower will save you hours of scrubbing them clean again later. There are two general ways to go about this.

The first is to use a squeegee to clean off the glass door as soon as you're done with your shower. Removing the hard water will reduce the amount of limescale and calcium that builds up. This will also remove the soap scum. Keep in mind, of course, that you will not be able to remove every drop of water, so you will still need to use vinegar or a chemical product periodically.

The other is to use a spray-on shower cleaner each day. These usually need to be sprayed on while the shower walls and door are still warm and wet, so you shouldn't use it after squeegeeing. Again, this will reduce the amount of hard water and soap scum sitting on the surfaces, but won't completely eliminate it.

Keeping your glass shower doors clean when you have hard water can be a challenge, but putting in a few minutes per day can help you avoid drawn-out cleaning sessions later. If you're thinking of replacing your glass shower doors or switching from shower curtain to a glass door, contact a local installer, such as Glasshopper Schor Glass. They may also have a few tips for keeping the glass clean.