Scrubbing a glass shower enclosure is usually the last thing that people want to tackle when cleaning their home, but there’s a lot of good reasons it should always come first. Logic might tell you that your shower gets cleaned every time you use it—that makes sense, right? All of that soap and water should wash away dirt and grime, leaving it newly cleaned. It’s actually the opposite, unfortunately. The water leaves behind moisture which can cause problems such as mold and mildew which appear as discoloration on your shower’s surfaces. It can even lead to mold (usually seen as black spots in the corners of a shower) which can even cause health issues. Soap doesn’t help either. When splashed on the walls and left unrinsed, it leaves behind soap scum which builds up over time.
So what can you do to make sure the space you use every day doesn’t become an unhealthy zone? We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to make keeping your glass shower enclosure clean easy. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to make sure any cleaner solution you use is safe for your shower’s finishes. Read the cleaner bottle label thoroughly and contact the shower enclosure manufacturer when in doubt.
Shower Cleaning Preventative Maintenance
Shower Cleaning Tip #1:
Squeegee After Every Shower
Preventing something from occurring is always better than dealing with cleaning up the aftermath. Why do you change the oil in your car? To help ensure it runs for a long time. Why would you squeegee your shower after every use? To make sure it stays clean for a long time. It’s something quick and simple that can help cut down deep cleanings to a minimum. It should take no longer than 30 seconds after every shower. We know it sounds like a pain, but once you’re in the habit of doing it, it’s really not that bad.
To squeegee your shower, use a squeegee between approximately 6-12” long and run it horizontally from one side of a shower panel to the next. Start at the top of the panel and work your way to the bottom, then move to the next panel. This works for glass shower enclosures as well as tile and fiberglass too. The goal is to get as much water off of the walls and horizontal surfaces as possible so that it exits through the drain in the floor. The less moisture left in the shower, the less the chance of mold and mildew growth.
Shower Cleaning Tip #2:
Use Daily After Shower Spray Cleaner
After squeegeeing the shower, it’s best to apply a light mist of daily shower spray. This is a very light duty cleaner that will help to break down soap scum and remove hard water spots. The best part is that there’s no scrubbing required! Simply buy a bottle and use it sparingly to spray down the interior surfaces of the shower. Alternatively, you can make your own batch of cleaner using all natural products (perfect for the DIYer!). This will further reduce the build-up of bacteria and scum, leading to even longer times between needed deep cleans. Sounds easy enough to us!
Shower Cleaning Protip #2.1:
Use Hydrophobic Coated Glass
Glass shower enclosures can be coated with a hydrophobic coating that causes water to bead and run off the glass. This can either be applied by the manufacturer before installation or afterward by a coating supplier. It will greatly reduce the need to squeegee and clean the glass.
Turn on the Bathroom Vent
Most people like hot showers. Some people don’t think it’s hot enough unless their skin turns red and the bathroom looks more like a steam room. Though the steam may feel great, this can make your shower dirtier faster. Since moisture is a major culprit when it comes to dirty showers, you’ll want to do everything you can to get the moisture in the bathroom out. Your bathroom should have a vent fan installed in the ceiling which vents to the exterior of your home. If not, get one installed ASAP.
You’ll want to turn the vent on before turning on the shower and leave it running for 20 minutes after you’ve finished showering. This should clear humidity and moisture from the shower, bathroom, fan and duct. To make it easier, you can install a timer switch which will shut the fan off automatically after the set time is reached.
Shower Cleaning Tip #4:
Stop Soap Scum with Softer Water
Hard water does a lot more than steal the lather away from your shampoo. It’s actually to blame for soap scum buildup too. The excess minerals join with soap and dirt to create a scum which is left behind on shower surfaces. The minerals in hard water such as chalk, lime, calcium and magnesium, can also be blamed for leaving water spots on your shower. These are particularly noticeable if you have a glass shower enclosure.
The best solution to help cut down on these issues is to install a water softening system in your home’s plumbing. A water softener removes calcium and magnesium ions and adds sodium ions. You can then enjoy all the benefits that soft water has to offer, including the reduction in cleaning needs.
Shower Enclosure Cleaning
Shower Cleaning Trick #1:
Wash from the Top Down
Just like a car, you’ll want to start by washing your shower from the top down. This ensures that any dirt or scum removed from the upper areas of the shower don’t end up contaminated lower areas that are already clean.
Start off by cleaning the walls of the shower, then the lower shelves, and finally the basin. Don’t forget the hardware such as handles and faucets!
Shower Cleaning Trick #2:
Use a Quality Cleaner
There are tons of cleaners to choose from and deciding which one to use can be a bit overwhelming. The most important thing to remember is that you want a cleaner that’s safe for your shower’s finishes. Secondly, you’ll want to decide whether you’re more comfortable using an all-natural cleaner or another cleaner. There are plenty of great DIY recipes out there, but many swear by the sheer cleaning power of chemical cleaners. Whichever you choose to go with, be sure you allow adequate ventilation in your bathroom and use protective gear, such as rubber gloves, when recommended.
The biggest mistake most people make is to clean their glass shower enclosure right after they apply the cleaner. You’ll want to wait at least five to ten minutes after applying the cleaner before you start scrubbing. This allows time for the cleaner to penetrate and breakdown buildup.
Shower Cleaning Trick #3:
Use a Quality Sponge
Many people will take old dish sponges that are too grungy to wash glasses and save them for cleaning showers. This is a no-no. Since you’re cleaning a large area, you’ll want to make sure that you’re using a large sponge. This will help ensure you don’t miss any spots and cut down on the overall cleaning time. A smaller sponge or toothbrush can still be nice to have on hand for those tight corners. It’s best to use a double-sided sponge with a soft side and a scrubbing side. Just be sure both sides are soft enough so they won’t cause abrasion.
Shower Cleaning Trick #4:
Don’t Forget the Hardware
Many showers have stainless or chrome hardware which looks great when shiny and clean but is easily dulled by even a little bit of grime. Be sure you pay special attention to faucets, knobs, handles, stoppers and shower heads.
Shower Cleaning Trick #5:
Rinse and Buff
After you’re done scrubbing, be sure to rinse everything down with clean, warm water. This is especially easy if you have a removable sprayer nozzle. If you’re not so lucky, you can still easily rinse everything down with a pitcher, bucket, or bottle. Just remember to start at the top and work your way down!
From all-glass shower enclosures to tubs with sliding glass shower doors, and all enclosures in between, these tips should help keep your tub in tip-top shape. And remember that when it comes time to upgrade or replace your shower, Glass.com can help locate a quality installer in your area.