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How To Clean A Glass Shower Door

Most people loathe household chores. But is any cleaning task more difficult to stick to than squeegeeing shower walls and doors after use? The squeegee rule, a seemingly reasonable request to reduce hard-water stains, mineral buildup and mildew, is great unless you’re short on time, patience, energy or all of the above.


In fact, for the squeegee-averse, opting to use the guest bathroom and its shower with a curtain instead of a glass door is a timesaving trick that is not uncommon. There’s got to be a better way. And I think there is.


First, the bad news. Hard water and soapy buildup allowed to accumulate on glass shower surfaces can cause etching and permanently damage the glass. If glass shower doors have a cloudy look, this may be the culprit. Cleaning will eliminate buildup, but it will not reverse etching, which is why the first and best defense is to prevent it from happening by wiping down the shower after each use with either a squeegee or a microfiber cloth.


Squeegees And Microfiber Cloths


A squeegee is a windshield-wiper-like tool with a handle and a long, flat rubber blade used to clean or remove something from a surface.


Some squeegees have suction cups for attaching to walls for easy access and storage, while some come in colors or stainless steel for the style-conscious. Do they all work the same? Yes.


For many, microfiber cloths are the weapon of choice against water spotting and buildup and are prized for their ability to get into hard-to-reach places, such as beneath door handles or in tight corners.


After each use, experts advise, wring the cloths out tightly, and launder them at least once a week.


Daily Shower Cleaners


Either way, once the shower has been wiped down, finish the job with a quick misting of daily cleaner or make your own. The best part about daily maintenance: You won’t need to deep-clean the shower as often and the glass will stay sparkly.


Make Your Own Daily Shower Spray


In a 32-ounce spray bottle mix:  

1.5 cups hydrogen peroxide 0.5 cups of rubbing alcohol 

1 tsp liquid dish soap 1 Tbsp dishwasher rinse aid 

Fill the bottle with water mix gently. Store away from sunlight.


OR


In a 32-ounce spray bottle mix:  

1.5 cups water1 cup white vinegar     

1/2 cup rubbing alcohol1 tsp liquid dish soap 

15 drops lemon essential oil    15 drops tea tree essential oil


Deep Cleaning


Life happens and daily maintenance can take a backseat. For glass shower enclosures, this means buildup, grime and the bath time blues. Sadly, it also means it will take more than a simple squeegee to get back to clean.


For scrubbing scum and hard-water stains, many consumers swear by products such as the Magic Eraser sponge, while others suggest repurposing dryer sheets, simply wet and scrub. Since these products contain chemicals, wear gloves to protect your skin.


A Natural Alternative


A mixture of baking soda and water makes a scum-fighting scrub that many swear by. Measurements for the mixture will vary depending on how much you need. To get started, try using a half-cup of baking soda, then add water as needed to make a thick paste. Using a nonabrasive sponge, scrub the glass and rinse it with vinegar then squeegee.


Long-Term Solutions


Once you’ve achieved a clean, sparkly surface, there are a few things you can do to make it last longer.


The big idea here is that hard water and soap scum won’t build up if they can’t stick to the surface. Several products are designed to wick water away from surfaces, but they weren’t created for bathroom use. Rain-X and Water Armour, both found in the automotive department, can repel water off glass-walled showers.


How To Apply:

Spray the product on clean glass (being careful to avoid tile, metal and the shower floor) and reapply every three to four weeks. 


Cleaning Metal Tracks


To clean the buildup and grime that accumulates in the hard-to-clean metal tracks that often frame glass doors, plug any drainage holes or crevices in the track and fill it with vinegar. Let the vinegar sit overnight and wipe clean in the morning.


Ban Bar Soap


Finally, if you want to significantly reduce the amount of soap scum on glass without eliminating showers: Ban bar soap.


Almost all bar soaps contain talc, which produces the buildup. Consider switching to a non-talc-containing soap, or opt for liquid soap instead.


Of course, there’s no escaping water spots, so some regular maintenance will still be required. It just won’t be as much.

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July Checklist

Fireworks, swimming and clambakes. With summer in full swing, the month of July can seem to zip by. Make the most of your month with these to-dos.


Things to Check Off Your List In an Hour or Less


Clean Porch Lights


If you have glass light fixtures that are easily removed, bring them inside and wash in a dishpan of warm water with gentle soap. If the fixtures must stay in place, turn the power off and carefully wipe the exteriors with a damp microfiber cloth; dry with a soft cloth. When finished, change lightbulbs as needed.


Unfurl a Flag For Canada Day


Get in the Canada Day spirit by putting up an Canadian flag on your porch in time to celebrate the July 1st. Don’t have room for a full-size flag? Try lining your walkway with mini flags, or hang a pleated fan above the door instead.


Check Safety Devices


Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors should be tested monthly; replace batteries as needed, and replace the entire device if it is more than 10 years old. Interconnected smoke detectors (when one alarm goes off, they all sound) are the safest because it is more likely that everyone in the house will hear the alarm. Also, take a moment to check the expiration date on any fire extinguishers in the house and replace them if needed.


Care For Furry Friends


Summer poses some unique challenges for our pets, but with a little extra care, you can ensure your furry friends are healthy all season long. If you will be traveling this summer without your pet, be sure to plan ahead to set up care. Most pets are more comfortable in their own homes, so consider using a professional pet sitter rather than a kennel, which can be stressful. To keep pets safe in the heat, you should provide access to shade and ample fresh water and never leave pets in a car unattended.


Tackle These Tasks Over a Weekend


Clean Windows Inside and Out 


Keep that summer sunshine streaming in by giving windows a quick rinse with glass cleaner or a vinegar solution, then squeegee them dry or wipe with a clean microfiber cloth. If you want to avoid using a ladder outside, reach exterior windows with a window-washing hose attachment or telescoping window washer, or hire a window-washing service to get the job done.


Check Window Screens for Holes 


It’s summer, and the mosauitoes are out in full force. If you’ve been getting bitten inside the house, check your window screens and screen doors for small holes and tears. Use a screen patching kit to repair any damage, and keep those pesky bugs outdoors where they belong.


Refresh Summer Whites


Fresh, clean and crisp, nothing says summer quite like white linens. Keep your white textiles looking their best by laundering slipcovers, cushion covers and curtains, or sending them out for dry cleaning if they’re not machine washable. Keep white upholstery and Roman blinds looking fresh by vacuuming them regularly using your vacuum’s upholstery attachment.


Conserve Water


Cut down on unnecessary water use by watering your lawn and garden during the cooler, early morning hours. If you water when the sun is high, much of the water will simply evaporate instead of sinking into the soil where the roots can access it — and it can even scorch tender leaves. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends using a WaterSense-labeled timer for your sprinkler system, which acts like a thermostat for your lawn and can reduce water use by up to 15 percent per year. Inside the house, keep an eye out for leaky faucets and have them repaired promptly.


Keep the Landscape Fire-Safe


If you live in an area with dry summers, it’s important to remove weeds, fallen leaves, needles and other items that could become fuel in a fire, particularly from the area immediately surrounding your home.


Maintenance and Extras to Budget For


Check Fences and Repair or Replace 


Inspect fencing and gates around your property. If you find damaged areas (for example, broken boards, sagging areas and soft or rotted wood) schedule repairs or replacement as needed.


Upgrade Pool Safety Measures 


If you have a pool in your backyard, it is essential to keep it securely fenced with a self-closing, self-latching gate at least 4 feet high, to prevent children from jumping or falling in. Place a safety cover on your pool when not in use, and never allow anyone to swim in your pool alone. The American Red Cross also recommends installing a pool alarm that will go off when anyone enters the pool. And if you have children, it’s important to make sure they all learn to swim well, whether or not you have a pool of your own.


Add Shade To The Yard


Make your backyard more comfortable with an umbrella or shade sail. With ample shady spots to sit, you’ll likely find yourself wanting to spend more time in your outdoor space — and shade is a must for summer backyard gatherings.


Keep Your Home Safe When You’re Away


Before you leave on a trip, take some time to put safety precautions in place. Let your neighbors know when you will be away and ask a friend to check on your house from time to time. Motion-sensing exterior lighting, timed interior lighting and well-trimmed hedges can make your home a less appealing target for break-ins. If you will be away for a longer period of time, have your mail held for you at the post office and hire a lawn service to keep your yard from getting overgrown while you are away.

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