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.
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
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.
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.