Bathtub Shower Doors

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    Consider whether you want to use commercial, non-toxic, or homemade cleaners. Many of the commercially available home-cleaning solutions are highly effective. They can keep your shower door, tiles and drain all sparkling and flowing perfectly. On the other hand they often contain hazardous chemicals and can cause respiratory problems (acute and chronic), headache, and allergic reactions.[1] A number of common non-toxic materials can be used to make your own effective and safe cleaner.

    • Many companies do not list ingredients. Look for labels like “Warning,” and “Cautious.” Those with the words “Poison” and “Danger” are the most likely to cause you health problems if not used safely.[2]
    • Always read products instructions, and use them as the manufacturer intended. This will keep you safe and your bathroom clean.
    • There is also a number of plant-based, non-corrosive, and environmentally friendly products available for purchase.
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    Buy a commercial cleaning solution. A number of cheap, effective products are available at hardware, convenience, and cleaning stores. For serious soap scum—maybe in an apartment that wasn’t cleaned before or neglected for a while—these may be necessary.

    • If your products contain chlorine or ammonia you’re at risk for respiratory sickness and irritation to the skin, eyes, nose, and throat.[3][4]
    • Make sure air can flow through the room. Wear a rag, mask, or ventilator over your mouth and nose.
    • Wear gloves to protect your skin from contact with any hazardous chemicals.
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    Prepare a baking soda based solution. In a waterproof container, like a pitcher or larger measuring cup, pour in one half cup of baking soda. Next add a small amount of water and mix the two thoroughly. You want a paste-like consistency.[5] If your solution seems watery, add more baking soda. If it’s chalky and still dry in some bits, add small amounts of water and mix completely to get a smooth paste.

    • Baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, is a mild alkali and so when mixed with water is really good at dissolving dirt and grease. It is also a natural deodorizer and will cut some of the smell in your bathroom.
    • Look at the size of your shower doors. Depending on how big they are, you will want to make more or less of your cleaner.
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    Prepare a vinegar-based solution. Pour one cup of white distilled vinegar in a glass container. Consider the size of your shower doors and decide whether you need more or less. Vinegar is acidic by nature and kills fungus, germs, and bacteria which makes it a great cleaner.[6]

    • Although effective on its own, many online cleaning enthusiasts recommend mixing equal parts dish soap into your solution.[7] In this case you will want to warm your vinegar in the microwave first. This will help the soap dissolve.
    • Adding a few drops of essential oil can bring a nice new fragrance into your bathroom. Some, like tea tree oil, are antimicrobial and will help clean.[8]
    • Vinegar will also help prevent streaks in your glass.[9]


Cleaning the Shower Doors

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    Pour your non-toxic solution into a spray bottle. Spray bottles, sometimes called atomizer bottles, can be purchased at hardware or home remodeling stores, and florists. If you want to save some money look for better deals online.

    • It’s also possible to dunk a sponge in either of the non-toxic solution, and then rub down your shower doors.
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    Take a hot shower. The warmth and humidity will make it easier to remove any soap scum.[10] If you don’t want to take a shower, simply let the water run with all entrances to the room closed.
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    Spray down your dry shower doors. Shake the bottle before spraying to make sure the solution is coming out properly mixed. Coat the interior and exterior of your shower doors, from top to bottom, hitting all areas you want to clean.[11]

    • Remember to keep the space well ventilated if you are using a commercial product with toxic chemicals. Keep all windows and doors open for several hours after cleaning and don’t use more of the product than is necessary.[12]
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    Rub down the shower doors with your solution. If you use a sponge, dunk it and begin scrubbing. Start on the exterior of the doors and work around; then clean the interiors.

    • Look for areas where your shower doors might overlap. Remember to wipe down those areas as well.
    • An added benefit of scrubbing is that it will help remove tougher patches of scum and grime.
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    Let your solution sit for 10 – 30 minutes. Depending on how long it’s been since the last time they were cleaned, you will want to wait longer.
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    Wash down the doors with a watery sponge. Use a sponge that hasn’t absorbed any of the baking soda, vinegar, or other cleaner and wipe down all the surfaces. Wash until there isn’t any cleaning solution left on the doors.
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    Squeegee all moisture from the shower doors. Finish by wiping all remaining water with paper towels to completely dry the doors. This is especially important if you choose to add a rain-repellant.

    • Keeping one squeegee specifically for the shower is a good habit. Regularly squeegeeing in the doors and walls after every shower will prevent the same soap scum from building up. And over time you will have to do less cleaning.
    • Squeegees will prevent hard water stains.
    • If you don’t want to use a squeegee, microfiber towels are also well suited for glass walls and doors. Wring it out when it’s gotten full of water, then continue to use it just the same.
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    Fill the metal tracks with your chosen solution. If your shower has sliding doors, then it also has metal tracks; soap scum and grime often collects here. If there are holes in the metal tracks, plug them up with paper towel or scrap cloth, then pour in your chosen solution to sit. It is suggested you let this sit overnight.[13] In the morning, you can soak anything up with a sponge or rag, and then wipe the tracks down with water and a sponge.

    • Wash thoroughly all the rags, sponges, and cloth you used in this step, as well as anything that came in contact with toxic chemicals.


Keeping Doors Consistently Clean

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    Coat your shower doors with a rain-repellant. Ensure the doors are completely dry and clean. Spray the product of your choice on all surfaces of your shower door. Wait three minutes and then wipe it all off using paper towels.

    • Commonly used on car windows to make rain-water bead off more effectively, water-repellants will help in your bathroom too. Less moisture will be able to collect and therefore soap scum and grime will take longer to build up.
    • For best results, do this once a week.[14]
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    Regularly squeegee your shower doors. Although this may seem tedious to do all the time, it will help you in the long run. Consistently using a squeegee will keep water off the doors and prevent soap scum from building up too quickly.[15]

    • Using a squeegee makes your walls and doors dry faster. This will prevent mold and mildew from growing.
    • Some companies make squeegees that mount directly on shower walls.
    • Owning a squeegee can be handy in other ways. Consider using it to maintain car windows, and windows around the house.
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    Leave windows and doors to the bathroom open. When condensation sits in a closed space it is more difficult to evaporate off. Keeping the bathroom ventilated will prevent condensation build-up and help keep shower doors soap scum free.[16]

    • Proper ventilation in the bathroom also promotes general hygiene and a cleaner airspace in the room.
    • If you live in a cold climate, close the door and leave any windows open so the room can aerate without lowering the whole house’s temperature.