Shower Doors Cleaning and Maintaining

There is no better moment for a man than to close that shower door and stand underneath that glorious stream of water.  Until he comes out and realizes that the glorious stream not only went all over him, it went all over his floor.  Thats when the homeowner notices that his showers glass door is leaking at the bottom.  And while hes noticing this, he also sees what his wife keeps pointing out, that the darn doors filthy, of course.

Thats when shower door maintenance takes on a whole new meaning.  Because proper maintenance of the shower door is not limited to wiping it off, but includes glass cleaning and caulking, to minimize soap buildup and to seal off the contained area from leaks and spills.  So, one at a time, here are the very simple steps for cleaning and for caulking a shower door. 

First, the cleaning: most clean freaks use a squeegee after a hot shower to clean their doors, and they may have something there.  Its a small, compact tool, which easily hangs on the side next to the door, and it helps to minimize soap and scum buildup; this is especially true with a non - patterned or clear glass door.  Obviously, once a homeowners into that habit, he will clean the glass door regularly with a bathroom surface cleanser. 

The water stains are another matter; they may need scrubbing with a nonabrasive cleaner, preferably a powder.  One should always use a white polishing pad for this particular job, as both red and green are too scratchy and abrasive for the glass.  And for extra speed, one can purchase polishing pads that fit like a glove over the palm and sand the glass clean. 

This brings the homeowner to the other part of shower door maintenance; once the shower is clean, its time to make sure its well - sealed.  One needs to scrape off old caulk, preferably with a single edged knife, razor or similar cutting implement; hold the blade low and down to catch and pull out all the old caulk.  This is tedious and careful work; one doesnt want to scratch the glass. 

Then one cleans the surfaces to be caulked, preferably with a mildew - killing bacterial cleaner or a solution of half water and half bleach.  This stands for 15 minutes before a rinse, and then it is allowed to dry.  And now its time to bring out the caulking cartridge, which has a nozzle pre - set upon it that one cuts at a 45 - degree angle with a mat or utility knife (or the razor used to remove caulk).  The smaller the nozzle hole the better, as a thin line of caulk is preferable to a too - thick one. 

The caulk one applies to an exterior track should be a clear sealant; this seals up any leaks between the metal sill and the floor, shower pan or tub.  The inside joint of the shower door should be left without sealant or caulking, since it must swing free, and this also allows proper drainage of the track into the tub or shower.  The caulking gun should have a quick - release mechanism such as a trigger; one lifts it away from the frame as soon as the end of the sill is reached, so that excess caulk / sealant is not deposited in the frame.

The interior track is sealed with a white caulk, which adheres between the metal walls of the shower and the side jambs.   Immediately after one has applied the caulk, one should wet a forefinger and run it along the caulk stream to create a smooth seal. 

And that is the easiest way to have a clean shower door that keeps the homeowner wet and the shower floor dry.

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