Cleaning your shower is troublesome but necessary work, if you intend to keep it bright and shiny.
When it comes to keeping glass shower doors clean, one of the big challenges is hard water buildup. From sticky soap scum to blocked showerheads, hard water causes many annoying issues.
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Limescale is one such problem. It can even damage plumbing. Once limescale affects your shower door, removing it can be difficult and make your shower unsightly. Let’s look at what limescale is and how to prevent it.
What Is Limescale?
Have you ever noticed the white, chalky buildup around faucets, showerheads or at the bottom of a kettle? That’s limescale, a.k.a. calcium carbonate, and its colour can range from white to green.
When hard water evaporates, it leaves behind this tough white crust of residue. Soft water has fewer impurities because it flows through granite or slate. However, when water runs through chalk or limestone, it picks up minerals like calcium or magnesium carbonate and becomes hard water. It then deposits this limescale on your shower door and showerheads.
Calcium and magnesium are the most common minerals in most water supplies. Once water containing these minerals enters your home and is heated, it forms a rock-like buildup that’s very difficult to remove. The buildup becomes visible on the glass surface. But it also forms in places where it’s not immediately noticeable. This includes water pipes and appliances that use hot water, like water heaters.
Problems Caused by Limescale
- Along with making your shower glass, tiles and shower fixtures unsightly, this buildup also clogs pipes and plumbing fixtures.
- Showering in an area affected by limescale can cause dry and itchy skin.
- Beyond aesthetics, limescale also damages the efficiency of your shower appliances.
Removing Limescale from Your Shower Door
The bathroom is a place of necessity as much as luxury. Canadians spend billions every year on bathroom renovations. However, limescale buildup is not luxurious and can make your bathroom unattractive very quickly. Many homeowners buy expensive chemicals to remove them, but there are simple tricks you can try at home:
- Take a cup of boiled vinegar to the bathroom.
- Let it cool on a potholder.
- Protect your hands with rubber gloves.
- Dip a paper towel into the vinegar and stick it to the glass of your shower door. (The vinegar will soak into the limescale and its acidic properties will loosen it.)
- Keep the vinegar there for 30 to 60 minutes. Keep the glass wet by spraying vinegar onto the paper towel from time to time.
- Afterwards, sprinkle an ample amount of baking soda on a damp rag or sponge.
- Gently wipe the shower door. (This mild abrasive will react to the vinegar and increase its cleaning properties.) Refrain from harsh scrubbing to avoid damaging the glass.
- Rinse the vinegar off the glass with distilled water.
If limescale buildup remains, repeat the baking soda scrub process until totally clean.
In case of an extra tough buildup, you may need a commercial carbonate remover. This product can be toxic, and you need to be extra careful when cleaning with it. Be sure to follow instructions, and always keep your bathroom ventilated when using it.
Preventing Limescale Buildup on Shower Doors
Cleaning the shower is a task we all like to put off. The best way to prolong the life of your shower glass is to prevent limescale buildup for as long as possible. To make its maintenance a bit easier, use a surface protector on your shower door.
You can also follow these guidelines to slow limescale buildup so you don’t have to clean your glass doors as often:
- Hard Water Treatment
The most effective solution is to install a water softener that will treat hard water right at the source. As the water coming out of your showerhead will contain fewer minerals, limescale buildup will automatically decrease.
- Preventive Vinegar Spray
If you don’t have the money for the first option, you can prevent limescale with vinegar. Keep a bottle of it in the shower and squirt a few drops on the door after showering. Clean the glass afterwards with a dry towel.
Following these tips will help you deal with limescale buildup on your glass shower door. Although not harmful, limescale can ruin your bathroom’s attractiveness if you let it build. It will also clog water flow and damage your overall shower experience.