Hard water is one of the most common obstacles in keeping your glass shower bright and beautiful. Although it is not particularly harmful to your health, it can cause damage to your shower wall, door and bathtub. The presence of hard water in your area is likely to cause water spots on your beautiful glass. The worst part is, once the buildup accumulates, it may cause permanent etching and damage to the glass, that will not go away easily. This is why the best solution is prevention, and you can do so with minimal care and effort.
Preventive Measures Against Hard Water Stains
Before you can take precautions against this mishap, you need to understand what it is and detect the early signs of damage on your shower glass.
A Few Things About Hard Water
‘Hard water’ is a quality that denotes water with a high amount of magnesium and calcium mineral content. The high level of calcium causes pipes to clog and leaves a mineral build-up behind as it flows through. Along with that, when the minerals get in contact with the soap, they develop a sort of sticky scum that is difficult to rinse away.
The hardness is measured in GPG (grains per gallon), ppm (parts per million), or mg/L (milligrams per litre). According to the degree of hardness set by the Water Quality Association, the water in your area is hard if it contains more than 17.1 parts per million or 1GPG.
Detecting Hard Water Presence
There are a few signs from which you can determine whether the water in your area is ‘hard’. The most common sign, as mentioned earlier, is the stains caused by mineral deposits. You can notice a white film on your bathroom fixtures and the surface of the tiles, fibreglass, and glass. Along with calcium and magnesium, there can be a high amount of other minerals, like manganese, iron, brass, or copper.
You can even understand which mineral caused it from the colour of the stains.
- Stains caused by manganese are either black or have a brown tint.
- Iron stains appear red in colour, but sometimes they can look like white slime.
- A green stain on your plumbing fixtures means that the water may be mildly acidic, and damage the brass or copper pipes.
Problems Caused Due to Water Hardness
Here are a few problems that can occur due to hard water.
The mineral deposits keep building up, clogging the opening in your shower head that reduces the water pressure.
Soap Scums on Tubs and Showers
We mentioned that the minerals create a sticky scum with soap. This is due to soap not being able to dissolve completely in it. Have you seen soap scum rings in the bathtub? Now you know why.
Difficulty in Cleaning
The residues remain even after the water has dried off. Over time, they can cause a chemical reaction to the surfaces and regular cleaning products will not be enough.
Lasting Damage to Your Glass Door
Chemical etching is another major problem in protecting your shower glass against hard water. The mineral deposits can cause some permanent chemical change to your shower door material. Due to this, you might see some cloudy residue which you can never completely get rid off.
Prevention and Cure
If you have just got a glass shower enclosure installed or planning to, remember that the best cure is prevention, and try to get some time out of your busy schedule to clean the door and walls daily. This is the simplest yet most effective advice you can get. You do not require anything more than a cheap squeegee to clean your glass door and walls, but doing this regularly removes any chance of mineral deposits building up. You can use a microfibre towel as an alternative for achieving the same effect.
For those with already damaged glass showers, fret not! There are some simple remedies you can try. Since these deposits cause a chemical change, then you need to chemically break them down, and acids work best in these circumstances. Natural, non-toxic cleaners, such as lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda and white wine are your best friends.
- Spray some white vinegar or white wine on your glass door and let it soak in it overnight. In the next morning, scrub it with an old toothbrush and rinse to remove the lime scale and hard water stains.
- For the sinks and tubs, use lemon juice or vinegar. Leave it for an hour and wipe it clean.
For the chrome faucets, and showerheads, use a towel soaked in vinegar and wrap it around them for a few hours, rinse and wipe dry.
Shower glass cleanup is important as the mineral deposits will not only reduce the longevity and beauty of the product but also cause long-term health issues. Keeping your shower enclosure free of any stains and scums is not that difficult if you put in a little effort!