Why are glass shower screens difficult to clean?

Shower Screen Cleaning - Alpine Carpet & Tile Cleaning

Ever wondered why it’s near impossible to remove calcium & hard water stains off your glass shower screens?

This is the question we get asked all the time regarding our shower screen cleaning service. Please believe our professional, 20+ years experience in the cleaning industry, when we say that all supermarket, homeware stores & natural DIY products just can’t remove hard-water staining off glass products.  There are many products on the market which claim to clean your shower screens.  When we first started in this business, we tried them all!  From lemon juice, bi-carb & vinegar, to the strongest shop bought chemical products to powerful smelling bleaches.  Trust us, they don’t work.  All they are capable of is removing soap scum build up, and many will end up giving you a headache.

It’s the hard water staining (calcium, minerals and silica) that you need removed, which these products cannot achieve.

They can remove heavy soap scum build up (if this is your problem, then read our blog on removing soap scum the easy and inexpensive way at https://www.alpinecarpetcleaning.com.au/how-to-easily-clean-your-shower-screens-with-soap-scum-build-up/), however they can’t actually get rid of the calcium deposits.

Here’s why (the tech stuff)!

glass under microscopeAlthough it may look and feel like it, glass is not completely flat.  If you looked through a microscope (see photo), the view is like a mountain valley range, perfect for trapping calcium and other minerals which build-up in your shower recess.

Untreated glass is porous and as a result, it absorbs mineral deposits and soap scum, making it more difficult to clean. Over time, the shower glass will discolour and etching will occur. . The shower screen is subject to mineral deposits from the hot water used, moisture is trapped under the shampoo chemicals, soaps, etc. There it forms into a solid crystalline substance rather like the scale in your kettle.  This condition continues to build up over time, each shower making it harder and harder to remove the deposits.

Being left unchecked long enough, it will become impossible to easily remove all the build-up as it now also contains the mineral  “silica”.  Your glass shower screen contains silica (silica sand=glass). The silica molecules recognise each other and end up with the silica minerals bonding to each other, making it all but impossible to remove due to silica etching.

Unfortunately, silica etching is permanent, so this is why you should get a professional shower screen cleaning company in to remove this buildup effectively before any real damage to the shower screen panel can occur – this is where Alpine Shower Screen Cleaning comes in.

How we do it – Getting Your Shower Screens Perfect Again!

We use a commercial biodegradable cutting-edge cleaning/polishing compound, along with professional polishing tools to restore your shower screens and glass balustrades, to a sparkling ‘as new’ condition. We pride ourselves on achieving results of between 95 – 98%, providing the glass has not been damaged or scratched by previous attempts at cleaning or is etched by silica deposits.

Check out our video at  https://www.alpinecarpetcleaning.com.au/shower-screen-cleaning-perth/ to see how we do it!

Glass cleaning microfibre cloth - Alpine Carpet & Tile Cleaning

Once we’ve done the hard work of removing the hard water staining/calcium build up, so your shower screens are looking sparkling clean again, we always suggest you use a squeegee or glass micro-fibre cloth to wipe down after every shower, to keep the calcium at bay.

Also, highly recommended to save you any more calcium build up cleaning heartache, you can also opt to have our 10 year glass protection applied to your shower screens after cleaning, for an investment of just $75+GST per screen.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 0411 225 720 or emailing us at info@alpinecarpetcleaning.com.au

Happy Cleaning from the Cleaning Guru!

BLOGGER: Paul Mitchell, Owner/Operator of Alpine Carpet & Tile Cleaning, Perth. 
 Alpine Carpet Cleaning Northern Perth Van

3 thoughts on “Why are glass shower screens difficult to clean?”

  1. Hi guys, finally I found someone that knows what they are talking about. Yes, your article on silica etching is spot on. To be honest, I have not tested the water here to check the silica content of our water. We live overseas in the Seychelles.

    I have been battling with silica etching, not scale, for some time now, and yeah, impossible to remove. I do cone from a cleaning industry back ground having sold hospitality cleaning products for 27 years. Silica etching is the bain of my life. Hotels damage their oven glass doors by using strong oven cleaners and the caustics just damage the glass.

    Anyway, I’m not in Australi, I am a Seychelloisand live in Seychelles. Check my website. http://Www.hmc-seychelles.com

    How can you assist me to fix this issue? I was about to use some marble polishing stones/ diamond discs to try and salvage the glass.

    What are your thoughts? Cheers. Terry.

    1. Hi Terry
      Silica etching is permanent. No product can remove this condition, it is also referred to as “Glass Cancer” All water contains numerous types and levels of natural minerals which in most cases are harmless.
      In the instance of Silica etching on glass, this is where the cleaning of the glass has been neglected for long periods of time. What is also relevant is the amount of minerals particular silica found in the water.
      Silica is the base structure of all glass. This is why the molecules easily recognize one another and start to bond.
      This cannot happen unless you add one more element which is HEAT.
      Heat allows evaporation to happen very quickly (Hot showers) The glass is not wiped free of water, the minerals start to form, and then the process starts again on the next shower building up over time to form hard water scale.
      Silica minerals need time to etch into the glass, so it is no accident that damage occurs, its simply lack of maintenance and care.
      Once the damage is obvious, it is too late.
      The cost to try and restore the glass is financially not viable. Advise the client to replace the effected glass and move on.
      The polishing of glass needs specialist equipment and products plus training .but the main drawback is time.
      I have watched a trained guy re-polishing a scratch on a very expensive glass tabletop. It took him over 12 hours to complete the 75 mm scratch. He charged $120.00 per hour to do it!

      This service is only normally used commercially to restore shop windows etc that have been vandalized or just accidentally damaged.
      The business owner’s insurance would normally cover this type of service, but probably not for domestic claims.

      Hope that helps
      Kind Regards Paul

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