Hint for Easy Glass Cleaning
If there is anything I dread, it is cleaning the bathtub or shower, that is, until recently. After many products, scrubbing, scraping, and complaining about soap scum, and alkali, I, like many others, am done with the struggle of cleaning failure in the shower or bath.
My husband and I purchased a home eight months ago, and the shower glass doors have been a nightmare to remove the alkali build up. Embarrassing to have guests see, and frustrating to attempt to clean. Both my arms have weak areas from accidents making it just that more difficult to put some "elbow grease" into the scrubbing. The entire process was too grim, and avoidance only made it worse. At least twice a week a vigilant attempt was made to somehow scratch through the hardened water stains, to no avail.
Oh yeah, windows are in the same category with alkali build up on the outside. Anything that takes too much time and effort is just out of my vocabulary these days, but thanks to one person, my cleaning life became easier. Gee, why didn't I know about this thirty years ago?
Well, I am sharing it with whom I can now to help save years of cleaning struggles, and hopefully make another's daily cleaning life easier.
The answer....Lemons. In some cases maybe a little bit of other items, but for the most part...Lemons!
Shower Glass Before
Anything Glass or Chrome
Battling alkali for years, I tried many types of cleaners boasting the ability to cut through old build up, only to find it would take a lot of scrubbing, and still have a residue remaining. I even attempted to use a putty knife to scrape away the deposits, and always ended up using something to scrape it off faucets.
The tiles in the shower also accumulate alkali, and soap residue that solidifies and clings like it has been permanently glued. Cleaning would usually take a couple of hours of scrubbing, and scraping before I would give up and accept the remaining film with defeat.
Well, that has changed. Someone suggested that the citric acids in lemon could cut through the deposits. At first I thought, "Yeah, right, that's what all the major chemical companies said too", and was reluctant to try it. A roommate decided to give it a try on glass shower doors that had build up from a previous owner of the home. she cut a fresh lemon in half, and placed the pulp side on the glass moving it in a circular motion. Much to both our surprise, not only did the lemon cut through it, but it also only took a few minutes!
About five showers later, she noticed the alkali began to build up again, leaving drip shaped stains all over the glass. I suggested using a squeegee after every shower, but decided to go one step farther.
I used lemon juice from a prepackaged container, on a non-scratch pan scrubber which quickly removed all traces of the alkali. In an effort to thwart the onset of more, after drying the glass thoroughly I applied a quick coat of glass-anti-fog cleaner.
The process now only takes about five minutes, compared to two hours before learning about the benefits of straight lemon. Now cleaning the showers, tiles, and faucets daily, or even just once per week is a breeze!
Amazingly, the transformation took only minutes, compared to back breaking, finger cramping scraping and rubbing. Just simple circular motions of the lemon allows the activation of mild lemon acid to break down the elements in the alkali and soap residue. In just moments, the acid dissolves those elements and cleans surfaces like glass, faucets (if there is too much build up, dribble lemon juice directly on the area and allow to sit for a few minutes, then gently scrape off the excess), use a clean, dry cotton cloth to polish the chrome of plastic faucet handles. Chrome around the bath or shower can be cleaned the same way.
As mentioned before, an extra measure was taken to use something that would help eliminate standing water on the glass, so I used a popular product that provides anti-fog for automobiles and home use. The end result is clear glass, no water spots or streaking allowing time in between cleanings. Instead of worrying about build up every day, or week, an individual can enjoy the benefits of the clean, clear glass for a longer period before cleaning is required. Of course, it does help in one can convince everyone taking showers to wipe down the glass afterward! That would probably happen on a cold day in the middle of the Sahara Dessert!
I am sure there are other cleaning products that work well, but for those who would rather go green with cleaning, this is a great way to avoid harsh chemicals, and the fragrance is great! I also used lemon juice to clean the ring and cover on the toilet, tank, sinks, windows, and mirrors.
The chrome products in my kitchen are also much cleaner, and the lemon juice worked extremely well to remove cooking stains from the kitchen range. Everything looks new!
Prepackaged Lemon Juice
Pre-bottled or packaged lemon juice works just as good as a fresh lemon cut in half. The aroma is not as strong, but the cleaning properties are still present. If there is a lot of accumulation around the framing of the shower glass, one can make a cleaning paste out of lemon and baking soda. I also use gloves when cleaning also because my skin is sensitive to the acid from lemon, and dries out from the baking soda.
The above photo is on my kitchen counter where I use lemon to clean and shine the granite counter top as well, along with the bottoms of my copper bottom cooking pots.
Another option after showers is to leave the shower door open to allow air ventilation so the water dries off quickly from the glass. If it stands for prolonged periods, it will leave a residue of soap or alkali.
Wipe down glass with a dry cloth after showers, or use a squeegee to swipe away excess water and soap. Set a fan in the bathroom facing the shower to help influence drying, or open a window for air circulation.
Removal of Soap Scum or Hardened Water Spots
Household Uses of Lemon
Tile and Sinks
Glass or Chrome Table Tops
Copper Bottom Pans
Shower Door After Lemon
I discovered you can use lemon or lime juice, and coupled with salt cleans pots, and pans, kills bugs...accidental find. Use of lemons in the bathroom also keeps the room smelling fresh. Using whole lemons, I keep the pulp, add salt and seal in a tight container for use that lasts about two weeks, for sinks, drains, even garbage cans.
The over all view of cleaning shower glass and other items can be rather dim when there is accumulating soap or alkali. Lemon, or lemon juice contains a mild acid that penetrates the elements of soap and alkali build up creating easier removal.
List of items to use for cleaning:
1. Fresh lemon cut in half, or a bottle of lemon juice.
2. Baking soda for areas around framing.
3. Non-scratch pad.
4. Water to rinse the lemon or combination of lemon and baking soda off.
5. Dry cloth or paper towels to dry glass.
6. Optional: Glass cleaner that provides a non-streak finish, or anti-fog cleaner.
Cleaning time is reduced dramatically, utilizing minutes instead of hours, and it takes less effort to remove the alkali, or soap scum build up.
The results: Sparkling clean, clear shower glass, shiny chrome, copper bottom pots and pans that look like new, and the fresh scent of lemon citrus that lasts for hours.
Photos Courtesy of: Marilyn Fritz
Utuzit, R., 2012. Housekeeping Tips: How to Remove Hard Water Stains on Glass Shower Doors. Retrieved January 18, 2015 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47Wu_kaxVg4.