Protect Your Shower Glass Door & Enclosure from Hard Water

Whether you’ve just recently installed a new shower glass door or already have one in your bathroom, you need to protect it from hard water. Hard water can do a number on glass, which puts your doors and enclosures at risk. Luckily, there are several easy ways to help prevent hard water spots and damage on your shower glass

Why is Hard Water Bad for My Shower Glass Door?

hard water on shower glass door
Hard water can actually damage your shower glass door, but there are some ways to protect your shower enclosure!

What’s the big deal about hard water for your shower, anyway? First, let’s talk about what hard water is. Hard water contains higher concentrations of several minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and lime. Rainwater that falls to the ground has few of these minerals. However, as it travels into the ground and through water systems to get to your shower head it picks up minerals. Hard water doesn’t pose any threat to your health, so no worries there. Yet, it can do a number of things to your shower enclosure. For example, hard water may make the glass look cloudy, may stain the glass, or even permanently etch the glass surface.

Cloudy Residue Looks Bad

If you’ve ever forgotten to dry off your shower glass door or waited too long between cleanings, then you likely know how awful the glass starts to look. As hard water evaporates, it leaves the minerals behind. This mineral film or residue can make your doors look cloudy and spotted. Of course, this can ruin the gorgeous clear look of your glass shower enclosure and can even make your bathroom look dingy and dirty. 

Minerals Can Stain the Shower Glass

Another issue with hard water is that it can actually stain and discolor glass. If left on the glass for too long, those mineral deposits left behind from hard water can start to react with air, bacteria, soap scum, and other things and begin to turn a different color, staining the glass. This can be difficult and even almost impossible to remove depending on how long the mineral buildup has been sitting on the glass. 

Hard Water Can Permanently Etch a Shower Glass Door

Also, many of the minerals in hard water can even corrode the glass in your shower. Hard water can slowly eat away at glass, leaving behind permanent weak spots and low points in the glass. These not only weaken the frameless shower door, but also look bad and act as a great hiding spot for soap scum and germs.

How to Prevent Hard Water Stains on My Shower Glass Door

Now you know why hard water is bad for your shower doors, it’s time to talk about how we can prevent hard water damage on your shower glass. Fortunately, it can actually be pretty easy to stop hard water buildup and damage in their tracks. A couple of these tricks involve forming a few simple and easy habits. There are also some “set it and forget it” options to make maintaining your shower enclosure even more convenient. 

Dry the Glass After Each Use

One of the first things you can do to help prevent mineral deposits on your shower is to actually remove them after each use. You may have heard that it’s important to use a squeegee or a microfiber towel to remove extra water after your shower. This is to get rid of water and minerals left behind. By using a squeegee or cloth to dry the glass walls of your shower enclosure, you essentially get rid of hard water before it even has time to form that cloudy film we talked about earlier. You can take this one step further and spray the shower down with a daily shower cleaner to help prevent any leftover minerals or water from sticking to the glass surface. 

Clean Your Shower Glass Door Regularly

Also, cleaning your shower frequently can also help reduce hard water damage. This is another habit that is easy to form and can help keep your shower doors in good condition. Wiping down the glass with cleaning solutions can help deep clean and remove hard water deposits from the glass. Taking time at least once each week to thoroughly wipe down your shower glass with shower cleaning solution is a great way to help stop cloudiness, stains, and etching on your shower doors. This is also important for keeping your shower clean and sanitary, so it’s a good habit to have. Just make sure you clean the shower regularly enough that you don’t need to do any really hard scrubbing, which can leave scratches on the glass. 

Consider a Water Softener

One of the “set it and forget it” solutions for protecting your shower from hard water is to install a water softener in your home. Water softener systems actually exchange hard water minerals calcium and magnesium for sodium. This can help reduce the number of mineral deposits on your shower glass.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind here. First, you’ll still need to clean the glass regularly, especially because sodium can leave behind a white chalky film just like other minerals can. The difference is sodium doesn’t corrode or discolor glass, so it won’t leave behind any permanent damage. Also, many people don’t like water softeners because the water may taste a little saltier. So, keep these things in mind as you weigh the pros and cons of installing a water softening system in your home. 

Purchase Glass with Specialized Treatments

Another “one and done” solution for protecting your shower doors from hard water damage is to actually choose glass treated to resist mineral damage. The issue with glass is that it actually has invisible pores. These can soak up hard water and make it hard to remove with normal cleaning methods. Shower door treatments help smooth out these pores so there’s nowhere for the minerals to hide. This makes them easier to clean and can also reduce damage from hard water. Now, hard water residue will still form, but it won’t stick as well as untreated glass. This helps significantly reduce how long it takes to clean the film from the glass. 

The two treatments we offer here at Shower Doors Inc. are ShowerGuard and EasyClean 10. ShowerGuard glass uses patented ion beam technology to smooth the glass during manufacturing. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty. EasyClean 10 is a coating applied during manufacturing that helps fill in and smooth out peaks and valleys in shower glass. It comes with a 10 year warranty. 

Cleaning Shower Glass with Mineral Buildup from Hard Water

If you do end up with stubborn hard water buildup on your shower doors, there are a few tricks to help you clean it off. In most cases we recommend using a vinegar and water solution. Let it soak on the glass for several minutes and wipe it away with a soft cloth. This might take a little elbow grease, but it will help remove mineral residue. However, if you have stained or etched glass, then it may be time to consider replacing the glass instead. Generally staining and etching is permanent and can’t be removed with cleaning.

Also, keep in mind that you don’t want to scrub too hard or use anything abrasive on your shower glass. If you find yourself feeling like you need to use these methods to get rid of hard water deposits, then it’s likely your glass is actually etched or stained. Using abrasives or hard scrubbing will likely only scratch the glass. Instead it might be time to simply invest in newer glass for your shower enclosure. 

Get a Stylish, Long-Lasting Frameless Shower Door for Your Home

Make a statement with gorgeous showers from Shower Doors Inc. Our team is here to help you find the perfect options for your bathroom. We offer custom shower doors and enclosures that help make your bathroom look bigger and more luxurious. We’ll take all the initial measurements for you, walk you through the options, and then install your brand new shower glass. It’s that easy with our specialists. Call us now at (281) 253-0701 to get a quote!