Author Topic: Polishing Shower Door Glass  (Read 2172 times)

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Offline scb_yyz

  • Posts: 17
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Polishing Shower Door Glass
« on: October 30, 2021, 11:11 AM »
I live rurally and have quite hard well water.  We have a water softener installed and keep it maintained.   

Over the years our main bathroom shower's glass has become heavily streaked to the point that I can feel roughness when running a finger nail over it.  Impossible to clean and I'm at the point where I'm thinking of just replacing it. 

But, was a wondering, should I give it a go with a polisher, and if so, what compound(s) would be recommended?

Any experience out there to lean on?
thanks in advance.
simon.
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Online Cheese

  • Posts: 9108
Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2021, 11:29 AM »
Have you tried Lime-A-Way? If it works it will be easier than buffing the glass doors. The secret is to let it soak for awhile.

https://www.limeaway.com

Offline Vtshopdog

  • Posts: 100
Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2021, 12:16 PM »
We have very hard water in my area and I’ve found these razor scrapers to be very effective at removing calcium buildup.  You might be surprised at the volume of lime that comes off.  Might be worth getting a spare pack of blades too as the tool is very handy for other uses like paint or stickers on windows.

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/short-handle-algae-scraper-algae-free.html

Scraping usually comes out kind of streaky but then follow up with usual glass cleaners and it comes out really nice.

Offline afish

  • Posts: 741
Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2021, 01:37 PM »
BKF is a very good in this situation with a drill mounted scrub pad since it sounds like its pretty built up. 

LETS TRY THIS AGAIN

I havent had the need to order the scrub pads but I do use the brushes to clean grout and tile in the corners.  looks like the scrub pads have velcro back so they should be able to go on a RO sander if you prefer. 

They do make polish for glass but that's going to be step 2 after cleaning more for removing scratches not cleaning.  After its all done try using a regular (monthly) application of rain x to help keep the doors clean.   

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1215
Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2021, 03:22 PM »
My first thought was a bunch of brand new razor blades and replace them often. Post scraping, vinegar and water should finish the job, but harsher chems might be required.

Offline MikeGE

  • Posts: 278
Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2021, 05:16 PM »
We have very hard water where I live, and can almost see stalactites forming on the shower head during use.  Soon after buying the house, we installed a whole-house water softener.  It helped, but the change was not as dramatic as I thought it should be.

I purchased a Hanna Instruments HI-3812 Hardness (Total) Test Kit to baseline the hardness from the city supply and the modified hardness in the house.  This kit uses the titration method to determine the amount of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the water. 

Our city water is the U.S. equivalent of 356 parts per million (ppm) of CaCO3, which is very hard.  The ppm number is the same as milligrams per Liter (mg/L).  The hardness of the water after the softener was about 178 ppm of of CaCO3, which is still very hard and we were still seeing lime scale in the bathrooms and kitchen.  I changed the setting on the softener to about 35 ppm of of CaCO3, which is now soft and the lime scale problem went away.  Now we just deal with the soap film in the shower.

I recommend you verify the hardness of the water downstream of your softener to ensure it is what you think it should be.  The technician who installed the softener left the settings at the factory default, so it is worth checking your system.  I also recommend Lime-A-Way, or Cillit Bang, to remove the lime scale.  It works great and doesn't appear to damage the glass, chrome, tile, or plastic pieces in the shower.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 07:10 AM by MikeGE »

Offline Peter Kelly

  • Posts: 61
Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2021, 05:32 PM »
I recommend you verify the hardness of the water downstream of your softener to ensure it is what you think it should be.  The technician who installed the softener left the settings at the factory default, so it is worth checking your system.  I also recommend Lime-A-Way, or Cillit Bang, to remove the lime scale.  It works great and doesn't appear to damage the glass, chrome, tile, or plastic pieces in the shower.
Even worse, calcium carbonate deposits will wreck your tankless water heater, dishwasher, laundry machines.

Definitely worth getting your potable water tested annually and setting up a treatment plan if there are any issues.

Offline scb_yyz

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Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2021, 07:50 PM »
Thanks everyone, I'll look into the chemicals and see what I can get.  We recently had the water softener checked, but perhaps it's worth having a second look.

One thing I didn't note, was that this shower has marble, not tile, which was one of the dumbest moves I've made.. but anyways, I am very reluctant to put any chemical in there for fear the marble will be ruined.  So there's that caveat..

I'll try the razor method tomorrow.

..   Still interested in experiences with a cutting agent for a power polisher...
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Offline Peter Kelly

  • Posts: 61
Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2021, 09:44 PM »
I'd spray some soapy water in the glass surface before attempting to razor blade. Tempered glass scratches more easily than you'd think and you'll want to lubricate the surface a bit first. 

You might want to also look into replacing the resin media in your softener. If you've got elevated iron levels, the media only lasts 5-7 years. Obviously, check the valve in the control head and make sure it's still drawing off the brine tank during regen too.

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 9108
Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2021, 10:15 AM »

One thing I didn't note, was that this shower has marble, not tile, which was one of the dumbest moves I've made.. but anyways, I am very reluctant to put any chemical in there for fear the marble will be ruined. 

Still interested in experiences with a cutting agent for a power polisher...

That changes the situation entirely...as Lime A Way is made to be used on hard non-porous surfaces, porcelain, glass, metal...and marble is one of the softest and most porous natural stones. I think Lime A Way will etch the marble surface.  [crying]

On the 2nd topic if you really want to polish the glass, I'd start with 3M product 60150 specifically designed for glass. The nice part is that it's a water based product so clean-up is easy. No oils or silicones to deal with. [smile]

It's not cheap though...about $50-$60 per bottle.

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/p/d/b40065564/
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 10:31 AM by Cheese »

Offline scb_yyz

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Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2021, 10:28 AM »
Thanks Cheese, I'll check 3m out.
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Offline JD2720

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Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2021, 10:33 AM »
I know this does not help you now, but it will after you get things cleaned..
We have hard water, but I have never had to deal with buildup on our showers.
We wipe the walls down after each shower. It only takes a couple of minutes, but saves hours of cleaning later. 

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 9108
Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2021, 10:37 AM »
I know this does not help you now, but it will after you get things cleaned..
We have hard water, but I have never had to deal with buildup on our showers.
We wipe the walls down after each shower. It only takes a couple of minutes, but saves hours of cleaning later.

 [thumbs up]  That's exactly what our neighbor does for his cabin up North...he keeps a small hand squeegee in the shower and wipes down the walls & the glass doors.

Offline scb_yyz

  • Posts: 17
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Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2021, 10:41 AM »
I started out, with that resolve and discipline...
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Offline guybo

  • Posts: 201
Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2021, 10:49 AM »
Hi, my sweetie uses a little jet dry it is a surfactant i.e. sheds water in sheets less drops.works in the dishwasher .don't know if safe for marble.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2712
Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2021, 12:09 PM »
As a professional glazier and installer of heavy glass shower installations we use these... FOSHIO Plastic Razor Blades Double Edged Suit for Safety Glass Scraper and Plastic Scraper with Plastic Blades, Suit for Remove Decals Stickers Adhesive Label and Glass Clean available from Amazon

Offline JD2720

  • Posts: 1236
Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2021, 10:52 PM »
I know this does not help you now, but it will after you get things cleaned..
We have hard water, but I have never had to deal with buildup on our showers.
We wipe the walls down after each shower. It only takes a couple of minutes, but saves hours of cleaning later.

 [thumbs up]  That's exactly what our neighbor does for his cabin up North...he keeps a small hand squeegee in the shower and wipes down the walls & the glass doors.

My wife uses a squeegee on her shower. For my shower, after I dry off, I use the same towel to wipe down the walls, door & floor.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4209
Re: Polishing Shower Door Glass
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2021, 07:10 AM »
You might think about using a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar in it.  Spray a small portion of the door, let it sit for an hour or so, then scrub the sprayed portion with a green 3M scrubber and rinse it off.  Vinegar dissolves the calcium quite well.  I discovered this trick when a toilet that is unused for months developed a ring of calcium as the water evaporated.  I turned off the water supply, flushed the toilet to drain the tank, then when the porcelain was mostly dry, sprayed it liberally with vinegar.  After an hour or so, I was able to scrub off the remaining calcium that had not budged before using a green 3M scrubber.  Just a thought...   [smile]
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