Glass Care & Maintenance for Shower Doors & Mirror Closet Doors
When properly installed, the unit should be trouble free and need only proper cleaning to provide long-lasting service.
If your unit is properly installed, it should slide, pivot or swing freely without any obstruction. On frameless units, at no point should the glass drag on or hit against the aluminum. For sliders, the inside panel is designed to close against the wall where the showerhead is. The vertical edge of the glass should be adjusted to be parallel to the wall, while the outside panel should be parallel to the opposite wall. Both panels should slide into the jamb without hitting the aluminum. Special bumpers help to guide the glass into the jambs. Your unit should be checked periodically to insure that it remains in proper adjustment.
Note: using a frameless shower door when it is out of adjustment may cause the glass to break.
The aluminum in your shower door is durable and resistant to water damage. It is advisable, but not necessary, to wipe it dry with your towel after your shower. It should be cleaned at least weekly with a soft damp cloth to remove any buildup. If you have hard water and need to use a mild detergent or a stronger cleaning agent, be sure to rinse it off thoroughly. BEMA (Bath Enclosure Manufacturing Association) endorses the use of Comet Nonabrasive Bathroom Cleaner for the safe cleaning of glass and anodized aluminum.
Never use an abrasive cleaner of any kind. Although anodized aluminum is exceptionally resistant to corrosion, discoloration and wear, its natural beauty can be marred by harsh chemicals, abuse or neglect. Such conditions usually affect only the surface finish but do not reduce the service life of the aluminum. Many glass cleaners can damage the anodized surface of the aluminum if allowed to remain on the metal for any length of time.
When you use harsh abrasive cleaners or steel wool, you cause the protective anodized coating to break down. When this happens, you will lose the shiny coating and the bare aluminum will be exposed and, as a result, will corrode. This corrosion is sometimes called “white rust” because it looks like white rust. While “white rust” is not pleasant to look at, it will not affect the durability or safety of your shower enclosure. Removing “white rust” once it appears is not easy. It is best you prevent damage of the aluminum by taking care when you clean your shower enclosure by using a nonabrasive cleaner (like comet Nonabrasive Bathroom Cleaner) and a soft, damp cloth. This will help protect the anodized coating and prevent corrosion of the aluminum.
The glass can be kept clean with Comet Nonabrasive Bathroom cleaner or any glass cleaner you use elsewhere in your home. Rinse off any glass cleaner that gets on the aluminum as soon as possible to avoid damage to the anodized surface. (See “Care of Aluminum” above).
Your glass is tempered safety glass, manufactured in accordance with federal standards (Consumer Product Safety Code 16CFG1201 II). It is much stronger than regular (annealed) glass, however it is still breakable. Avoid striking it with any sharp or hard objects. Such damage can cause either immediate or, delayed breakage (usually at a time of temperature change). If your glass does break, it will break instantly into numerous, very small pieces. This is somewhat starling, but substantially safer than when annealed glass breaks. These small pieces sometimes cause superficial cuts, but never cause the severe damage that can occur with non-tempered glass.
Never lift the shower door panels (on frameless units) by the “through-the-glass” towel bars (see image). This can cause the glass to break by putting too much pressure on the holes in the glass. Also note that leaning too hard on the towel bars can also cause the glass to break. Instead, lift the door panels by gripping and holding the glass itself.
To keep your clear glass looking good, it is helpful to squeegee off the glass with a glass squeegee after each shower. It takes only a minute or two and will help keep hard-water spots from building up. You will find that it also helps make cleaning the glass easier and faster when you are cleaning your shower enclosure.
You might want to buy a small plastic (one that will not rust) squeegee with a rubber edge and keep it near the shower for just this purpose. Make sure you get a quality squeegee because they work much better than poorly made ones.
The best way to clean your mirror closet doors is with a clean, soft cloth and warm water. Make sure you don’t allow the edges of the mirror to get or remain wet. Over a period of time, the water can attack and damage the backing of the mirror. If you do get some water on the edges of the mirror or framing metal, thoroughly wipe these areas dry.
If you have some harder to clean spots, try using some glass cleaner without ammonia or vinegar. Never use any acid, alkali or abrasive cleaners because they can cause damage to the mirror surface and backing. Also, don’t allow the glass cleaner to come in contact with the mirror backing to prevent mirror damage.
Another tip you might try is to apply the warm water or glass cleaner onto the clean, soft cloth first and then wipe the mirror surface clean. This will help prevent water or glass cleaner from coming in contact with the mirror edge or backing.