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  #1  
Old 11-15-2004, 10:21 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Hard water stains on glass shower doors. Help!

Well, I admit, I'm a fairly handy guy, but this one has me stumped.

My folks are coming for Thanksgiving, and I'm cleaning the place up as if the entire beer brewing industry depended on it believe me, I'm working that hard. But I can't get these darned hard water stains off the shower doors!

Is there any product on the market that'll help me, or maybe something I can whip up here at home to take them off? I've tried Ajax, bleach, and some other cleaning products, but it doesn't seem to work . . .

Any help? Anybody got any ideas?

Tripler
Oh yes, this place will be clean. I want to at least appear civilized.
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2004, 10:33 PM
I can't believe that's butter! I can't believe that's butter! is offline
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Have you tried CLR. I haven't tried it, but the commercials make such a big deal of how it cleans any sort of mineral build-up, including that in bathrooms.
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2004, 10:34 PM
I can't believe that's butter! I can't believe that's butter! is offline
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[QUOTE=Joe K]Have you tried CLR.QUOTE]

Have you tried CLR ?
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  #4  
Old 11-15-2004, 10:36 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Hard water stains are often removable with an acid cleaner such as vinegar or citric acid.
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  #5  
Old 11-15-2004, 10:43 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Try lemon oil. The lemon has the citric quality that Squink refers to and the oil part keeps it all from just running down the face of the shower door.

Another way we do this is to use an extremely course steel scrubbie. Scrub the glass when it's dry (make sure the scrubby won't scratch the glass by trying in a discreet corner somewhere). Then use a tub and tile cleaner. Or the lemon oil.

Be careful with CLR, my understanding is that it's VERY caustic. If you go that route, read and follow the directions very carefully. In any case, try to ventilate the bathroom properly when cleaning.

Let me know when you want to know how to get rid of your mildew.
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  #6  
Old 11-15-2004, 10:55 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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Any acid cleaner will do it. Lime-away and others are phosphoric acid, usually between 9% and 23%. CLR might be in that group, I don't know. If you like going for a mild cleaner, vinegar will work, but it's slower and may take several tries. Apply, wait, and scrub the soap scum off. Rinse thoroughly.

WARNING It may seem tempting to clean the shower in the nude, and then go ahead and take your shower. Do not use an acid stronger than vinegar while nude. Wear eye protection, too.
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  #7  
Old 11-15-2004, 11:01 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Thanks guys!

Shibb, you recommend lemon oil? Can I get away with using lemon juice?

Trip
I would say I clean a lot of things in the nude, but that would be TMI.
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  #8  
Old 11-15-2004, 11:29 PM
EvilGhandi EvilGhandi is offline
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If your water's anything like around here, none of the above remedys will remove the scale, though they may soften it. I always wind up using automotive rubbing coumpound and a TON of elbow grese.
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  #9  
Old 11-16-2004, 07:05 AM
ioioio ioioio is offline
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I recommend Lime-Away. The new Lime-Away comes with rust remover, which is sometimes a plus, but be careful about using it on stainless steel. I once used a rust remover on stainless steel and it ate the finish off, leaving an ugly black spot.
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  #10  
Old 11-16-2004, 07:20 AM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripler
Thanks guys!

Shibb, you recommend lemon oil? Can I get away with using lemon juice?

Trip
I would say I clean a lot of things in the nude, but that would be TMI.
No, lemon juice is too tricky and didn't make much of a dent. I've not used lemon oil personally, but it's what one of my cleaning crews swears by. They clean about 3-5 homes a day, so elbow grease isn't really an option or they'd be exhausted. It's certainly worth a shot.

Now, once you get the glass doors clean there are a couple of tricks for keeping them up. One thing you can do is get a plastic squeegee and clear the water off the inside of the shower after you bathe. This will also help keep away mildew if you squeegee the tile, and it only takes a couple of extra seconds. The next one I've heard, but not done, is to use Rain-X on the inside of your shower.
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  #11  
Old 11-16-2004, 08:23 AM
spingears spingears is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShibbOleth
Try lemon oil. The lemon has the citric quality that Squink refers to and the oil part keeps it all from just running down the face of the shower door. Be careful with CLR, my understanding is that it's VERY caustic. If you go that route, read and follow the directions very carefully. In any case, try to ventilate the bathroom properly when cleaning.
Correction: CLR contains Phosphoric Acid and Glycolic Acid. Follow directions carefully.
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  #12  
Old 11-16-2004, 08:44 AM
norinew norinew is offline
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Well, this may sound silly, but it's how I got the hard water stains off my shower stall: I put a scrubby sponge in my shower stall; every day when I showered, I'd put some body wash on the sponge, and scrub clean (yep, the old elbow grease) a spot about the size of a dinner plate. The next day, re-wash the previously cleaned spaces, plus scrub a new one; now I keep it clean by washing the whole thing with scrubby sponge and body wash every time I wash my hair (which is about every other day); I just do the cleaning while my conditioner is soaking in; takes about two minutes. I've heard good stuff about the new Lysol with Teflon, too, for after you get it clean, although I haven't tried it.
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  #13  
Old 11-16-2004, 09:31 AM
davmilasav davmilasav is offline
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Either white vinegar or a paste of baking soda and water. Cheap and you probably already have it in the house.

Baking soda and water is great for getting the stains off the chrome bath handles & spout. My bathroom sink has the chrome-look plastic and it works great on that, too.

For shower curtains I have found that washing them in with a load of beach towels and adding 1C white vinegar makes the curtain crystal clear. But don't throw it in the dryer!
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  #14  
Old 11-16-2004, 09:46 AM
Winnie Winnie is offline
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I found the miracle to cleaning shower doors -- the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!!! Honestly, after 5 years of having spotty glass shower doors I had given up until a friend of mine told me to try that thing, even though I'm always skeptical of newfangled cleaning gimmicks. That thing WORKED. And I mean worked on EVERYTHING. After my shower doors were cleaned I proceeded to magically erase scuff marks and spots from floor to ceiling on every surface in the house. Love that thing.
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  #15  
Old 11-16-2004, 10:23 AM
norinew norinew is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winnie
the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!!!
Never tried it on the shower, but I do adore my Magic Erasers! I've gotten grunge off of stuff that I never thought I would!
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  #16  
Old 11-16-2004, 10:31 AM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Agree that the Magic Eraser does wonders (although they can be a bit expensive for every day use). It's certainly worth a try. Caveat: I'm looking at the box on my desk right now. They don't say what the active ingredient is (I should be able to find and MSDS on the stuff) but they do have the following warnings:

1) "Caution: Keep out of reach of children. Keep out of reach of toddlers & pets to avoid accidental ingestion. If using for dishwashing, rinse dishes thoroughly. DO NOT USE WITH CHLORINE BLEACH."*

I've highlighted that last bit because it's fairly common to use chlorine bleach in the shower to kill mildew. Most OTC mildew cleaners are essentially diluted bleach.

2) "Attention: ... Test first on an inconspicuous spot with light pressure to see if surface may scratch. Not recommended for use on surfaces that are polished/glossy, or on finishes that are brushed, satin or dark."

3) "Hi Opal!" Okay, it doesn't really say that. But it should.

Point is, that the solvent used is a reagent with chlorine bleach and test before you use on a surface. I'm fairly certain it will also eat through coatings on hardwood floors.




Twickster
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  #17  
Old 11-16-2004, 10:41 AM
Avarie537 Avarie537 is offline
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My mom cleans homes professionally, and she uses vinegar, either straight or diluted and applies with a cheap spray bottle. Sure, it runs, but just keep spraying it! Clean with a sponge and rinse away.
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  #18  
Old 11-16-2004, 10:44 AM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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The main active ingredient in the Magic Erasers is Formaldehyde-Melamine-Sodium bisulfite copolymer.

Here's a link to the complete MSDS.

Information here is from the National Institute of Health/ National Library of Medicine government database.
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  #19  
Old 11-16-2004, 10:46 AM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avarie537
My mom cleans homes professionally, and she uses vinegar, either straight or diluted and applies with a cheap spray bottle. Sure, it runs, but just keep spraying it! Clean with a sponge and rinse away.
Warning: some homes have marble in the shower, either as tile or ledges. Don't use vinegar on natural stone, as it can etch or pit. It's fine on tile, glass and chrome.
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  #20  
Old 11-16-2004, 08:23 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Really? That Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works, huh?

Well, I'll stop by the supermarket tomorrow night, and try it! I'll let you know how it works.

The folks aren't coming until next Monday, so if that doesn't work, I'll go to the vinegar and baking soda option.

Tripler
Thanks for the heads up, guys!
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  #21  
Old 11-17-2004, 02:16 AM
inkleberry inkleberry is offline
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CLR baby. Just make sure you have the windows open.

CLR comes in a grey jug and can be found at Target, Walmart, sometimes grocery stores (large ones), hardware stores, etc.

This here is CLR: http://www.jelmar.com/CLRproducts.asp
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  #22  
Old 11-17-2004, 06:56 AM
SkeptiJess SkeptiJess is offline
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I'd try vinegar first, because it's cheapest. I've always had good luck with it and water spots. Get a sponge with a scrubber back on it and a gallon of plain white vinegar. Dump the vinegar into a bucket (don't dilute it) and dip the sponge right in it. Srub the shower doors thoroughly, then rinse them with clear water and dry them off (with a squeegee, if you have one).
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  #23  
Old 11-17-2004, 07:41 AM
davmilasav davmilasav is offline
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The only drawback about using vinegar is that your whole house smells like a giant salad...
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  #24  
Old 11-17-2004, 08:33 AM
Turek Turek is offline
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Now if I could only find out how to clean the stains off of a fiberglass shower pan.

Any suggestions?
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  #25  
Old 11-17-2004, 08:36 AM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turek
Now if I could only find out how to clean the stains off of a fiberglass shower pan.

Any suggestions?
I'd try the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser there, too.
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