How Do Hotels Keep Glass Shower Doors Clean?
How do hotels keep glass shower doors clean? One of the busiest and most heavily staffed sections of any medium-sized or large hotel is housekeeping. Cleanliness is one of the first things guests will notice when they check into their room and no hotelier entertains being left wanting.
The area in any hotel accommodation that will immediately show a lack of attention to cleanliness is the bathroom. No guest wants to see a dirty sink, dusty vanity, or a grubby shower door panel.
As anyone with a shower door at home knows that this is one household object that is one of the most difficult to clean and keep clean – especially clear glass panels. You spend a lot of time cleaning a glass shower and making it smear-free and a couple of days later it’s all murky again. It’s a constant fight even with all sorts of cleaners in your arsenal.
Unlike a home where it’s ok to not clean a shower panel every day (although it’s easier to clean if you wipe it down after each use), in a hotel it’s imperative to keep shower glass clean. There’s also another factor that hotels have to consider that householders do not and that is the issue of time.
There is no question that a member of a hotel’s housekeeping staff cannot take a leisurely approach to cleaning. In most cases, there will be an expected turnaround time for each room under their remit. They will also follow a routine with a selection of tools and products at their disposal. Half the battle with knowing how to keep shower glass clean is understanding what you’re dealing with.
Why Are Shower Panel Doors Such a Problem to Clean?
How do hotels keep glass shower doors clean, and is it a problem for them to clean them? You’d have thought that glass or other materials that replicate glass is a quite easy material to clean. It’s a flat surface and you can easily see any marks. The panels are hung vertically so technically gravity should help in not allowing stuff to stick and they are used in an environment where the item that can have the most effect on them is water. Yet, it’s not that simple.
We can point the finger very firmly at three culprits that make keeping glass shower doors clean:
- Hard water
- Soap scum
Hard water is water that contains a high mineral content, most especially magnesium and calcium. It also carries limescale (calcium carbonate), a hard chalky deposit. Water with a lower density of minerals is soft water.
Even though household water goes through a treatment plant, hard minerals are not removed in the filtration process (municipal water has to be fit for drinking and mineral content does not affect this quality), so any hotel in a hard water area is going to see its effects on its pipework and ultimately, its glass shower doors.
When hard water evaporates, the minerals are left behind. The spots and marks on a glass door are mineral deposits,
Soap scum builds up when soap residue mixes with hard water. The ions in the water and soap react with one another to create a persistent water-insoluble stain. It dries on the door, leaving a waxy, filmy deposit in unsightly drops, smears or streaks on the glass that are whitish in appearance (a result of the combination of the chalky minerals and soap chemicals).
Mold grows in damp conditions so it can occur anywhere there is a leftover accumulation of water after a shower has been used. If left untreated it grows into a black clingy mess.
Mold is pretty much avoided if the shower is cleaned every day. Also, frameless door panels lack the corners, joints and crevices for mold to take hold. That leaves hard water and soap scum to be dealt with. So how do hotels keep shower glass clean?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of cleaning, some hotels in hard water areas try to tackle the issue at source.
Prevention Before Cure
They might fit a water softener into their total plumbing system. There are various types but will all operate to remove minerals from the water before it is delivered to the faucet. Not only will this help prevent some of the buildup on shower door panels but soft water also creates softer skin and shinier hair and gives cleaner laundry.
An alternative is to fit each shower with a filter. The filter is fitted to the shower head and works to remove impurities from the water through a variety of filtration methods. Most shower head filters however are more concerned with the impurities that are of concern to skin health, so the Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (most popular filtration media) tackles chlorine-based minerals rather than those that are the main issue in hard water for glass doors.
For a shower head filter to have any impact on the cleanliness of shower doors, it needs to be a water-softening filter.
How Do Hotels Keep Glass Shower Doors Clean, and What Do Hotels Use To Clean Them?
You may be wondering, how do hotels keep glass shower doors clean? No need to worry; there are numerous natural and commercial solutions that can be used to clean a shower door. Whatever type of cleaner you choose, however, proprietary or homemade, there is one cautionary note to remember.
Poor-quality cleaning cloths can scrape and scratch glass doors so it is best to use a microfiber cloth.
Hotels that have a concern for the environment (a growing trend in the hospitality industry) take the view that the best thing to clean shower doors is a natural product rather than harsh chemicals.
Vinegar has been used since, well forever, as a cleaner. It was reputedly (because there are no records dating back 5,000 years ago) used by the Sumerians, a civilization of ancient Babylonia. Vinegar also has disinfectant properties so can act as a mildew and mold deterrent. Another bonus is that vinegar is practical, inexpensive, readily available, and does no harm to the environment. And, if you’re still not convinced, vinegar is highly acidic and this prevents soapy buildup.
In the question of how do hotels keep glass shower doors clean with vinegar, there are a couple of ways to use vinegar to keep shower glass clean.
Method 1 – vinegar and water: In a spray bottle, combine 3 parts hot water with 1 part vinegar. Spray onto the glass and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse off with fresh clean water then wipe off with a cloth.
Method 2 – vinegar and baking soda: Wet the shower panel then using a spray bottle, cover the panel thoroughly with vinegar. Leave to soak for at least 10 minutes. With a sponge dipped in baking soda, scrub the door. Rinse off with fresh water and dry off with a microfiber cloth.
Method 3 – vinegar and dish soap: Mix together equal parts of vinegar and dish soap. Clean the shower door then rinse with clean water. Dry with a microfiber cloth.
Some swear that this method is improved by heating the vinegar in the microwave before adding it to the dish soap and allowing the mixture to cool before use.
How do hotels keep glass shower doors clean with baking soda? Sodium bicarbonate chemically reacts with water to remove dirt. It is another readily available household object and is among the best ways to keep glass shower doors clean.
Method 1 – with water: Use a soft cloth to wipe neat baking soda onto the damp shower door then rinse off with warm water.
Method 2 – with vinegar: Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar into a runny paste. Spread over the shower panel and leave for at least 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
Method 3 – with vinegar, baking soda, and salt: Mix together ½ cup of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of salt. Use a spray bottle to cover the whole shower door panel with distilled vinegar and leave. After 10 minutes, spread the baking soda/salt mixture over the glass. Leave for 5 minutes then rinse off.
When looking for how do hotels keep glass shower doors clean and the best solution to clean shower doors among natural products, you need acidity to counteract the alkalinity of calcium carbonate. Fresh lemons are naturally acidic. The bonus is that it smells great.
Method: Combine tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with a cup of distilled water in a spray bottle. Spray on the shower door. Leave for 5 minutes then dry with a microfiber glass.
How do hotels keep glass shower doors clean with essential Oils? Essential oils need to be combined with baby oil to use as a cleaner (otherwise it’s very expensive to use neat oil). Various essential oils can be used but the best are probably tea tree (because it also has antiseptic properties to deter mold), lavender, lemon, and peppermint. Again, there’s a bonus, they all smell lovely.
Method: mix a good few drops of essential oil with baby oil and apply to the shower door with a clean, soft cloth.
Store shelves are absolutely crammed with all sorts of brand names offering cleaning solutions. There are general bathroom cleaners and specialty cleaners. Some are sprays, some are foams. The most effective are those that are heavily acidic. Some will be lighter than others and there are also industrial-strength cleaners available in supermarkets.
When you ask what is the best cleaner for the glass shower door you should consider scent, ingredients, environmental impact, efficacy, and overall value. Most people will try a good number of different products in their lifetime and will generally have a favorite or two.
Another way to find good proprietary cleaners is to use online reviews. There are plenty of articles that take away the hard work of testing piles of products and present the results in an easily discernible format so you can make well-informed choices.
The Matter of Bleach
Sometimes, the answer to the question of what cleans shower doors is given as bleach.
How do hotels keep glass shower doors clean with bleach? Bleach can be used but there is a caveat and that is it depends on the type of glass your shower panel is made of. Bleach is not the best product to use on laminated glass shower screens because over time the bleach will turn the glass opaque. Bleach doesn’t damage screens made from toughened glass but in time and with constant use, bleach breaks down any elements of the shower panel made from silicone. The shower panel will then no longer be waterproof or will allow seepage.
Never use concentrated bleach directly on any surface and only use it in well-ventilated rooms. It is also preferable to wear protective gloves.
Method: Mix 4 teaspoons of bleach in 4 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the shower door working from the top down. Do this repeatedly, keeping the door wet for 6 minutes.
Spray the solution onto the shower doors
Starting at the top, spray the solution onto each door, working your way down as you go. Re-spray as needed to keep the doors wet for 6 minutes, scrubbing with the sponge if needed to remove tough stains. Rinse with clean water.
Now the next time you check into a room and ask are hotel showers clean, you’ll know the industry secrets and you can judge for yourself how good a job housekeeping does.