How to Fix a Shower Door

Once installed, a shower door requires little maintenance other than frequent cleaning and occasionally tightening a screw. You can easily take care of the few problems that may arise.

Things You'll Need

  • Bathroom Cleaner
  • Mildewcide Or Bleach
  • Nonabrasive Powder Cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Squeegee
  • White Polishing Pad
  • Single-edge Razor
  • Utility Knife
  • Caulking Gun
  • Clear Caulk

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To minimize soap-scum buildup, use a squeegee after you shower to clean the glass, especially if it's clear, and clean the glass regularly with a cleaner designed for bathroom surfaces.

To avoid unsightly hard-water stains, scrub the glass at least every other month with a nonabrasive powder cleaner and a white polishing pad. Don't use the green or red ones; they're too abrasive. To speed up the job, buy white polishing pads that fit palm sanders.

Scrape off any old caulk with a single-edge razor held at a very low angle. Work carefully to avoid scratching the surfaces.

Clean all surfaces with a bathroom cleaner. If you see mildew, use a cleaner that contains a mildewcide, or simply sponge on a 50-50 solution of water and bleach and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse well.

When the surfaces are dry, cut the tip off a caulking cartridge's nozzle at a 45-degree angle with a utility knife. Avoid cutting too much off the tip of the caulking cartridge. Too large a hole will deposit too much caulk, making for a messy caulk joint.

To seal any leaks between the metal sill and the tub or shower pan, apply clear caulk on the exterior side of the track with a caulking gun. (In most cases you must leave the inside joint open to allow water to drain out of the track into the tub or shower.) It's best to use a caulking gun with a quick-release trigger and lift it away as soon as you reach the end of the joint so the residual pressure won't deposit excess caulk.

To seal any leaks between the metal jambs and the walls, apply caulk on the inside where it will be less noticeable.

Smooth and seal the caulk into each joint in a single pass with a wetted fingertip immediately after application.

Stand outside the shower for an exterior panel and inside for an interior one. Tilt the bottom of the panel toward you. Lift the panel up into the head so the wheels are suspended above the track. Tilt the bottom inward as you lower it into the lower track or (on some models) the guide.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some people prefer to use caulk in squeezable tubes. With small tubes you often waste less, and you may find it easier to stop the caulk at the end of a run.
  • Use a nonabrasive cleaner. Never use scouring pads or abrasive powder on glass, metal or tile.
  • See also How to Replace a Shower-Door Sweep.
  • If a door falls off its track, chances are you may not have much (if anything) on. Avoid handling the glass door any more than necessary until you at least get some shoes on.
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