There are so many products on the market to help consumers maintain the cleanliness of their glass! For this article, we will focus on two different technologies used to accomplish the same goal of "easy clean glass". The most typical solution are glass coatings versus glass that is specifically manufactured to resist buildup. Regardless of the options you choose for your glass, we still recommend regular squeegeeing and cleaning. You can think of these options like Teflon coated cookware. It's much easier to clean, but it still needs to be cleaned.
For the sake of simplicity, glass coatings are typically applied after the glass is fabricated. There are likely dozens of options on the market, but I will cover the most common products we have used or encountered. All of the coating options are referred to as hydrophobic coatings which repels water away from the surface and are a great value for their market price. They all offer direct warranties usually requiring you to log onto their website to record the purchase information. While we are approved vendors for all of these coating options, EnduroShield is our preferred offering.
- EnduroShield - At the Shower Door Guy, EnduroShield is our coating of choice. We have reason to believe this is the best coating product on the market; it forms a near permanent chemical bond to the glass which is the key to its' longevity. Extensive independent testing has proven EnduroShield to last beyond 10 years when using the commercial strength formula. For this reason they are able to extend a genuine 10-year warranty on new glass surfaces. We do not feel comfortable making the same claims regarding other hydrophobic coatings even though they preform well. Your glass will come with a sticker on the outside surface which has a code to register your 10 year warranty directly with their company. EnduroShield also offers a consumer-applied do-it-yourself product at stores like Home Depot and Lowes which is a slightly different formulation and includes a 3 year limited warranty requiring reapplications.
- ClearShield by Ritec - ClearShield is very similar to EnduroShield. It is a bit less in price and carries the same 10 year warranty. ClearShield repels limescale and moisture build-up on glass to maintain cleanliness as all other hydrophobic coatings. This coating relies on a buildup layer where the product bonds to itself through "cross-linking" and therefore fills the pores of the glass creating a very slick hydrophobic surface. We have used ClearShield before, and it is a very good product. If using ClearShield, it is a good idea to use their After Care cleaner which seems to refresh the coatings.
- Diamon-Fusion by DFI - Diamon-Fusion fills in the pores and ridges of glass much like ClearShield and other hydrophobic coatings which repels moisture just the same. This coating is a two part process, the first application is one that creates a strong bond to the glass and the second part bonds to the first coating and cross links to itself to create a "build-up" layer to fill in the pores of the glass much like ClearShield's one part process. DFI offers a 10 year warranty for their glass coating. It is a little bit more expensive, however, it is still a good value product.
- INVISIBLE SHIELD® - Invisible Shield is a good consumer product that can be bought on-line. Many shower door installers use this product because it is much cheaper. It is not as long lasting as the other options above and should be reapplied several times a year. For untreated glass, Invisible Shield has a great glass cleaner available that will remove all soap buildup. With that in mind, if you are having issues keeping your glass clean, there are no cleaners or coatings that will repair damaged or pitted glass. Pitting occurs due to chemical processes from cleaners and from impurities in water such as calcium and silicates.
Specialty Manufactured Glass
Glass can be manufactured with a coating creating much smaller pores to prevent impurities from penetrating the surface of the glass and corroding it over time. This coating is regarded as the best quality for a easy clean solution and for its' durability. There are only a few manufacturers using this technology. The most notable is Guardian's ShowerGuard glass. In general the price is more than double than applied hydrophobic coatings.
- ShowerGuard® by Guardian is an invisible coating fused to the glass surface when ShowerGuard is made. This covers the microscopic peaks and valleys that occur naturally in float glass, creating a smoother surface with little opportunity for residue to collect. It is a hydrotropic surface where water does not bead off like the hydrophobic surface of applied coatings, but it is the only non-porous glass on the market and it has the strongest lifetime warranty registered through Guardian. Your glass will come with a sticker on the outside surface for registration purposes. There is no visible difference in clarity and has the same ease of cleaning as other glass coatings. Another advantage is ShowerGuard can be cleaned using many different types of glass cleaners typically not recommended for other glass coatings. What you will notice is how great it looks for many years without any corrosion or pitting. Guardian is also offering a $25 rebate as of this article's publishing on January 5, 2022 for each piece of glass used for your shower.
- LuxClear Protect by AGC is very much the same as ShowerGuard. Same technology and the same warranties.