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Question DetailsAsked on 12/6/2016

Is factory application of Enduroshield or other hydrophobic appliactions better than homeowner application?

On shower doors, etc

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1 Answer


Because the glass is new, and they might well use a more aggressive cleaner on the glass than you would (like xylene or acetone) because this would be pre-assembly so there is no risk of damaging tile or tub or shower base or such, I would not doubt its coverage would be complete and "perfect", whereas yours (especially if shower is used at all before applying coating or fingerprint oils from installation are not totally removed with a good oil cutting-soap like Dawn [which is best because it also washes totally clean, leaving no residue if thoroughly rinsed off - why it is the almost universal labware and medical glassware cleaning soap], then your coating is likely to have skips or places where it does not stick right, eventually causing spotting or "blobbing" or peeling.

But as far as overall effectiveness - since I have basically heard only at best moderate satisfaction and a lot of dissatisfaction with this type of coating, I would say not worth the typical 20-30% additional unit cost they apply to the door/enclosure price for what is basically a $10-20 coating and labor cost. Sort of like paying the car dealer to scotchguard your upholstery when you buy a new car - they use the same $10-20 of spray can you would buy but charge you $150-300 to apply it.

Generally - these coatings do not work well for several reasons -

1) they "coat" the glass and are generally no more or not much more hydrophobic than clean glass, so the dirt does not roll off them much better than from glass that is kept moderately clean

2) commonly they are silicone based to be hydrophobic - unfortunately, mold loves silicone as a growth base, so it can be as bad as nothing at all

3) if you truly clean your shower, the cleaner usually removes the "easy-clean" coating in fairly quick order (commonly in months, not years), so you are back to using a self-applied coating or have a spotty result as part rubs off and part sticks.

4) there is one military or NASA developed (for aircraft windows) mono-molecular layer omniphobic technology coating that PPG and other glass companies sell to use both on aircraft windows and also on highrise windows (where its high costs reduces window cleaning costs) that supposedly works pretty spectacularly - but the coating costs as much as the glass, and I have never heard of it being used on shower glass. I know in the military they said the windshields on fighters treated with it (especially for carrier fighter and chopper use where salt buyildup was a problem) cost three times the plain glass ones. Is a fused-on coating, not a spray-on, so has to be applied at the time of glass manufacture - I believe they apply it while the glass plate is coming out of the plate roller mill almost red-hot.

My recommendation - regular wipedown after bath or shower before the water can dry and leave a hardening residue, white vinegar to remove any buildups that do occur, use regular glass cleaners like Windex (or limeaway type for hard water areas) and keep them from running down into the seal around the window. And pay attention to using only totally non-abrasive ones and be careful about acidic ones like viengar or ammonia on the glass or metal, and test on metal because some can haze or discolor some metal frames - especially if they are specialty alloys or brass or copper rather than plain aluminum or stainless steel. Ditto on plastic frames.

Here are links to a couple of previous questions about this type of product (not that particular one though) with answers, FYI -

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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