Creates a protective barrier
Easy to adjust and hold the spray bottle
Labor-intensive to apply
Strong fumes even with ventilation
We purchased the Rain-X Shower Door Water Repellent so our expert reviewer could put it to the test on her shower. Keep reading for our full product review.
Glass shower doors require special treatment to prevent things like hard water stains and soap scum. However, products like the Rain-X Shower Door Water Repellent can help with this by creating a clear, protective barrier that minimizes damage. We took this formula home and put it to the test ourselves to see if it could help keep our shower doors clean and clear. Keep reading for our take on whether or not you should add this product to your list of bathroom cleaners.
Bottle Design and Application: Great design, time-consuming application
Rain-X repellent comes in a spray bottle, which has to be one of the simplest, most effective ways to deliver any kind of cleaner. This bottle also includes finger grooves to improve your grip, which was helpful. But while the delivery system is great, the application of this cleaner takes time. It's not as easy as spray and rinse.
First, before you start, you have to clean and dry your shower door. Then, according to the directions on the bottle, you spray the formula onto a small, folded dry cloth or paper towel and wipe it onto the surface of the glass door. Motions should be firm and circular, overlapping as you work your way across the surface. After that, you've entered a waiting game: The product has to dry long enough to leave a slight film or “haze,” as it’s described by the manufacturer.
Once this happens, you apply a second coat to make sure the entire door gets covered—and, of course, you have to wait for it to dry again. After this happens, you wipe it all off with a clean, dry cloth. If you still have any haze left behind, you can dampen the cloth and wipe again.
Overall, the whole process took us nearly two hours, and the haze never appeared after either application. We think this might be because the glass on our shower door is textured. We still followed through with the rest of the directions, though, and the lack of haze didn’t seem to affect performance.
Performance: Noticeable and impressive
The application process took a long time, and we hoped it would be worth it. We wanted to have a way to gauge the effects of this product—a before and after. Luckily, we have two sliding shower doors in the same shower, so we treated one with Rain-X and left the other alone so we could compare them.
Needless to say, we weren’t disappointed. The beading on the Rain-X door was immediately noticeable. The water droplets stayed on the surface, which caused many of them to run off the door faster. The water on the untreated door spread out and flowed over the entire surface rather than staying within the track of each droplet.
The next step in the testing process was to see how well the Rain-X lasted, even after washing it with a multi-purpose shower cleaner. We happened to be testing several shower cleaners at the same time as the Rain-X, so we used those over the course of three weeks.
The first cleaner we used was an all-natural formula with ingredients derived from vegetables and plants. We found that the Rain-X still held up after being cleaned, and the noticeable difference between the two doors remained. The second cleaner was a more powerful, chemically-based formula intended to remove hard water stains. Again, using this cleaner didn't affect the protective barrier left by Rain-X. Our final cleaner had a light abrasive, and it did affect the Rain-X coating. It didn't completely remove it, but we could tell that the water beaded less. There was still a difference between the treated and untreated doors, however.
Overall, we were impressed with the fact that the Rain-X kept working even after being wiped down with three different multi-purpose shower cleaners over the course of three weeks.
Fragrance: Watch out
Here’s the place where you need to exercise some caution with the Rain-X. It has an incredibly strong odor—you can feel the fumes making their way into your nostrils and down your throat. During the application process, we had our bathroom window and door open; the fan was on, too. Even still, the smell was overpowering. We had to step out for a few minutes and get some fresh air.
We do acknowledge that the design of our shower may have made the smell feel more severe. though. To apply the Rain-X, the door has to be closed; it doesn’t go from floor to ceiling, but the only ventilation is a 12-inch opening at the top, which doesn’t leave a lot of space for airflow. That said, the fumes were still strong even after the solution had dried and been wiped clean. We rinsed it thoroughly with water to try to get rid of the smell. While the product’s performance is impressive, its fragrance is definitely a deterrent—especially for households with small children or pets.
It has an incredibly strong odor. You can feel the fumes making their way into your nostrils and down your throat.
Price: Reasonable for an occasional, single-use product
Rain-X is priced higher than your average shower cleaner, but it has a very specific purpose. Considering that you only need to apply it every few weeks, it’s a pretty good deal. You do have to apply two coats, but the coats aren’t thick, so you don’t go through a significant amount of solution with each one. Overall, it’s not a bad value.
We were impressed with the fact that the Rain-X kept working even after being wiped down with three different multi-purpose shower cleaners over the course of three weeks.
Competition: Pair it with cleaning power
Bio Clean Hard Water Stain Remover: If you’ve got hard water, this is the cleaner for you. It comes with brushes that attach to your drill so even stuck-on stains don’t stand a chance. Just make sure you use it before you use the Rain-X, as it does have an abrasive that can affect the protective barrier.
Puracy Natural Multi-Purpose Cleaner: This natural multi-purpose cleaner does a good job of removing surface dirt and grime. If you don’t have hard water or too many trouble spots, it would make a good all-natural cleaner to use before applying Rain-X.
- Product Name Shower Door Water Repellent
- Product Brand Rain-X
- MPN 630023
- Price $10.99
- Weight 16 oz.
- Product Dimensions 10 x 3.5 x 1.5 in.