Easy to rinse off
Doesn’t remove water spots
Labor-intensive cleaning process
We purchased the Rain-X Shower Door X-treme Clean so our expert reviewer could put it to the test on her shower. Keep reading for our full product review.
Shower doors are one of the toughest bathroom areas to keep clean. Eliminating hard water stains and soap residue takes muscle power and either a cadre of chemicals or abrasives to keep your shower doors sparkling and clear. Accordingly, there are a slew of cleaners that target these hard-to-clean stains. We picked up a bottle of Rain-X Shower Door X-treme Clean, a chemical cleaner with some serious muscle, to see if it could work some magic in our bathroom. Keep reading for our results.
Bottle Design and Application: Labor-intensive cleaning
X-treme’s bottle design looks and functions like a standard squeeze bottle. The three-step directions are straightforward. First, apply the cleaner to a damp cloth or directly onto the shower door. Then, scrub in a circular motion while applying pressure. After that, rinse and dry with a paper towel or cotton cloth.
We tried this cleaner with both a microfiber cloth and a paper towel. The process isn't difficult to master, but it is labor-intensive. Our bathroom includes two shower doors that are over 6 feet tall. The process of applying and scrubbing with X-treme took between 30 to 45 minutes, due in large part to the thick formula.
We spent some extra time scrubbing our shower doors for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a thick cleaner, so it took longer than we expected to apply it. That also means that we went through a lot of it on only two doors. Second, we wanted to make sure we gave this cleaner a good chance to do what it’s supposed to do. We should get a medal for the Olympic-level scrubbing that took place. Short of using a drill with an attached cleaning brush, we put it through the works. We really wanted this cleaner to work.
Thankfully, it rinsed off quickly, coming off fairly easily except where it had dried. We did have to spend some extra time on those areas where the cleaner had dried while we applied it to the rest of the door. A few of these spots also required an extra wipe down with a paper towel. Then, we had to dry the doors with paper towels. That didn’t take long but the whole process took over an hour.
Cleaning Performance: Lackluster and disappointing
Now to the real heart of the matter: cleaning performance. What is a cleaner if it can’t clean? This particular formula is designed specifically for soap scum, dirt, hard water buildup, calcium deposits, lime stains, and rust stains. That’s a long list of tough problems that all occur in the bathroom.
Normally, we use a multipurpose cleaner on all of our bathroom surfaces. But lately, we've begun to notice a cloudy buildup over the entire surface of our shower doors. It's especially noticeable around the handles, corners, and near the rollers. We do feel it's fair to point out that our doors have some tricky cleaning spots, though.
The shower doors cross one another, for example, and there's a 2-inch area of overlap that's incredibly difficult to clean. You have to switch the doors back and forth, but even then there's a small area where you have to reach between the two and really scrub. This particular area shows some definite water stain buildup.
As we mentioned before, it was no easy task to clean the doors with X-treme. When all the rinsing (and work) was done, we were sorely disappointed. While the doors were clean, they were still cloudy. There was no noticeable difference between X-treme and our standard bathroom cleaner. The fact that it was more expensive and labor-intensive to use magnified our unmet expectations. It wasn't helpful in our problem areas, either. No matter how much we scrubbed with X-treme, we couldn't clean our 2-inch trouble spot adequately and the cloudy film remained.
We gave this cleaner another chance, but on a different surface. It’s intended for glass, but we had a small rust stain on the fiberglass in the shower. After a good scrubbing, the results were no different than when we’d scrubbed the shower door—there was no change.
X-treme removed surface dirt just as well as our multipurpose cleaner, but it’s difficult to use and didn’t live up to its claims. Overall, it didn't accomplish what it’s designed to do.
Fragrance: Its single strength
Not everything about X-treme is bad. We have to acknowledge one area of strength: fragrance. Many cleaners that target hard water, lime, and rust buildup go to an extreme with the chemicals, and unpleasant fumes are common. Manufacturers often try to mask these problems with powerful fragrances.
X-treme excelled in the fragrance department. It has little to no fragrance at all. We spent a considerable amount of time inside the shower with the doors closed while scrubbing. In that confined space, it's easy to get overwhelmed by even a light scent. We had no problems with the scent nor were there any fumes with this formula.
Price: Underperforms with a high price
This is a specialty cleaner that specifically targets shower doors, which means it comes with a higher-than-average price. At around $11—and considering the fact that we had to use a considerable amount for one cleaning—it’s a pricey product, which is difficult to stomach when it doesn’t do its job that well.
It didn't accomplish what it’s designed to do.
Competition: Better options out there
Bio Clean Hard Water Stain Remover: Bio Clean offers a specialty cleaner that’s up to the task. We tested this product and found that the eco-friendly formula’s gentle abrasive removes rust, watermarks, and hard water stains. It’s pricey, but for occasional use it can keep your bathroom, and many other areas of your home, sparkling clean.
Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner: This multi-surface cleaner may not be able to remove hard water stains, but we tested it and found that it does a good job of removing surface dirt and grime. Plus, Puracy Natural does so with all-natural ingredients.
Rain-X Shower Door Water Repellent: We tested a second Rain-X product, which also targets shower doors—but this one delivers on its promise. The Rain-X Shower Door Water Repellent is not a cleaner but instead acts like a clear wax that prevents hard water stains in the first place. The fumes may be strong, but an occasional coat will help keep your shower cleaner for longer.
- Product Name Shower Door X-treme Clean
- Product Brand Rain-X
- UPC 079118300357
- Price $11.99
- Weight 15.4 oz.
- Product Dimensions 8 x 3 x 1.75 in.
- Volume 12 fl. oz.