Do's and Dont's

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As with all industries, we've heard our share of stories of unique individuals using our product at times, or in ways, or in degrees which are not appropriate. For example, there is the story of the computer user who called to complain that the cup holder that came with her computer snapped off, and after some time the technical support representative deduced she had been using the CD drive tray as a cup holder. Or, the boy who, when performing his first oil change on his first truck, drained the transmission fluid and added five quarts of oil.

And so, we hope you will appreciate this unique set of instructions of do's and don'ts regarding Cardinal Shower Enclosures. We've provided additional information to more fully explain each guideline. If you have unique shower enclosure story, and think it might be appropriate here, please forward it to

Cardinal Shower Enclosures Warranty

Important Warnings!

Shower Doors are Not Watertight

Cardinal Shower Enclosures, when properly installed, are designed to prevent leaks under normal shower conditions. Excessive water pressure or directing the shower spray directly at the door do not represent normal shower conditions and can result in leaks.

The amount of water that can escape your shower is also varies depending on the type of shower. A heavy glass swing door shower enclosure with no polycarbonate seals will allow more water to escape under normal conditions than a fully framed swing door shower enclosure. 

For example, if you have two children in the bathtub, and they insist on throwing buckets of water at each other, or shoot each other with squirt guns, or play with the shower nozzle, water will likely get out. Also, you should not clean your shower enclosure with your spray nozzle, which also counts as excessive water pressure. If you notice puddles of water outside your shower after such activities, you should probably clean it up as soon as possible and not repeat whatever activity got the water out of the tub or shower. Continual splashing of water outside your shower can cause all sorts of trouble.

Although some movies & comics show a shower or tub enclosure filled nearly to the top with water (6 feet deep perhaps), these are comic situations and we recommend that you don't try this with a Cardinal Shower Enclosure.

The type of shower enclosure can play a huge difference in the amount of water that may escape your shower. It is perfectly normal for a few bits of water to escape through the small open gaps on a typical heavy glass swing door shower enclosure. Some people like to add a polycarbonate strike jamb or perhaps a bulb seal along the wall jamb side of the door, where others prefer the unobstructed look of pure glass. Those most concerned about water escaping will sometimes select a different type of shower that naturally retains more of the water drops within the unit.

With cast glass, the spacing between a door and panel needs to be slightly wider to accommodate the natural variations in cast glass. A good analogy comes from the world of cars. Having a cast glass enclosure is like getting to drive a fine Italian sports car. It may not be quite as practical day to day, but it is exceedingly beautiful. The customer needs to determine where they fall on the scale from pure beauty to pure functionality.

Towel Bar and Handle Warning

Towel bars and handles are not to be used as grab bars.


For many people, grab bars in showers are a great assistance for getting in and out of the tub or shower. However, if your Cardinal tub or shower enclosure is equipped with a towel bar, you should not use it as a grab bar. It will not support your weight. Do not hang from it. Do not stand on it. If you use excessive force, it could snap off, shatter your shower door, send glass everywhere, or do goodness knows what. If you have small children who love to hang on things, and you are often heard to call them "my little monkeys" (in an affectionate way, of course), it's probably a good idea to instruct them not to hang from the towel bar. However, your towels and washcloths should be quite happy hanging from the towel bars.

Better yet, just use a knob for the inside panel, or upgrade to recessed finger pulls or the Skyline style pulls. They're pretty cool.

Abrasive Cleaner Warning

Do not use abrasive or acid-based cleaners when cleaning your Cardinal Shower Enclosure.

There are some powerful cleaners on the market today. Abrasive or acid-based cleaners can scar the metal or glass of your Cardinal Shower Enclosure. It probably wouldn't happen with a single application, but it's best to use appropriate types of cleaners all the time.

Maintaining Your Glass

For best results, Cardinal Shower Enclosures should be cleaned with a squeegee or towel after exposure to water.

Cardinal 10 Care and Maintenance


After each use simply drying with a squeegee or towel will keep the glass clean for a long period, and make it difficult for mineral spots to form.

The glass needs to be cleaned regularly using a damp microfiber cloth and a mild detergent (such as Dawn or 7th Generation) to break down soaps, oils, and conditioners, a quick clean will prevent a build-up forming on top of the glass protection. General glass cleaners are also suitable, however most of these are finishing agents rather than cleaners, and are an added expense that is not required.

Hard Water Maintenance

In hard water areas, or areas where water drops dry and leave a noticeable dust mark, a build-up of minerals may occur on the protective treatment. While these may not be removed easily with the mild detergent, mild acids will often remove the marks quickly. As needed, white vinegar should be used to wipe down the glass with a soft sponge. The vinegar may be diluted, however dilution reduces the effectiveness. Squeegeeing or wiping down after each use will stop these water drops drying into dust marks. In regions with high Silica in the water, the manufacturer recommends using a squeegee after EVERY use.

Prohibited Products 

*Note these may damage the treatment and void any warranty

Do not use any rough, gritty or abrasive cleaners. The Cardinal 10 Protection can also be affected by cleaning products containing very strong alkalis and by modern mold removing agents containing a combination of bleach and sodium hydroxide.

  • Avoid harsh or chemical cleaners, with correct maintenance these are never required
  • Avoid abrasives or polishes, including water spot removers and even toothpaste

Approved Cleaning Products

There are no specific products that you are required to purchase in order to keep your glass clean. All you should need for beyond 10 years is a squeegee, a mild liquid dish soap, and white vinegar. There is no solvent that will damage Cardinal 10, products such as Windex, SprayWay, Scrubbing Bubbles, 7th Generation, and Method are acceptable, however are not necessary. 

If for any reason the above has not been followed for some time, just as it took time for the buildup to occur, it will take time to remove the debris from the protected glass surface. This can most commonly be achieved using undiluted vinegar dampened on a Magic Eraser, or CLR on a Magic Eraser. Depending on the severity of the buildup this may take multiple attempts, but once the glass is clean again it will perform like new.


Some individuals wait a long time to clean their enclosures (weeks, months, etc.), and then express concern that they can't get water spots, mold, or other things off of their shower enclosures. It all depends on how clean you want your enclosure. For the best results, Cardinal Shower Enclosures should be cleaned with a squeegee or towel after exposure to water, or in the case of Cardinal 10, by following the instructions above.

Warning about Opening & Closing Your Shower Door

Do not use excessive force when opening & closing your Cardinal Shower Enclosure.

All of us at some point get angry. Some people are physically strong, some are naturally aggressive. If you use excessive force when opening or closing your Cardinal Shower Enclosure, you could shatter the glass. I mean, it is glass for goodness sake.

Shower Enclosure Structural Warning

Do not hang from or stand on your Cardinal Shower Enclosure.

It's not designed to support your weight, so just don't do it.

A Warning About Thunder

A shattering experience about a shower enclosure.

This story was forwarded to us by Art of Dedand, FL:

"I installed a two panel sliding clear shower door enclosure with hardware over my fiberglass tub in December of 2004. The shower is rarely used since it is in our second bathroom. In August of 2006 I went into the bathroom the day after a violent lightning / thunderstorm, and found my shower door had exploded into millions of small ¼” pieces. I immediately looked for damage to the walls and windows around the tub for evidence of a lightning strike, but found none. The other door and door hardware were fine. My only conclusion is that the sound vibration from the lightning strike shook the door and it either shattered by itself or was shaken into the shower door aluminum frame and shattered on impact."

His enclosure was not a Cardinal Shower enclosure. This is probably a one in a million occurrence, and unfortunately it happened to Art, but that's why shower door manufacturers use tempered glass. In the event that the glass does break, you'll have millions of tiny pieces instead of sharp edged blades of glass.

Glass Obscurity Warning

Make sure to consider all the important factors when selecting the obscurity level of your glass.

It's expensive to change your glass after your shower enclosure is installed, so we recommend that you consider all the factors that could be important to you. Do you own a mountain cabin, and have a lovely view through the enclosure out the window? In that case you might consider clear or Starfire glass to be your best option. Do you prefer a certain degree of privacy when showering? Perhaps an obscure pattern would be right for you. Is your shower enclosure the showpiece of your master bathroom? You might consider using Cardinal Art Glass. And, of course, we all remember the gorilla story.

Warning to People who Fish

If you are cleaning fish in the shower, we recommend that you thoroughly remove all fish innards and sanitize your enclosure soon as your are finished.

Not doing so can cause all sorts of trouble, especially if your have a significant other who is about to shower and doesn't appreciate the fine aroma of freshly caught & cleaned fish.