Staying on Track(s) - RV Enthusiast Magazine

Staying on Track(s)

by | Sep 1, 2023 | Cool Gadgets, RVEXPERT

Photos by the author

Cleaning the build-up of crud in the grooves that support the shower door is an ongoing chore. Using brushes and pads designed for removing dirt from window frames can be called into service to take the sting out of backbreaking and tedious scrubbing.
Having a large shower is fantastic, but cleaning the track for the sliding glass door can spoil the euphoria. These tracks, whether for straight or curved doors, are “magnets” for dirt, corrosion and/or mildew — and cleaning them is both difficult and time consuming.

In the past, I would get on my hands and knees and pick out the debris with a chop stick or similar “tool” after spraying the surface with good bathroom cleaner. Not the easiest task and the job was tedious at best. It’s amazing how fast the crud builds up — and keeping the tracks clean was a frequent chore.

Fortunately, I’ve since found the “Magic Window Track Cleaner” on Amazon for only $12.99, a kit that includes scrubbing tools, brushes and cleaning pads.

The kit is obviously earmarked for cleaning window tracks — which are also a pain to clean — but it looked like it could be adapted for the shower tracks. In any case, I figured that I had nothing to lose — if it didn’t work in the shower I could always clean the window tracks, which also get dirty quickly, especially when the RV is parked on a dirt site where the wind blows. It turned out to be one of the best bargains I ever found on Amazon.

close view of shower-door tracks in need of cleaning
In a short period of time, the shower-door tracks tend to collect a fair amount of crud, hair and soap scum. In the past, cleaning was relegated to pointed tools, like a chop stick, and rags — and the job was tedious and backbreaking. To start the cleaning task with the newfound kit, a towel was placed next to the shower pan to catch water and debris.
the Magic Window Track Cleaner kit tools organized on a table
The Magic Window Track Cleaner made short work of cleaning the shower-door tracks. Provided with the kit are two scrub tools that accept the scrubbing pads, two brushes and replacement pads. While the kit is designed for cleaning window-frame tracks, it was adapted easily for cleaning the shower tracks.

The cleaning process using the newly discovered kit was really simple — and the back-breaking labor was taken down many notches. I first sprayed Scrub Free Total Bathroom Cleaner (available at Walmart for $2.24 for a 32-ounce spray bottle) into the sliding-glass-door track assembly, then used the little brush that came with the track-cleaner kit to get into the corners and extract the hair and gunk. I knew the kit’s scrub tool, which is fitted with pads to clean the inside of the tracks, would not reach into the corners, but the brush did a great job; two of these brushes are provided with the kit. And the shower cleaner — even though it was inexpensive — did a good job removing soap scum and other byproducts of showering.

a brush from the Magic Window Track Cleaner kit removes hair and debris from the shower tracks
close view of the hair and debris picked up by the Magic Window Track Cleaner brush
Before scrubbing with the special tool and pads, the brushes were needed to get into the corners and edges of the tracks. As you can see, these brushes removed lots of hair and debris from the shower tracks in little time.

Once the corners were clean, I once again sprayed the cleaner into the track and slid the cleaning tool into the grooves, moving it in a back-and-forth motion several times. To my surprise, I could see that the debris was “swept” away immediately. The cleaning tool got hung up on the screws holding the track down to the shower pan, but once I reduced pressure it worked more smoothly.

one of the Magic Window Track Cleaner scrubbing pads is moistened with running water
There were no specific instructions on how to use the scrubbing tool and pads, but it’s easy to fly by the seat of your pants — just moisten the pads with running water before use and clean the same way.
Scrub Free OxiClean solution is sprayed onto the shower tracks
It’s best to use some type of bathroom cleaner that will loosen scum and hair. I found the Scrub Free Total Bathroom Cleaner to do a great job. Not only is it inexpensive ($2.24 for 32-ounce spray bottle at Walmart) the formula has foaming Oxi Clean to help break up the hard stuff.
the Magic Window Track Cleaner scrubbing tool being moved back-and-forth along the path of the tracks
Once the tracks were sprayed with cleaner, the scrubbing tool was moved back-and-forth until the surface was clean. Pushing too hard on the pads will hang up the material on the screws that hold the tracks to the shower pan.
the RV shower head is used to rinse the cleaning solution and debris from the shower tracks, causing a slight spill
with the shower head removed, the RV shower hose is used to rinse the scrubbed area
At first, I rinsed the debris and cleaner off the tracks with the shower head. It was certainly convenient, but the spray pattern was much larger than the width of the tracks and water ran all over the floor. Yup — live and learn. Removing the shower head from the hose made it easy to control the stream of water while rinsing the tracks. I gave myself extra pats on the back for that discovery.
I rinsed the track with the shower head, which was an easy way to get water as the faucet and shower head were right above where I was working. Since the shower head was larger than the tracks — and there was no way to control the water coverage on this model — I quickly found that the stream of water ran all over the place — including onto the towel I placed on the floor next to the shower pan. Thinking outside the box, I pulled the hose off the shower head, adjusted the pressure via the diverter valve and it worked perfectly for rinsing out the tracks. Once the flow was adjusted, the water only ran back into the shower pan through the cutouts in the track.

Satisfied that one side of the track was clean, I moved to the other side and performed the same cleanup task.

top view of the now clean and shining shower tracks
Clean as a whistle (I love cliches). Removing the crud from the shower-door grooves with the Magic Window Track Cleaner was one of those “Why didn’t I think of (okay, “find”) that product first?” moments. Adapting the product for shower-door tracks takes the drudgery out of this task.

The cleaning tool comes with extra cleaning pads, so the components of the kit should last for many years. I may even find other uses for these brushes and cleaning pads (other than cleaning the window channels). These cleaning pads appear similar to kitchen scouring pads, which should not scratch the black paint off of my shower track (based on my first experience with this product).

I’m impressed with the capability of the Magic Window Track Cleaner, and anything that makes RV clean-up easier — and saves my back — definitely gets my vote.

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