How to Remove Hairspray Build Up from Metal

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Diane asked: What will remove dried hairspray on the metal part around a glass shower door?

Hairspray build up is a common problem in all areas of the bathroom. If your metal trim or fixtures have developed a layer of white, flaky build up, it’s time for a deep cleaning. Fortunately, it won’t take any magical cleaning mixtures, just your regular cleaning routine and perhaps a little extra time. Here’s what to do.

You Will Need:

  • All purpose bathroom or shower cleaner
  • Soft cloths or sponges
  • Water
  • Bucket (or just fill the tub with some water)
  • Nylon or other non-abrasive scrubbing pad or
  • Scrub brush

Steps to Remove the Hairspray:

  1. Though hairspray builds up, it is water soluble, and can be removed with a little time.
  2. Moisten the areas with build up with hot water.
  3. Allow the water to soak so that it can penetrate the hair spray. Do NOT allow it to dry again.
  4. Once moistened, use a soft brush or cloth to wipe as much of the hair spray away as possible.
  5. Spray the bathroom cleaner over the area. Apply a liberal layer.
  6. Allow it to soak in for a minute or two and loosen the bond of the hairspray.
  7. Use the non-abrasive scrubbing pad to gently scrub the build-up away.
  8. Repeat as needed until the hairspray is removed.
  9. Once clean, rinse the metal completely and dry with a soft cloth.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If the bathroom cleaner does not remove the hairspray, try mixing shampoo with water. Add a small amount of ammonia for a cleaning boost.
  • If the hairspray has been present for some time, it will take some time to remove it. Plan to complete several repeated cleanings to remove it all.
  • The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is safe to use on metal surfaces and works well for removing build up. Combine it with the bathroom cleaner for extra cleaning power.
  • Be sure to rinse the metal completely. Allowing the cleaning products to remain on the surface for too long, or to dry on the surface, can result in damage.

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