The tiles in your shower can be especially difficult to keep clean and free of soap scum. When soap scum builds up on your natural stone tiles it becomes slick and slippery, which can make for unsafe circumstances in your bathroom. Listed below are tips to keep you shower tiles looking great and free some soap scum between professional cleanings.
Clean your stone shower tiles regularly
Natural stone tiles such as marble, quartz, and granite are a fantastic choice for lining your shower and surroundings. But while these tiles are incredibly durable, they’re also a porous material.
Combine this factor with steam, humidity, and pooled water, and your gorgeous tiles can quickly become a breeding ground for mildew and mold. Not to mention a buildup of slimy soap scum. This is why regular cleaning is the most important thing you can do to increase the lifespan of your shower tiles and keep them looking as good as new.
Give your tiles a weekly clean to reduce the buildup of soap and dirt
Wet a clean, soft cloth (microfiber is ideal) and use a stone-safe cleaning solution to wipe down all the stone tile surfaces in your shower. Don’t forget to clean the grouting in between each tile too.
In between weekly cleans, make sure you rinse the tiles after every shower to remove any remaining soap or shampoo suds. This ensures there won’t be lingering residue left on your tiles that can build up and cause damage.
Use a gentle detergent
Avoid using harsh cleaners on your stone tiles. Ammonia and other acidic or abrasive cleaning solutions, whether they’re liquid, creams, or powders, can damage tiles, making them dull and hard to clean.
Ensure you use only stone-safe solutions, and check the instructions for correct usage and dilution before you begin cleaning.
For a stone-friendly DIY detergent, you can simply add a couple of squirts of liquid dish detergent to a bucket of warm water, then begin cleaning your tiles with a soft cloth. You can also find gentle stone cleaners at most hardware stores.
Soft cleaning cloths only, no abrasives
We recommend you use soft sponges or microfiber cloths to clean and dry your stone shower tiles. This will prevent you from scratching the stone, which will make it even harder to keep clean.
Remove water spots
Water spots are common occurrences on natural stone tiles. They can be caused by hard water leaving mineral deposits on the surface of your tiles when your shower dries.
Mineral deposits can be tricky to remove. While you can use very fine steel wool to clean these spots off, we recommend that you use a gentle, non-scratch, and shower-friendly scrubbing sponge instead. The gentler the cleaner you use, the longer your tiles will last.
Make sure to use a stone-friendly shower solution when you’re cleaning off these water spots. When you’re done, rinse down the tiles with warm water and dry with a soft cloth, or leave to air dry.
Clean the grouting
Don’t neglect to clean the grouting in between your stone shower tiles. Grouting is particularly vulnerable to mildew and trapped residue and can ruin the look of your shower if discolored.
We recommend you clean the grout before your shower tiles, to avoid spreading the dirt from the grouting back across your freshly cleaned and polished stonework.
If you’re using a commercial grout cleaner, it’s important that you check it’s okay to use on stone tiles. Many grout cleaners have harsh chemicals in them that can damage the surface of natural stone.
Avoid scrubbing your grouting with steel wool or hard bristles. An old toothbrush with soft bristles is the perfect way to clean these surfaces. Simply dip it into your favorite stone-safe grout cleaner (or a mild detergent solution) and gently scrub down the grouted cracks in between each tile to remove any mold and dirt.
Once you’ve finished cleaning the grout, rinse with warm water and either leave it to dry naturally, or wipe it down with a soft cloth.
One of the most effective ways to clean stone shower tiles is with the magic of steam. Stone is a porous material, so much like steam baths can loosen up your skin’s pores, steam can also open up the tiny pores in stone tiles, making it much easier to give them a thorough clean.
Steam cleaners also come with nifty attachments that help you clean the grouting in between tiles as well.
If you’re thinking about buying a steam cleaner, check the manufacturer’s instructions first to make sure that it’s suitable for surfaces like natural stone tiles.
Keep your stone shower tiles dry
Leaving your stone shower tiles wet all the time will undo all the hard work you’ve put in trying to keep them clean.
We recommend buying a shower squeegee that attaches with a suction cup to your shower wall, so you can quickly wipe down the tiles after every shower. This removes excess moisture and will help your tiles dry faster. Alternatively, you can wipe the walls down with a microfiber cloth or a clean towel.
Keeping your stone tiles dry can also reduce the dreaded water spots caused by mineral buildup that we mentioned above.
Seal your stone shower tiles regularly
Sealing your shower tiles after giving them a deep cleaning ensures they stay clean for longer, which means you’ll also extend their lifetime in your home.
Using sealant prevents moisture and dirt from sinking into the stone’s pores which can cause permanent damage.
We recommend you check the sealant in your shower at least every six months, especially if you’ve been cleaning your tiles with harsh chemicals like ammonia.
If it’s time to reseal, choose a commercial sealer that’s specifically formulated for stone shower tiles. This type of seal will be able to withstand constant exposure to moisture more than generic stone sealants.
Professional Stone Cleaning Services in Houston
At Modern Stone Care, our team of highly knowledgeable technicians specialize in the restoration, cleaning, polishing, and sealing of all-natural stone surfaces. This includes flooring, countertops, outdoor pool coping, and more. We work hard to ensure your natural stone maintains its beautiful and vibrant appearance for as long as possible. When it comes to the care of your delicate natural stone surfaces, leave it to the professionals at Modern Stone Care.