Caring for Your Natural Stone Shower/TIle
Sep 16, 2015
Natural Stone Tile, Floors, and Showers:
- Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the surface of many stones. Do not place hot items directly on the stone surface. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and placemats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that can scratch the surface.
- Do not use any cleaners with citrus, vinegar or other acids- especially on limestone or marble. Use instead a mild solution of dish detergent and warm water, or a ph neutral stone cleaner you can buy from most grocery stores. Using the wrong kind of cleaner or using scratch or scouring pads can rapidly scuff your stone and cause it to lose its luster
- In wet areas (such as showers/bathrooms) soap scum can occumulate very rapidly. We ussgest using a squeegee after every use.
- A premium natural look penetrating/impregnating sealer is the normal choice on polished or honed marble, limestone, granite, or where the natural color of a slate is desired. A stone enhancer sealer is often used on tumbled, antique stones or on slate where a darker, enriched or highlighted character is desired. When choosing either one of these types of sealers, make sure the brand you have chosen is formulated to provide maximum stain protection for stone products. Stone products should be tested periodically per manufacturer's instructions to insure that the sealer is working effectively.
- Always make sure the grout, silicon, or caulking around the walls and floor stays intact. This prevents water from getting behind the surface. If these bonding agents crack, peel, or crumble, water will be able to get behind the tile creating potential mold and mildew. Since it is natural for walls to expand and contract, it is inevitable that you will need to do a simple touch up of caulk along the walls and shower flooring as routine maintenance.
If stains do occur, a stain remover may be required. Whereas, a cleaner will wash off surface dirt, a stain remover such as a poultice will actually act to draw out deep-seated dirt and stains from the stone's pores. Several applications of a stain remover may be required for difficult stains, and darker marbles should be tested to make sure that the stain remover will not bleach the stone. For recurring problems, and/or a very deep stain, a professional stone fabricator should be contacted. Approved stain removers are available at retail stores or at your local tile and stone dealer
- Soap Scum
Soap scum cannot be simply wiped off with a sponge. You should spray the cleaner solution in the soap scum and slide a plastic squeegee over it so that it comes off. If you feel the soap scum is too old and is not responding to the cleaner and squeegee, you should use ammonia.
Most home improvement stores will sell a solution to get rid of mildew. You will need to spray down the afffected area with the mildew remover, allow it to sit for an hour, and then wash the stone as normal. Of course- be sure to follow any directions provided on the packaging of your cleaner.