The potential of soap and other personal hygiene substances building up on natural-stone surfaces shouldn’t dissuade you from installing them in your bathrooms. Likewise, you shouldn’t despair when you notice soap scum stains on your stone countertops, shower walls, or tub surrounds. Just about any personal hygiene product has properties that could create a chemical reaction with the molecular structure of natural stone.
The oils and acids of bathing soaps, whether of natural or synthetic origin, may build up a crust that won’t come off by simply wiping the surface, and the same can be said about stone counters and backsplash panels installed near kitchen sinks. Another problem is that the underlying stains caused by soap buildup can be difficult to remove.
Here are four recommendations to help you get rid of soap scum buildup on stone surfaces.
1. Keep a Strong Seal on Your Stone
Wall-to-ceiling marble shower spaces can be found in luxury homes and resorts around the world, and they’re often in pristine shape. One of the keys to preventing soap scum from building up in the bathroom is to ensure surfaces are frequently sealed with a specially formulated granite sealer.
2. Use Steam to Loosen Soap Residue
Don’t use hot water on your stone surfaces. If the soap scum situation is in your bathroom, run the hot water and close the doors and windows for the purpose of letting steam work its magic and loosen up the waxy buildup. If this process results in the crust becoming sticky, now is a good time to use a new single-edge razor blade to gently scrape and shave the soap scum. With layered crusts, you may need to recreate the steam effect a few times.
3. Soak with Natural-Stone Cleaner
This method will generally work with stubborn soap scum that has developed into a film, but it may also require vigorous scrubbing. You may be familiar with removing soap scum from ceramic, laminate, and glass surfaces by soaking and scrubbing. If you don’t know how to clean granite and other types of natural stone, the same principle is applied here, but you’ll need to soak with natural-stone cleaner instead of using common household products, and you’ll also have to use a soft nylon brush or safe-on-stone scrubbing pad.
4. Clean Mildew and Mold Stains
After removing the buildup, you may notice mold has formed as a result of the trapped humidity. Mold can be removed by mixing a 50/50 solution of water and bleach, then spraying or pouring it onto the area and scrubbing it with a non-scratch bristle brush or granite cleaning pad. Let the solution sit on top of the stain for about 15 minutes, then rinse with water.
To learn more about getting rid of soap scum, mold, and other unsightly blemishes on natural stone, reach out to the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold®. All of our products are safe to use on granite, marble, travertine, and all other types of stone. Call one of our experienced representatives at 1-800-475-STONE (7866) today.