Thanks to their timeless elegance, natural-stone shower spaces can add significant value to residential properties, but only if homeowners resolve to render proper care. Walk-in showers made of marble, granite, limestone, and other types of natural stone can look like new for decades as long as they’re adequately maintained. The stone tiles and wall panels destined for bathrooms, showers, and tub surrounds feature a special finish to make them as resistant to water as possible, and this surface treatment is what needs to be preserved.
Understand What Sticks to Natural-Stone Showers
Just like in their natural element, the stones in your shower stall will be affected by water and humidity, two elements that can promote mold and mildew growth. Moreover, there’s the combination of insoluble compounds present in most personal hygiene products that react with the minerals present in water. Skin cells plus natural and synthetic oils can also stick to the stone surface and damage the protective seal over time.
Avoid Shower Scum Buildup
As previously mentioned, the surface finish and protective seal of a natural-stone shower can repel water and prevent scum from building up excessively, but it’s up to you to further protect the surface by not letting water residue dry off. Your tools of the trade in this regard are rubber squeegees and microfiber towels. Make sure to wash and scrub these tools once a week.
Choose the Right Cleaning Products
Avoid vinegar, ammonia, and common household cleaning products because they’re counterproductive and not safe to use on natural stone. These cleaners have a high pH level that will eventually strip away the seal and penetrate the tiles through their pores, thereby causing unwanted chemical reactions beneath the surface. You should only use a granite shower cleaner such as Granite Gold Shower Cleaner®.
Tips for Routine Cleaning
Start off by completely drying off the surface with your squeegee or towels. Take a look at the grout lines and determine if they need scrubbing, which should only be done with a soft nylon brush or other scrubbing implement designed for natural stone. Grout lines should be cleaned first, followed by the tiles. When you’re done applying natural-stone cleaner, wipe down the surface until it’s dry and in a condition to be buffed with a dry cloth.
Tips for Cleaning Mold and Mildew
Should you find mildew forming on the tiles or grouting, you can remove it with a 50/50 solution of bleach and water. This is the only time you can use bleach, and it should be allowed to sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with water. It’s a good idea to apply sealant at least once a month after cleaning, but remember to let it dry for 24 hours before using granite polish. Never use polish on the shower or bathroom floors because it will make them too slippery.
Natural-stone care is relatively simple, whether the stone is in a shower or on a countertop. If you need additional tips on caring for natural stone such as granite, travertine, and limestone, get in touch with Granite Gold® today at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
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