Stone tile showers are rapidly gaining in popularity for their easy maintenance and elegant style. Of course, even a high-end product like granite or slate can still develop a common problem: hard water stains and soap scum. Before you grab a household cleaner to tackle water spots in your stone shower, make sure you know the right approach to avoid making the problem even worse and potentially damaging your beautiful stone.
What Causes Water Spots?
“Hard” water contains minerals like magnesium and calcium as well as compounds like bicarbonates. When hard water comes in contact with glass, tile, or stone, it can form unsightly water spots, which are really just the dried mineral deposits left on the surface when the water dries.
Removing Water Spots
Water spots on natural stone can be removed safely by using Granite Gold Shower Cleaner®. Rather than scrubbing the stone with steel wool or a harsh brush, use a white or blue non-scratch scour pad to prevent damage to your stone. Scour the area for 3 to 5 minutes, then rinse away with water. If the buildup is heavy, use the flat side of a single-edge razor blade to shave the material off the stone. Make sure you dry the walls after cleaning to prevent more water spots.
What Not to Do
Many common products recommended for water spots can cause damage to natural stone. For example, distilled white vinegar is a popular remedy for water spots, but vinegar and stone do not mix, and the acidic vinegar can cause etching, a much bigger concern than water spots. You should also avoid using harsh brushes, cleaning tools, or scouring powders that can permanently damage stone.
Preventing Water Spots
As water spots develop, they become magnets for soap scum and grime. The best way to keep your shower pristine is to stay vigilant and clean the stone regularly to prevent water spots from forming. If you’re unsure how to clean natural stone, don’t use an everyday shower cleaner that may be too caustic for the stone. Instead, use a non-acidic cleaner specially formulated for stone like Granite Gold Shower Cleaner®. Regular cleaning at least once a week can prevent water spots as well as soap scum and mildew. Polishing the stone in your shower regularly can also prevent this type of buildup.
Water spots are minerals left behind as water drops dry on the surface. Another method for preventing water spots is simply removing the water before it air dries. After every shower, squeegee the stone. This will allow the stone to dry much faster, and it can also prevent mold and mildew from developing.
If you have natural stone in your home, make sure you purchase a granite polishing kit that can cover many of your daily stone care needs. At Granite Gold®, we carry a wide variety of safe-on-stone products that can keep granite, slate, travertine, and other types of natural stone looking beautiful for years to come. Contact the Stone Care Experts today at 1-800-475-STONE to learn more.