How to Clean Your Natural Stone Shower Walls and Floor

Bathroom with natural stone tile and beige walls. Glass corner shower freestanding white tub and double sink vanity bathroom. Northwest USA

Your stone tile can last for generations if you learn how to clean your natural stone shower the right way. There are some things you are going to think you should use, only to find out they pitted your stone. So, here are some general rules to follow and your tile will be beautiful for a very long time.

How to Clean Your Natural Stone Shower

Unfortunately, most people will start pouring diluted vinegar all over their stone tiles, assuming that what works great for porcelain tiles will be great for stone tiles, too. This is not how to clean your natural stone shower. It’s exactly what you should not do.

Vinegar is an acid and acids do a wonderful job on loosening and removing soap scum. Only citric acid is better. The problem is, any acid will breakdown your natural stone tiles. If you’ve been using vinegar, you are probably noticing some pitting on the top of the stones and maybe the edges are beginning to crumble. This is what acid will do to stone.

The best way to clean these tiles is by using a gentle pH-neutral cleaner like dishwashing liquid mixed into water like you’re going to wash dishes. Use a soft cloth, like sections of an old t-shirt, and clean the stone by dipping it into the soapy water and scrubbing then rinse. It helps to do this right after someone takes a hot shower. The hot water will soak the soap scum and loosen it up, making it easier to clean.

The grout can be scrubbed with a toothbrush while you’re using the cloth and soapy solution. Avoid products sold for grout cleaning as they usually injure the stone.

Rough cloths and plastic bristle scrub brushes will break down the stone over time. It is best to stick with just old soft cloths and toothbrushes.

Rinse well after cleaning. To keep your shower needing fewer cleanings, use a squeegee to remove the water from the walls and floor after every use. This will keep the soap scum from building up.

The Beauty of Reclaimed Flooring

Older is better seems to be the mantra today, especially when it comes to flooring. Reclaimed flooring is still all the rage and with good reason, it is gorgeous. But before you get excited when you see a barn falling over and you grab that barn floor to install in your own home, there are some very important things you need to know.

Reclaimed Flooring

Reclaimed flooring is repurposing old wooden floors or planks and using it for your home’s floor. People used to do this with bowling alley floors when a bowling alley or roller rink went out of business, people would purchase the flooring at auction to use as their own new floor to save some money.

In the past couple of decades or so, people have been going beyond the bowling alley floor, which pretty much looks like a regular hardwood floor. People ventured into the land of reclaiming barn wood for their floors.

As it turns out, likely the worst thing you can create a home floor from is the flooring of a barn. If you think about it, there have been horses, sheep, goats and who knows what peeing and pooping on that floor for 100 years or so. There is the matter of spilled chemicals, as well. Once in the home, there is little doubt from where that flooring was repurposed. Yikes.

The walls of the barn are another matter. That should be mostly free of animal waste and chemicals, especially from the higher levels.

If you have your heart set on a beautiful barn wood floor, there are companies specializing in reclaiming barn wood and other woods. They sanitize it, kill the bugs in it and make sure what they sell is milled properly to make a gorgeous floor.

At US Hardwood and Carpet we’ll be happy to show you some of the wood these reclaimers sell. You do have options. Just don’t try to reclaim the wood yourself.