Marble is durable, water-resistant, and perfect for use in bathrooms. It's also a luxurious surface, but it only stays that way if it's kept clean. Marble's humble beginnings began as limestone so that it can get etched by water deposits and certain chemicals. Never use glass cleaners, bleach, vinegar, or acid-containing cleaners (such as citric acid) since these solutions can ruin your marble.
Mold and fungal spores like to cling to natural stone. Regular cleaning reduces the ability for mold or mildew to form and spread. Indoor exposure to mold spores can lead to a long list of health issues, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Also, seal your marble to increase its stain resistance and make it easier to clean.
Read on to learn about the essential products you need to ensure your marble shower stays as beautiful as the day you installed it.
How Often to Clean a Marble Shower
You should wipe down a marble shower stall after every use to remove excess water, body soil, and residue from the bath products. Consider keeping a squeegee type of tool in the shower for quickly wiping down the walls.
Plan to do a more thorough cleaning biweekly, which will help remove any traces of mildew growth or stains and keep the marble looking its best.
Equipment / Tools
- Microfiber cloths
- Spray bottle
- Handheld shower attachment or bucket
- Mild soap with a neutral pH (pH 7) or stone soap formulated for marble
- Mold and mildew remover specifically made for marble
- Hydrogen peroxide
- No. 0000 super-fine grade steel wool
How to Clean a Marble Shower Daily
Get Rid of Water Drops
After each shower, use a microfiber cloth or a squeegee to wipe down the shower walls starting at the top and working towards the bottom. Water drops standing on the walls—and the body soil and bath product residue they hold—are what cause soap scum to accumulate on the surface. In addition, daily drying will also help prevent the growth of mildew and mold that can cause permanent staining.
How to Clean a Marble Shower Weekly
Create a Cleaning Solution
Fill a spray bottle with very warm water and add one teaspoon of a mild dishwashing liquid. Shake well to mix. Choose a pH-neutral dishwashing liquid that does not contain dyes or any acidic ingredients like lemon or vinegar.
You can also use a commercial marble cleaner to clean your shower. Follow the directions on the product label for dilution and use. Do not use any popular spray-on bathroom cleaners that contain acidic ingredients or chlorine bleach.
Spray and Wipe
Working from the top of the shower down to the bottom, spray the solution on the walls, floor, and anywhere else that incorporates marble (like the surround). Using a microfiber cloth, wipe the surfaces in a circular motion, paying close attention to the area around fixtures and drains that are more prone to staining from mildew.
Using a handheld shower head or bucket, rinse down the walls with fresh water. Again, start at the top and work down to the floor. All of the soapy residue must be rinsed away to have a shiny marble surface.
Dry and Buff
Using a squeegee or soft microfiber cloth, remove all of the water from the shower walls and floor. Finish by using a dry microfiber cloth to buff the marble. Work in large circles to shine every surface.
Tackle Tough Stains
If the overall cleaning did not remove all of the stains, there are several things you can try. Remember, no harsh chemicals!
Hard water build-up: If you haven't cleaned the shower regularly and have mineral deposits around fixtures or drains, use superfine No. 0000 steel wool to gently buff away the deposits. Use a light touch and work slowly to prevent scratching the marble.
Discoloration from bath products: Saturate a white microfiber cloth or paper towel with fresh 12 percent hydrogen peroxide. Place the cloth over the stained area and let it sit for 10 minutes. Check the stain—if it's gone, rinse well, dry the area, and buff to a shine. If the stain remains, repeat the hydrogen peroxide soak. To be sure your hydrogen peroxide is fresh and active, you should see some bubbling when you apply it to the surface.
Mold and mildew: Use only a product that is approved for marble. Do not use chlorine bleach.
Tips to Keep Marble Showers Clean Longer
- Choose pH-neutral cleaners. Do not use bath products that do not contain dyes or acidic ingredients—such as lemon, vinegar, or citrus-based soaps—that can lead to permanent discoloration. Acid-based commercial cleaners—even those recommended for granite—or homemade mixtures that contain distilled white vinegar or lemon juice should be avoided completely.
- Do not use stiff-bristled cleaning tools which can permanently scratch marble. Avoid scrapers, the coarse sides of sponges, and scrub brushes when cleaning a marble shower.
- Avoid harsh cleaning products like ammonia or chlorine bleach that can etch the marble surface.
- Dry or squeegee marble in regions of the country with hard water, which contains minerals like calcium and magnesium carbonates that bind to marble more firmly than any other bathroom tile.
- If water no longer beads up on the surface of the marble or a wet shower looks darker, that's a good indication that the marble needs to be resealed. Resealing can be done with a commercial sealant by you or a professional.
Mold. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institute of Health.