How to Clean a Marble Shower

Modern bathroom with marble shower stall

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The unique veining and colors of natural marble can create a stunning shower surround or bathroom floor. Architects and designers can choose large slabs or tiles to create an elegant bathroom for any style of home. Because marble is durable and water-resistant, it is perfect for bathrooms. However, you should take care to select marble that is sealed to increase stain-resistance. For bathroom or shower stall flooring, consider the choice of tumbled, honed, or buffed marble, as it will reduce the chance of slipping on a slick surface.

How Often to Clean a Marble Shower

A marble shower stall should be wiped down after every use to remove excess water, body soil, and residue from bath products. A more thorough cleaning, at least biweekly, will help remove any traces of mildew growth or stains and keep the marble looking its best.

Just as critical as regular cleaning is the use of the correct type of cleaners. Marble is a calcareous, alkali stone that has a chemical reaction with any type of acid 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.

Harsh cleaning tools like scrub brushes and cleaning products that feel gritty or promise to "scour away" dirt should never be used because they can permanently scratch the surface of the marble.

Tip

Ask your marble installer to apply a sealant that contains a mold and mildew inhibitor. Choosing a penetrating sealer increases water and-stain resistance but can also cause the surface to scratch more easily.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Squeegee
  • Spray bottle
  • Handheld shower attachment or bucket

Materials

  • Mild soap with a neutral pH (pH 7) or stone soap formulated for marble
  • Mold and mildew remover specifically made for marble
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Tape
  • No. 0000 super-fine grade steel wool

Instructions

Instructions for Daily Cleaning of a Marble Shower

  1. Get Rid of Water Drops

    After each use, use microfiber cloths or a squeegee to wipe down shower walls. Start at the top and work toward the bottom. The water drops standing on the walls, and the body soil and bath products residue they hold, are what causes soap scum to accumulate on the surface.

    Daily drying will also help prevent the growth of mildew and mold that can cause permanent staining.

    Tip

    If you're adamant about drying the shower stall after every use and use the bathroom fan to remove moisture, you may only need to deep clean your shower once a month!

Instructions for Weekly Cleaning of a Marble Shower

  1. Create a Cleaning Solution

    Fill a spray bottle with very warm water. Add one teaspoon of a mild dishwashing liquid. Shake well to mix. Choose a pH-neutral dishwashing liquid that does not contain dyes or acidic (lemon, vinegar) ingredients.

    You can also use a commercial marble cleaner. Follow the directions on the product label for dilution and use. Do not use popular spray-on bathroom cleaners that contain acidic ingredients or chlorine bleach.

  2. Spray and Wipe

    Working from the top of the shower down to the bottom, spray the solution on the walls and floor. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the surfaces in circular motions. Pay attention to areas around fixtures and drains that are prone to staining from mildew.

  3. Rinse Well

    Use the handheld shower head or a bucket to rinse down the walls. 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.

  4. Dry and Buff

    Use a squeegee or soft microfiber cloths to 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.

  5. 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. (You can tape the towel to vertical surfaces.) Check the stain. If it is 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 Looking Great Longer

  • Choose bath products that do not contain dyes or acidic ingredients.
  • Do not use harsh cleaning products like ammonia or chlorine bleach that can etch the marble surface.
  • Do not use stiff-bristled cleaning tools.
  • If water no longer beads up on the surface of the marble or a wet shower looks darker, the marble needs to be resealed. Resealing can be done with a commercial sealant by you or a professional.