The #1 tile, grout and natural stone maintenance problems we battle daily are in residential showers. Regardless if it is a newly installed or a shower that has been professionally cleaned, when the maintenance is not done properly, mold, mildew and soap scum will take over the shower rapidly.
Before you know it, the sparkle and shine are gone, leaving you with a no-win battle and forcing you to have the shower professionally cleaned sooner than the normal length of time expected after a new install.
Showers are most challenging due to constant high humidity, soaps, lack of ventilation and well water.
Let’s look at the three most common issues:
Mineral Deposits: Water and especially well water contains microscopic minerals in the water, when beads of water adhere to the sides of tile and the water evaporates it leaves behind mineral particles, over time these particles build up and will cloud glass doors and obscure the shine on tile. These mineral deposits are as hard as a rock, to remove these once they are formed can be very challenging.
Solution: Use a soft rubber squeegee after each shower to remove access water from walls and shower doors. A synthetic Chamois cloth can also be used. The goal is to remove as much water off the shower walls which will reduce mineral deposits from forming.
Soap Scum: Soap scum or soap residue left after showering will build up and become near impossible (it’s like adhered concrete) to remove with normal cleaning. The residue from soap scum and body oils provide a “yummy” food source for bacteria and mildew to grow. When you see the orange or pinkish discoloration in a shower, it is quite likely coming from the bacteria growing on top of the soap scum.
Solution: Showering without soap is the best solution, but not an option. The best soap to use are body washes which do not contain the Paraffin that bar soap contains. Switching to a liquid or get body soap are the best options.
Problem: Mildew and bacteria are very common whether a shower has tile or glass. Mildew comes in several assorted colors: black, orange and red.
Solution: The best preventative for mildew growth is to keep moisture and humidity in the shower to a minimum. Using a Chamois cloth or a squeegee to remove (as recommended above) the additional water off walls and doors. Leaving the shower door open to provide the most ventilation possible. Not allowing the shower walls or floor to stay wet for a long period of time will dramatically reduce mildew growth and re-occurrence.
Being proactive with maintenance tips prolongs the length of time before a professional cleaning is needed as well as saves you money by avoiding restoration costs.