How to Clean a Marble Shower

A marble shower can be a beautiful addition to any bathroom. The natural swirls and veins in the marble make for an elegant, upscale look. However, marble requires regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it looking its best. Over time, soap scum, hard water deposits, and grime can build up on marble and dull its shine. Follow this guide to learn how to properly clean a marble shower and maintain its beauty.

Supplies Needed

Cleaning a marble shower does not require a lot of specialized supplies. You likely already have most, if not all, of what you need at home.

  • Mild liquid dish soap or stone soap
  • Soft rags or sponges
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Bucket
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Clean water
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Absorbent towel
  • Rubber gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Sealant (optional)

Avoid using any abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads, as they can damage the marble surface. You’ll also want to steer clear of bleach, ammonia, and other harsh chemicals that can eat away at the marble. Stick to gentle cleaners specifically formulated for natural stone.

Prepping the Marble Shower

Before cleaning, you’ll need to prep the shower to get it ready:

  • Sweep or vacuum any loose debris. This prevents scratching the marble during cleaning.
  • Remove any bath mats, accessories, or shower heads/wands. Set aside anything that could get in the way.
  • Check for stubborn spots or stains. Make note of any extra dirty areas needing some extra attention.
  • Dry the shower walls and floor with a towel. It’s easier to clean marble when the surface is dry.

Once ready, it’s time to get scrubbing!

Cleaning the Marble Walls

Marble shower walls tend to collect soap scum, hard water spots, and mildew. Follow these steps to get them squeaky clean:

1. Make a Cleaning Solution

Mix a few drops of mild dish soap or stone soap into a bucket of warm water. Too much soap can leave behind a film.

2. Dip a Soft Sponge into the Solution

Dunk a soft sponge into the bucket and wring out excess water. Avoid using anything too abrasive on the marble’s surface.

3. Scrub the Walls in Circular Motions

Gently scrub the marble walls in small circular motions. Apply light, even pressure as you scrub. Let the solution do most of the cleaning work.

4. Rinse Thoroughly

Use a clean sponge and bucket of fresh water to rinse away all soap residue. Make sure to rinse any cleaning solution off entirely.

5. Dry the Surface

Go over the walls with a clean, dry microfiber cloth or lint-free towel. Buffing the marble dry prevents spotting or streaks.

For tougher soap scum or stubborn stains, allow a paste of baking soda and water to sit on them for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing. The baking soda will help break down grime.

Vinegar can also help remove hard water deposits. Spray full-strength white vinegar onto spots, wait 5 minutes, then scrub with a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly after.

Scrubbing the Marble Floor

The marble floor of a shower sees a lot of dirt, grime, and buildup. Get it looking fresh and clean with these steps:

1. Sweep or Vacuum the Floor

Use a broom, dustpan, or vacuum to remove any loose hairs or debris from the marble. This prevents scratching during cleaning.

2. Make a Soapy Solution

In a bucket, mix a few drops of mild dish soap or stone cleaner into warm water. Too much soap can cause residue.

3. Scrub with a Soft Brush

Dip a soft bristle brush into the solution and gently scrub the floor. Apply even, uniform pressure as you clean.

4. Focus on Grime In Crevices

Use a narrow brush to focus on cleaning grime out of crevices and along the grout lines. These areas tend to collect gunk.

5. Rinse Floor Thoroughly

Rinse the floor several times with fresh, clean water to remove all soap residue. Leave no suds behind.

6. Dry the Surface

Blot up remaining moisture with a dry microfiber mop or towel. Buffing it dry prevents water spots or streaks.

For extra dirty spots, let a baking soda paste sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing. Vinegar can also help remove stubborn hard water deposits or soap scum buildup.

Preventing Buildup Between Cleanings

Regular cleaning keeps soap scum, hard water stains, and dirt from building up on marble. But you can also take steps to prevent grime and deposits between deep cleanings:

  • Squeegee excess water off the walls and glass after each use. This prevents water spots.
  • Limit soap and shampoo residue. Use the minimum amount needed and rinse thoroughly.
  • Wipe down the walls with microfiber after showering. This removes soap film before it dries.
  • Consider applying a sealant. Sealing the marble can make cleaning easier.
  • Install a shower head water filter. Filters reduce minerals that leave hard water deposits.
  • Open the window or run a fan after showering. This allows moisture to dissipate rather than settle.
  • Clean up spills right away. Don’t let puddles of shampoo or body wash sit.

Tackling Tough Stains on Marble

Even with regular cleaning, marble can sometimes become stained by hair dye, makeup, wine, or other substances. Here are some tips for removing common stubborn stains:

For hair or makeup stains: Mix baking soda and water into a paste. Apply it to the stain and let sit for 30 minutes. Scrub with a soft brush then rinse. The baking soda will help lift pigmented stains.

For oil-based stains: Sprinkle corn starch over the stain to absorb excess oil. Let sit for 1-2 hours. Using a soft cloth, very gently rub the area to remove the corn starch and stain. Repeat as needed.

For wine or fruit juice stains: Spray the stain with hydrogen peroxide. Let bubble for 5 minutes. Scrub with a soft brush, then rinse. The peroxide will break down the coloring.

For ink or dye stains: Dab denatured alcohol onto the stain using a cotton ball. Gently rub the area and rinse. Take care not to spread the stain. The alcohol will cut through the pigment.

For severe stains, you may need to seek professional help. A marble restoration specialist has commercial-grade cleaners that can remove the toughest stains without harming the stone.

Maintaining the Finish and Sealing Marble

For long-lasting beauty, marble showers should be resealed once a year. The sealant forms a protective barrier against stains and etching.

Here are tips for sealing and protecting marble shower walls and floors:

  • Only apply sealant to clean, dry marble. Read the product directions closely.
  • Use a sealant specifically formulated for natural stone. Look for water-based and non-toxic options.
  • Apply with a clean paintbrush or lint-free cloth. Apply a thin, even coat and let fully dry.
  • 2-3 coats may be needed for adequate protection and coverage.
  • Avoid walking on the floor sealant until fully cured, usually 24-48 hours.
  • Reapply sealant at least annually. Harsh cleaners can break down sealant over time.
  • Look for sealants that offer both stain protection and resistance to etching.

Properly sealed marble maintains its elegant luster and prevents stains from setting in and etching the stone. It makes routine cleaning much simpler as well.

Best Practices for Marble Shower Care

Follow these best practices to keep a marble shower gleaming for decades:

  • Dry marble surfaces after each use to prevent water spots and mineral deposit buildup.
  • Squeegee walls and wipe down with a fan or towel to remove moisture.
  • Limit use of oil-based soaps and shampoos which can lead to staining.
  • Clean marble at least weekly with a gentle stone cleaner and soft sponge or brush.
  • Spot clean as needed between regular cleanings.
  • Deep clean grout lines every few months to remove grime buildup.
  • Reseal marble once a year or as directed by sealant packaging.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach, vinegar, and ammonia which can etch marble.
  • Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains from setting.
  • Install shower water filtration system if dealing with hard water mineral deposits.

Avoiding Damage to Marble Showers

Although durable, marble can become scratched, etched, or stained if not cared for properly. Avoid these mistakes:

  • Using abrasive brushes or scrub pads that can scratch the surface.
  • Letting cleaning solutions or liquids pool on the marble. This can etch it.
  • Allowing dirt, grime, or soap scum to build up over time.
  • Using cleaners that contain acids like vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Leaving hair, makeup, or hygiene products on the marble.
  • Not sealing marble or reapplying sealant annually.
  • Using wax cleaners or soaps containing dyes. These can stain marble.
  • Spraying cleaners directly onto vertical marble surfaces. This allows pooling.

By exercising proper care, your elegant marble shower can stay pristine and damage-free for many years. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasives, stick to gentle cleaners and soft tools, and reseal annually. With regular maintenance, you’ll enjoy the natural beauty of marble each time you step into the shower.

How to Clean a Marble Shower Frequently Asked Questions

Cleaning and caring for a marble shower doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are answers to some common questions about keeping marble showers sparkling:

What is the best homemade cleaner for marble showers?

A mixture of mild dish soap and warm water works well for most cleaning. For tougher buildup, make a paste of baking soda and water and let sit 5-10 minutes before scrubbing.

How can I get soap scum off marble without damaging it?

Use a soft sponge and gentle circular scrubbing. Soap scum can be loosened by letting a baking soda paste sit before rinsing. Avoid harsh chemical cleaners which can etch marble.

What should you not use to clean a marble shower?

Avoid abrasive brushes or scrub pads, bleach, vinegar, ammonia, and acidic cleaners which can damage the marble surface. Also steer clear of wax cleaners or oil-based soaps that leave a residue.

How do you deep clean marble shower grout?

Use a narrow brush and mild cleaner to scrub grime from grout lines. Let thickened cleaner or baking soda paste sit 5-10 minutes before scrubbing. For discoloration, make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

Can I use vinegar to clean marble showers?

No, vinegar is too acidic for marble and can damage the surface. To safely tackle hard water deposits, use a cleaner formulated for natural stone or rub with baking soda paste.

How often should you seal a marble shower?

Sealing marble once a year is recommended to maintain protection. Harsh cleaners and daily use slowly break down sealant over time. For heavy use showers, reapply sealant every 6-8 months.

What is the best sealer for marble showers?

Look for a water-based sealer specifically formulated for use on natural stone. Choose a non-toxic and stain-resistant sealer rated to withstand water and humidity. Apply 2-3 thin, even coats.

Can you use Magic Erasers on marble?

No, Magic Erasers have fine abrasives that can damage and scratch polished marble surfaces. Instead use a soft cloth with mild soap and water or baking soda paste for tough stains. Be gentle when cleaning marble.

How do you get hair dye off a marble shower?

Mix baking soda and water into a spreadable paste. Apply to the stain and let sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing with a soft brush. The baking soda will help lift out the pigment. Rinse thoroughly after scrubbing.

Maintaining Marble Shower Beauty

When cared for properly, marble showers can retain their elegant sophistication for decades, with just minimal regular upkeep required. Be sure to seal porous marble surfaces annually, wipe up spills quickly, and clean with only non-abrasive, stone-safe products. Avoid harsh chemicals or cleaners that can eat away at marble’s polished surface. With the proper gentle care and cleaning, your marble shower can continue looking like new.

How to Clean a Marble Shower: In Conclusion

Marble showers and surfaces add beauty and elegance to any bathroom. But without regular cleaning, marble can become etched, dingy and lose its lustrous shine. By using non-abrasive cleaners and soft tools, you can safely clean soap scum, hard water stains, and grime without damaging the marble. Take care to rinse thoroughly, buff dry, and reseal annually for long-lasting protection. With the proper maintenance and care, your marble shower can retain its sophistication and natural beauty for many years to come.