More traditionally used as roofing and flooring tiles, the use of slate to tile showers has become quite popular in recent years. Dependant on a the type of slate you have and the hardness of the water in your area, using the sort of household cleaning detergents available in your local shopping stores might not be enough to keep the slates clean. If you’re not satisfied with the standard of slate shower cleaning you’re attaining at present – then read on.
Are Ordinary Shower Cleaning Detergents Good Enough?
First of all you need to understand that there isn’t just one type of slate. Slate is a metamorphic rock that is found all over the world. As such it can be formed under varying conditions and, therefore, will have varying chemical compositions and properties. For example one form of slate that is rich in the mineral feldspar is known to encourage the growth of diatoms (algae to most of us) in wet conditions.
So, if you were sold this form of slate for tiling a shower not only will the proper cleaning of the slate tiles be required but they’ll also need the correct sealant. Another factor entirely beyond your control is the type of domestic water supply in your area. The ‘harder’ the water, the minerals it contains, the more likely you are to have scaling and iron-staining problems with untreated slate tiles; to remove these stains requires specialized products.
Regardless of whether you’ve just moved into a property and want to give the slate tiles in the shower a really good clean to get rid of all the grime and grease; or if you’ve got problems with staining on the tiles – there’s a cleaning solution available to you.
Properly Cleaning your Slate Shower Tiles
If the tiles have been previously sealed the first task is to apply a sealant remover. If you know the name of the sealant manufacturer then it’s advisable to use the same company’s sealant remover, which should be formulated to deal most effectively with its own products. After that you can then use any proprietary tile cleaner of you choice.
Obviously, if you can, use one that is specifically formulated for slate shower tiles. Don’t forget that whilst the tiles are unsealed you can also give the tile grout a good cleaning too. You can purchase combined tile and grout cleaners, or you could buy separate specialist products.
Sealing Slate Shower Tiles
If you’ve been having trouble keeping slate tiles clean then sealing them, or re-sealing them, will be a good idea. After giving them a thorough cleaning; rinse down the slate tiles with clean water, leave them to dry and then apply the sealant. There are plenty of shower tile and grout sealants available to purchase.
Whilst shower tile sealants generally need re-applying every two or three years, it’s no excuse for just picking the cheapest one on the shelf. Take a few moments to read what the manufacturer has to say about the conditions that the sealant is designed for. The better the match to the conditions in your shower – the more effective and longer lasting the sealant will be.
Keeping the Tiles Clean.
So, having got the shower looking sparkling clean – how do you keep it looking at its best? The answer is simple – don’t go back to using ordinary detergents to clean it. Use a properly formulated cleaner for the tile and grout sealant that you’ve just applied. Not only will this keep the shower looking nice and clean but will also help to extend the effectiveness of the sealant itself.