Cleaning New Shower Tile and Grout

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TJanak

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I'm looking for advice on cleaning tile and grout in the showers in our new home. I did some searching here but didn't really find any good results. All of our showers use:

Interceramic Duratec glazed porcelain tile https://interceramicusa.com/product/construct/#inspiration
and
Fusion Pro single component grout https://www.custombuildingproducts....erials/single-component-grout/fusion-pro.aspx

We have low hardness and iron water running through a softener, so I think our main concern is soap scum/general dirt and not so much hard minerals. We went out on a limb and did an all black master shower with the sliced black stone floor, so the floor has a considerable amount of grout. It looks awesome but the grout is beginning to lighten/show white residue where it doesn't get foot traffic.

Any suggestions on products and methods to use to clean?

Thanks!
 

Jadnashua

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You don't want to use any cleaner that may have a pH less than 7 generally, so look at that. Most that say they are safe for natural stone should work.

If you want to keep things looking good, longer, when finished, use your towel to quickly wipe down the surfaces. Soft water should help keep mineral water spots down, and when configured right, help remove at least some iron, but wiping it down will really help.
 

WorthFlorida

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For cleaning tile and grout I've been using Scrub Free ever since it came out. You spray it on, spread it out with a long handle brush and let it set for 3-4 minutes to work, then rinse. For grout and it still seems to still be dirty, use a brush to help it along.

For maintenance, I've been suing "511 Impregnator" since 2005 when I remodeled my first bathroom. It really works on sealing grout and natural stone. Just read the instructions on applying it. What I did is after the first week after the initial seal, I did another seal on the shower floor tiles and the rest of the bathroom floor. I do mine about every 6 months on just the shower floor and the rest of the bathroom floor if you are up to it. Our current home has natural green marble and after a heavy cleaning of the shower floor about every 4-6 months, I do another seal with 511. With a soft water any sealer may break down sooner. The bottle reads 20 years or whatever but I don't buy it. I also use it on our granite countertops. Mainly around the sink where soap and water is constantly being wiped up. Home Depot stocks it in it tile section. It's pricey($30/qt) but I still have the 1 quart bottle I bought it about eight years ago and I'm just about out.

One of the best things you can do and what Jim suggested, wipe the shower down after each use. We keep a squeegee in both the walk in shower and the bathtub. It makes quick work and gets most to the water off the walls and the glass doors down the drain instead of evaporating into the home.
 

TJanak

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Thanks guys, I appreciated the advice. We do squeegee the doors and walls every time the shower is used, and at our last house where the shower was a lot smaller used to wipe them down with a towel as well. So far haven't committed the time to doing that yet here, but should.

Scrub Free SDS shows a pH of 0.8-1.2 using sulfamic acid. I'm guessing that is probably why it works well! My parents have very hard water and my mother cleaned her shower with Lime Away for years until there was essentially no grout left, so I see the issue with low pH cleaners. I believe the grout and tile shows to be safe for bleach, but I have to think repeated use of a bleach containing product (Tilex) on black grout will lighten it over time. Besides I don't think I really need bleach at this point because we don't have a mold/mildew issue. Supposedly this grout doesn't need to be sealed/is already sealed in the bucket/etc. but I'm not educated on all of that yet. We used the 511 product on the granite in our last home so I'm familiar with it.

Think I will search for products safe for natural stone and neutral pH as Jim mentioned and see how they work. If I'm not satisfied I may venture into the lower pH products such as Scrub Free. The sliced stone floor looks cool but man, it's a lot of grout to clean...
 

Jadnashua

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The cement contains some calcium, and that is dissolved by acids...the stronger the acid, the faster it happens. Some stones will also contain some calcium, and the same thing can happen. Both limestone and marble do contain some calcium, and an acid based cleaner will etch them, and if used often enough, could wear them away, but that would take a long time to actually dissolve them...think what happens in limestone caves with the sometimes vast caverns and stalagmites and stalactites. The acid involved there is quite weak, but over time, it's still amazing.
 
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