Many showers have beautiful natural stone surrounds. And your shower and bathtub are subject to many elements on a regular basis. One of those elements is soap. Many people dread the look of soap scum, but beyond being unsightly, can soap damage your beautiful natural stone as well?
Acidity is one of the biggest enemies to natural stone surfaces. This is because acid erodes stone and causes etching. You might be most familiar with etching on a natural stone countertop as “water marks”. But those same etched scars can become present in a shower as well if the soap you use is particularly acidic.
Soaps with high alkaline content also can be damaging to your stone. An example of a high alkaline soap could be your dishwashing detergent. The evidence you might be familiar with could be white spots on glasses that were not rinsed properly in the washing cycle. Body soaps can likewise be high in alkalinity and can cause etching similar to acidic soaps.
Lots of soaps will have additives that make them more pleasant to use and look at, such as fragrances and dyes. Dyes can be a particular problem when it comes to more porous stones. This is because those dyes can seep into those pores over time and discolor your tiles. In a similar way, high levels of fats can discolor your stones as well. An example of a popular high fat source would be coconut oil.
The kind of soap that is best for your natural stone is the one that is best for your skin as well. PH neutral soap is gentle on your skin and your stone surfaces. You should be able to research the pH level of a soap if it is not listed on the packaging. Look for one that is a 7 on the pH scale. This is what is considered neutral. Soaps that rank higher than a 7 are considered alkaline, and soaps that rank lower than 7 are acidic ones.
To prevent soap from leaving residue that can interact with your stone shower surround, do a quick wipe down of your shower walls with a squeegee after you shower. This should only take a few moments but can save your stone from becoming dull and damaged. If you have already noticed your shower stone tiles becoming dull and damaged, call Stone Restoration Works. We can professionally clean and restore your natural stone so that it looks as good as the day it was installed.
By Stone Restoration Works 11-3-2021