We were contacted by a homeowner near Shrewsbury about the Marble wall tiles in their shower which were looking particularly grubby. They had tried to clean the area with a multitude of household products but were unable to improve their appearance and had decided to call in some professional help.
I went over to do a site visit, run some tests and recommend a solution, I like to do this where possible as it ensures I can provide an accurate quote and it also gives me an opportunity to demonstrate a workable solution. The tiles were the small two inch square Marble Mosaics which from my point of view means there’s a log of grout to clean.
More importantly whilst there I discovered their water is pumped up from a well and the water is rich in Iron deposits. You can see on the picture where the water has dried on the walls and then the Iron deposits have turned rusty resulting in a large rust stain.
The property was in the old village of Church Preen which a small Hamlet in Shropshire which only has around 30 properties, it is approximately 12 miles from the county town of Shrewsbury.
Cleaning Rust Stained Marble Shower Tiles
Normally I would remove the iron and rust deposits with an acid-based product such as Acid Gel or Grout Clean-up but Marble is acid sensitive and doing so would etch and damage the tiles. So, to work around this problem I selected to use Tile Doctor Rust Away which worked really well. This product is an effective ready to use cleaner specifically designed to remove rust stains particularly when it has become heavily embedded. In the pictures it is clearly visible how the solution turns purple when it reacts to the rust and iron deposits.
After the rust was removed, I set about cleaning the Marble tile and grout with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being a gel sticks well to wall tiles allowing for a longer dwell time. After ten minutes the solution was scrubbed into the tile and grout by hand and then rinsed off with water. I repeated this process a couple of times where necessary until I was satisfied the tile and grout were as clean as could be and then rinsed the tiles down thoroughly to ensure all any traces of cleaning product has been removed. Once done the Marble tile and grout looked so much cleaner.
Sealing Mosaic Marble Shower Tiles
It was a hot day and with a little encouragement from my air mover I was able to dry out the tiles and grout quite quickly as verified by testing with a damp meter. This meant I could complete the job in one day without the need for any additional drying time.
I sealed the Marble and grout with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnator that seeps into the pores of the stone intensifying the natural colours and providing durable protection. With a fresh sealer in place water now runs off the shower wall and no longer accumulates on the tile where the Iron in the water can cause staining as it rusts.
They were over the moon with their revamped shower, it now looked much more inviting for them to use and less embarrassing when guests come to stay.
Before leaving we discussed aftercare and I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro for general cleaning, it’s a pH neutral product so its safe to use on sealed surfaces. Also I suggested that should the find water starting to collect on the shower wall after use it’s wiped off with a squeegee.