Can you use vinegar on stone shower?

Natural stone materials like slate, limestone, granite, marble, and onyx come in a wide range of colors and patterns to suit a variety of bathroom designs. Soapstone, travertine, and granite work best in showers because they are less porous compared to marble.

The hardest part about cleaning a natural stone tile shower is keeping the white, cloudy soap scum buildup under control.

It may seem like the right idea to use acidic cleaners like vinegar and ammonia to dissolve stubborn product buildup and hard water deposits. These have extreme pH's that will eventually break down any sealants, scratch stone, and eventually lead to discoloration.

Natural stone should be cleaned once a week with a pH-neutral cleaning product like Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. The powerful cleaner dissolves tough soils and buildup without damaging your beautiful stone surfaces, and removes soap scum, body oils and greases, bath oils, soap, and shampoo oils.

Can you use vinegar on stone shower?
Can you use vinegar on stone shower?

On top of regular deep cleaning, you can avoid scum buildup by removing excess water after every shower. Use a rubber squeegee or microfiber towel to get rid of remaining water spots and leave the shower looking sparkling clean.

It's also important that you seal natural stone shower surfaces to prevent water, oil, and other liquids from penetrating and leaving stains. A stone sealer will not make surfaces stain-proof or waterproof; it will only provide stain or water resistance to make the surface easier to maintain. Reseal every couple of years, or whenever you notice water not beading on the surface.

Directions for Cleaning a Natural Stone Shower:

  1. Mix your Simple Green solution. Mix 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner with about 2 ½ cups of water in an empty spray bottle. If your shower is light-colored stone, you could also mix 1 ½ cups of Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Cleaner with 1 ½ cups of water.
  2. Spray. Generously coat sections of the shower floor and walls with your solution.
  3. Scrub. Use a soft bristle brush to address any areas covered in soap scum or hard water stains.
  4. Rinse with clean water. If your shower head is detachable, turn the water on and use it to rinse the shower walls and floor. Otherwise, fill a bucket with water to rinse.
  5. Dry. Once all sections are cleaned, wipe down until totally dry.
  6. Polish. Use a mixture of baking soda and water to polish after you've cleaned.
    1. Combine about 45 grams of baking soda with about a liter of water and mix well in a medium-sized bowl.
    2. Use a clean cloth to apply the mixture to the surface.
    3. Allow the paste to dry for about 5 hours, then use a microfiber cloth and warm water to rinse.
    4. Dry buff with a clean microfiber or chamois cloth.

TIP: You can also use Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner to clean the grout in between your stone tiles. Click here for directions on how to do so.

TIP: For directions on how to clean glass shower doors, click here.

Can you use vinegar on stone shower?

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Can you use vinegar on stone shower?

Today’s chemist tip can be a cheap DIY or you can buy the items, either way this is how to clean shower tile the RIGHT way.

Many, actually most, of our readers on Chemistry Cachet really love making their own cleaning solutions. I get emails all the time with questions about certain homemade products and surfaces to use them on.

One of our goals is to make sure we help you find the best products that work, and save you from making something dangerous to you or your surfaces.

To learn more about those pinterest cleaning myths, check out this post.

Can you use vinegar on stone shower?

When I talked about vinegar a couple of months ago, I mentioned that you must not use it on natural stone surfaces because it can harm surfaces like this. It will eat away overtime and also eat away any finish you have on top.

Vinegar is highly acidic, so it does cut down on soap scum well, but can’t be used on natural stones. Vinegar is one of the main components in this really effective bathroom cleaner. If you have regular bathroom tiles, ceramic, acrylic, or anything of that nature, you can use this bathroom cleaner.

So, what about those stone tiled showers? That is what we have in our master bathroom and it can be pretty tough to clean correctly.

I have tested dozens of methods over the years since we bought this house, and today I want to share with you how to clean your stone shower tiles.

This is the best, safest way to clean natural stone shower tiles, but will also work on other surfaces.

Supplies for Cleaning the Tile:

  • Magic Eraser (Make Your Own DIY from the Book)
  • Natural Stone Cleaner (Make Your Own Stone Cleaner from the Book)
  • Sponge
  • Cleaning Towel (These are great for cleaning)

Can you use vinegar on stone shower?

For more information on cleaning every surface in your home including all types of natural cleaners, be sure to reference our ultimate DIY cleaning guide!


  1. I always recommend cleaning showers right after you’ve taken one since it will be nice and hot, all that steam allows the scum to be loosened already.
  2. With the magic eraser, rub the areas of bad soap scum. After scrubbing the area with the magic eraser, wipe off with a damp towel.
  3. Next, spray your stone cleaner all over the surfaces. With a sponge, scrub the area. If you own Chemistry Hacks for Home and Outdoors, I love using the stone/granite “everything” cleaner. It works perfect for this.
  4. Now, rub with a damp towel.
  5. It should be nice a clean now!

For glass shower doors:

Use the exact same method (You might not even need to sponge it, just the damp towel will do), but you may need to rinse it with hot water if any soap scum residue remains. If you are not using this DIY granite cleaner that also doubles as a glass cleaner, please use glass cleaner for the shower door after using the magic eraser.

Also, check out our comprehensive guide on cleaning glass shower doors for an additional method for your shower door if it is coated!! We installed a new shower a few years after this post was written, and I went with  coated shower door. This one in our post was the older one that didn’t have anything like that. Just FYI.

Can you use vinegar on stone shower?

The hardest part about stone tiles is how the soap scum forms a whitish, almost cloudy like residue on the the tiles. When we first bought the house, I never realized the dull look the tiles had overtime was actually soap build up. It starts out subtle and just keeps building.

Using this method, will make your tiles really brighten up!

We made a short video for the shower door cleaning you can check out below:

Chemist Tip for Shower Glass:

The best tip I have for keeping up with your shower glass, is to keep up with it. I actually keep a small bottle of my DIY stone/granite cleaner. While taking a shower, I spray the door, then wipe it off when  I am done with a shower. It keeps soap scum away!

Another tip is to keep one of these squeegees in the shower, and use it when you are done running the shower. My parents have a large glass shower and this is what they do. It keeps the glass nice and sparkly.

  FAQ’s For Cleaning Natural Shower Tile and Glass Doors!

Will this remove mold?

I recommend using our 2-ingredient mold remover! It works wonders on ALL surfaces.

What if I don’t have your ebook?

That’s fine! Just make sure to use glass cleaner for the shower door and granite/stone cleaner for the shower tiles. If you have our ebook, the granite cleaner doubles for both.

Will the magic eraser leave residue on the glass?

Yes it can, that is why you will follow up with the cleaner and damp towel. I always recommend to follow up with a dry cleaning towel at the end.

Will the magic eraser harm the stone surface?

Not if used properly. The DIY version in the book is going to be a little safer than store-bought, but when used occasionally, both are safe. I always recommend doing this only when you have a very bad soap scum residue. Try to keep up with cleaning the stone tile with your stone cleaner as often as possible.

Again, you should only be using the magic eraser to rub over the area gently once or twice. It doesn’t take more than that! For marble/granite like surfaces, also be careful and use according to directions.

Why does this work?

Magic Erasers have a special sponge formulated to remove most build ups. We talk about this more in the ebook, but this sponge targets soap scum specifically.  While, the chemicals in a magic eraser target the soap scum, you still need a nice stone cleaner to clean up the rest of the residue. For the glass, it works the same way. Using a glass cleaner  or our DIY granite cleaner will get rid of the magic eraser residue, plus the rest of the soap scum.

Will this work on hard water stains?

Yes it will. If you have hard water stains on another surface like acrylic, porcelain, or other bathroom surfaces, please use this all-purpose bathroom cleaner.

Will this work on mold?

No, this is specifically for soap scum.

When is the best time do this?

Right after taking a hot shower, this works awesome! Steam looses all the soap scum and buildup on the tiles and glass. It will help this solution work much better.

How often should this be done?

Using the DIY granite cleaner or store-bought stone cleaner can be used as much as everyday. The magic eraser method should be done only when soap scum is very thick. This is something we do every few months. If you keep up with cleaning, you won’t have to do this often at all. Use no more than every 4 months!

The stone cleaner doesn’t seem to get the residue off as well, am I doing something wrong?

Make sure your towel is damp when following up from the magic eraser! It will help the stone cleaner to work better.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you have!

Disclaimer: This post was researched and written by a chemist from a chemistry standpoint. Always consult a professional before use on your surfaces if you are wondering about use. We test and research all of our chemist tips for months or years, so everything is safe and effective. Always test small areas of your home before using homemade solutions.

Can you use vinegar on stone shower?

Can you use vinegar on stone shower?

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What is the best way to clean a natural stone shower?

Combine about 45 grams of baking soda with about a liter of water and mix well in a medium-sized bowl. Use a clean cloth to apply the mixture to the surface. Allow the paste to dry for about 5 hours, then use a microfiber cloth and warm water to rinse. Dry buff with a clean microfiber or chamois cloth.

Does vinegar damage natural stone?

It's essential to only use cleaners which are appropriate for natural stone surfaces. This means avoiding using vinegar. Stones like limestone, marble, or travertine will react to vinegar because it's an acidic cleaner with harsh effects. It can even lead to burning or etching to occur on the surface of the stone.

Will white vinegar damage stone?

If you want to keep your stone countertops looking beautiful, don't reach for vinegar. The acid etches and dulls natural stone such as marble and limestone. It can make them lose their shine, which Sansoni likens to scarring.

How do I get hard water stains off my stone shower?

While it's not generally wise to use abrasive cleaners on your natural stone countertops, you can safely treat stubborn hard water stains with a paste of baking soda and water. Simply apply it to the affected area and scrub it with a soft-bristled brush, then rinse with water and dry with a microfiber cloth.