How to Clean a Slate Shower

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Natural stone tiles like slates have some particular concerns regarding cleaning. It is because slate traps the dirt, debris, soap scum, and stains more quickly as they are porous.

And showers are prone to such build-ups. Therefore, it is essential to seek periodic cleaning for a slate shower, even though you opt for regular sealing and polishing of the tiles.

How to Clean Slate Shower?

Slate tile around the shower enclosure brings in an appealing look to the entire bathroom. However, you must know that slate is a porous stone, and it demands proper maintenance when installed in a wet environment as it soaks dirty water in the washroom faster than you might notice. Thus, it would help if you learned how to clean slate shower to preserve its shine and appeal.

Method 1: Clean With Neutral Soap & Water Solution

Mild soap is readily available at everyone’s home. Hence, quick clean-ups or removing dirt from the slate shower surface can be done quickly by using soap and water. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Get the Supplies

  1. Buy a neutral pH soap. (Ivory liquid, hand soaps, dishwashing soap)
  2. Get a bowl of water
  3. Get a scrubbing brush 
A bathroom walkin with slate tiles


Prefer not to use harsh commercial cleaners, as they might contain alkaline or acidic products. In addition, natural stones like slate can experience damage by using such cleaners as they can cause etching on natural stone tiles.

Step 2: Prepare the Soap & Water Solution

  1. Take a bowl of water
  2. Mix up neutral pH soap into it.
  3. Mix it up properly to prepare the cleaning solution. 

Step 3: Scrub the Slate Shower Surface

  1. Use a scrub brush for this purpose.
  2. Dip it into the solution.
  3. Scrub the stained surfaces to remove dirt and soap scum within the crevices of the stone. 
  4. Scrub the entire surface thoroughly and put pressure on the tough stained areas. 
  5. Make sure you are scrubbing in a circular motion. 
  6. Specify different sections to work on, one by one.

Step 4: Rinse the Surface With Clean Water

  1. Use a hand shower or a bucket full of clean water. 
  2. Rinse the slate shower surfaces.
  3. It will remove the loose dirt or debris off the surface. 
  4. Check for the results, and if required, repeat the process.

Method 2: Clean By Using Commercial Cleaners

There are many commercial stone cleaner products available online and offline. Look for the stone cleaners that are mainly manufactured for cleaning slate tiles. Get one, and you can commence with seamless cleaning of your slate shower.

Step 1: Apply the Commercial Cleaner

  1. Get the commercial stone cleaner solution.
  2. Pour it onto a scrub brush.
  3. Scrub the slate shower surfaces that need spot removal.
  4. Scrub in a circular motion. 
  5. Make sure you do not leave out the corners or crevices. 

Step 2: Rinse the Slate Tile Surface

  1. Use a hand shower or a bucket full of clean water.
  2. Rinse the slate tile surface with it.
  3. Check for the cleanliness of the slate shower.
  4. If unsatisfactory, repeat the entire process. And this time, scrub it with a bit of pressure on tricky areas. 

Here is a video for added practical knowledge on how to clean the slate shower tiles 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Prevent Causing Soap Scum in the Slate Shower?

One of the most basic implementations that you can try for preventing soap scum in a slate shower is keeping a squeegee in the shower. Use it to wipe the slate tile surface after every use.

You can also keep an old towel that can help you for the same purpose. Read this article for more tips on preventing and cleaning soap scum off the slate shower.

What Should I Avoid While Cleaning My Slate Shower?

The thing you need to avoid while cleaning slate showers is scouring powders or other such heavily abrasive cleaners. Along with that, you must also avoid using hard-bristle brushes or metal wools for cleaning the slate tiles. Instead, it is better to pick a microfiber cloth while cleaning slate tiles.

Black toned wall slate tiles with a towel hanged

Can I Use Bleach While Cleaning the Slate Shower?

Yes, you can use bleach to clean slate showers. But be careful! Mild bleach, such as Hydrogen Peroxide, works quite well for removing stains off the slate shower.

In addition, this mild bleach causes no damage when combining equal parts of Hydrogen Peroxide and water to spray it onto the tile surface.

Ten minutes is what you need for this solution to settle. Then, scrub it up with a sponge or brush to get a clean result. Avoid using any of the other strong bleaches for cleaning the slate shower.

Why Cannot I Use Vinegar on My Slate Shower Tiles?

You cannot use vinegar on your slate shower tiles because it will weaken the stone. Usually, for all the DIY soap scum cleaning needs, vinegar & lemon is highly preferable.

However, when it comes to natural stones like slate, lemon and vinegar have acidic contents in them, which will damage the slate surface. It will weaken the stone and deteriorate the look of slate tiles over time. 


Slate tiles are attractive, appealing, and durable. However, you need to seek periodic cleaning sessions for them and this applies to all shower tiles.

Delaying or neglecting the cleaning needs for a slate shower can deteriorate its beautiful texture and lead to stubborn build-ups. So, learn the right cleaning approach from the methods mentioned above in this guide and go for it.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.