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Hard water stains in shower

Q. We moved into a new house 6 months ago that has a shower stall made with 4x4 tumbled travertine tiles. We live in Phoenix where the water is pretty hard and the stone is getting a hazy white appearance to it most likely from the hard water. We were told the tile was sealed but how can we remove these stains and get the stone back to it’s natural color without damaging it?

A. The stains you mention are in fact mineral deposits from your hard water. If they are relatively light, try using  good quality soap film remover for natural stone, available at Stone Care Central.

If they are severe and the soap film remover doesn’t do the trick, they can be removed with an acid or by abrasion. Because the deposits are alkaline, a mild solution of sulfamic acid can be tried, but be sure to test it in a small area and rinse it throughly. You can pick up sulfamic acid at most home centers in the tile department. It is sold as a grout cleaner.

I would highly recommend that you call in a PRO if the build-up is severe. Click the Find A Pro tab to locate a professional stone restoration contractor in your area.

Fred M. Hueston
Chief Technical Director

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