The photographs below are taken from a house in the old market town of Basingstoke which is now the largest town in Hampshire. I was asked to address a very severe case of Limescale build-up in a shower cubicle. The wall tiles were Ceramic and a shocking amount of Limescale had deposited itself on them and the shower tray over the years; the owners were going to have to replace everything if Tile Doctor could not come to the rescue!
The photos below really demonstrate the extent of the problem and needless to say the Gauntlet had been laid down and I was ready for a challenge!
Cleaning a Ceramic tiled shower cubicle
My first task was to provide the Ceramic tiled walls with an initial clean. I did this by firstly mixing a diluted solution of the high alkaline cleaner known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean and then applying this on the tiles and leaving it to dwell for a while before scrubbing it in by hand in order to remove any surface dirt and scum. This was then washed off and I set my mind to the main task at hand: the Limescale removal.
Removing Limescale from a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle
To remove the Limescale it is necessary to apply an acidic product. However, there is an issue for homeowners that most products readily available on the market come in a liquid form, which of course simply drips down the tile, and therefore does not work to the best of its abilities. Fortunately, Tile Doctor recently launched a new product by the name of Acid Gel. Since it’s in a gel form it stays put on the surface and does not evaporate or dry out too quickly. This allows it time to break down the Limescale and other difficult stains.
Acid Gel was thus applied to the affected areas and left to dwell for a short while. I then scrubbed it deeply into the tile and grout lines, and follow up with an application of steam to tackle the stubborn areas and help the Acid Gel to tackle the Limescale.
The results were absolutely fantastic, and even the shower tray – which was in a very poor state indeed – came up very clean. Needless to say, my client was very pleased that they now do not have to replace the shower!
You can see from the photograph below how dirty these Black Chinese Slate tiles and grout had become; the old sealer protecting the tile and grout from stains had virtually vanished because the customer in Basingstoke had been using washing up liquid to clean them. Generally speaking washing up liquid is a degreaser with a slight Acidic PH and over time it can strip the sealer off. This was definitely the root cause of problem in this case in fact the sealer was virtually non existent. In a way this made our job easier as we have to remove any sealer before we can start cleaning.
Cleaning Chinese Black Slate
The first job we did was to work on the grout lines using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which we left to dwell on the grout first before working it in with a special stiff brush. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner which unlike acidic products is safe to use on all types of stone. To remove the remaining sealer and clean the slate floor we used Pro-Clean again this time worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad.
The soiled liquids were removed and the floor rinsed down with clean water, we find a wet Vacuum machine comes in very handy at this point as there great for removing liquids from floors. We repeated this process a number of times until we were happy the slate tile and grout were thoroughly clean.
Sealing Chinese Black Slate
The slate floor was left to dry overnight and we came back the next day to seal it. The floor has to be dry for this process so we use a damp meter to make sure and we keep an industrial air blower in the van that we can use in case we need to speed things up. To seal the black slate we applied five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a great stain protector recommended for slate floors that leaves a nice low sheen on the floor.
Last but not least we advised the customer that going forward they should use a PH neutral cleaning product for regular cleaning and recommended the use Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner going forward.