Asked on Mar 07, 2014

Water spots on ceramic tile in a shower (light blue in color)

Mary T
by Mary T
I have just cleaned ceramic tile in my shower with dawn d/washing liquid and vinegar. Grout and tile cleaned very well. The tile is dull/rough with what appears to be water spots. Any suggestions as how to remove the roughness and water spots. Tile at top where water does not spray is still smooth and shiny.
NOTE: We have iron in our water but we do have a good filter system under the house to remove iron. Possible that all iron is not removed??
  14 answers
  • Peggy Alberts-Meade Peggy Alberts-Meade on Mar 07, 2014
    Mary T. from Raleigh, NC. I use the same solution on my glass shower doors but I also add Finish dishwasher liquid to mine in the spray bottle.. Hope this helps you. :)
  • Jeanne888 Jeanne888 on Mar 07, 2014
    Once you remove whatever it is, you might apply Rain-X to the tile to keep it from building up again. (That's the stuff to put on the car windshield to make the rain slip away.) I use it on my tempered-glass sink in the bathroom. Works great! You do have to reapply periodically.
  • Debby Debby on Mar 07, 2014
    The build up may be calcium or some other mineral deposit from the water. You might want to look at CLR (calcium, lime, Rust) remover. I am not sure if it can be used on ceramic tile but it works great!
  • Caitlin Caitlin on Mar 07, 2014
    I use half vinigar and half dawn dishsoap in a soap scrubber while I am in the shower. If you do it every few days or even once a week it keeps the funny water marks and water stains off the tile. Just remember to rince it off while you are in there or it leaves very funky lines.
  • Michele Spencer Michele Spencer on Mar 07, 2014
    Sounds like hard water stains--I had them in my shower so I took tissue wrapping paper and soaked it with white vinegar and "papered" the shower. Use 4 or 5 sheets together so they are strong enough, put them in a deep cookie sheet or sheet tray and dump the vinegar on them--that way you can use up any excess vinegar. I left them on for 20 minutes or so then used a scrubbie to go over the walls--stains were gone! If you have a small area you can also use paper towels instead of the tissue paper, but I got the tissue paper at the dollar store so it was cheaper.
  • Mary T Mary T on Mar 07, 2014
    Thank you all so much. I am going to try each one...hope one works
  • Debbie Harris Debbie Harris on Mar 08, 2014
    CLR Lime Away. It's the best stuff out there.
  • Mary T Mary T on Mar 08, 2014
    thanks Debbie, I will try that also....
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Mar 08, 2014
    If it is hard water build up. If you have just scrubbed it down with vinegar did you clean it enough to get the hard water build up, could it be soap. You can use the Works toilet bowl cleaner to test it out. In a small spot ( wear plastic gloves, I always use a face mask dot The Works on it and see if it fizzes. ThenWorks has muratic acid in it. This will let you know if it's hard water. If it doesn't fizz and remove the hard water build up, then it is because you have taken the shine off your tile with vinegar. Vinegar is a food cleaning method but unless your careful it will take the shine off some tile, it will also damage travertine tile and stone tile. I only use The Works when all else fails. And seldom. To keep hard water from re-building just dry your shower with your twel after your done showering.
  • Megan Hantz Megan Hantz on Mar 08, 2014
    Mary T, I work and clean for an all-natural professional cleaning company. There are many products out there but sometimes certain types of build ups need to be physically removed. If you have hard water spots, like calcium, I want you to try this, it's cheap & tell me what you think/if it worked: '0000' steel wool (the finest one & won't scratch glass/tile) It's great for removing hairspray on mirrors too! It is also used on glass shower doors (not treated with hydroshield), and to shine up chrome. You can find it usually anywhere. People who detail cars also use '0000' steel wool for the mirrors and glass.
  • Mary T Mary T on Mar 08, 2014
    I will definitely try the Works bowl cleaner, maybe that will do the job.
  • Tracey T Tracey T on Mar 09, 2014
    I have the same problem when I clean my ceramic tile floors with the same solution, looks dull! Thanks for asking the question! I may have an answer now
  • Mary T Mary T on Mar 09, 2014
    Wonder if my solution is too strong? I used a grout brush and a scum buster so my so my tools should not have been dulling the tiles. The tiles up high are still smooth and shining but they did not have any soap scum/water stains to begin with.......hope I have not ruined them !!!
  • Sandra Whittier Sandra Whittier on Sep 05, 2015
    Use the Dawn and vinegar then get a plastic scrubby or a G.I. brush dipped in baking soda as you go along. You use the PH of the vinegar to eat the water spots, baking soda keeps it in place and if they are real bad you can leave this paste of vinegar, Dawn and baking soda a couple of days while you mist on more vinegar mixture(it foams). Later use your brush to wipe away the dirt, water spots and grime. Does the grout at the same time. So you don't have to do it again, rinse and then use Orange Oil cleaner (works like "Rainx" to clean it all up and make it glisten..