How to clean an onyx shower pan

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Learn the best practices for cleaning an Onyx shower pan with EZ Bath's guide, ensuring longevity and brilliance in your bathroom's centerpiece.

Keep your drains clean

A common issue with onyx shower pans is white spots forming on the base of them.  These spots themselves aren’t usually a major issue.  They will generally come off easily if you apply neat dish soap, leave it for a few minutes and then rinse.  If that doesn’t work, you can use a non-abrasive cleaner like Shower Bubbles.

The potential problem is that these white spots tend to indicate that water has penetrated the top coat of your onyx shower pan.  In itself, this is a fairly minor issue.  Onyx is a non-porous product and has many layers to it.  That means it will take a lot of wear and tear before it gets seriously damaged.

The more serious issue is that the most common reason for water staying in the shower pan for an extended period of time is it draining away slowly.  The most common reason for water draining away slowly is problems with your drains.  This can eventually lead to more serious problems with your shower pan, your bathroom, and your home in general.

Use a shower hair catcher to stop hairs and debris from getting into your drains.  When you give your shower a thorough clean, take the opportunity to clean your drains as well.  You don't have to use chemicals.  Put about half a cup of dish soap down the drain.  Follow with half a cup of vinegar.  Then rinse well using hot water from your shower.

Rinse your shower after every use

Just rinsing a shower after every use will do a lot to reduce the amount of proper cleaning you need to do. It will get rid of most, if not all, soap residue.  It will also help to get limestone off the pan (and shower walls).  The key to making this work is to remove the water quickly.  If it doesn’t flow down the drain almost immediately, wipe it off.

The reason this matters is that water dissolves both soap and limestone.  That’s how limestone gets into shower pans in the first place.  If the water is cleared from the shower pan immediately, it will take the soap and/or limestone with it.  If, however, the water is left standing, it will evaporate, leaving the soap/limestone behind.

If you keep products in the shower, rinse and/or wipe the outside of the containers to get rid of any soap suds (or limestone deposits).  This will stop them from dripping into the shower pan between uses.

Use dish soap for mild stains

No matter what material you use for the shower pan, the chances are that it’s going to end up getting stained.  Most of these stains will be mild.  In fact, they’ll probably come from colorings used in personal-care products.  Dish soap will usually clean it off nicely.  Just apply it to the stained area and rinse off with warm water.

Use a non-abrasive cleaner for tougher stains

If you do end up with a tougher stain in your onyx shower, you can use a non-abrasive cleaner on it.  Scrubbing Bubbles is a popular option.  It generally will remove even the toughest stains and deposits without harming your shower.

Periodically clean your shower pan with vinegar

A 50:50 mix of white vinegar and water creates a fantastic cleaning product that has all kinds of uses.  As a mild acid, vinegar will remove any soap scum and/or limestone that stubbornly clung on after your rinse.  It will also clean any mildew or mold that has started to form.  This is most likely to be around the edges of your pan where the silicone is.

You can use vinegar to clean literally every part of your shower.  In fact, it’s a great idea to do so.  If your shower wall is tiled, wiping the vinegar mix over it will not only make your tiles shine.  It will also deal with any mildew or mold.  Vinegar is renowned for its ability to clean glass.  It also makes a powerful soak for your shower head.

Soaking your shower head in vinegar will deal with calcium and limestone deposits.  It can also help to kill off bacteria.  As a rule of thumb, you want to soak your shower head for about 30 minutes at a time.

Whatever part(s) of your shower you clean with vinegar, always rinse them well afterward.  This is particularly important if they have a coating.  The fact that vinegar is such an effective cleaner means that it can actually cause damage if left on for extended periods.

Use microfibre cloths to prevent streaks

If you really want the perfect clean, then finish it by rubbing over the surface with a microfibre cloth.  This will remove any streaks for a flawless finish.  Microfiber cloths work on all surfaces, including glass.  If, however, you are cleaning glass panels, it can be more convenient to use a proper glass-cleaning tool.

Add a protective coating

Onyx shower pans are highly regarded for their durability. With that said, it never hurts to give them a bit of extra protection. What’s more, it’ll make your cleaning easier too. You need to make sure to buy a product that’s designed to protect the pan rather than the glass. Shower Guard will not work effectively on pans, although it’s great for glass enclosures. The most popular option is Gel Gloss. This is very easy to apply. You just put it on a dry cloth and spread it over the pan. If you have an onyx shower surround, you can use it to protect that too. Leave it to dry thoroughly before using the shower again.  In hard water areas, you should usually apply Gel Gloss every other week, at least once a month.

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Written by
Mitchell Clay

Proud father and husband. A big comic book nerd and sweets are my kryptonite. I fell in love with the remodeling industry in 2008 and it's held a tight grip on me ever since.

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