Cleaning River Rock Shower Floors: A Step-by-Step Guide

River rock shower floors add a beautiful and natural aesthetic to any bathroom, but over time they can become dirty and stained, leading to an unsightly appearance as well as potential health hazards from mold or mildew accumulation. Cleaning a river rock shower floor may seem intimidating at first glance, but with the correct approach and tools, it becomes relatively straightforward. In this guide, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to effectively clean your river rock shower floor, including tips on preventing future buildup and maintaining a hygienic bathroom environment.

How to Clean River Rock Shower Floor

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean river rock shower floors:

Materials Needed:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Scrubbing brush or sponge
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Bucket or spray bottle
  • Water Supplies
  • Towels or a squeegee
  • Optional: Steam cleaner or pressure washer.

Step 1: Clear the Shower Floor

Start by clearing away any items on the shower floor like shampoo bottles, soap and other accessories that could get in the way of cleaning. It is essential to have a free and open area to work in when doing this task.

Step 2: Don Rubber Gloves

Putting on rubber gloves will protect your hands from any harsh cleaning chemicals or bacteria present in the shower.

Step 3: Moisten the Shower Floor

To clean a shower, use either a bucket of water or spray bottle to wet the floor. Doing so will help loosen any dirt or grime that has built up on it.

Step 4: Clean with White Vinegar

White vinegar is an effective natural cleaner and disinfectant. Apply directly onto river rocks or mix it with water in a spray bottle before letting sit for several minutes. Afterward, scrub the rocks gently using either a scrub brush or sponge, being sure to get into all crevices and corners of the rocks.

Step 5: Rinse with Water

Finally, thoroughly rinse the shower floor with water to make sure all traces of vinegar solution have been eliminated.

Step 6: Use Baking Soda

To eliminate stubborn stains or tough spots, mix baking soda with water to form a paste. Apply it liberally over affected areas and let sit for several minutes.

Step 7: Gently Scrub River Rocks with a Brush or Sponge

Using either a scrub brush or sponge, gently rub baking soda paste into river rocks, focusing on areas with the most buildup. Rinse floors with water afterward.

Step 8: Extinguish the shower floor

Using towels or a squeegee, thoroughly dry the shower floor to prevent mold or mildew growth. Make sure all traces of moisture have been eliminated so the surface can breathe easily.

Optional Step 9: Steam Clean or Pressure Wash

For a deeper clean, you can use a steam cleaner or pressure washer to blast away any remaining dirt and grime. Just remember to follow the instructions on the device and be gentle not to damage river rocks during usage.

Tips for Maintaining a Shiny Shower Floor:

  • Regularly clean your river rock shower floor to prevent dirt and grime accumulation.
  • Use a squeegee after each use to remove excess water and prevent water stains.
  • Open windows or turn on the exhaust fan for ventilation to help ventilate and reduce moisture build-up.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaning products or tools that could harm the river rocks.

With these straightforward steps and tips, you can effectively clean your river rock shower floor and keep your bathroom spotless.

Can I use Bleach to Clean My River Rock Shower Floor?

Bleach is a commonly-used cleaning agent, but it should never be used on river rock shower floors. Bleach can damage the rocks and discolor them over time; additionally, it’s harsh on grout and other parts of the shower which causes them to deteriorate faster.

When cleaning river rock shower floors, opt for natural cleaning solutions that are safe and effective. White vinegar is an excellent natural cleaner and disinfectant that can help remove dirt and grime from your shower floor. Apply directly onto the rocks, let sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a brush before rinsing with water.

Another option is to combine baking soda and water to form a paste that can be applied directly onto the rocks. Baking soda acts as an abrasive, helping remove stains and grime from shower floors. With a brush, scrub this paste onto rocks then rinse away with water.

Overall, it’s best to avoid using bleach to clean your river rock shower floor and instead rely on natural cleaning solutions. These methods will help keep the shower looking great without damaging the rocks or other components of the shower.

Can I Use a Pressure Washer to Clean My River Rock Shower Floor?

Unfortunately, using pressure washers to clean river rock shower floors is not advised due to their potential harshness and potential damage. Pressure washers use high-pressure water streams that use intense force on porous materials like river rock which could dislodge or chip the stones and cause costly repair bills.

Pressure washers not only damage rocks, but they can also wreak havoc on grout and other elements of a shower. High-pressure water can dislodge grout, leading to gaps or cracks in the floor which may serve as breeding grounds for mold and mildew.

Instead of using a pressure washer, opt for gentle scrub brushes and natural cleaning solutions like white vinegar or baking soda. Apply these solutions directly onto the rocks, then scrub with a brush to lift away any dirt or grime. Rinse with water then thoroughly dry the shower floor afterwards to prevent mold or mildew growth.

Overall, it’s best to avoid using a pressure washer when cleaning your river rock shower floor and opt for gentler methods in order to protect the rocks and other components of your enclosure.

How Often Should I Clean My River Rock Shower Floor?

How often you should clean your river rock shower floor depends on how frequently it’s used and how quickly build-up occurs. Generally, it is recommended to do a deep clean at least once every week in order to prevent dirt accumulation, grime buildup and soap scum buildup.

However, if your shower floor has hard water or products with a lot of oils or minerals, you may need to clean it more frequently. Hard water can leave mineral deposits on the rocks while oils and minerals from body products accumulate over time resulting in buildup and discoloration.

If you spot mold or mildew on your shower floor, it’s essential to clean it immediately. These organisms can grow rapidly and cause serious health issues if left unchecked.

Overall, it’s wise to regularly clean your river rock shower floor in order to prevent buildup and keep it looking fantastic. Regular maintenance also makes maintaining easier over time so you won’t have to invest as much time or energy into future cleaning tasks.

Do I Need to Seal My River Rock Shower Floor After Cleaning It?

Sealing your river rock shower floor after cleaning is not a necessity, but it can be beneficial. Sealing helps shield the rocks from moisture and prevents them from absorbing water which could cause damage or discoloration over time.

Sealing the shower floor makes it simpler to maintain in the future by creating a barrier that stops dirt, grime and water from penetrating into the rocks. This helps reduce mold and mildew build-up while keeping your shower looking great for longer.

When sealing your river rock shower floor, it is essential to use a sealant designed specifically for natural stone surfaces. This will guarantee that the sealant penetrates into the pores of the rocks and creates an effective shield against moisture intrusion.

It’s essential to note that sealing your shower floor won’t guarantee complete immunity to water or stains. You still need to regularly clean the shower and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives which could harm the rocks or remove the sealant.

Overall, sealing your river rock shower floor after cleaning isn’t absolutely necessary but it can be a beneficial step to protect the rocks and make cleaning easier in the long run.

What’s the Best Way to Prevent Build-up on my River Rock Shower Floor?

Preventing build-up on your river rock shower floor is essential for keeping it looking fantastic over time. Here are some tips that can help prevent accumulation:

After each Shower: Utilize a squeegee to remove excess water from the shower floor after each use. This will help prevent water spots and mineral build-up on rocks.

Dry the shower floor thoroughly after each use: Be sure to completely dry your shower floor after each use in order to prevent mold or mildew from growing on the rocks.

Use Natural Cleaning Products: Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning tools that could damage the rocks and remove any protective sealant. Instead, opt for natural solutions like white vinegar or baking soda which are much gentler on surfaces.

Utilize a Shower Cleaner: Consider using a daily shower cleaner to prevent build-up. These products are intended for regular use and can help keep your shower spotless, as well as inhibit mold and mildew growth.

Avoid Oily or Heavily Fragrant Products: Oils and heavy fragrances in body products can accumulate on rocks, leading to buildup over time. Opt for fragrance-free or natural items instead to prevent this buildup.

By following these tips, you can help prevent buildup on your river rock shower floor and maintain its stunning appearance for years to come.


Maintaining your river rock shower floor is essential for its aesthetic and hygiene. Regular cleaning and upkeep can prevent buildup, minimize the risk of mold or mildew growth, and extend the lifespan of the floor.

When cleaning your river rock shower floor, it is essential to use the appropriate tools and products in order to avoid damaging the rocks. Natural solutions like vinegar and baking soda are effective yet safe choices; whereas, abrasives should never be used.

Maintaining your shower floor is essential to avoid the buildup of grime and grime. How often you clean it depends on factors like usage and water hardness, but weekly maintenance should be a good starting point.

Finally, for added protection and aesthetic value, seal your river rock shower floor after cleaning to shield the rocks from moisture and prevent them from absorbing water. Not only will this make cleaning easier in the long run, but it will help maintain the aesthetic of your floor as well.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure your river rock shower floor remains spotless, hygienic, and looks fantastic for years to come.


Hi, I'm Asim! I love giving you cleaning guides, tips and tricks that will make your place sparkle and shine. Through years of practice, I've learned effective ways to clean and can't wait to help you. From tough spots to general cleaning, I can help you. Come along with me on this cleaning adventure, where I'll give you tips and tricks to make your cleaning process easier. Let's work together to make clean haven.

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