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I keep getting this white buildup in my shower floor and I'm not sure how to stop it. I'm able to remove it if I plug off the drain, fill the basin with vinegar, and scrub really hard. But when I did that, it also removed some of the grout/cement. So what I'd like to do is figure out some way to prevent this from happening. I would like to avoid a water softener as I don't have room for one in my utility closet.

The lines it's forming are cracks in the floor. The buildup around the drain is also where I had to chip out the cement/grout because the contractor covered the drain cover making it impossible for me to remove a clog.

My thought is this might be related to water seeping through the cracks under the floor and that puddle is accelerating this build up. What's strange is the floor isn't flat so water puddles up in certain areas between some of the rocks. No buildup occurs in those puddles. It only occurs where there are cracks in the floor. So if I have some way to seal all the cracks, my thought is that maybe the water will stop causing this buildup.

I'm looking for ideas on how to

  • a) fix the cracks, and/or
  • b) prevent this buildup from occurring without getting a water softener.

Thanks in advanceenter image description here

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  • There are now sallt-free "softeners" which don't remove the calcium & magnesium, they catalyze it to form nanocrystals that then don't scale. Since they don't need a salt tank or regeneration, they are much more compact that a salt-type softener. Worth considering... – Ecnerwal Apr 8 at 17:53
  • Clean the floor diligently (after every, or a few uses). The long-term solution is to install whole house water softener to reduce the hardness of the water, thus the calcium deposite. – r13 Apr 8 at 17:57
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    Possibility: The nature of the river-stone "tile" you have used is allowing water to pool instead of making its way to the drain. This pooling of hard water is allowing the water to evaporate leaving the mineral deposits. But there are many color differences in the grout that seem abnormal. ?? – Alaska Man Apr 8 at 18:16
  • @AlaskaMan that was my thought too. But it's not leaving any deposits in the wet areas you see, which are depressions that capture water. The buildup only happens where I have cracked/broken the grout. As for the discoloration, it's because I tried applying water sealer to the floor thinking it might prevent it. Over time, I think my feet wiped it off and hence it's darker in the center – chizou Apr 8 at 21:49

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