An older house made you fall in love at first sight because of its lovely mid-century contemporary design. However, there is something off about it. The bathroom’s cultured marble vanity tops have already turned yellow since they can be expensive to replace. Understanding why they turned yellow and what you can do to fix the damage will help you save money. So, how do you clean yellowed cultured marble, then?
Before you learn how to clean cultured marble that has yellowed, how to whiten yellowed cultured marble, first, you should know what makes up cultured marble, how it is fabricated, and why this is a favorite surface material in most homes built around 50 to 70 years ago.
Cultured marble – A quick history
The mere fact that cultured marble surfaces in older houses remain viable to this day is proof of the fabrication’s durability. They might have yellowed or have a few stains, but these can still be fixed.
If you dropped hair dye on quartz or natural marble countertop, this would soon become part of the surface because the stone will absorb it. On the other hand, cultured marble is a solid surface material that will not absorb the chemicals you accidentally drop on it.
Developed during the late 1940s and 1960s, cultured marble has been engineered from a large percentage of pigment that adds color, resin, and marble dust.
DuPont developed the cultured marble fabrication and Corian, another type of solid surface material developed during the 1960s and dubbed as engineered countertop. However, after the patent ran out, the rest of the manufacturers joined the revolution of solid surfaces.
For homeowners, the price was and remained to be affordable compared to marble, quartz, tile, and granite. After choosing the colors, the ingredients were poured into what looks like a large KitchenAId mixer.
This was actually a Hobart mixer that served as the basis of KitchenAid’s appliance. Mixing continues until the swirl pattern is formed. The solution is then poured into the prefabricated mold where it is allowed to set.
What is the difference between marble and cultured marble
Of course, everyone loves the glamorous look of marble countertops, however, not everyone could afford it. Fortunately, there’s a perfect alternative – cultured marble, which is cheaper and almost identical that it will be impossible for a novice to tell the difference between the two. Before going that shopping, it would be nice to be able to tell the difference between these two so that you don’t end up buying the wrong item. Highlighted below are the few differences between the two.
- Cultured marble is coated with glossy protective that looks like plastic up close. Natural marble usually has a matte-honed coating that never looks like plastic.
- There is usually grouts or caulking in the joint of natural marble for sinks and backsplashes, cultured marbles don’t have grout lines or caulkings.
- Cultured marble usually has thin edges of about 2cm, natural marbles have thick edges of about 3cm.
- The underside of natural marble is usually dull, but has visible patterns and colors. Cultured marbles have a dull and uniform gray color underside, without any pattern.
- The countertops of natural marble are usually attached to the sink and backsplash separately, that is usually not the case with cultured marble.
- Natural marble is a luxury material as they are queried directly from the earth. Cultured marbles are man-made and made with budget-friendly materials.
Is cultured marble stain-resistant
Yes, cultured marble is stain-resistant. Cultured marbles are none porous, and as a result, they are resistant against water, scratch, burn, and stains.
Does white cultured marble stain
Yes, white cultured marble stains. Although cultured marble in general are stain resistant but that doesn’t mean they are completely stain free.
Why does cultured marble turn yellow
Air is necessary for older cultured marble to breathe. If there is no good air circulation or a window in the room with a cultured marble top used, the vanity may turn yellow after some time.
One important consideration here is the age of the surface because as it gets older, it will also be subjected to cleaning for a longer time, often using abrasive or harsh products.
Before installing the top, a gel coating will be applied first as protection for the surface. However, this coating will get penetrated after years of using inappropriate cleaning products. Once this happens, what will be left behind is a cultured marble surface protection with no protection at all.
The surfaces of newer cultured marble today are made up of materials that can hinder the sun’s chemical reaction that penetrates the surface that forms the yellow tint.
Yellowing may also occur because of old water buildup. If a decorative piece is left on the counter for many years without even moving it, this may lead to discoloration on the surface.
What do you use to clean cultured marble
Use a good quality marble cleaner to clean your cultured marble. You can also make use of puracy or any other pH-neutral cleaner to clean the surface every day. The likes of Lysol basin tub and tile cleaner, Scrubbing bubbles, and Scrub-free scum soap will also make an excellent cleaner for your cultured marble.
Can you use baking soda on cultured marble
Yes, you can clean a cultured marble with baking soda. Bleach or any abrasive cleaners are not good for cultured marbles, they can get them damaged. Baking soda is alkaline, so it is neither corrosive nor mild, hence it can be used. Even at that, it should be applied as gently as possible with no pressure and is not to be used as an everyday cleaner.
Can you use a magic eraser on cultured marble
No, you can not use a magic eraser on cultured marble. Magic eraser is an abrasive cleaner, and therefore must be avoided by all means. If you use magic eraser cleaner on cultured marble, it will cause the surface of the countertop to look duller, the cleaner can even go as far as damaging the cultured marble sealant.
Interested to know is magic eraser safe on porcelain tile?
Will Vinegar harm cultured marble
Yes, vinegar will harm cultured marble and therefore must not be used to clean a cultured marble. Vinegar, whether white or any other type when used on a cultured marble will etch or cause its surface to look dull. This is because vinegar is acidic and must be completely avoided.
Can you use scrubbing bubbles on cultured marble
Yes, you can use Scrubbing bubbles to clean your cultured marble. Scrubbing bubbles is non-abrasive and is not likely to make the surface of your cultured marble look dull. However, scrubbing bubbles causes discoloration on certain surfaces after use, therefore, it is ad useable that you test the cleaner on an inconspicuous part of your countertop before use.
Can you use rubbing alcohol on cultured marble
Yes, you can clean your cultured marble with rubbing alcohol. Even though you can use rubbing alcohol to clean cultured marble, only a little quantity is needed and is to be applied specifically on the stained spot only to avoid damage or discoloration. To be on the safer side, you can spray the hair sprayer on the stained spot before applying rubbing alcohol, then wipe it off.
Can you use pine sol on cultured marble
No, you cannot use pine sol to clean cultured marble. Although pine sol is not corrosive, its makers warned against using it to clean aluminum, wood, oiled, waxed, or marble surfaces. Anyway, we can use pine sol on tile.
Can you use Lysol all-purpose cleaner on cultured marble
Yes, you can clean your cultured marble with Lysol all-purpose cleaner. Lysol all-purpose cleaners do not have any abrasive or bleach substance but can be effectively used to remove all sorts of stains including soap scum, water stain, limescale, e.t.c.
Lysol multipurpose cleaner will not only clean your cultured marble surface but will also help to deodorize and disinfect them. Can you use lysol on granite too?
Can you use Acetone on cultured marble
No, you cannot clean your cultured marble with Acetone. Acetone is an abrasive cleaner and will cause the gel coat finish on your cultured marble to fade away quickly, hence, it must not be used on them. If you want to learn how to reverse acetone damage, please read our previous guide for more info.
Can you use Mr clean Magic’s eraser on cultured marble
No, it is not advisable to use Mr clean Magic eraser on cultured marble.
Can you use gel gloss on cultured marble
Yes, you can use gel gloss on cultured marble. One of the best ways to keep your cultured marble shining is by applying gel-gloss polish. When you apply gel gloss, it will also be easy for you to clean the surface and condition the gel coat of your cultured marble.
Can you use Goo gone on cultured marble
Yes, you can use Goo gone on cultured marble. However, previous guide we already show you that goo gone will stain, so please make sure to clean the treated surface with detergent and warm water after use to get rid of residues.
Can you use lime away on cultured marble
Yes, you can use lime away liquid cleaner on cultured marble without any harmful effect, however, make sure to apply only little on the stained surface.
Can i use clorox wipes on cultured marble
No, you cannot clean cultured marbles with Clorox wipes even clorox wipes kill mold.
I said in the earlier part of this overview that it is not advisable to use any abrasive cleaners like baking soda, ammonia, vinegar, or acetone on cultured marble because it will cause the protective gel to disintegrate even further.
Well, Clorox wipe is not an exception because Clorox is a bleach cleaner and will negatively affect your cultured marble directly or cause the protective gel to look matte. However, in some extreme cases, for example, when you have a yellow cultured marble, you can use Clorox wipes because the yellowish stain wouldn’t come out easily if you use the regular mild soap. But in circumstances must you use a Clorox wipe as a regular cleaner for your cultured marble countertop.
Note: You should prevent your cultured marble from becoming yellowish by cleaning it regularly. By so doing, you will be able to avoid having to use an abrasive cleaner or a bleaching product on them.
How to clean yellowed cultured marble
Using baking soda to clean cultured marble will worsen the disintegration of the gel coating that protects the surface.
All types of abrasives are considered too rough for cultured marble. The experts recommend sticking with liquid solutions instead. You can use one capful of bleach combined with 32 ounces of water. You can spray it on the surface and allow it to penetrate for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, use a non-abrasive cloth to rub it. Rinse it with cool water, then buff dry.
When misused, peroxide solutions, vinegar, or baking soda slurry may only do more harm than good. If you are unsure what you are doing, we strongly recommend you follow every steps we showed in our previous how to clean marble floor with baking soda guide.
A pH-neutral cleaner can be used instead, such as those used for cleaning natural marble. You can apply the cleaner and buff.
You can also apply a gel-coat finish every now and then to maintain the shine. Experts also suggest that shampoo or liquid cleansers can be used for cleaning culture marble shower stalls since soap scum may lead to buildup. Just make sure that you don’t use hot water when you rinse away these cleaning materials.
How to restore yellowed cultured marble
It is often thought that restoring yellowed cultured marble is difficult, but it isn’t the case. The main reason behind this misconception is that most people believe that specialized tools or cleaners must restore cultured marble to its original shiny and glamorous look. But, this is far from the truth. There is an easy method you can try to restore your yellowed cultured marble.
However, it is essential to note that this method will only work on smaller cultured marble surfaces. You might need to adjust the method slightly if you will be restoring more oversized items made of yellow cultured marble, such as a backsplash or the floor.
It is not hard to clean smaller cultured marble items like statues. All you need here is a cleaning solution.
- Get a plastic tub big enough to hold your marble item.
- Put enough water and Alka Seltzer or Polident Denture Cleaner in the tub, enough to cover the item when you dip it in the solution. Be careful when doing this to prevent damaging the item.
- Let the item sit in the tub for not over one hour before removing it.
- After removing the item from the tub, put it on a well-lit, dry, and warm floor away from direct heat and sunlight.
- Use a clean and soft rug to rub the marble down to dry it out completely.
- Check to see if it still needs another cleaning. Repeat the process if necessary until you have entirely restored your cultured marble to its original glory, just as how it looked the first time you got it.
How to clean cultured marble countertops
It is very easy to clean cultured marbled countertops if you don’t have stubborn stains like water deposits and soap scums on them. To clean your marbled countertops, follow the steps below.
- Get rid of all countertop appliances like, food processors, stand mixers, coffee makers, blenders e.t.c that could hinder your smooth cleaning.
- Wipe the surface of the countertop using a dry paper towel to help get rid of any visible particles of food residues.
- Apply simple green granite cleaner on the countertop with a spraying bottle and leave it there for close to a minute if you are dealing with stubborn stains like dried toothpaste, make-up, or greasy stains.
- Scrub the surface to get it agitated with a sponge or a soft cloth if the stain is not completely lifted after applying the solution.
- Wipe the countertop surface using a soft cloth or a paper towel to remove all visible stain remnants on the surface and rinse with cool water.
- Wipe the surface one more time to dry up the wet surface.
- You can follow up with a simple green stone polish to give your cultured countertop the extra shiny touch and protection against future stains.
How to clean cultured marble sink
Stains on a cultured marble sink are removed in the same way stains on cultured marble countertops are removed. However, for a more simple approach, you should follow the simple instruction below.
- Make a solution from the mixtures of mild soap and water.
- Apply the solution moderately on the affected spots and wipe with a clean clean soft cloth or sponge.
- Rinse with cool water and dry the wet surface with a dry clean cloth or towel.
How to clean cultured marble shower pan
To clean a cultured marble shower, follow the guidelines provided below to guide you through the stages involved.
- Make a solution from the mixtures of water and soap scum remover.
- Leave the solution to sit for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Rub the solution on the affected surface with a soft scrub brush or pad.
- Rinse the treated surface and repeat the whole process if the stain persists until they are completely gone.
How to clean cultured marble shower floor
Cleaning a shower floor cultured marble may be a little bit challenging because you will be dealing with hard water deposit stains and the best cleaner you can use is abrasive cleaners.
Therefore, you must t strike a balance between having a grime-free shower floor surface and ensuring the safety of your floor. To achieve this, go through the instructions below.
- Make a solution from the mixtures of water and distilled white vinegar in the ratio of 3 to 1 respectively and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap. The purpose of using distilled white vinegar here is to help you break down the calcium deposits on the floor while the water will help dilute it to reduce its potency.
- Pour the solution into a spraying bottle and apply generously on the affected spot and scrub with a sponge. Continue scrubbing until the stains are completely lifted.
- Rinse off any stain residue.
How to write yellowed Gelcoat
If your cultured marble is yellow, then you should know you have a great deal of work to do. To get rid of yellowish stains on gel coats, you will also need an abrasive cleaner and your best bet is Oxalic acid.
To use Oxalic acid, follow the steps provided below.
- Make a solution from the mixture of Oxalic acid and water.
- Pour the solution in a spraying bottle and apply generously to the affected spot.
- Leave the solution on the stain for about 5 minutes and syrup afterward with a soft scrubber or brush until the stain is completely lifted.
- Rinse off stain residue afterward.
Can cultured marble be used for kitchen countertop
Yes, you can use cultured marble for kitchen countertop. Cultured marbles are very durable, plus they are somewhat stain, water, burn and scratch resistant, therefore, they are excellent choice for your kitchen countertop.
We strongly recommend you learn how to remove turmeric stains from kitchen countertops or how to get rid of burn marks on kitchen countertop too.