Cultured marble looks amazing. Whether it is in the bathroom or on a kitchen counter. It is a great alternative to buying real marble. For one, it can be shaped to suit almost any room. Made from 75% marble dust, it is virtually marble anyway. It is also easy to wipe down and can be produced in many colours, so why should you care about how to clean Cultured Marble? Simply because improper cleaning will ruin your showpiece and dull it leaving you regretting ever purchasing it when it could be maintained and serve to reward you over many years.
Let’s first get the main reason behind the damage most people cause to cultured marble. It is made of Marble dust, but the other 25%, well that is resin and the final product has a gel coating which protects and gives the cultured marble its shine.
That resin and gel coating can take a lot of foot traffic, toothpaste, and soap but what it cannot take is anything acidic or abrasive. If you are thinking of using bleach, hydrogen peroxide or undiluted white vinegar, I’m going to caution you to stop, check the manufacturer’s directions first and then read on, so you don’t ruin it.
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Maintenance of Cultured Marble
Your lovely bathroom/kitchen is looking amazing and you want to keep it that way, and here is the simplest method to ensure it is always shiny and sparkling.
Use a damp cloth and wipe down the surfaces after use.
It is that simple. Cultured marble resists mould and mildew naturally, but if you leave soap and water to sit on the surface it will begin to discolour that top gel coat I was talking about earlier.
Leave the bleach for the toilet, take a clean cloth, dip it in cold water, wring it out tightly and then wipe down all the surfaces EVERY time. There are neutral PH cleaners you can purchase, but the easiest method is a simple wipe down after every use.
This habit will save your Cultured marble surfaces from getting dulled and stained and keep rewarding you into the future.
Simple Stain Removal
If you are reading this, then you probably have a small stain from soap or hard water. The calcium has built up and you are looking at ways to remove it to get it back to its beautiful sparkle. Perhaps the soap has built up and there is a dull look to your Cultured Marble surface now.
DO NOT USE ANYTHING highly ACIDIC OR ABRASIVE!
Okay, I got that out (again!), so put away your scouring pad and hard acids. Let’s take this slowly.
Staining is generally on the surface of the Cultured Marble, so it needs to be removed from it without damaging the protective gel coat.
Begin with that clean cloth and a wipe down the surfaces first so you know what you are dealing with.
Always use cold water!
Now make a mixture with White Vinegar and cold water. Start with 25% vinegar and 75% water. (1 cup to 3 cups for ease)
This is mildly acidic so you do not want to leave that on long or else your cultured marble will have its top protective coat damaged. I know it looks tough, but it really needs to be treated with care.
First, dip the cloth in and wring out. Then wipe over the area that is affected. Use clean fresh cold water to rinse and repeat this process. This gentle wiping will begin to dissolve the limescale, soap and build up on the Cultured Marble surface gradually.
The motto here is, “Slow and steady wins the race”. (or “Slow and steady cleans the basin”)
Another option is to mix the solution in a spray bottle and spray the area affected then wipe clean and rinse with cold water.
This is the safest, albeit a little time-consuming, method of cleaning Cultured Marble with surface deposits of soap or limescale.
Do not under any circumstances bring out the scouring pad or wire wool. It will damage the protective layer and your cultured marble will be ruined, requiring professional help to repair it.
If after a little while of cleaning, wiping and rinsing you are not seeing much change, use a slightly stronger mix of White Vinegar and water at no more than a 50 / 50 mixture. This should be wiped and rinsed repeatedly. Not left on to eat into the protective gel coat.
Each time, rinse with cold water and wipe dry.
AVOID at all costs, steel wool, scratchy green pads, super-hot water, acids, cleaners with grit in them like Ajax, Comet or cream foamers and bleaches.
I would always recommend testing on a small area that cannot be seen to check you know what you are doing and remember to have patience. It will pay off in the end.
Protecting Cultured Marble
The key to protecting Cultured Marble is to maintain the protective gel coat and the best way to do that is to replace and build up that protective layer.
Boat wax, car wax, Rain X, and neutral PH countertop wax are all excellent ways to maintain that protective layer.
Test on a small patch that is out of sight to get a feel for how you need to maintain it. Rub on gently and allow to come to a haze (around 30 seconds) and then buff gently with a soft cloth. You’ll be amazed at the result.
Cautionary Note: Do not use this where someone will be standing as the surface becomes super slippery and can cause injury.
Remember, acids are your enemy when it comes to Cultured Marble and the more patient you are, the more you get into a pattern of wiping down surfaces, the longer and better your Cultured Marble will look.
A Note on Professional Help
If your Cultured Marble is damaged, don’t start scratching at it with a steel wool pad and damage it further. You can try to soak a cloth in the White Vinegar and water solution at 50/50 mixture and lay it ONLY on the place that needs cleaning, but it will start to eat into your protective gel coat.
Rather seek professional help when the issue is only slight, and have it buffed and protected again to restore it back to its original beauty. A professional will use a buffer to bring back that sparkle and restore the top layer again.
An investment like this ought to be looked after and for all the damage that can be done, the small investment in professional care will outweigh the unsightly damage that can occur if not looked after correctly.
In a Nutshell
- Use clean cold water on a damp cloth regularly
- Never use Acidic or Abrasive products
- Only use White Vinegar and cold water at max dilution of 50/50
- Always clean with cold water
- Maintain with PH neutral products, Car/Boat Wax or Countertop Wax
Over time your cultured marble will need to be dressed by a professional as the surface changes, but with regular cleaning and improved care that time between getting the professional in will be extended by following a ritual every day of wiping down your surfaces with cold clean water and drying, with a bi-weekly application of wax to seal and protect it further and keep it shining. Knowing how to clean Cultured Marble properly and maintain it regularly will ensure your pride and joy in the bathroom will stay looking its best and serve you well for many years to come.