cleaning marble in the shower


Old 11-08-02, 07:56 AM
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Unhappy cleaning marble in the shower

I have cultured marble in my shower that was installed when the house was built about 10 years ago. I constantly fight miildew and slime and water stains, soap scum on the walls. I have used everything I can think of to clean it. It does look good after I clean it, but it still has rough streaks across the marble wall. I am tired of spending money on products that is supposed to work and to me, it does not work. It does not shine like it did when it was installed.

Any suggestions?
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Old 11-08-02, 11:16 PM
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It sound like some sort of sealer would help after you get it clean...not sure what to recommend for cultured marble though.....but..and I hesitate to mention this...but I was on a job once where an elderly lady had the same situation, and her's looked brand new. I asked her how she kept it looking so clean and shiney, and she said "car wax". Once a year she gave the whole shower a coat. Not sure if it was a good idea..but it sure looked good!
Old 11-16-02, 01:00 PM
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I dont know what youve been using to clean your shower, but you shouldnt use abrasives or cleaners with amonia on granite or marble. a glass cleaner to make it shine and a stone disinfectant to clean it ocasionally. Stone Care International is the first company that comes to mind that makes the disinfectant you'll want to use. If your marble has lost its shine then you could either have it resurfaced, which will cost a lot of money. Or you can use a wax or a stone polish to bring back the sheen.
Old 11-16-02, 04:01 PM
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Cleaning cultured marble

Cultured marble is not the same as the natural stone product known as marble. Cultured marble is manufactured from a mixture of marble dust and resin. After molded to desired shape, it is coated with a gel coat. Care must be taken when cleaning in order to avoid scratching or damaging the gel coat. Because of the potential for mineral deposits and soap scum buildup, it is important to clean regularly. Car wax will provide sheeting action, seal, protect, and maintain/restore shine. Giving bathroom cleaning products time to dissolve soap scum and mineral deposits will produce better results. If tired of spending money on cleaning products, a paste of baking soda and water tends to be very effective on soap scum. Bar Keeper's Friend is very effective on both soap scum and mineral deposits.

Bar Keepers Friend removes rust, lime and other water stains from porcelain, sinks, bathtubs, shower walls, etc. Rust is often a problem with well water. Lime buildup is a result of hard water, which can be a problem even in the city. Green copper stains can result from the use of copper fixtures, piping, or copper in the water. Of course, certain cleansers can also cause green stains. If stains are a result of a drip or leak, first fix the drip or leak to prevent further staining. If stains have built up repeated applications may be necessary to remove the entire stain. Afterwards regular cleaning with Bar Keepers Friend will prevent stain build up.

1. Read and follow directions on the product label.
2. If unsure about the safety of Bar Keepers Friend on a surface, test on a hidden area.
3. With Bar Keepers Friend, hard rubbing is generally unnecessary. Let Bar Keepers Friend's chemical action do the work. DO NOT use in a circular motion.
4. It is easier to prevent stain buildup with regular use of Bar Keepers Friend than it is to remove old or already built up stains. Built up stains may require several applications of Bar Keepers Friend in order to remove them.
5. If there is a heavy soap scum, use a liquid detergent or product such as Grease Relief to remove the scum before using Bar Keepers Friend.

Cleaning Tips. Retrieved 16 November 2002.

Wiping cultured marble after each use with squeegie or chamois will keep surfaces dry and prevent mineral deposits and minimize soap scum build up. Switching to liquid shower gel will also minimize soap scum. The talc in bar soap tends to contribute to soap scum buildup.

Improving bathroom ventilation by making sure you have a powerful enough vent/fan unit to exchange the bathroom air to eliminate moisture and humidity and running it during bathing and at least 30 minutes afterwards will help with mold/mildew. Mold/mildew spores are in the air everywhere. When they find a dark, damp, soiled, unventilated surface they tend to settle in. Keeping surfaces clean and dry and well ventilated will help resolve mold/mildew problems. Leave shower curtain/door open to allow air to circulate in the tub/shower area can be very helpful.

Cleaning of Cultured Marble

The following information is provided by Darren Suggs, Marble Masters of Middle Georgia, Past President of ICPA

Removing stains from cultured marble should be easy if the product had a quality "gelcoat" finish correctly applied at the time of manufacturing. Stain resistance is a great benefit of "quality" cultured marble products. Stain resistance testing is a part of most code requirements.

If the stain is tea, juice, or coffee, the stain should be easily wiped up with a damp sponge and household cleaner, such as Windex. Do not use an abrasive cleaner, as this will lightly dull the smooth and shiny surface. The smooth surface makes the cleaning process easier.

Maintenance of cultured marble products is enhanced if an automotive wax is applied occasionally, usually twice a year.

If the area has a chemical stain such as fingernail polish remover, which has been sitting on a covered area and stained the counter top, try leaving the area uncovered for a period of time. Sometimes the chemical will evaporate from the gelcoat, or contact the manufacturer for professional service options.

If the stain is from hard water or mineral deposits, then try using a cleaner for removing iron, calcium, or other such mineral deposits that are in your water supply. Most cleaning chemicals will not damage the gelcoat as long as extended or prolonged standing of the chemicals is not allowed (be sure to read warning labels).

-- excerpted from Darren Suggs' letter to the Miami Herald in response to a request for information on cleaning of cultured marble.

Cleaning Cultured Marble. International Cast Polymer Association. Retrieved 16 November 2002.

Azule's suggestion for Stone Care International Products is right on target for natural marble, granite, and other natural stone products that require sealing, cleaning, and polishing with products. It is very important if you have a natural stone product to maintain it with products recommended only for natural stone. Learn more at Note: Cultured marble is not
natural stone, but a man-made product.
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