Man-made marble has many of the characteristics of real marble. Therefore, some of the cleaning methods used on marble surfaces can be used with success on cultured (man-made) marble. Stubborn stains and deposits on marble can sometimes be removed with a razor-blade scraper. There are many scrapers available. I like the one made by Gillette; it’s a small self-contained unit with extra blades.
Hold the scraper at a 15-degree angle and push the blade against the deposit. This method works well, but it can dull the surface if the mineral deposit is a tough one. The finish can be restored by using a solution of1 part white wax with 10 parts turpentine. Rub the surface thoroughly using a piece of flannel or soft chamois leather.
Another method of cleaning marble that has been stained badly is to use a weak solution of oxalic acid. Apply the solution with a sponge or rag and then immediately wash with water. The acid can pit the surface somewhat, so you have to be careful.
Once the marble has been cleaned with this method, you can restore the finish with the white wax-turpentine solution. When using any acid you have to be very careful, so I don’t recommend doing this unless all else fails.
Another method is to wash the surface using a mixture of very finely ground pumice stone and vinegar. Leave the mixture on for several hours, then brush the area with some force and wash it clean. After the surface is dry, use chamois to polish it with whiting. Whiting is calcium carbonate in the form of pulverized chalk or limestone; it is used as a pigment in putty.
If you’re not in the mood to go out and purchase cleaning products, I’ll give you a few more homemade mixtures that work on a number of surfaces. These cleaners can be made at home from normal stuff you probably have around the house.
Hydrogen peroxide is the key ingredient in many cleaning formulas. To make a good rust and mineral remover for sinks and bathtubs and counter tops, make a paste of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide and rub it on the stains. This does not require much elbow grease.
Another recipe for a homemade cleaner that works on a variety of stains contains ammonia and washing soda. This mixture is a good all-purpose cleaner, and it works well on tough stains on counter tops, woodwork and tile.
Save an empty half-gallon milk jug (preferably one with a screw-on cap) and clean it out completely. Combine 1/2 cup of household ammonia with 1/2 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of warm water. Cap the jug and shake it briskly to mix the ingredients. Once mixed thoroughly, add 6 more cups of warm water and put a label on the jug.
This recipe yields a full half-gallon of concentrated cleaner. For light cleaning, you can mix 1/2 cup of the concentrate with 1 1/2 gallons of hot water.
If you intend to use the cleaner on any delicate surface such as wallpaper, test the cleaner on a spot that is out of the way. On stubborn stains, the cleaner can be used full strength. Use rubber household gloves when working with this mixture to protect your hands.