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Why Are My Bathroom Countertops Turning Yellow?

  • Zak 
bathroom countertops turning yellow, yellowing bathroom countertops

To create more workspace and functionality in a bathroom, countertops are installed along the walls to hold basins, mirrors, and other accessories. In most cases, homeowners opt for bright and light-colored countertops. Unfortunately, many of us find that with time, our bathroom countertops start turning yellow. This can be concerning because it not only affects the visual appeal of the bathroom but it also poses the risk of health concerns due. It looks unhygienic and unclean, which is counterintuitive given that a bathroom is a space for cleanliness. 

With that being said, it can be difficult to identify the cause of this problem. I’ve done a ton of research and worked with many experts to figure out the full list of reasons.

In this article, I will answer the following question – why are my bathroom countertops turning yellow?

Like any problem, we can find practical solutions once we have identified the cause of the problem. 

Let’s go over the causes of why your bathroom countertops are turning yellow and then we can discuss the solution to each of these causes.

Reasons Why Bathroom Countertops Turn Yellow

bathroom countertop turning yellow

1. Exposure to sunlight

Perhaps the most surprising reason on this list but it’s actually a common problem that occurs over time. Due to excessive and extreme sunlight exposure, UV radiation causes bathroom countertops to turn yellow. 

Certain materials are more susceptible to UV damage than others.

Natural stone, for example, offers more resistance to UV radiation and experiences far less yellowing than plastic or laminate. 

The latter are far more prone to experience discoloration and degradation through sunlight exposure over time. 


If you invest in bathroom countertops that are more resilient and durable like natural stone or marble, you could avoid this yellowing from sunlight exposure.

But, if that isn’t an option right now, you could block or inhibit some of the sunlight exposure by installing curtains, blinds, shutters to the windows, and UV-resistant films on the bathroom countertop. 

I would suggest covering the bathroom countertops during the day but I suppose that it would defeat the purpose of investing money into beautiful-looking countertops.

2. Stains

Believe it or not, bathroom countertops are actually susceptible to staining when exposed to certain liquids and products. 

What most of us don’t realize is that certain materials have a porous structure.

This means that there are spaces or gaps within its composition that can absorb liquid or moisture. That’s why weeds can shoot up through concrete outside. 

If your bathroom countertop has a porous structure and you are not diligent at cleaning the surface regularly, there’s a strong chance that it will eventually turn yellow.


Try to clean up and dry the bathroom countertop surface when working with items that have the potential to stain or discolor the surface. 

It is recommended to use a mild or gentle cleaner that is designed for countertops. 

At the same time, make sure to consider the material used in your bathroom countertop before using a specific type of product. 

3. Harsh chemicals

Understandably, it’s sometimes unavoidable to use chemicals and products that are abrasive or harsh in the bathroom. 

But, cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals like ammonia or bleach can have a damaging or discoloring effect on certain countertops.

Not only can it strip away the protective coating on countertops but it can also etch the finish, which will make them significantly more prone to staining, discoloration, and damage. 


It is recommended to shop around for cleaning products that are pH-neutral, gentle, and non-abrasive to clean surfaces in your bathroom.

If you can, try to find a gentle natural-based cleaner that can eliminate dirt and stains from your bathroom surfaces without wearing away at the coating. 

To be on the safe side, spot-test a product on a small and inconspicuous area of the bathroom countertop and observe the reaction. If you don’t notice any damage or discoloration, then you can proceed to use that product.

Also, consider diluting cleaning products to minimize the risk of a particular chemical causing damage or discoloration.

4. Aging and use

As much as it would be nice for countertops to last a lifetime, most things are prone to wear and tear over time.

Throw in the fact that these surfaces are in a room that has high levels of moisture and heat, they are bound to degrade over time. This is especially true for countertops that are made of weaker materials like plastic.


The best way to slow down the signs of aging is to implement a cleaning routine that removes unnecessary dirt and stains from your countertop surfaces.

When the bathroom isn’t in use, make it a habit to wipe surfaces dry.

Open windows and doors to improve airflow into the bathroom to speed up the drying process after someone baths or showers. 

If you have the financial capabilities, consider remodeling the bathroom and investing in countertops that are made from much stronger and more durable materials like marble, granite, quartz, and so forth.

5. Poor application of wax and top coating

On every countertop surface is a seal or top coating that is meant to protect the appearance and finish.

A good top coating is clear and will enhance the appearance of the countertop while improving durability and resistance to damage or discoloration.

Unfortunately, in some cases, a cheap coating or an improper application of a top coating can occur. When the countertop is then exposed to normal moisture, sunlight, or cleaning agents, they seep through and have a greater impact on the countertop surface.


If yellowing has occurred, you have the option of refinishing the bathroom countertop.

This will entail stripping it down, clearing off the yellowing or discoloration, a fresh application of the clear top coat, and adequate time for curing.

Alternatively, you could actually paint the countertop and decorate it in a different manner that conceals the previous surface appearance. 

This might not be the most popular option but it’s certainly one to consider if you can’t refinish the countertop nor can you remove the yellowing.

Final Thoughts

I hope that by this point, you have a complete understanding of why your bathroom countertops are turning yellow.

Once you can identify the exact cause, you can implement the solutions mentioned above to save and restore your bathroom countertop to its pristine appearance and condition.

Before you end up remodeling the entire bathroom, I would recommend trying a few simple products to clean off the yellowing. 

If it hasn’t been too long since you noticed the countertop turning yellow, you can still undo the discoloration with the right cleaning products.

That brings us to the end of this article on why are my bathroom countertops turning yellow. If you found it to be helpful, then check out some of my other cleaning articles linked below.

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