Etching on a marble countertop appears to be dull water stains that can be very noticeable depending on how severe it is. But can this be repaired?
What Causes Etching?
Etching occurs when marble comes into contact with acidic substances like soda, coffee and alcohol. Harsh cleaning products like vinegar, bleach and ammonia may have the same effect. When in contact with these substances, a corrosive chemical reaction occurs, which “eats” the outer surface of the marble. Etching is especially noticeable on polished marble because etching results in a matte or dull surface.
Can Etched Marble be Repaired?
If the affected area is small, you can spot-treat it with a marble cleaning kit, which can contain sandpapers or cleaning products. A sandpaper kit contains multiple pieces of sandpaper with progressively finer grit, which you have to use in order until you achieve an even polish. A cleaning product kit may include an abrasive powder that you apply on the etched area and rub until the area is polished. Additional products, including sealant, may come with the kit. Either kit can be used with not much effort. If etching is all over the countertop, you may be better off with professional repair.
Preventing Etching on Marble
Marble sealer does not prevent etching, so some precaution is needed to help preserve your marble countertop. Have paper towels handy, and make sure you immediately blot out and wipe the countertop surface dry when acidic substances come into contact with it. Etching can happen in as short as one minute with vinegar and similarly strong substances. Make it a point to check warnings on labels as most cleaning products indicate whether or not they’re safe to use on marble countertops. Lastly, always make sure to use cutting boards and coasters on your marble countertop.
For assistance, call Granite Works at (301) 640-5010, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve residential and commercial customers throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia.