Marble is a beautiful rock that’s been a popular addition to many of our homes for years. Its meandering veins, tonal shades, and sheen bring life into a house and an element of opulence.
However, old, stained, etched marble can quickly create the opposite effect. It’s like having a supercar but never cleaning it or getting it serviced; it changes the impact.
So, if you have invested in marble for your home, you should also invest some time to learn how to care for it.
Etch marks on marble are more tricky to remove than stains, however, it is usually still possible. Etch marks are caused by chemicals eating away at the layers of marble, leaving behind discoloration.
Etch marks can generally be removed with a bit of marble polish and a cloth. However, if marble polish doesn’t conquer the etch, you may need to get the surface professionally serviced and sanded down.
Preventing etching is always easier than fixing it, so wipe away any spills immediately after they occur and keep products off the marble and on little dishes.
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What are Etch Marks?
Before tackling imperfections with your marble, you first need to establish the issue. Is it a stain, an etch, or even just some crayon remnants from your child’s art project?
Etch marks are not stains. Stains occur from liquids entering the marble through the pores, leaving mineral deposits and salts behind.
Whereas etch marks are formed by acids and chemicals eating away at the marble. The etching will often appear light in color at first and feel rough to the touch.
This is because the smooth later of the top polish has been removed. Over time, the etch marks will darken as dirt and grime stick.
Additionally, the etched area will continue absorbing more water, thus making it look even worse. As if the mark wasn’t ugly enough to begin with!
You might be thinking, marble is the toughest thing in my house; how can it be eaten? So, marble is primarily comprised of calcite, also known as calcium carbonate.
Calcite reacts very strongly with acid; even if the vinegar or tomato sauce has only touched the marble for a few minutes, it can cause damage.
If you have marble surfaces in your kitchen, it’s easy to see how etch marks can occur from making a simple salad. But don’t panic; etch marks aren’t too harmful to the counters.
In fact, they can give the marble a more lived-in vibe, which some people can be fond of. But if you aren’t a fan of etching, keep reading to find out how to remove the marks.
What Substances Cause Etch Marks on Marble?
A variety of substances can cause etching. Such as:
- Fruit juice and other sugary drinks.
- Acidic sauces.
- Toothpaste, aftershave, and perfume.
- Harsh cleaning products, e.g., limescale remover.
The severity of the damage will be affected by the strength of the offending substance and the length of time it has been left on the marble.
Does Honed Marble Etch?
Honed marble is when the slab has been ground down to a smooth, flat, consistent surface. The finish is distinct from other marbles as the marble isn’t polished, leaving the stone with a matte look that’s velvety to the touch.
Because honed marble isn’t finished and polished, it’s more susceptible to staining and etching. Therefore you need to be more careful and proactive when cleaning and caring for honed marble.
Does Polished Marble Etch?
Polished marble is pretty much the opposite of honed marble. As you may have guessed, polished marble is glossy and shiny, with a thick layer of polish on top.
This top coat is a protective layer, making polished marble resistant to stains and etching. However, when scratches do occur, they can be pronounced.
This is because the scratch will cut through the polish, ruining the perfect mirrored and reflective surface.
Will Sealed Marble Etch?
Sadly the answer is yes. Most marble types are coated with a sealant, including polished and honed marble.
To seal the marble, a silicone sealant is applied to the surface and left to soak in for a few minutes. The silicone fills many microscopic holes in the marble, forming a barrier against spills that may occur in the future.
Removing Etches from Marble Countertops.
Although much can be done to improve the appearance of a marble surface, etch marks are often relatively permanent. If the etching is superficial, and the acid hasn’t eaten away at many layers of the marble, the marks can usually be polished away.
What you will need to remove superficial etching:
- MB 11
- Latex gloves
- Damp cloth
- Spray bottle
Steps to remove etch marks from marble with MB 11:
- Clean the surface of the marble where there is etching.
- Generously apply the polishing powder to the area.
- Fill a spray bottle with water, and spray water over the site a few times.
- Then, grab a damp cloth or towel and rub the mixture on the etched area.
- Keep rubbing for a minute or two, using a good amount of elbow grease.
- Clean and dry the area.
These steps should leave your marble surfaces etch-free. You can visit Amazon to buy some marble polishing powder.
How to Remove and Restore Deep Etching on Marble.
If the etch marks are more significant, and the method above was not adequate to restore them, a more intensive approach may be required.
Don’t panic; you don’t need to replace the marble surface! However, you will need to hire a professional to hard polish the entire countertop.
The only downside is that it may be a little expensive and will leave your marble surface a little thinner. However, it’s worth it to remove nasty etch marks that will bother you until you fix it or move house.
Avoiding Etch Marks and Maintenance.
Now that you have learned how to restore and recover etched marble, it’s a good idea to learn some tips and tricks to prevent etching in the future.
To maintain marble, the simplest thing you should do is to get into the habit of wiping down the surface. Immediately after a spillage, use a hot, damp cloth to wipe the area.
Removing the spill before it dries will save you time and money in the long run. So make sure to have a few microfiber cloths to hand in the kitchen or bathroom to clean any accidents ASAP.
Another tip is to make sure your marble is adequately sealed. Over time, the sealant wears away and needs to be re-applied.
Many over-the-counter products are good enough to seal the marble. However, ensure you are using the correct sealant type and not too much.
An easy and aesthetic way to protect marble countertops in the kitchen or bathroom is to invest in small dishes to place items in.
For example, if you like to have your olive oil and balsamic vinegar out and to hand, purchase a small container for them to sit on. Or, in the bathroom, do the same thing for your face oils and body products.
Although marble takes a little time and effort to keep it looking at its best, it’s worth it. Marble is a stunning addition to any home and is a significant investment.
However, it requires constant upkeep to ensure it doesn’t get ruined in its day-to-day use. The biggest tip is to immediately wipe away any spills and moisture, making sure it doesn’t get a chance to work its way into the marble and cause damage.
Additionally, invest in a marble polish so that you have it to hand any time a stain or etch appears.
Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API