What exactly is marble etching?

Posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2015 by Arch City Granite

Marble is an absolutely magnificent stone. As a countertop material, it’s timeless, elegant and able to withstand the heat from hot pots and pans.

marble countertop

Source: Archcitygranite

If the practicality and functionality of marble countertops have a downfall, it’s etching.

Etching is the physical change that occurs to marble when acid interacts with the stone’s calcium carbonate makeup. That’s a fancy way to say that if you don’t quickly clean up spilled lemon juice, you can wind up with dull spots on your marble countertops.

Of course lemon juice isn’t the only liquid that causes etching. Other culprits include wine, orange juice, vinegar and cleaning products that weren’t designed for marble. In fact, cleaning products have been known to make marble dull as soon as they are applied.

Bleach and ammonia can quickly destroy your countertops’ shine and shimmer, so can drips of water and ringlets from condensation on the bottom of your beer, which can also cause your countertops to develop dull spots.

So how do you prevent your marble countertops from etching, or fix it once it occurs?

Well, you basically have three options:

  • Live with it. This option isn’t really as bad as it sounds. The next time you are in a upscale bar or hotel with marble countertops, take a look and you’ll likely see some etching. It can add character, if you choose to see it as such.
  • Try a store-bought marble polish. These products are easy to use and can be effective in many cases. All you have to do is apply the product to your countertops and rub it in using a soft cloth. Depending on how bad the etching is, you may have to use several applications–or it might not work at all.
  • Contact a professional. If the etching on your marble countertops is so severe that you can’t live with it and you can’t fix it with over-the-counter cleaners, you probably need a professional. An experienced marble-maintenance professional can re-polish marble that has been afflicted by the severe etching.

If you have questions about your countertops, or if you need to connect with a professional for help fixing severe etching, contact the experts at Arch City Granite & Marble. They have helped return the shine and shimmer to countless countertops that have experienced etching.

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