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Marble Etches and Dull Spots Removal

The undesired etching is the white/light dull spots you can find on marble surfaces, which are hard to get rid of and are very unpleasant. Such spots may be caused by acidic or alkaline liquids left on the surfaces. In other words, it’s chemical burns. Those spots can be in different shapes like in the shape of a spill, spray pattern (caused by spraying the wrong cleaner), drops, or glass rings. They can be deep or not soo deep.

It most commonly happens with marble, travertine, limestone, onyx, and other calcite-based stones. Sometimes hard water can leave salt spots in the form of white crystal powder, which may look like etching but it is not.

Etching may change the texture of the marble surface to a dull, non-uniform appearance. In some cases when marble contact with strong, like industrial acidic chemicals, the marble can be burned and melted to a rough surface and even destroyed into sand-like particles.

Some Causes of Etching on Marble

Acidic foods & drinks:
– lemons
– juice
– most fruits
– coffee
– caustic soda
– wine
– dressings
– ketchup
– vinegar
– many others.

Cleaning chemicals and cleaners:
– bleach
– ammonia
– glass cleaners like Windex or Fantastik
– Ajax/Comet
– sink/toilet cleaners
– porcelain/ceramic cleaners
– stainless steel cleaners
– some personal care products
– most general household cleaners.

Some liquids will only etch your marble while others will do both etch and stain. In such a case, if your marble has both etches and stains, for restoration you will need to perform two different procedures, known as refinishing and applying a poultice.

Etchings on Granite

Granite is an igneous rock and not calcite-based stone and typically will not etch. If the etchings appeared on your granite, that means your granite more likely is “doctored”. “Doctoring” granite is a method of artificial dyeing granite by applying a compound to the surface and “baking” in an oven at high temperature to fuse the compound,  for the only purpose of enriching the color and raising its price. The etches can happen on that coat and not on the granite itself. Unlike etches on marble, etches on doctored granite cannot be easily removed or polished.

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