Marble is a beautiful and durable natural stone, which makes it a popular choice for kitchen countertops. But marble does have its weaknesses. When the wrong materials come into contact with marble, they can cause what’s known as ‘etching’. Read on to learn more about etching and how to repair your etched countertops.

What is etching and what causes it?

An etch is a mark left behind on marble when acidic foods or liquids come into contact with its surface. It may appear to be a stain, but it is actually something different. This is because it is not caused by the liquid soaking into the stone, but instead by eating away at it, essentially damaging the stone’s surface.

Calcium carbonate is a compound found in marble, as well as other natural stones such as travertine and limestone. Acidic liquids react with this compound and etch away at the surface of the stone as a result. This leaves behind a dull spot where the liquid sat, commonly known as an etch.

Lots of things can cause etching on marble, including:

  • Juice from citrus fruits
  • Vinegar
  • Wine
  • Coffee
  • Soda
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Acidic household cleaners

Unfortunately, sealing your marble will not prevent etching, so you must be careful with the types of cleaners you use and try to keep acidic foods and drinks away from the surface.

How bad is etching?

Should the possibility of etching put you off installing marble countertops? Not necessarily. Etches in marble often aren’t that visible. You often have to catch the surface in the right light and at the right angle to be able to see these marks.

This also depends on the finish of your countertops. Polished marble will show up etches much more prominently than honed marble because the dull spots are in greater contrast to the shiny, glossy surface of polished marble.

Some people really don’t mind small etches on their marble countertops because they feel that they add to the unique patterns and textures of their stone.

How to repair etching

You may be able to repair etches or at least improve their appearance, depending on how bad the marks are and the finish of your countertops. There are some DIY products and solutions that can help you get rid of light etching on polished marble. For more severe etching, you may need to rely on a professional to refinish the surface for you.

If your marble countertops need repairing or refinishing around Kernersville, Winston Sale, Greensboro, or High Point, then contact Amanzi Granite for our professional maintenance services.