What is marble etching and how can you prevent it?

Marble Chip Repair Restoration and Cleaning in London

At RSC, customers often ask us about marble etching. So, here, we take a look at what it is and how you can avoid it. After all, few substances have marble’s natural elegance, so it’s understandable that you want to keep your stone looking its beautiful best.

What is it?

Etching is physical damage to your marble. It happens when certain substances come into contact with the stone. These could include coffee, wine or other alcoholic liquids plus citrus and fruit juices.

It’s not the same thing as staining. Etching is a corrosive reaction in the stone. It takes off the marble’s top layer to show the raw stone underneath it. So it’s as though you have burned off that layer. The area you can then see is duller and lighter than before.

In contrast, a stain happens when the stone discolours after a liquid seeps into and penetrates your marble.

How can I prevent this?

Good news! As ever, prevention is better than cure. And there are a number of things you can do to minimise the risks of etching. These include:

1.) Using a quality marble sealant to reduce the marble’s porosity – if you wipe up spills promptly, etching is far less likely
2.) Clean up acidic spills with a damp cloth right away
3.) A honed finish reduces visible etching so consider for ‘busy’ areas of your kitchen and if you have a busy household
4.) Use coasters and chopping boards as much as you can
5.) Only use cleaning products specifically designed to use on marble – many multi-purpose products are actually acidic

Is it possible to reverse marble etching?

Unfortunately, no, not really. It’s hard to reverse marble etching once it’s happened. After all, it’s a chemical reaction. You could try some polishing products that are on the market. But, in truth your marble will never look quite the same again.

It’s true that you may only be able to see slight marble etching in some lights. And it certainly doesn’t have to be the end of the world. But it’s damage to your marble. It’s not a cheap stone, particularly, and so you will want to sort the problem out.

A professional marble cleaning firm will sand down the whole surface before refinishing it.

How we can help

Royal Stone Care specialises in marble cleaning in London for domestic and business customers. We’re also skilled in marble polishing and marble chip repair. Talk to us today for advice on preventing marble etching and tackling it if it’s happened to your stone. We’ll be delighted to have an initial chat and provide a free estimate.