Removing Etch Marks from Marble

i_m_fletcherJanuary 8, 2011

I've had my new marble counter tops for about three weeks now. As expected, I've created a few etch marks on the counter tops - primarily in the prep area between the sink and range top as well as a few really good ones next to the sink edge.

Details:

-Calacatta Ruggine (very similar to Calacatta Gold)

-Brushed Surface (lightly polished with some texture)

-Sealed by Fabricators

-Etch marks created by lime juice and orange juice

I was under the impression that once an etch mark is made (and it happens instantly) there's nothing that can be done except get used to the new mark on the counter top. I'm ok with this in general and actually like the idea that my counter tops will develop a patina over time.

That being said, those first few etch marks stick out like a sore thumb and are a little rough to accept. I set out to see if I could remove them. The good news is that I found a process / product that I feel is very effective at removing these etch marks. Details are in the photo illustrations below.

Small Etch Mark Next to Sink:

Same Etch Mark After Cleaning (proving it's really an etch not dirt):

Etch Removal In Process:

Counter Top After Polishing (Took

Another Etch Mark:

After Polishing:

Here's a Shot of The Product I Used:

My question is, has anyone else used this stuff (or something similar)? Seems pretty easy and effective. Are there reasons that haven't occurred to me on why I shouldn't use this stuff? Is this common knowledge or an exciting development in the world of Marble counter top care here on Gardenweb?

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live_wire_oak

Polishing works to remove etch marks by removing a thin layer of stone. Over time, repeatedly polishing the same area (like your prep area) can lead to the area actually having a depression or divot when compared with the rest of your flat countertop. It would take several years to show, but it is one consequence of repeated polishing on a relatively soft surface like a marble. Polishing of the entire countertop would be OK for an "annual cleanup" but shouldn't be done on an everyday basis to spot treat the normal wear and tear.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 10:45AM
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i_m_fletcher

By the way, I'm in now way pitching this product. I bought it online for about $29. There were a few websites with a similar product so I don't think this is the only game in town, just the one I tried out.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 10:45AM
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i_m_fletcher

You make a good point. Although, if the big concern is that 15-20 years from now I might have a slight depression in the more heavily used areas of my counter tops, I think I'm ok with this. I guess it depends upon how much is actually removed, although the amount seems minimal...

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:06AM
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rococogurl

Nice to have the product -- haven't seen that before. Thanks. Also, I saw your kitchen pix and it looks great. Very eager to see your backsplash when it goes in. I have AS tile and it's just extra great IMO.

The fabricator sealed my counters and they weren't sealed well at all. I was getting similar etch marks. I went over them myself with a sealer recommended by a stone restorer and most stuff either beads up or wipes off. We follow with a companion product once a week that removes a lot of stuff.

The problem I see with using the polishing product you show is that area is not sealed after it's been scrubbed on.

I'm thinking I'll need to have the counters professionally rehoned once every 5 years or so -- not trying to keep them pristine.

Also, we bought a set of flexi mats at Crate & Barrel and use them on the counters for some protection. Saves me a world of cleaning.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 12:10PM
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cat_mom

We had tons of etch marks on the travertine floor in our guest bathroom--droplets of bathroom and toilet cleaner, a few large marks where our (former) cleaning lady set a bottle of TB cleaner, and a bucket that had bathroom cleaner on the bottom. Someone here had suggested spraying a little stone cleaner on the etched area, and then lightly scrub with a green scrub sponge. It worked well (I've even just lightly buffed with the dry sponge and that worked, too).

Nice to know we have options to keep our stone floors and counters looking their best!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 2:12PM
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annryan_gmail_com

bump

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 1:09PM
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kmartin234

I M -- thanks for posting those pictures. My marble tops are only a month old and I have lots of etch marks -- an indication of all the wine I pour! Is your marble honed? Mine is honed.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 8:54AM
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kariwb

Awesome! Does anyone know how this might work on soapstone? I don't have the heart to take sandpaper to my new counters just yet.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:34PM
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Trebruchet

I used MB 12 to get the etches out of the linked top; two hours of sweating on a knuckle dragger:

Here is a link that might be useful: 4th post down

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 11:02PM
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lascatx

Yes, you can buff out etch marks if they aren't too deep, but sooner or later you are going to have to accept that you if you keep buffing out that one spot, you can drive yourself crazy buffing and wiping and worrying about depressions in the counter. It's hard to have that one spot, but if you keep buffing, every spot will become that one spot that bugs you.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 6:43PM
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three3apples

Just to let anyone interested know, I tried this product on some etched marks I stupidly caused (left clementines on the counter for a few days and one somehow oozed citric acid on the counter). My honed white marble counters have a very slight sheen to them. Using this product made things quite a bit worse. I was very gentle and followed the instructs to a "t", but it now looks scratched, there is no sheen, and the etch marks are not improved. So, just wanted to update in case anyone is thinking of using this product. Wish I had the results of the initial poster of this thread.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 12:13PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

my3apples, I've honed a carrara top using the powder, made into a paste. Now when I want to remove an etch, I use a sanding sponge--an old one that has most of the 'grit' worn off, with a bit of water. Make sure you start with a high grit sponge, or better yet, get two, and rub them together until they are fairly smooth.

***Warning, first use this method on a sample piece, or in an out-of-the-way area.*** My top has a slight, hand-polished sheen, so I rub until it blends. In my experience, the longer the sanding time, the higher the sheen.

I've also wet-sanded with 600 grit paper. Again, try it on a sample first.

Now, if anyone has a hint about how to get rid of star dings, please let me know. My younger daughter (24yrs old) was playing with three of those hematite-type chatter magnets, and dropped them on the island counter. The marks look just like Orion's belt. Kids :[

    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 1:49PM
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kevdp4

As with all of MB's products, MB-12 is a good product designed for the professional. It contains a week acid so improper use will do more damage than good to the stone. It takes practice to have consistently good results.

Here is a link that might be useful: MB-12

    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 6:21PM
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