As it relates to natural stone tile and other precious surfaces, you may wonder why you see dull spots on your marble around the sink, dull ring marks that match the shape of your favorite highball glass, or marks on your bathroom vanity that mirror your mouthwash bottle….. All of these “normal wear and tear” marks are completely preventable — we call them etches. And no, you don’t have to put doilies or rugs over all of your stone in order to protect it either.
A little information goes a long way…
Acids are the main culprit creating the dull spots on natural stone. So what is the source of the acid that is leaving a mark on my stone, you ask?
A few common items containing acids that might leave an etch mark on your marble include:
Food items: citrus of any kind, many juices, vinegars, wine, beer, liquor, many sodas, tannic acids in tea, coffee, tomato….
Cleaning products: Vinegar of any kind, products meant to remove calcium, lime and hard water deposits, and soap scum; most regular household cleaning products. READ the FINE PRINT on the bottle – you might be surprised how many containers say DO NOT USE ON MARBLE or other calcareous (i.e. chalky) stone like limestone, travertine, etc.
Cosmetic Items: Acidic face washes, zit cream, toner, perfumes, to name a few. Saline solution may also have an etching influence on marble.
Other Acids: Urine, vomit… (households with young children be aware!)
How to clean marble? A few small tips will get you started for a long lasting lustrous appearance to your natural stone.
Sungloss Marble Co. believes that the best way to take care is to be informed. Severely etched natural stone tiles will require the services of a marble finishing company to do the marble polishing.
Preventing contact of acid with your limestone, marble, travertine, etc. is the number one step. Use a large cutting board in the kitchen for preparing acid foods. Place your cocktails on coasters and set up your bar on a large tray when hosting a party. Place a decorative tray on your bathroom countertop to serve as a “home base” for all the toiletries you use most often.
Stay tuned for more tips and future care ideas! If you like what you read today, please email us for a complimentary Marble Care Educational Booklet from the Marble Institute Of America!