The long and short is that marble can be finished with a number of different surface types. The shiny reflective "polished" finish is but one.
It's very common so people often think that all marble is supposed to be shiny and if it isn't you just need to apply or re-apply the "polish" product.
No... if marble is not shiny it is either meant to be that way (a honed, tumbled, hammered, etc. finish) or it has been damaged by using the wrong cleaning products or from contact with acidic foods/drinks.
I have black marble tile as my kitchen counter. It has been in for about 6 months.
I now notice rings, light areas and spots that are somewhat white and have dulled the surface.
Even the feel of the tile is rough as compared to the un-affected tiles.
When this was laid, no sealer was applied by the contractor. I didn't know about the care of marble tile, just loved the look of it.
I need to know what I can to do restore what is damaged and what to do to stop any further damage. I am desperate!!!!!!!!!
Carolyn, take a deep breath and relax because I have solutions for you.
And if it makes you feel any better, you are not alone. I can't count how many times someone has told me, "I didn't know anything about marble, just loved the look and now I have XXX problem."
Marble is beautiful and there is no reason not to install marble in many areas of your home, except you must know what you are dealing with first and once you do you'll realize that for kitchen countertops, marble is not the best choice.
Unfortunately, many consumers are getting the wrong information or simply no information. The whole point of this website and forum is to help consumers get the right info so they can make the best choice, avoid problems and really get the most out of their stone.
Here's what has happened...
Marble is sensitive to acidic foods and drinks. When in contact with acids, marble will corrode or "etch." The acid actually eats into the marble causing dull spot that are lighter in color and sometimes rough.
I'm sure you've tried to "clean" these and nothing happened. They are not "stains." Nothing has been absorbed into the marble. It's physical damage that must be repaired.
And you are right. You also need to learn how to properly protect, clean and maintain your marble so you can avoid problems in the future.
Fortunately I've written an ebook (that you can download) with exactly you in mind. And since your marble countertop is in the kitchen, you have a bigger challenge and will definitely need this guidance.
The Cleaning Marble Secrets ebook will teach you everything you need to know about etching, removing etch marks, sealing, stains, scratches along with every other topic related to marble maintenance.
Every marble owner should have this information. It will save you lots of time, money and headaches.
So Carolyn, get the Etch Remover Product and the manual and follow the step-by-step instructions. For most etch marks, it's a fairly simple DIY project once you know how.
Use the "comment" link below or contact me if you have further questions.
Marble color - Black, Marble color-Gray: Black marble is stained with food acids such as mustard, etc... from catering......
Some black marble is very dull needs polishing. Gray marble is dull need polishing.
I also would like a maintenance program for marble tile. Thanks, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Theresa, the marble in question has been etched from the acidic foods as you suspect. This is a different issue than "staining," although you may have stains too.
If the etch marks are not too rough (severe damage) then you can repair them and get the shine and color back with the Etch Remover Compound (see links noted above and below).
It's easy to use.
If large areas of the marble (whole countertops, floors) are dull, then professional restoration may be required.
For a marble maintenance program: Our marble maintenance manual Cleaning Marble Secrets will teach you everything you need to know to properly protect, clean and maintain your marble.
It includes step-by-step instruction for all procedures and includes simple solutions for just about any problem you could encounter (including etching & staining of course), marble safe products, etc.
I have accidentally set a pot with an acidic material on the bottom of the pot on the black marble counter top in the kitchen we are renting in Israel.
Now I have a ring from the pot onto the marble and some of the finish is gone.
What to do without having to replace the whole countertop??
Usually, if the shiny finish is removed that means the acid has eaten into the marble. It's a corrosive process called "etching". If the etching is severe (rough to the touch) you'll probably need to hire a professional stone restorer to re-polish the area.
However, severe etching is rare, so you should be able to restore the color and shine just fine using the Etch Remover Compound (see links above) designed just for this problem.
If the marble is honed (a matte, non-reflective surface), then the etch remover can't be used and you'll have to follow the simple instructions in the Removing Etch Marks e-book or call a pro.
Whitish Spots from Spilled Alcohol on Black Marble
We were having a quiet wonderful party and I knocked over some champagne and wine on my beautiful black, Italian marble coffee table which has left it with spotting (whitish).
I have applied mayonaise on the tabletop - it looks as if it is helping a good bit, can you recommend anything else?
Marble is sensitive to acidic foods and drinks and will react chemically when in contact with such substances.
This is a corrosive reaction called "etching". If you Search this site you'll learn all about etching.
The good news is that etching can almost always be repaired using the Etch Remover mentioned above, which will restore the color and shine on shiny "polished" marble, travertine, limestone and onyx.
Basically the corrosive action of the wine and champagne destroyed the polished surface layer of marble.
Marble polishing (done on big machines... not by applying a potion or lotion or "polish") makes the color darker and deeper, so when the polish is destroyed the marble looks lighter in color and dull.
So, remove the mayonaise. I'm not sure where you got that idea or what it is supposed to do, but it isn't doing anything except maybe staining the marble if you left it sit there for a few hours or more.
And use the Etch Remover product. That'll take care of it for you.
Be sure to use coasters diligently and store alcohol, etc. on a tray. But the above paste is easy to use and will restore all but the rare severe (rough to touch) etch marks, so it good to have around.
For severe etching your only option is to hire a marble maintenance pro, but again severe etching is not common.