Bleach Damaged Marble Floor

by Dannielle
(Ohio)

QUESTION:

I bleached my black marble floors and it damaged them. Also, my black granite counters look very dull and have a small spot that needs repair from a bottle of grout cleaner that left a ring around its edge.


ANSWER:

Yes, using bleach for cleaning marble (or any stone really) is not good. It can be used sparingly in certain situations in a very very dilute solution, but more often than not people get the mix wrong and etch their marble. So, it's best just not to use it.

Etching is corrosion that eats away at the marble, which will cause dull and light colored spots. Bleach, ammonia, vinegar and most common brand-name cleaning products will do this.

Etching can be fixed, but it depends on how large an area. If your whole floor is etched, then you may need to hire a marble maintenance professional to re-surface your floor.

If a small area (6x6 feet or less), you can do it yourself using ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing product, which will restore the shine and color.

The black granite is another matter. Granite does not etch like marble except in extreme and rare cases, so the grout cleaner should not have left an etch mark... or rather the etch mark is not in the granite itself.

It could be a couple things. Unfortunately, there is a bit of fraud occurring with some black granites that have been "doctored" with surface coloring to make them more "black." This surface coloring can etch and is often a tell tale sign of doctoring. But it also could be a sealer or resin that has etched.

The FORENSICS Granite Test Kit will tell you what is happening with your granite so you can find a solution.

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great answer, Ryan!
by: Anonymous

Ryan, I have fifteen years experience as a tile man, ten of which, I have been doing restoration. I chose to comment on your reply, sir, because I read these forums frequently. And your answer on here is by far, the BEST reply that I have read from any forum!

Often, I find myself agreeing with some statements and disagreeing within the same post from that person. Props to you! You are the first person that I felt that I can learn from, as far reading these forums are concerned.

You for sure are leading the way when it comes to granite, in my opinion!
-Jason Huggett

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Ryan, about the ring in the granite countertop
by: Anonymous

Is it possible, that in this issue of the ring in the granite, that perhaps whatever it is that this person left on his counter could have simply soaked in and left a stain as a result.

Possibly, as you stated, it is not an etch, but a stain?

As we all know, not only is granite porous, but even after being sealed, if something is left on the stone for too long, well, it will eventually soak in, right?

The sealers that are typically used for sealing granite countertops, are typically a way to allow the owner to have a few extra minutes to clean a spill before it stains/soaks into the stone.

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Ring on Granite Countertop
by: Ryan

Yes, you are correct... the ring could be a "stain" which can occur when a substance absorbs into the granite countertop, or marble tile or any porous surface.

Usually when people speak of "rings" it's etching, but could be a stain or a stain and etch mark on the exact same spot.

But to clarify... "in general" granite is porous, however, there are thousands of varieties and many varieties/colors of granite that are essentially non-porous, do not absorb (or it would take forever and probably evaporate first) and do not need sealing ever.

And a few types are sooo porous (Kashmir is great example) that they are very difficult to seal at all... and really shouldn't be installed.

We can quickly get into trouble with granite and marble maintenance when applying very loose, general guidelines to specific slabs.

And also correct... stone sealers just buy you a lot more time to clean up spills. Sealed stone can still stain if substance is left on the surface long enough. But practically speaking your risk of staining a properly sealed granite countertop is minimal.

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Porous stones & grout
by: Jason Huggett

Hello again, Ryan.
Thank you for getting back to me, I greatly apologize about my delay in responding to you.

As far as porous materials go; it is my understanding that the lighter the color of the stone, the more porous it is.

So a white marble will be much more porous than a black granite.

I have also found that the solvent base sealers, although they may enhance the stone, are much more effective than the water based sealers.

This has just been my personal experience.
I also have recently had a mind boggling issue that perhaps you may have some input on.

I installed travertine on my countertops, which I have installed for years. However, I have never had this stone in my personal house, until now. I sealed the stone with a water based sealer that I have been using for years (my personal favorite).
It is called “clear shield.” Usually this particular sealer takes only one coat and whatever it is that I am sealing will not accept another coat.

However, for whatever the reason, I have applied at least four coats, and my non-sanded grout seems as if it could use another four coats. The stone seams sealed. What is your thoughts on this one, Ryan?
Thanks,
-Jason Huggett

==== Admin Comment:

Well, Jason all I would say is that if the grout or any material you wish to seal continues to absorb, then it is not sealed well.... or it is so porous that it will be difficult to get a good seal on it.

I'd perform a timed, water or solvent test on the grout to see how long it takes to absorb. If it is absorbing right away after four coats, then yeah I agree seems odd, but not much else you can do except apply more to the grout until you do get it sealed or just let it be.

After all if the stone is sealed, then you shouldn't have any issues staining the stone. But if you stain the grout, well you can always just scrape out the stained grout and re-grout the area.

Good Luck!

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Thanks for the reply
by: Jason Huggett

Hello again, Mr. Ryan.
I apologize for my time laps in returning. Apparently I had another page of emails that I did not realize, and your reply was one of them.

Anyways, thanks for getting back to me. I actually had a small incident yesterday (by accident) and I was able to test the recovery time.

The stone is definitely sealed. My only theory on the grout not sealing properly; is that perhaps since the tile is ½ in. thick, and the grout joints are 1/16 in. The sealer is not able to penetrate all the way or deep enough into the grout.

===

Well you may not be getting great penetration since the surface area of the 1/16 inch grout line is so small. And although the deeper the better the coverage and performance, but even if only penetrates slightly into the grout the sealer should still perform to some degree.

Honestly, I wouldn't stress about it too much. If you do ever stain the grout you can likely easliy poultice it out or at worst replace it. Both options fairly uncomplicated. Good luck!

I never experienced this issue before, but who knows, and you’re correct sir, either leave it be, or scratch it out later if it gets stained, LOL.
Have a good one, sir! :^)
-Jason

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Lime Away spot on Granite needs fixing!
by: Anonymousjody

I left a bottle of lime away on my counter after cleaning my shower and now there is what looks like a bleached out spot that is white. Granite was dark green! Is there a way to repair this?

===== Countertop Specialty comment:

A "bleached out" spot is damage from a corrosive substance. A sort of chemical burn. It's called etching.

The thing is that granite rarely etches. It is possible to etch granite, but it takes a potent acid to do it.

Lime-A-Way contains sulfamic acid and has a low pH around 2. This product could potentially etch a granite countertop, if left on the surface long enough.

However, etching is much more common on marble, so it's important to be sure you do indeed have a granite countertop and not marble.

If it is granite, you'll need to hire a stone restoration professional to repair and re-polish the etched area.

Marble is softer and can often be repaired with DIY methods and products like the Etch Remover Polish. Not so with granite, which is very hard. Special tools, abrasives and skills are required.

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