Cleaning Dulled Finish of Bathroom Marble Countertop

by On
(Tampa, FL. )

QUESTION:

The master bath marble countertop surface has been dulled, most likely from liquid drifting down from hairspray, deodorant spray, etc.


A cleaning lady that we used kept it clean, but she moved on before we could learn what she used to clean the countertop.

We tried Windex, CLR, and 409 with no success. The countertop in the powder room that has most likely been kept clean in the same manner as the one in the master bath, is still highly polished.

Help! How can we bring back the polished finish to the dulled marble countertop?

ANSWER:

Well, it sounds like you have "etched" the marble surface with all the harsh products used in the bathroom.

Hairsprays and many other potions and lotions could potentially damage the marble finish, but from your question I gather that when the cleaning lady was in charge the marble retained it's shiny finish and it's not likely that your habits in the bathroom have changed.

So, I can only surmise that the marble got dirty with use and then you repeatedly cleaned it using chemicals that should NOT be used on marble and destroyed the polish.

How does this happen?

Marble is mostly made of calcite crystals, which are reactive with acidic substances. Contact with acidic substances corrodes (etches) the marble. This is very noticeable with a polished surface since it destroys the polish and makes your marble look dull.

Alkaline substances, like many cleaning products, can cause similar damage.

That is why it is recommended that you use simply hot water with minimal soap (soap will build up and dull but not damage the shine), or preferably, use only a specially formulated, neutral pH stone cleaner like our Granite Countertop & Marble Cleaning spray


How Do You Restore The Polish?

In this case, you will need to call a professional stone restoration company and have your countertop re-polished.

For small, mild etch marks a marble polishing powder like our ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing Paste is effective, but a whole countertop is not a DIY job... so get a pro to look at it.

The shiny polish on any countertop is not achieved by applying a chemical or product. It is the result of intense friction and abrasion that polishes stone similar to sanding rough wood to a smooth surface.

Look closely at your countertop from a low angle. Is the whole countertop equally dull or is the worst part confined to a particular area.

If parts of your countertop are still shiny, then I'd say the dullness is due to some personal product that you are using. If the dullness is evenly distributed, then most likely it is from using damaging cleaning products.

If you have been using the same cleaning methods with your other counterop that is still shiny, then all I can say is that you've done something different in your master bath and/or the countertop in your powder bath is not marble or any other calcite based stone.

The cleaners you used would have removed any buildup or dirt that was simply covering the surface and the shine, so cleaning is not the issue.

Hope this helps to clarify and solve the problem.

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Acid on my green marble counter top
by: Mahwish

I have this dark green coloured marble counter top in my kitchen. But it has developed white spots over a wide area due to the use of hydrocloric acid by my maid in order to clean it. How can I get the old colour back. Will marble polishing liquid work?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

You'll need to use the marble polishing etch remover paste.

One thing about "green" marble though is that it may actually be "serpentine".

Serpentine is a type of stone that looks a lot like marble, and it will etch (whitish dull spots), and it is sold as "marble", but it is much harder than marble (more like granite), and thus hand polishing with the above product may not be sufficient.

Serpentine may require professional re-polishing with special tools and abrasives.

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save my counter
by: Anonymous

My white marble counter top has yellowed on side where water settles, and around the drain has worn down and looks rusted. how can I fix this? Thanks

=== Countertop Specialty comment:

You may have discoloration from rust staining. White marble often contains iron deposits that can oxidize with repeated exposure to water creating orange-brown stains or yellowing.

Hard to tell for sure without photos though.

Click the "Support" tab on any page of our store and send us the same question with photos. We'll take a look and advise.

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