Cleaning Marble Countertop Kaboom Damage

by Geralyn Ruddick
(Sayville, NY, )

QUESTION:

I used "Kaboom" cleaner on my marble countertop and faucet.


I nearly died when I found out it dulled it completely and left marks.

The marble countertop color is a mix but mostly brownish/grey (it has steaks of pale blue and cream in it).... Don't know the name. It came on the sink when we bought it. What do I do now?

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, you found out the hard way that cleaning marble properly without damaging it requires some specific knowledge about marble maintenance.

First, the Kaboom cleaner damage can be repaired, so you can relax.

Now, most fabricators will educate their clients regarding marble cleaning, but many do not (some actually don't even know the differences and specifics for proper marble care) and you certainly won't get any information from big box stores, etc.

Of course, cleaning marble is not difficult. It's just a matter of learning the correct methods just like cleaning wood, carpets, clothes, etc.

An important point is that nearly all common generic or brand-name household cleaning products ( like Kaboom cleaner, but also bleach, vinegar, ammonia ) are too harsh and will damage marble leaving dull spots that can also be whitish and in severe cases rough to the touch.

Which is why you should only use products safe for cleaning marble such as the types/brands we recommend.

So, here's the deal...

Marble ( travertine and limestone too ) is composed of calcium carbonate, which will react with alkaline or acidic cleaning products (like Kaboom), foods, drinks (juice, coffee, wine) and some personal products creating the lighter-colored dull spots where the surface layer has been destroyed exposing more raw marble.

It's called "etching" and you'll find loads of information regarding this issue simply by using the search box on our home page or the Questions page or go to the Marble Polishing & Etch Repair page.

Etching Repair

Fortunately there is a product that can repair etching on shiny, polished marble called Marble Polish / Etch Remover.

On a honed finished marble countertop or on any other non-relflective, non-"polished" countertop or floor tile you'll have to follow the instructions provided in the Cleaning Marble Secrets... or the... Removing Etch Marks e-book.

Etching is a matter of degree meaning it can be mild to severe depending on how long the damaging substance was in contact with the marble countertop.

In cases of severe etching (surface damage is very rough) sometimes restoration by a marble repair professional is your only option. This is also true if the etch damage covers a large area like an entire countertop or floor.

Severe etching is pretty rare though, so in nearly all cases the Marble Polish / Etch Remover will do the trick to restore the dull spots caused by the Kaboom cleaner and/or when caused by any other substance since the chemical reaction of etching is essentially the same no matter what the offending substance is.

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