Polishing Hazy Marble Backsplash

by Ellen S.

QUESTION:

We just had a marble backsplash installed and it is hazy not shiny. How do I get rid of the haze?


ANSWER:

It could be one of two things.

1. Grout residue from a sloppy job. You can buy "grout haze removers" but they are usually acidic.

Since you have polished marble tiles you don't want to use an acidic cleaner. It will remove the polished layer leaving your marble dull.

Now, this could look just fine and may be better long-term. Many/most marble backsplashes are made of tumbled marble, which has a rustic look and doesn't show etching very well.

Your polished marble will show dull and possibly discolored spots everywhere a splash of wine, coffee, soda, salad dressing, lemon juice (or any of the multitude of other acidic foods found in every kitchen) hits the marble.

So, if you decide you want to make your marble backsplash "honed" or more rough in appearance, then use an acidic grout remover you can get at any hardware store.

If you want to preserve the marble polish then I recommend you use Hard Water / Soap Scum Remover. It's made for cleaning shower soap scum, but it works very well for grout haze too and it won't damage your marble.

2. Sealer dried on surface. Was a sealer applied to the marble backsplash? If so, then the sealer wasn't applied properly and dried on top leaving a streaky haze.

In fact, polished marble is not very porous and usually doesn't need sealing. Very often will not even absorb a sealer.

If this is the case, try to remove with acetone. If acetone doesn't work, try methylene chloride. Neither will damage your stone, but will damage cabinets, paint, etc., so use carefully.

Do not seal again. Sealing has nothing to do with etching and will not keep acids from damaging your marble.

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