White Carrara Marble Cleaner Stains

by Jennifer
(Glastonbury, CT)

QUESTION:

My friend's daughter threw up all over our white Carrara tile floor and I grabbed Fantastik of all things to clean it up.


I was thinking about all the germs not the delicacy of the marble floor tile unfortunately.

Now I have a germ free floor, but you can clearly see the spray marks from the cleaner.

Do we need to reseal the floor or wax it? How can I get rid of these? HELP!!!

ANSWER:

Yes, you found out the hard way that you need to use appropriate cleaning products on marble floor tile and countertops. Most household cleaners are just to caustic and will corrode natural stone.

However, the poor girl's acidic stomach contents likely contributed to the damage as well. Of course, since you can see the spray marks you know that the Fantastik wasn't the best choice for marble cleaning.

Sealing and waxing have nothing to do with this issue. The marble floor has been "etched." Essentially, acidic and/or alkaline foods and cleaners will eat into and corrode the marble surface ruining the polish. It's physical damage like a burn.

The marble polish (the shiny reflective surface finish) is created by a mechanical process involving grinding and abrasion. It is a physical characteristic of the stone and not some spray or wax applied to the surface.

You're lucky though in that you probably wiped the whole thing up quickly so the damage to the marble is likely minimal.

Mild marble etching can almost always be repaired and the polish restored with a marble polishing powder. Now you can shop at your local hardware store for one, but beware that many "marble polishes" are simply topical dressings and not designed to remove etch marks.

I recommend ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing Paste. It's simple to use and should do the trick for you. It's the best on the market.

If it doesn't restore the shine, then you'll need to hire a marble repair and restoration professional to remove the marks and then re-polish the floor for you.

The reason being that once marble is etched beyond a certain point (i.e. severe etching that is rough to the touch), more aggressive methods are needed beyond the DIY product suggested above.

When cleaning marble flooring in the future use this Tile Floor Cleaner.

For a disastrous mess, flush with hot water first and scrub with a soft brush to remove debris. Wipe up, then use a dilute bleach solution (1 tablespoon in a gallon of water) or hydrogen peroxide (1 cup in gallon water) to disinfect.

Be warned, however, that both bleach and hydrogen peroxide will also etch marble and should not be used as a regular cleaner. I suggest this only for extreme disinfecting needs and only with a very dilute solution.

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