Bleach Damaged Marble Floor


I used bleach on my black marble floors and it damaged them. Looks awful. How do I fix this?

bleach damaged black marble floor - marble etching


Using bleach for cleaning marble (or any stone really) is not a good idea. Too caustic.

Bleach etches marble. Etching is corrosion that eats away at the marble, which will cause dull and light-colored or clear spots.

Bleach 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 can be fixed using the ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing product, which will restore the shine and color.

But it depends on how large an area and how bad the etching is. If your whole floor is etched, or if the etched areas are rough, then you may need to hire a marble maintenance professional to re-surface your floor.

But for small dull spots, rings, spills and/or if a small area of bleach etching (6x6 feet or less), you can do it yourself.

This polishing product is engineered specifically to to restore etched marble and pretty easy to use. Just need a clean cloth and a little elbow grease.

It's for use on "polished" marble only. Don't use it if your marble has a honed or matte finish. The product will make the marble shiny and you don't want that for a matte or honed surface.

On a honed marble, use the Marble Polishing Pads - Drill Kit. This kit can restore both polished and honed finishes.

Note that acidic foods and drinks can etch marble as well so minimize contact. You can't prevent all spills and etching which is why you want to always have some of the Etch Remover product on hand. It's just part of regular marble maintenance.

Ammonia and vinegar damage marble as well and most common brand-name cleaning products like Lysol will etch marble.

For regular cleaning it's best to use cleaners made for marble. This way you avoid guessing about which products to use and all the damage and hassle of marble repair.

Using the wrong products on marble is the most common cause of etching and damage. Using the best and safest marble cleaners will save you a lot of headaches.

Etching can be repaired but it's a pain if it's always happening. Avoiding it is the key to easy maintenance.

Comments for Bleach Damaged Marble Floor

Click here to add your own comments

Matching New Polished Carrara Marble Tiles to Old Tile Color
by: Jen

I had a situation where my 20-year-old polished Carrara marble tile floor had 8 border tiles replaced due to damage.

The new marble is much grayer in color compared to the existing white.

My contractor said that I could apply a thin smear of bleach and let it dry, wipe it off, and it should lighten the gray marble a bit. Can you please give me your opinion on this?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

This could work in a way, but almost certainly would not yield the results you are looking for.

The bleach is caustic and will etch the marble. It will not lighten the actual color of the marble. It will dull the polished finish to make it more like a honed finish which will always look lighter in color than the same marble when polished.

A honed finish will look lighter in color as polishing marble does cause the color of the marble to look more saturated and vibrant.

This is just a matter of the physics of light and how it reflects off a surface. It's the reason pavement on a road looks darker when wet.

The color of a polished marble will look richer and more pronounced than on a honed finish.

So, if you bleach the grayer tiles they will lighten, but then you'll have several tiles with a honed (matte) finish and this will be obvious too.

It's unfortunate you could not find a Carrara marble tile that was more closely matched to your existing tile as that is really the only way to get the new tiles to blend with the old.

Cleaning and Repairing Slate Floor
by: Anonymous

We purchased a house and I don’t know what material the bathroom and bathroom floor is.

I used a product and definitely stripped the sealer off the bathroom and probably the floor around the toilet.

I read about etching in your previous posts but how do I fix what I’ve done and then keep it clean.

The shower is a tan cream beige stone/marble and the floor is a gray slate.

I had a shower guy come In and steam out the grout lines and touch up the color and reseal it but the bench in the shower has black dots in it which no amount of steaming or sanding fully helped.

The bathroom is beautiful and I obviously want to keep it clean but I feel like I’m slowly ruining it.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Well, you do need to know what type of stone you have in order to properly repair, clean, and maintain it.

If after cleaning you had dull chalky areas, then you have some type of calcite-based stone like marble, travertine, or limestone.

Most common cleaners will etch marble and travertine and limestone... and sometimes slate.

It wasn't an issue of removing the sealer. Standard stone sealers absorb into the stone. They do not form coatings so there is nothing to remove.

The cleaner simply damaged and etched the stone is my guess.

Using the Etch Remover Marble Polishing product or pads recommended in the above article will repair etch marks.

Regarding the black dots on the bathroom bench. Probably mold and mildew stains that have gotten into the pores of the stone.

I'd recommend first trying the Mold & Mildew Stain Remover. If the stains are deep, you may need to make a poultice with this product.

Then use a marble-safe Soap Film Remover Shower cleaner for regular shower cleaning and a Marble Floor Tile Cleaner to clean the floors without damage.

All the above products will work on marble, slate, and all types of natural stone.

You can Contact our support team to submit photos for diagnosis and additional guidance.

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.

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! :^)

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?
-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!

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.

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.

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

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Marble Cleaning Questions & Answers.

Protected by Copyscape is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made through links on our site.