Cloudy Spots On Granite

QUESTION:

I have brown/black/tan/silver fleck granite countertops in my kitchen. I have had white cloudy marks in spots that I have tried to polish with many coats, but they remain. Is my only option to have it re-buffed? Thank you!


ANSWER:

Hmmmmm.... "white cloudy marks" are usually a sign of etching, which is caused by contact with acidic substances on calcite-based stones like marble, travertine and limestone, but not granite. Granite is not sensitive to acids and does not etch.

Although, in rare instances certain stones (sometimes sold as granite) that do contain calcium carbonate and will etch. Not too likely you have one.

Also, you can get etch marks on black granite countertops when doctored, but doesn't sound like you have a black granite.

Also, some sealers and/or topical coatings can etch/react to acids.

"Tried to polish with many coats"... coats of what? This may be what is etching.

Nonetheless, to solve this you'll need to remove whatever is on the surface. Use methylene chloride (solvent found at hardware store) to strip any coating/sealer off the surface. This should also remove the etch marks.

Strip only a small area first and then test the stone to see if the stone itself is or is not sensitive to acids.

My guess is that you'll find it is not sensitive, thus you'll need to strip the rest of the granite countertop.

Once completely stripped, test several places to determine if you need to apply a granite sealer. If so, use a quality stone sealer which will not etch.

If you'd like complete instructions about stripping the granite and sealing, then check out the All About Sealing Manual.

Comments for Cloudy Spots On Granite

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Please warn people!
by: Anonymous

Methylene chloride may still be found at hardware stores, but it has been known to KILL people who work with it. It should be better regulated, and some responsible hardware stores have stopped selling it. Please do not suggest working with this dangerous chemical without some kind of warning.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/nidhisubbaraman/methylene-chloride-ban-toxic-lawsuit

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Thanks for sharing. Yes, we do warn people that methylene chloride is a very potent solvent and it should be used very carefully, with eye and skin protection and only in well-ventilated areas.

But we do agree that this chemical probably should be banned and we don't really recommend using it anymore because of this.

Many of the articles on this site that mention methylene chloride can be 10 years old and are in the process of updating to make information like this more current.

We have and use so many chemicals in our world and society now that people can become a bit lax in taking proper precautions. Or they don't realize how dangerous some chemicals can be thinking they must be safe enough if I can buy it at Home Depot or other stores, etc.

All products should be used with caution and proper protection and especially ventilation when needed. Not just a respirator but also fresh air from open windows and doors.

But really the best option is to simply use a less-toxic chemical and ban those that are too dangerous as you suggest. Thanks again for your input and feedback.

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