How To Repair Etched Marble

dull chalky etch mark from a lemon on brown marble countertop
Etch Mark on Marble Countertop


How do you repair marble once it has been etched or looks like a dull water mark on the marble?


Etched marble is repaired by repolishing or refinishing the damaged surface. How it's done depends on the type of finish and the severity of the etching.

Marble etching occurs upon contact with acidic foods and drinks and from the use of the wrong type of cleaner.

So, citrus fruits (as in the above photo) and drinks like juice, coffee, soda, wine, alcohol, and many other foods will etch marble.

Pro tip: Etching is also caused by harsh products like bleach, vinegar, and ammonia. Most generic and common brand-name cleaners are too caustic for cleaning marble and will etch the finish.

That's why you should only use product safe for cleaning marble.

Etching is a corrosive chemical reaction that essentially eats at the marble. Think of it like a burn that removes the finished top layer of marble.

It's very noticeable on a polished surface because it exposes dull raw marble.

Of course, it happens just the same on a honed surface but is not as visible since honed marble has a matte finish that is duller to begin with.

Solutions to Repair Etched Marble

Luckily, marble repair for etching is simple, but again... the method depends on the finish type and the etching severity.

On Polished Marble

Restore dull spot etching on polished marble finishes using the Marble Polish / Etch Remover, which is engineered specifically for marble repair and will restore the shine and color to a like-new condition.

Easy-to-use DIY product... just rub on using a bit of pressure with a soft cloth.

Depending on the stone and the degree of etching, you may have to make several applications.

It's kinda like sanding wood. You need to keep sanding it until it is as smooth as you want it. Same here... keep at
it in multiple short rounds until the shine is restored.

Again, the above product is for use on shiny polished marble only.

On Honed Marble

Restoring etch marks on honed marble is different than on polished marble.

Use these DIY Marble Polishing Pads (drill kit or manual pads).

These polishing pads are able to achieve a matte or honed finish that blends with the surrounding area.

Or you can follow the simple step-by-step instructions provided in the Removing Etch Marks e-book.

But the above products make the repair easier and quicker.

Severe Etch Marks

Severe etching is rare but can occur if an acidic substance is left to sit on the marble countertop or tile for an extended period. It will continue to eat away the marble.

If the damaged area is noticeably rough to the touch, then it is severe.

The above methods may work in some cases, but usually, a stone restoration professional is needed to repair severe etch marks.

Different methods for finishing and polishing marble are needed depending on the condition and level of finish of the marble.

Severe etching requires more vigorous and specialized treatment. It's pretty rare, so most often, the DIY methods will do the trick quickly and easily on 95% of etch marks, even if you have to apply it a few times.

When etching is severe and rough, you can try the DIY methods, but will likely need a pro.

Preventing Etching on Marble

To dispel a common misconception, applying a marble sealer does NOT prevent etching.

Sealers prevent stains but cannot stop physical damage to the stone. Etch marks are physical damage.

Preventing contact with damaging substances and cleaners is the only totally successful method.

Some coatings can help prevent etching but not completely. And such coatings have drawbacks to consider.

The best advice is to practice good marble cleaning habits, use coasters, trivets, cutting boards, and learn to restore etch marks as part of normal marble maintenance.

Comments for How To Repair Etched Marble

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I’KAN Stone & Tile Care
by: I’KAN Stone & Tile Care

Great information, thanks for sharing this blog with us. Keep sharing!!

Repair etching on honed marble shower tiles
by: Ryan

Sharon, etching can be repaired on your honed marble tile too, as noted above in the article.

Use the Etch Remover / Marble Polshing Pads DIY Kit.

Or you can achieve a decent repair following the step-by-step instructions provided in the Removing Etch Marks e-book.

Good luck!

How do I repair honed marble that has been etched?
by: Sharon

My mother came to visit and cleaned my natural marble shower while I was gone... with regular mildew remover!

Now there is a white powdery-like finish to the marble that I don't know how to remove.

Is my shower damaged for good, or is there some way I can remove the etching? This is honed marble, not polished.


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