Marble Vanity Top Water Spots


I have a polished marble vanity top in my guest bath and honed marble countertops in my kitchen.

I have a lot water spots that I can't seem to get clean.

Do you have any suggestions?

water spot etch mark on marble - text overlay - how to remove water spots on marble


"Water spots" and dull spots on marble vanity tops or countertops are a common marble repair issue (on both honed and polished surfaces); however, they are not caused by water.

The dull spots are etch marks caused by acidic foods, drinks, and cleaners.

They may look lighter, clear or the same color as your marble. And on lighter marble colors, you may only notice the spots from certain viewing angles or depending on the light hitting the surface.

The etch spots happen from spills, but are often seen as drips or drops or spray marks from using the wrong cleaner. Or as a circle from a cup or glass.

The reason this happens is that marble is composed of calcite and reacts chemically with acidic substances like wine, coffee, juice, fruit, soda, alcoholic drinks and many (most) cleaning products that come in contact with your marble vanity top.

Thus, it's best to use only marble-safe cleaning products.

The acidic/caustic reaction "etches" or corrodes the surface ruining the polish (or smooth honed surface) causing the appearance of the lighter-colored dull spots.

You will notice this most on polished marble floor tile and countertops. Marble vanity tops and tiles that are honed or have a matte surface still react and will etch, but you may not see the result --dull spot-- as well because the surface is already somewhat dull.... not reflective like a polished marble.

Solution(s) to restore dull spots / water spots....

Your marble vanity top has, in effect, been de-polished. Polishing is accomplished by friction. Polishing is what makes the marble shiny so in order to restore the shine and "remove" the spots you'll need to follow one of the 3 options below.

Option 1: Use a special marble polishing compound to restore the
shine and "remove" these water spots (unless severe) on your polished surfaces. You can easily do this yourself using this ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing product which is made specifically for this purpose.

If this doesn't work, then you have severe etch marks. Severe etching is rare.... most etch marks are not severe.

But if the damage is rough-to-the-touch and option 1 doesn't fix it, then you must resort to the following two options, which are much more expensive.

Option 2: Hire a professional to re-polish your marble.

Of course, this will not prevent the same problem from occurring again and sealing does not address this problem. It won't stop etching.

Option 3: Remove the polish with an acid wash or have the surface "honed" (requires a professional). A "honed" finish is smooth, but not shiny. "Water spots" still occur, but aren't as noticeable on a honed surface.

But then again, restoring etch marks on a polished surface is arguably easier to do with the Etch Remover product mentioned above vs. repairing etch marks on a honed surface.

Restoring honed marble etch marks is different than on a "polished" finish. Unfortunately, there's no product to use. However, the fix is cheap and relatively easy. Complete instructions provided in the Restoring Marble Etching e-book.

In my house, we always use coasters and trays on our bathroom marble countertops to avoid etching.

A marble sealer may still be necessary to protect against stains: substances that are absorbed into and darken the stone.

But this depends on the particular slab. Again, marble is typically highly resistant to staining and many varieties are so dense that they do not absorb liquids and do not need and should not have a sealer applied.

If you have a spot that is a different color or darker than your marble vanity top color then you have a "stain" which requires a completely different approach.

If this is the case.... go to the marble stains page to learn about and find remedies to that particular problem.

Comments for Marble Vanity Top Water Spots

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by: LaJoyce

THANK YOU! I believe I will be able to bring my vanities back to their original state. 5 stars from me.

Water ring on HONED carerra marble countertop
by: Anonymous

Is there anything that can be done for dulled spots (definitely from water condensation that dripped down off a bottle and was left too long on the counter) visible from only certain angles on my HONED marble countertop?

It looks like your products only work to restore shine to polished marble - will anything work on a HONED countertop?



Yes, etch marks can be removed from honed marble as well... just not by using the ETCH REMOVER / Marble polishing paste unless you want to make your honed (matte) marble countertop shiny.

For this reason it is designed only for use on "polished" marble.

Different surface finishes on stone require specific techniques. A "polished" finish is one step beyond a "honed" finish and requires special abrasives, etc.... like the above product.

Restoring etch marks on honed marble is a DIY project. There isn't any product that will do it.

Good news is that it's easy.... just takes some work.

Complete instructions are provided in the Removing Etch Marks e-book.

And by the way... water does not cause these marks. (Some city water supplies are acidic enough to do so, but rare and in general water is not the culprit)

Likely what happened is condensation picked up the residue of an acidic substance on the outside of the bottle and carried it to the marble countertop surface. This is a very common occurrence.

marble countertop
by: Virginia

I just purchased a new marble countertop for my bathroom. Without knowing, I used a bathroom cleaner. A couple of days later, I was wiping down the countertop and noticed all these stains on the marble. I thought it was defected and called the store where I purchase it from.

Well he told me that same thing I'm reading and I am certainly very upset. I've only had this countertop for one week and it's already ruined. You should really do your homework before you purchase anything.

I guess I need to get someone to polish it.


====Admin Comment:

Most likely the "stains" you have are actually "etch marks" which is a completely different issue.

The etch marks are probably not severe (rough to the touch) and you'll be able to restore the shine and color using the ETCH REMOVER / Marble polishing paste designed just for this purpose.

Professional re-polishing is typically only necessary with severe etching. Severe etching is rare, so best to use the product first.

black marble with spots
by: Jay


Thanks for the article. I currently black marble countertop in our bathroom and my wife just cleaned it with granite/stone cleaner and now there are spots like you state "And on lighter marble colors, you may only notice the spots from certain viewing angles or depending on the light hitting the surface.". These might have been stains from water and the cleaner just made them more clear. What do you suggest for these types of spots. There about 7 spots all different sizes. I would have expected if it was the cleaner it would have been all over. Do you recommend that paste or something else? Thanks in advance.


=== ADMIN COMMENT: You are right... if it was the cleaner you would see the dull and lighter colored "etching" over the entire surface. And if it was a true stone cleaner (vs. a generic cleaner with a "granite" label... yes, many are like this) then the cleaner should not have been an issue. A true stone cleaner will be safe on all stone.

Random spots are from some type acid. Most commonly a drink set or spilled on the marble countertop surface, but some bathroom products are acidic and even some hand soaps can be acidic enough to etch.

You will need to use the Etch Remover / Marble Polishing Paste to restore the color and shine to the countertop surface.

purchase marble etch remover
by: Anonymous

where can I purchase etch remover/marble shine?

Click on the following link >>> Etch Remover / Marble Polishing Paste.... add the product to your cart... and check out using Pay Pal, Amazon or Google account or you can simply use your debit/credit card via Pay Pal without having an account.

honed marble
by: Anonymous

I have honed carrera marble countertops in both my kitchen and bathrooms. There are many dark stains which i believe are caused by water. Could you recommend the best way to remove these spots and protect my counters from future damage?
Thanks, lori

=== ANSWER ===

Lori, water will not harm or stain marble in any way. Dark spots are stains caused by something absorbing into the pores of the marble.

Lighter colored dull and/or rough spots are "etch marks" caused by corrosion from contact with acidic foods, drinks and harsh cleaners.

Etching is the reason marble is not recommended for a kitchen countertop. Bathrooms are fine since not too many acids encountered there.

You'll find the answers you need in one of our marble maintenance ebooks.

I'd suggest 'Cleaning Marble Secrets' since it contains info on both removing etch marks and stains as well as everything else you need to know about how to protect, clean and maintain your marble properly.

The other ebooks cover just the topic in the title of course.

Good Luck!

Marble Shower Water Spots
by: Ryan

To keep the marble shower walls shiny and spot free use a squeegee after each use. Easy to do and won't take but a minute.

carrara marble shower walls
by: Blythe

while the water spots and soap scums do not damage the marble walls in the shower they sure look gross like the glass shower door though!.

how do we maintain the shine and the polished look at all time without those unattractive spots?

Polished Marble Shower Walls
by: Ryan

Polished marble on a shower wall is fine. Your risk of etching (dull spots, water spots from contact with acidic substances) is very small.

Some bath products can be acidic, but most of those you don't use in the shower and with the running water, etching just usually isn't a problem and staining isn't either.

You don't have to wipe down the walls. You could get hard water build up or soap scum, but those won't ruin your marble.

You just have to make sure that you use ONLY marble safe cleaning products or you will damage it.

And if you do happen to etch your marble, it's easy to restore the shine and color using Marble Polish / Etch Remover.

Good Luck

Hard Water Marks
by: Ryan

For hard water/soap scum use Hard Water / Soap Scum Remover.

Spray on, let sit 5-10 minutes, scrub with soft-bristle brush, rinse with cold water.

marble shower water spots
by: blythe

would you recommend using white polished marble for Shower walls?

does it mean we will have to use towel to wipe down the marble walls? if not, will the minerals and calcium deposit on the marble and leave permanent water spots? If so how do we remove those water stains from the marble walls?

by: Anonymous

Any suggestions on how to remove hard water marks on black marble vanity?

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