Lysol Cleaner Damage on Marble Countertop

Q & A: Marble Repair of Cleaning Product Damage

Q & A: Marble Repair of Cleaning Product Damage

QUESTION:

I am renting an apt. with a black and white marble bathroom - shower, vanity and floor.


I used Lysol disinfectant bathroom cleaner on the vanity top, and the finish looks ruined.

It looks white and cloudy when it dries, worse in areas where I sprayed the most cleaner, though returns to its original color when I wet it.

What can I do?

ANSWER:

Yeah, unfortunately, you can't use just any old product on marble.

Most common household cleaners will damage marble. Vinegar, ammonia, bleach must not be used, but this also includes "brand-name" cleaners like Lysol because they are too alkaline or too acidic and just too harsh for marble.

These cleaners will corrode marble upon contact eating away the shiny surface layer to leave a dull spot that is often lighter in color or even white.

It's called "etching."

Acidic foods and drinks will also etch marble.

Luckily though... you can fix it by repairing the damaged surface to restore the shine and color using the ETCH REMOVER and Marble Polishing product.

It's easy-to-use and works almost like magic on most etching and scratches on polished marble, travertine, limestone and onyx. All these stones will etch in the same manner and are soft enough for DIY marble repair.

If the marble has been severely etched and very rough, you may need a professional to restore it at that point, but this is rare and most often the recommended product will do the trick.

For future marble maintenance be sure to use only products safe for cleaning marble, travertine and all natural stone.

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Engineered stone
by: Darcie

Can you use this product on engineered stone counter tops? I used the Lysol bathroom cleaner and it left matte like spots on the countertop :(

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

No, Lysol should not be used on quartz countertops or other engineered stone countertops. It is too harsh and will leave the dull spots you describe. Probably permanent damage.

Honed Marble Etching Repair
by: Anonymous

Does it work on honed as well, on the product description it says polished...

=== Countertop Specialty comment:

No... the Etch Remover product is for repairing etch marks on polished marble only. It will make the surface shiny so you don't want that on a honed marble.

You can fix etch marks on honed marble with a DIY technique or hire a stone restoration pro, but no product exists for use on honed marble.

Steps for the DIY method are found in the How to Remove Etch Marks ebook.

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Cleaning Lysol Bleach Spots on Marble

by Faigie
(Cincinnati)

QUESTION:

Lysol bleach was dripped on my white marble floor and there are dulled spots.

Is there a cleaner I can use to restore dull spots on marble?

ANSWER:

Neither Lysol nor bleach should be used for cleaning marble or even to clean things around marble.

These products are too caustic and will damage marble upon contact as you have seen.

The spots you see are chemical burns called "etching," which is a common marble maintenance issue.

Many people confuse marble etch marks with stains in marble often calling the etch marks "water stains". True, they are both unwanted spots, but the cause and solution for each are different.

Fortunately, such spots can be repaired.

On polished (shiny) marble use Marble Polishing Etch Remover, which is made just for repairing marble etch marks, works wonders and is easy to use.

On honed (matte, non-reflective) marble you'll have to follow the instructions provided in the Removing Etch Marks ebook.

Unfortunately, there isn't a product for repairing etch marks on honed marble, but you can still get the job done cheaply and easily using the ebook procedure.

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Lysol Made Marble Vanity Top Dull

by SUSAN
(CLOVIS, CA.)

QUESTION:

Marble vanity top in bathroom is dull and spotted after cleaning with Lysol Disinfectant Bathroom cleaner.

Color is beige/tan. What can I do now?

ANSWER:

The first thing to do is take some time to learn about how to clean marble properly and avoid damaging it.

Unfortunately, your installer or salesperson or previous owner never informed you about proper marble maintenance... which is far too common.

You had to learn the hard way, but of course never use Lysol (or any other common or brand-name household cleaner) for marble cleaning.

Marble is sensitive to acidic (many foods and drinks and some personal products like perfume, mouth wash, etc.) and highly alkaline substances (like nearly every cleaning product on the market).

Such products will corrode marble and eat away at the surface creating the dull and often light-colored splotchy "ghost" spots you now have.

So, from now on use only products safe for cleaning marble.

Good news is that cleaning and maintaining marble is actually pretty easy once you learn the right way and.... you can repair these etch spots and restore the shine and color on polished marble (not honed) using the marble etch remover recommended above.

You'll find plenty of helpful tips on various pages of our site about cleaning marble correctly, but for comprehensive information on protecting, cleaning and proper marble maintenance including step-by-step and cheap DIY solutions to any problem and product recommendations check out the Cleaning Marble Secrets ebook guide.

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Marble Cleaning Product Damage

QUESTION:

I tried to clean my marble table with Lysol Anti-bacterial Kitchen Cleaner.

It left the marks wherever I sprayed on the table... pretty ugly ones. Any suggestions or advice?

ANSWER:

The marks in your marble table are due to corrosion or "etching" of the surface by the caustic cleaning product. So, now you know that you can't use just any product for cleaning marble.

Marble reacts with acidic and sometime alkaline substances, which then eat into the polished surface creating dull spots.

Marble polishing products (like the "Etch Remover" recommended above) work very well for small spots and spills... mild to moderate etch marks (which most are). But if you have an entire marble dining table or entire countertop or other large areas to repair from etching, you should call a marble repair pro.

Of course, once re-polished use coasters, trivets, place mats and only specially formulated marble cleaning products.

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Honed Carrara Marble Floor Stain

by Karen
(Providence, RI)

QUESTION:

Help!!! We just renovated our bathroom and when I was cleaning for the first time, I dripped Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner on the new honed carrera marble floor tiles.

I wiped it up immediately, but it left a mark (dull spot) and a streak (dull streak) where I wiped it!!!

I'm afraid I've ruined the finish.

How ironic since I would not "allow" my cleaning help to clean the bathroom for fear of ruining the marble floors and vanity tops with harsh cleaners....

ANSWER:

Karen, you have ruined the finish, but only temporarily, so don't panic.

The Lysol toilet cleaner is much too caustic to be used on or around natural stone. It chemically "etched" the marble floor tile exposing raw, unfinished marble that is more dull and lighter in color than the honed surface.

Instead you should be using a Non-Acidic Toilet Bowl Cleaner safe for use in marble bathrooms.

An etch mark is like a burn, but you don't need a doctor! You can repair this yourself rather easily.

Marble etching on honed tile is easier to fix than a polished surface. It's a matter of re-surfacing and smoothing the dull spots and streaks.

To repair honed marble etching follow the instructions in the Removing Etch Marks e-book. Cheap and easy process!

You now know how fast marble will react with acidic or alkaline substances and harsh cleaners. The longer the exposure the more severe the etching.

Since you wiped it up so quickly, the damage is probably mild and didn't go too deep into the stone. You'll have it looking new in no time.

I'm sure you've probably learned your lesson and I don't have to remind you, but be sure to use only "marble-safe" products from now on.

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Marble Vanity Top Cleaner Damage

QUESTION:

I mistakenly used Lysol Bathroom Cleaner on my white Carrara marble countertop in my bathroom.

The result is what appears to be staining and etching (I think) covering the entire area.

Is this correctable?

ANSWER:

Yep! The Lysol cleaner damaged the marble by etching the surface. Etching is not a stain. Nothing is absorbed, so cleaning marble is not the issue here.

Etching is physical corrosion of the marble bathroom countertop surface and yes... it is correctable. It's a simple matter of marble polishing.

It's just a question of the best method since the damage covers the whole countertop vs. a small spot.

You can give it a shot yourself first using Etch Remover Marble Polishing compound(links above). This will restore the color and shine beautifully, but it could be challenging to produce an even shine over an entire countertop.

This is a DIY product designed for use repairing small and light etch marks, but it's more difficult to achieve satisfactory results over an entire countertop.

This is not a shortcoming of the product, but a matter of skill in application. For restoring small etch marks, no skill is necessary... it's easy.

However, using such a product for repairing marble over a large surface area to get an even shine takes a lot more skill and is typically a job reserved for a professional.

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White Film on Marble Flooring from Tub Cleaner

QUESTION:

I used a tub/shower cleaner to clean my marble tile floor in the bathroom.

Now there is a white film on the floor that I can't get off. I have mopped several times with just water to try to get is off but that hasn't worked. Help!

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, whoever installed the marble for you (or who you bought it from) failed to inform you how to clean marble correctly.

Marble is sensitive to acidic food, drinks and products as well as harsh alkaline cleaners, which is almost all common and/or brand-name household cleaning products.

You don't have a film on your marble floor and no amount of cleaning will remove it.

What has occurred is that you have etched your marble by using the wrong type of cleaning product.

Etching is corrosion. The tub cleaner reacted with the marble, which has destroyed the surface finish on the marble. It's physical damage to the marble... like a chemical burn.

Luckily, marble etching can be repaired although it depends on the type of finish on the marble.

On polished (shiny) marble you can easily restore the shine and color using Etch Remover product (see links above), which is engineered specifically for the do-it-yourselfer to repair mild to moderate etch marks.

Most etch marks are not severe, so this paste almost always works like magic on polished marble.

On honed (matte) marble the paste won't work. You'll have to follow the instructions provided in Removing Etch Marks ebook.

And if the area is large or the damage is severe (rough to the touch) you best bet is to hire a marble restoration professional to re-finish the surface.

In fact, with extensive and/or severe damage professional marble restoration is your only option.

But I recommend employing one of the other methods (depending on finish type) first. They are cheap and easy to do, so you don't have much to lose if you end up having to hire a pro.

I'd also suggest you get the Cleaning Marble Secrets ebook guide that will teach all about cleaning marble, marble maintenance, protecting marble with simple DIY solutions to any problem you may encounter.

You don't need to get both ebooks though. 'Cleaning Marble Secrets' contains all information provided in the 'Removing Etch Marks' ebook.

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White Carrara Marble Cleaner Stains

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 with damaged the marble.

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 the Marble Polishing Etch Remover linked above.

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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Marble Floor with Stain from Marble Cleaner

QUESTION:

I have pink variegated marble floor tile on entrance hall.. cleaned it with a very good marble cleaner from Lowes... it left spots on about 5 tiles, cannot get them off.

I tried using the same cleaner again, but a little stronger solution, but did not remove the spots, they really look like water spots but are not.

The shine before I used the cleaner was very shiny. It has a real dull finish on it now... any advice about how to get the shine back?

ANSWER:

Trudy, what you are describing sounds like etching to me.

You say that the cleaner you used is a "very good marble cleaner." I'm not sure why you think so, but if this is the result, then the cleaner you used is not good for marble even if the label says so.

This is not uncommon. In recent years more people are installing granite, marble and natural stone. Chemical companies are jumping on the bandwagon and offering cleaners supposedly "for marble" that are not specifically formulated to be safe for marble.

That's why I generally recommend that you should not use any cleaner purchased at your local grocery or big box store on your marble. Most often the cleaner will damage your marble.

The reason the marble is now dull with spots is that marble is sensitive to acids and harsh cleaners. The cleaner has corroded the shiny surface layer exposing the more dull raw marble underneath.

Luckily, marble can almost always be repaired as described above for removing etch marks.

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Cleaning Product Damage On Marble Vanity

QUESTION:

I purchased a vanity with an oval shaped brown calico marble top. I was unaware it was marble and required special care, so I cleaned with clear windex (vinegar type) and soap and water.

It has a stain from hand sanitizer spilling on it and not getting wiped up (children) and rings from the soap bottle and what looks to be water stains from soapy hands.

It's less than a year old and came with no care instructions. The surface is now dull as well (etching?).

How do I get it to look nice again? Can you please help me recoup my investment in this vanity?

ANSWER:

Cari, yes you have etched the marble by using a damaging cleaning product. Other acidic and/or alkaline substances have also left rings and spots.

If the marble is really rough to the touch, then it is severely etched from repeated exposure to acids and will need professional restoration.

However, if it is just dull with rings and spots, then you should be able to restore a lot of the shine using ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing product.

This is a specialized compound made to restore etching that is very easy to use. Basically just need rub on the surface, but you may have to do it several times.

You may need to seal the marble as well. To find out, perform a water test.

If the test shows the marble should be sealed, I suggest using these recommended marble & granite sealers.

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Marble Vanity Toilet Cleaner Stain

QUESTION:

I have a black/grey slate colour marble vanity top.

What has happened is my darling wife while cleaning the bathroom floor decided to place the toilet cleaner on my precious top leaving a horrid white ring stain.

What I need is advice on how I can remove this stain or even dull down the ring.

ANSWER:

The cleaner damaged marble has been "etched". It's a well-know marble maintenance issue. Marble is reactive with acids and alkaline cleaners (which is almost all common or brand-name cleaners).

When an acid or a toilet cleaner contacts the marble (and it doesn't take much) it corrodes the marble destroying the top shiny layer leaving a dull and lighter discolored spot.

The good news is that etch marks on polished marble can be easily removed using ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polisher.

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Can cultured marble be repaired?
by: Anonymous

This may be a dumb question, but will these suggestions work for cultured marble as well? (I'm not sure if marble and cultured marble are the same)

Our cultured marble countertop is extremely dull and lighter in color after I accidentally used the wrong cleaning product on it.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

No, it won't work for cultured marble. Cultured marble is a man-made product and completely different than real marble.

Marble is a natural stone.

Cultured marble includes ground marble as one ingredient but a bunch of other stuff too. And many surface coatings. It is basically a plastic surface.

Cultured marble can be repaired in some cases but not with the same methods as real marble. Consult with a local cultured marble company.

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