Water Ring Marks On Kitchen Marble Tile


I chose marble tile for our kitchen countertop in our new home. We love the looks of the marble and the beauty of it.

However, we now have some ring marks from glasses left on the counter from the glasses "sweating."

I did put a sealer on it. But that didn't prevent the marks.

How do I go about removing the rings?


First, I can appreciate your love of the look of marble, but it's unfortunate that you were not warned that you would have this problem with marble in the kitchen.

"Water rings" are very common. They are not an absorbed stain, but rather the result of a chemical reaction called "etching." And they are not caused by water.... at least not "pure" water.

But since the etch marks are always lighter than the marble they seem to be clear "stains" as if from water. Confusing, but no.... two different issues.

Etching is basically corrosion of the stone that occurs when in contact with acidic substances like juice, coffee, mixed alcoholic drinks, fruit, tomatoes, salad dressing, most household cleaning products, etc.

It is most pronounced on polished marble where the acidic substance immediately destroys (eats through) the thin polished layer leaving a dull spot.

The dull spot is actually just the raw marble left after the shiny layer is gone. However, it isn't a spot "on" the marble at all. In fact, some of the stone has been removed. A process of marble polishing (rather than physical removal) is required to fix the damage.

Commonly the dull etch mark is in the shape of a glass ring since
acidic drinks are often the culprit.

Don't ask me how it happens when an acidic drink is IN the glass or bottle that is simply "sweating" and that leaves a ring, but it does.

What likely happens is during drinking residue from the acidic liquid collects on the outside of the glass and then condensation mixes with it and carries it down to the countertop surface where the etching begins.

It happens in mere seconds and cannot be prevented, except by not allowing contact by using coasters and trivets.

This problem with etching is the reason why marble is NOT recommended for a kitchen countertop.

Granite does not react with acids. That is why granite is the stone of choice for the kitchen.

Removing Glass Rings on Marble

I'm assuming you have a polished (shiny) vs. honed (matte) finish on your marble tile.

If the etch mark is mild, then you can remove it... or rather restore the shiny polish using this ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing Paste. You can use this first yourself without complicating the problem.

If the etch mark proves to be severe (rare rough to the touch spots), you'll need to hire a marble repair professional to re-polish the marble.

If your marble is honed, then I would call a professional (no product available for a honed surface) or you can give it a shot yourself following the easy instructions in the Removing Etch Marks e-book.

And use coasters and large cutting boards for all food prep from now on. Note that sealing will not prevent the glass rings or etching as this is physical damage to the stone.

Comments for Water Ring Marks On Kitchen Marble Tile

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Marble Top Bar
by: Anonymous

I have a marble top bar that has ring marks on it. I would like to know if there is something I can use to remove these ring marks

Using Sunflower Oil to Polish Marble
by: Ryan

Well, putting oil on your countertop will make it shine for awhile until the oil collects dirt and gets grimy.

Also, unpolished marble is more absorbent than polished, so the oil will eventually leave a stain.

To remove dull etch marks you need to physically re-polish the stone.

If you have dull etch marks use a marble polishing powder like our Marble Polish / Etch Remover to re-polish the surface and remove the marks.

Good Luck!

Sunflower Oil to Polish Marble
by: Anonymous

I read somewhere that one can make matte stains on marble shine again by polishing with sunflower oil and a soft cotton cloth. Before I try that and make my polished marble kitchen counter look even worse than it does now, does sunflower oil really do the trick?

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