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How To Remove Etch Marks From Natural Stone & Ways To Prevent It
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Etch marks easily form on natural stone. A wine spill, a lemon drop or some other acidic beverage spill can immediately cause ugly scars on your beloved and costly natural stone. These visible stains ruin the look of your surface. These cannot be fixed easily at home by any DIY recipes or methods. You need professional stone approved products to remove etch marks from natural stone and restore your surface back to its original sheen.
Sometimes, people confuse a stain from an etch mark. Before you use a stone sealer to prevent the mark, read about what is an etch mark and how is it different from a stain.
What is an Etch Mark?
An etch mark can be severe or mild depending upon the chemical reaction occurring in the stone due to acidic spills like wine, lemon, aerated beverages, acidic fruits like tomatoes, or ammonia. Some acidic household cleaners also cause etching marks. These marks cannot be fixed by simple materials available on the Big Box Stores. These harsh chemicals ruin the stone from within and make it dull-looking from the top. There are some stones which are etch-proof, but yet, they don’t provide a 100% guarantee against etching marks.
How to Tell the Difference Between Staining and Etching?
If you are confused whether it is a stain or an etch mark, you need to take a closer look at the mark. The etching is a kind of physical damage. Etch marks when seen at the right angle, appear as a sign of physical damage with visible dulling. These are often light or whitish in color. The etch mark gets more severe if the harsh substance remains on the stone for longer.
Here is an image of what an etch mark looks like:
Staining, on the other hand, occurs when the pores of the natural stone absorb the liquid spilt on its surface. These stains are generally in the colour of the liquid and they do not affect the surface finish or the sheen of the stone.
What Happens when a Stain is Formed on the Etched Surface?
When coffee or tomato juice is spilt on an etched surface of your natural stone, it absorbs the liquid more easily and leaves a colored stain. The etch mark has already been formed with an acidic spill and the surface becomes easily susceptible to staining.
How to Remove Etch Marks from Natural Stone?
If you are wondering how to remove etch marks from marble, granite, or other natural stone, then polishing is the only solution. Polishing natural stone can do the trick of restoring the etch mark. But before you apply a polishing product to the damaged surface, you need to perform few restoration processes first to get rid of all the visible stains and dirt residue.
Cleaning Etched Natural Stone:
Use a deep-penetrating stone cleaner to clean the natural stone. Such a penetrating liquid enters into the pores and eliminates all the stains, grime, dirt, mold, mildew and existing sealers from within. The pores open up after such cleaning and can easily absorb any liquids again will cause stains and the formation of mold. So, once you clean your natural stone surface, it must be sealed to prevent further damages.
Sealing Etched Natural Stone:
Natural stone should be sealed with a high quality oil based solvent sealer, which creates a hydrophobic surface and prevents water or any liquids from soaking into stone. The sealers should close all the pores while waterproofing the floor, shower, countertop or any areas of your premises where natural stone is installed.
After sealing natural stone with a waterproofed sealer, you can find your surface looking like this:
Polishing Natural Stone:
Once your sealing job is done, you can deliver that incredible sheen to the natural stone while making the surface completely etch-free with a powerful stone polishing product. It will act as another layer of the sealant, adding a coating protection while leaving stone with an enhance beauty.
How to Prevent Etch Marks?
- Always use a kitchen counter cutting board for chopping of fruits and vegetables to prevent acidic spills on the natural stone counters.
- Whenever there is a spill, never spread and clean it, instead, mop the spill with a blotting paper.
- Do not use acidic cleaners to clean your natural stone as these can etch your surface.
- But, while it is not always possible to prevent spills, you can prevent etch marks on your surface by adding a sealant layer, which not only prevents etch marks but also delivers a lovely sheen on the surface. Sealing natural stone can prevent etch marks on your surface.
So it’s always better to be safe than sorry! Bring that perfect cleanliness to your floor, shower, and countertops while preserving their sheen with high quality natural stone restoration products, so you never remove etch marks from natural stone ever again!