Can Water Stain Marble?

Can water stain marble? Yes, it can, but in rare cases when the city water or well water is acidic. Marble is made of calcium carbonate and it reacts with the acidic water leading to transparent or chalky dull spots.

You should note that pure water will not stain or damage marble countertops.

While water deposits can stain your marble, it happens in extremely rare cases. In 99% of the cases, the water stains are as a result of the stone coming into contact with acidic things such as fruit, coffee, juice, sauces, dressings, alcoholic drinks, and many others.

While the “water stains” seem like they are as a result of water penetrating to the inner layers of the stone, they aren’t. Instead, they are a result of etching or corrosion of the countertop surface due to the reaction of the countertop with the acidic substances.

Since the etch marks look similar to water deposits, many homeowners term them as water spots.

How to remove water stains from marble

To be clear, when we are talking about removing the water spots, we are talking about removing the etch marks from the countertops as they are the causes of 99% of “water stains.”

To remove the etches you should begin with wiping the marble surfaces clean then cover the stain with enough polishing powder then spray water over the polishing powder 2-3 times with a spray bottle to dampen the powder.

When in place, dampen a towel and use it to scrub the polishing powder over the etch mark for 20 seconds to 1 minute. If doing it right, the etch mark should begin to rub away.

When rubbing your marble with the polishing powder, don’t apply a lot of pressure to avoid scratching the marble surface.

A great way to go about it is to rub the countertops quickly at a high frequency until the etch mark is gone. Only apply pressure on the countertop if the mark fails to go away after 20 seconds.

After removing the etch mark, spray the marble cleaner over the surface then clean the marble surface with a clean towel. You should then dry the surface completely once clean and free of extra polishing powder.

In most cases, the etch marks will go away from doing this once, but if you do it and the stain doesn’t go away, repeat the process the second time. If this still doesn’t work, contact a marble professional to help you out.

Can you prevent your countertops from etching?

Yes, you can, but you can’t prevent the etching 100%. The best you can do is maybe 90% prevention and you do this by applying a chemical coating on the countertop.

If you have a high use area such as a hotel or bar, the coatings are a great idea but you are discouraged from using the coating on your home countertops. This is because the coating can:

  •  Change the look of the stone, making it look plastic
  •  The countertops may require additional special maintenance
  • The coating can wear easily than the stone, giving your surfaces a cheap look
  • The coating can sometimes be difficult to apply correctly or require expensive professional application.

For your home, avoid the coating and take good care of your marble surfaces. This calls for you to:

  • Seal the countertops with a high-quality sealer at least once every year
  • Clean the surfaces with non-acidic cleaners. The best materials to use are sponge or soft cloth with hot water and a specially formulated marble cleaner.
  • Avoid soap as a regular cleaner as it has been shown to lead to a dull film covering the surface when you use it for a long time.
  • When cutting or placing items on the countertops, use cutting boards, trivets, and coasters. These items will protect the surfaces against scratching and direct contact with juices that can etch the surfaces.

Trivets prevent your countertops from coming into contact with the hot pans, hence prevent scratches and possible scorching.

Since marble is softer, it often requires more care than other tougher stones such as granite, so if you don’t like giving the countertops a lot of attention, ask your local granite countertop installers to install the countertops in your home.



How Long Do Marble Countertops Last?

If you are asking, how long do marble countertops last? You must be thinking about installing marble on your kitchen surfaces, right?

Natural marble is durable and resistant to heat damage, so when properly maintained, it can last for a century or more.

Cultured marble countertops aren’t too tough, so you have to replace them after two decades.

How do you maintain marble countertops?

As mentioned above, for the countertops to last for a long time you have to take good care of them. How do you do this? Here is what to do:

Seal the countertops

Although marble is tough, it’s porous, so it requires regular sealing to protect it from stains and spills. You can do the sealing by yourself or hire a professional to help you out.

If you have decided to do it by yourself, use high quality, penetrating marble sealers. You should note that you should do the sealing at the time of installation and at least once a year thereafter.

If hiring a technician to seal the surfaces, it’s good you hire the same technician that installed and sealed the counters at the time of installation. The technician is more conversant with the countertops, so he/she is more likely to provide a better service.

Clean the countertops

The other thing you need to do is to clean the countertops. Proper cleaning removes food residues that might harm the surfaces. At the same time, it keeps the countertops looking spectacular.

The cool thing is, you don’t have to be fancy about the cleaning. Using a sponge and soft cloth is enough. Avoid cleaning agents as much as you can. Remember, the only agents you need are hot water, preferably one formulated for marble.

It’s recommended you avoid using soap as a regular cleaner. While the soap might not harm the stone at first, consistent use will dull the film covering the surface, giving your countertops a dull ugly look.

To make your countertop cleaning work easy, make it a habit to blot the spills as soon as they happen. Remember, marble is more sensitive than granite to acidic substances such as fruit juices, wine, coffee, sodas, tomato sauces, toiletry, and other cleaning products so, to protect your surfaces from staining or etching, blot these spills.

Protect the surfaces from damage

There is no way the countertops will last for a long time when they are constantly exposed to damage, will they?

So, to keep your countertops in top shape for long, you should protect your surfaces.

How do you do this? Here are tips on what to do:

Use coasters, cutting boards, and trivets

It’s almost impossible to completely prevent countertop etching, but you can reduce the extent of damage by using cutting boards that will protect the surfaces from scratching and coming into direct contact with food juice that might etch the surfaces.

When buying the cutting boards, buy those with a good grip, are reversible, dishwasher safe, and durable.

Placing trivets under hot pans prevents the countertops from scratching or scorching.

You also should use coasters under bottles, glasses, and cans.

Finally, don’t sit or stand on the countertops. While the countertops are tough, they can easily crack when you place a lot of weight on them.

Use the countertops with care

Even if you are excited about having the countertops of your dreams, be cautious about how you handle them. As a rule of thumb, don’t use the countertops as your workbench.

Using the countertops as your stage or work area is asking for trouble as the nails, hammers, screws, screwdrivers and other tools can scratch or even gouge the countertops.

You should also regularly dust them with a mop to get rid of the dirt that can wear on the finish and cause scratches.

While you can achieve the same with a vacuum cleaner, be cautious when using it as the worn-out parts or grit jammed by the wheels can scratch the surfaces and damage them.

Do you love marble?

If you love marble and you feel they belong in your home, visit different marble stores, and see the available options. After settling on a slab, hire experienced and certified granite installers or any other professionals to install it for you.



How To Remove Stains From Marble

One of the major downsides of marble is its porousness. Since it’s natural, marble easily soaks in liquids, making it susceptible to stains and scratches. Some people have the notion it’s hard to remove marble stains, but this isn’t the case.

While there are some stains that are more difficult to remove than others, removing stains from marble countertops isn’t as hard as you think.

Do your countertops have stains and wondering how to get rid of them? Here are tips on how to remove stains from marble:

How to remove oil-based marble stains

Oil-based stains are brought about by milk, butter, cooking oil, grease, hand lotion, and other oil-based products. The products easily get through the porous marble structure, leaving persistent stains that darken the marble surface.

On the countertops, these stains appear yellow or light brown.

To remove the stain, you need to draw out the oil from the marble surface. To do this, clean the area with a soft, liquid cleanser mixed with ammonia and acetone. If this doesn’t work, use a poultice made with a combination that includes mineral spirits.

Leave the poultice on the surfaces for a day or two then rinse with warm water. Dry the surface properly then repeat the process if necessary.

How to remove organic stains

Organic stains are one of the most common stains on marble surfaces. The most popular organic stains are rings left behind by cups and other household substances. These stains can be light brown to dark brown.

The cool thing is, while the stains are common, they are easy to remove. Mix a few drops of ammonia with 12% hydrogen peroxide and spot clean the affected area.

If removing the stain from a darker colored marble, be cautious as the hydrogen peroxide can cause the marble to lighten.

How to remove rust stains

Flower pots, metal furniture, nails, screws, and metal cans are some of the things that can leave stains on your marble surfaces. Rust stains are usually brown or copper-colored, and they are often difficult to remove.

If you identify the rust stains early enough, you can remove them with the help of a soft wire brush that reaches into the crevices without damaging the polished surface.

If it’s late and the stain has set in the countertops, you will need a poultice and chemical treatment with a rust remover to remove the stain.

If you try the above tricks and none works, get in touch with a professional who will assess the situation and recommend the way forward.

How to remove water stains

Like organic stains, water stains are also quite common. These stains are often as a result of leaving a water glass on the marble surfaces for a long time. The stain will also come about due to hard water buildup around showers and sinks.

The beauty is it’s easy to remove water stains. You can remove them using regular marble cleaner or using a grade 0000 steel wool.

How to remove soap scum

Soap scum builds up within the countertop’s pores and voids, leading to stains. Fortunately, it’s easy to remove soap scum stains. Simply add half a cup of ammonia to a gallon of water and wipe the surfaces clean with it.

When making the mixture, be cautious of using too much ammonia as it might dull the marble surface.

How to remove ink stains

Ink stains result from markers, pens, wine, and even highlighters. These stains can be water or alcohol-based and you can remove them using lacquer thinner. If the stains are persistent, try removing them using a marble poultice that will soak up the pigments from the stain within a few days.

Prevent stains from coming about

Prevention is always better than cure, so you should work hard at preventing the stains from coming about in the first place. How do you do this?

Seal your marble surfaces at the time of installation then make it a habit to reseal them once every year. You can seal the surfaces by yourself but for best results, let granite installers or other professionals help you out.

You also should use coasters under glasses and cups and avoid metal containers from coming into direct contact with the marble surface. You also shouldn’t let alcohol or citrus sit on the surface.