WHAT IS ETCHING?
(United Granite, and Fairfax Marble)
What is etching? an etch mark, aka; watermark, water ring, water spot, water stain, glass ring, or “ghost stain”. No matter what you call it, it is all the same; damage to a natural stone from acidic liquid exposure, be it food grade or chemical. Calcium based stones such as Marble, Quartzite, Limestone, Travertine, and Onyx are the stones that are susceptible to etching. An etch mark is not a stain, it is an actual chemical reaction that takes place in the stone causing the surface to dull.
Etching can be classified into three categories; Minor, Moderate, and Severe. A minor etch results only in a loss of shine. No roughness can be felt on an area with a minor etch mark. Moderate etching causes a loss of shine and reflection. There will be a slight roughness on the affected area, but there will be no “pit” or “crater” caused. A severe etch mark will cause a loss of shine and significant roughness to be felt. There will be visible pitting and severe etches that are 1/16 of an inch deep will need either an epoxy patch, resurfacing of the stone, or replacement of the stone.
Accidental acidic spills are the single most common cause of etching. Etching will begin on contact, and the longer the exposure, the more severe the etching will become. So, you must prevent contact with the stone with these reactive substances. An etch mark is not a stain. Nothing is being absorbed into the stone, so it cannot be removed with cleaning. In fact, using the wrong chemicals to clean your stone can destroy the polish on the entire surface making your whole countertop appear dull.
Not only will the wrong cleaning products affect the stone, if you spill orange juice, or any other acidic food or drink, they will corrode the stone and as a result, etch the surface. You must make sure that acidic substances do not come into contact with your stone. If there is a spill, wipe it inwards onto itself to avoid any spreading. Using a cutting board to prepare food will also help to prevent any etching.
. Avoid contact with your stone for things like:
· Orange juice
· Lemon/Lime juice
· Other acidic fruits and their juice
· Acidic Sauces
· Acidic salad dressing
· Margarita mix
· Certain Cosmetics
· Many brand name household cleaners like Lysol
· Tile Cleaners
· Rust stain remover
· Bathroom cleaners
· Tub & Toilet cleaners