Etch marks (dull rings, spots)

Etch marks (dull rings, spots)

An ‘etch mark’ is a dull patch on an otherwise shiny, polished surface. Even if just a small area of a surface is affected, the etch mark still alters the entire aesthetic of the stone - sometimes even more than if the whole surface had been evenly damaged. An etch mark really ‘sticks out’, especially in certain lights.

Etch marks are caused by acid damage

Floor tiles, benchtops or bathroom vanity tops are the most common places for spills that cause etch marks on sensitive stone.

Any acidic (or sometimes even alkaline) food or drink can eat into the surface, leaving contrasting etch marks or discolouration on the surface. These dull spots can be seen more readily on polished stone surfaces, but also can happen on honed or matt as well. Common culprits are juice, wine, vinegar, urine, vomit or blood. Etching more often occurs on acid-sensitive calcium-based stone such as marble, limestone or travertine.

Can etch marks be removed?

Polished surfaces can sometimes be spot repaired to remove etch marks and dull spots using a Gleam Restoration process. This is a very delicate process that must be undertaken by an expert if you hope to achieve a reasonable level of restoration.

For professional help:

If you have dull spots or etch marks, you can book a free Slique Consultation – we’ll come and confirm your problem, and give you a quote for our Technicians to professionally restore the surface to as-new condition.


Click here to view the contact details of your local Slique branch

Click here to read more about Gleam Restoration to remove etch marks

Acid damage can leave dull marks in a normally shiny surface

Acid damage can leave dull marks in a normally shiny surface

  • Image of Acid damage can leave dull marks in a normally shiny surface
  • Image of Acid damage can also make a dark surface whiten
  • Image of Marble benchtops are one of the most common surfaces to experience dull marks
  • Image of Full restoration of an etched surface is usually possible
  • Image of Storing bathroom or kitchen products directly on the surface will cause etch marks

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