What You Need to Know About Granite and Etching
Granite is a popular countertop material for a myriad of reasons, but this stone is not without its due course of maintenance and proper care. When it comes to granite care, many homeowners already know the importance of regularly cleaning, sealing, and polishing granite to maintain a beautiful finish and protect the stone from penetration of dirt and germs. In addition, certain materials can dull the professional finish on granite, causing something known as "etching," which is chemical damage that comes in various degrees. Often misconstrued as watermarks or stains, this type of damage is preventable. If you have inherited granite that was mistreated or neglected, a professional can help you recover the original charm of the stone.
What Is Etching?
Etching, which can occur in a mild, moderate, or severe form, is a chemical reaction from exposure to liquid acids that causes dulling of the surface, which can be mistaken for a stain. The longer the granite is exposed to these types of substances, the more severe the etching and the more in depth the repair process.
Common Causes of Etching
Etching is commonly caused by liquids that are acidic in nature. Common household cleaning products can be a detriment to the professional finish atop granite countertops, as can fruit and acidic juices, vinegar, wine, coffee, soda, bleach, and ammonia. Using cutting boards and other food prep surfaces can go a long way toward protecting your countertops, but etching occurs due to accidental spillage. Wipe the liquid so you contain the spill, as damage can occur upon impact and become exacerbated by rubbing, letting the liquid sit, or using common household cleaners. In fact, some efforts to mitigate damage are often counterproductive, as etching is a chemical reaction, not a common household stain. While minor and moderate etching can often be more easily repaired, severe etching will require repair. Speak with a granite repair expert if you’re unsure about the extent of the damage.