Etching vs Staining | Hard Rock Stone Works

Etching v. Staining

Tuesday, July 28, 2020
natural stone image

Staining and Etching are two very common forms of natural stone damage that can occur if your countertops are not properly sealed. Although staining and etching can occur at the same time, they can happen individually as well, here’s how:

Etching is a chemical reaction that can occur in natural stone due to exposure to harsh liquids such as acids like wine, lemon juice, ammonia, soda, and even common household cleaners. Chemicals such as these can eat away at your countertops and dull the surface. Considering all stones are different, some are more prone to etching than others. Typically stone that contains high calcium content such as marble is more prone to etching than stone such as granite. With that being said, all stones run the risk of etching when exposed to acids.

Staining happens when porous stone absorbs a liquid into it below the surface. Stains do not affect the surface finish of the stone. Most of the time, when a liquid is absorbed into a countertop, the stain is the same color as the liquid absorbed. Depending upon how long the stone has been stained, most stains can be lifted using the right product and technique.

Most of the time etching and staining go hand-in-hand. For example, orange juice is acidic and has a very specific color tone. The acidity would etch the countertop making it more prone to staining. Then if it were left for a long period of time, the orange color could bleed into the stone affecting the appearance.

The best way to prevent staining and etching is to clean up spills immediately using a specially formulated countertop cleaner such as our Stone Defender Anit-Bacterial countertop cleaner. Avoid using household cleaners that contain ammonia, vinegar, or other acids that could result in etching of your stone countertops. 

Sometimes accidents happen and a spill may be forgotten and left on your countertop. In this case, the best way to prevent stains and etch marks is by properly sealing your countertops. Sealing your countertops creates a barrier that acts as the first line of defense against staining. It will repel liquids for a short amount of time allowing you to clean it up before it penetrates into the stone. Hence the name--STONE DEFENDER.

For any questions regarding staining or etching on your countertops give Hard Rock Stone Works a call at (586) 532-7763 to speak with one of our stone specialists.