What does the term ‘etching’ mean?

When shopping for natural stone worktops, you will probably come across a number of new words and terms. One of these terms is ‘etching’. Before you let this word scare you out of choosing the most elegant stone worktops, it’s important to understand what it means, how it is caused, and what you can do to prevent it.

Etching is a kind of damage caused to stone surfaces that contain calcium carbonate. So, if your worktops contain this substance and they come into contact with other substances, it can result in etching. It looks like a dull mark compared to the rest of the surface. Some of the common household substances that cause etching include vinegar, bleach, ammonia, tomato juice or sauce, fruit, wine, coffee, cola, and juice.

Some substances will result only in etching whereas others will etch and stain the stone. If this is the case, you will need to use a special stone stain remover before you
work on removing the etching. Yes, it can be repaired but it is important to clean up the spill promptly to limit any damage. There are a number of etch removal products on the market. However, if the damage is too extensive, you may need a professional to assist with the restoration.

In order to prevent etching, you should always pay close attention when preparing meals and beverages. If you spill anything on your worktop, you should wipe it up immediately.
Use water and a suitable detergent designed for use on natural stone when cleaning your worktops. Sealing natural stone also helps protect against damage. Over time, the worktops will need to be resealed in order to keep them protected.