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Etching tests on marble, quartzite, and granite

8 years ago

I thought I'd share how I tested samples of marble, quartzite, and granite and the results. The forums have been so helpful, and I would have made a costly mistake if not for the information freely shared here.


I started with a Bianco Venatino marble, which the fabricator was stronger than some other marbles. I used electrical tape to mark off sections. Glad I did, as some of the liquids wanted to spread.

I then applied a drop of 1. coffee 2. mustard 3. ketchup 4. hot sauce 5. blackberry jelly 6. red wine 7. apple vinegar 8. lemon juice 9. lime juice 10. liquid soap 11. balsamic vinegar 12. soy sauce 13. squished blueberry 14. BBQ sauce.

We let the first slab sit for half an hour and got these results:

The worst was #11, balsamic, etched and stained. #7 apple vinegar, #8 lemon juice, and #9 lime juice all etched badly. You can feel the roughness. #2 mustard and #3 ketchup etched a little, but within tolerance for me. I had read that someone had positive results from lightly scrubbing with a green Scotch Brite pad. I tried that dry and again with a stone cleaner. The results above are after the scrubbing.

We let the other piece sit overnite and got these results:

You can see the etching more clearly. This time I got etching from everything except the coffee and, of things, the blueberry!

We keep our countertops clean, so the overnite test doesn't bother me as much as the 30 minute test.

Results: Darn, no marble for me. :(


Since we only had a small sample, we decided to try the 4 culprits: Balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, and apple vinegar. We did the 30 minute test with these results:

What a difference. I still had to scrub just a little, but it's all smooth to the touch. Once again, balsamic vinegar was the nastiest. By our standards, definitely within our tolerance range.


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