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Okay, so I recently unintentionally vandalized my marble floors. :)

The floors in the common areas of our house are marble, and the bedrooms are hardwood. I love all this in theory because our very first house had all carpet, even in the bathroom (yuk) and with small children and pets, that is definitely a challenge.

After that house, I told my husband, only BARELY jokingly, that my dream house would have sloped cement floors with a drain in the center where I could just hose them down every night and everything would go down the drain. :)

Our next house had all tile floors except in the bedrooms, our house in Virginia had all hardwood, and this house has the marble and hardwood. Not a carpet in sight.

So I think this is the closest to my dream as I will ever be.

I steam mop the floors weekly, either with a steam mop or with my iRobot Braava. This works well but lately I have been thinking the grout was starting to look a bit dingy.

This brings me to the vandalism.

I saw a girl on TikTok cleaning grout using Zep Grout Cleaner and Brightener. It looked magical so I promptly ordered some, along with a spray bottle to control the application of the product, and a grout brush.

Had I taken the time to read the description of the product I would have known that this product was not for use on marble floors. So I became the Amazon customer I gripe about that doesn’t read descriptions.

It had to happen at some point, I guess.

Here is the mug shot of my accomplice: :)

I pulled out all my supplies last weekend, excited to get to work. Full disclosure, my husband told me to do a test run on a spare tile out in the garage.

Being the obstinate mule that I am, I skipped that step. I have not ceased to hear about THAT yet, so I’ll let you know when that happens. :)

So I started in a small hallway area, working a square at a time.

For the record, this stuff works GREAT at cleaning grout. I was so excited to see my grout lines coming clean with just a little bit of scrubbing with the grout brush.

I had been very careful when applying the product to the grout lines with the spray bottle. But I think the scrubbing with the brush is where I caused my problem because it transferred some of the cleaner to the marble on either side of the grout.

When I wiped away the residual grout cleaner with water and a sponge, everything looked great.

Until it dried.

That is when I saw that I had etched the marble on either side of the grout lines. I was officially a marble floor vandal in my own home. You can see the damage here:

How to Repair Etched Stone Floors

Oh no.

Back online I went looking for a way to undo what I had done.

I stumbled upon a product called Lustro Italiano Etch Remover. This sounded really promising and I figured if anyone knew how to deal with marble it would be the Italians. It’s been their medium of choice for centuries. :)

My favorite review was from a woman who said her son had thrown up on her floors and while she felt sorry for him she was also grateful it happened on a solid surface for easier cleanup. :)

But after she cleaned it up she realized his stomach acids had etched her floors! She used this product and said it worked beautifully.

Her story was a bit graphic, but this is a review I can USE. :)

So I ordered some and waited for it to arrive.

It is a gritty paste with a layer of liquid on top. The instructions say not to stir or shake it into the product. Instead, you pour the layer of water off and then use the paste.

How to Repair Etched Stone Floors

So I did that and started working the paste into the etched areas of the marble. It took some elbow grease and three separate applications, mostly because I was afraid to do too much at one time for fear of scratching the marble further.

I think if I had just really kept working with the first application I could have eventually been successful. But I wanted to proceed cautiously so that’s why it took me three tries.

I’m happy to report that it worked.

Here is the section I had not yet done.

How to Repair Etched Stone Floors

Here is the section where I worked with the etch remover to repair the marble floor.

How to Repair Etched Stone Floors

After I worked on each section of the floor, I wiped the paste off and rinsed the floor to remove any grit. Then I mopped the floor with the steam mop and then used a hand-held buffer just to make sure everything was smooth.

The whole section is now repaired. No more etching.

I can fully recommend this etch removing product for damaged marble floors.

The takeaways from this experience are:

  • Take advice from TikTok with caution.
  • Read descriptions and instructions on products.
  • Always do a test run with new products.
  • If you don’t, be prepared for the ensuing shame.
  • Remain calm and look for a solution.

I have a spot in my kitchen where I spilled some vinegar a while back when running it through the coffee pot. It etched the floor so I am going to try out my new Italian friend Lustro Italiano to try to repair that spot next.

And as for the grout, I’m going to just try my hand with soap and water and the grout brush and see how I do.

So there you have it. Use me as a cautionary tale.

If you have some problematic stone floors maybe this product can help you repair them. According to the instructions, which I READ THIS TIME, :) this product removes etch and water marks from marble, travertine, limestone, alabaster, and onyx.

It is not recommended for use on granite.

If you have your own tale of woe or tips for repairing stone floor mishaps, feel free to share them in the comments.

And I’d love for you to follow me on Pinterest!

How to Repair Etched Stone Floors


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