Q: The marble countertops in the bathrooms in my son's house have become spotted and dull. How can he get the shine back?

—Clair Lovell, Littleton, Colo.

A: Kevin O'Connor replies: Chuck Muehlbauer, the technical director for the Marble Institute of America, suspects the dulling is caused by chemicals like abrasive powdered cleaners, alcohol, and acid-based tub and tile cleaners.

He says you can apply an acrylic paste wax and buff it to a shine, but that could become something of a maintenance chore if the countertops are used a lot. Your other option is to hire a professional stone-restoration contractor to resurface it in place. The contractor would probably bring back the shine using a polishing compound and an angle grinder fitted with polishing pads, then he'll rub in a sealer, which your son should reapply periodically to protect against further chemical attack.
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