Black quartz countertops are a popular choice for modern kitchens and bathrooms due to their stylish look and durability. However, some homeowners wonder if these dark countertops are hard to keep looking clean and streak-free. Here is a comprehensive guide on caring for black quartz countertops and keeping them spotless.
What are Black Quartz Countertops?
Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone countertops, are made from crushed quartz combined with polymer resins and pigments. The end result is a man-made material that mimics the look of natural stone but has increased durability and stain resistance.
Black quartz countertops get their dark color from added pigments during manufacturing. They provide a dramatic, sophisticated look popular in contemporary home designs. The non-porous surface resists scratches, stains, and heat damage better than many other countertop materials.
While often referred to as “maintenance-free,” black quartz countertops do require proper cleaning and care to keep them looking pristine over years of use. But with the right techniques, they are no harder to clean than lighter colored countertops.
Daily Cleaning of Black Quartz Countertops
Regular cleaning is the key to keeping black quartz sparkling. With frequent light cleaning, messes won’t have a chance to set in or etch the surface. Here are some tips for daily cleaning:
Clear Counters of Clutter
- Keep countertops clear of appliances and accessories that are not used daily. The less stuff on the counters, the easier they are to clean.
- Remove dish racks, cutting boards, knife blocks, and other items when not in use.
Use a Microfiber Cloth
- Clean quartz daily using a damp microfiber cloth. Microfiber traps and lifts away dust and dirt efficiently.
- Wipe the entire surface, even if you don’t see debris. This prevents buildup.
Clean Spills Promptly
- Immediately wipe up spills, splatters, and drips. Don’t allow liquids to sit on quartz.
- Blot liquids with a paper towel to prevent smearing. Then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.
Do Not Use Harsh Chemicals or Abrasives
- Avoid cleaning quartz with window cleaner, bleach, bathroom cleaners, or other chemicals. They can degrade the finish.
- Never use abrasive pads or cleansers that can scratch. Stick to soft cloths and sponges.
Rinse and Dry Completely
- Make sure to rinse the surface after cleaning, especially when using any type of cleaner.
- Dry thoroughly with a lint-free cloth to prevent streaks and water marks.
Weekly Deep Cleaning Session
In addition to daily wipe-downs, black quartz should receive a thorough cleaning once a week. This removes any grime that regular cleaning may have missed:
Remove Surface Clutter Completely
- Clear counters entirely of small appliances, kitchen tools, dish racks, soap dispensers, etc.
- Remove everything from counters and clean surfaces exposed underneath.
Wash with a Quartz Cleaner
- Use a specially formulated quartz cleaner to deep clean the surface. Avoid bleach and acidic cleaners.
- Apply the cleaner to a soft cloth or sponge rather than directly to the counter.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean towel. Don’t allow cleaning residue to linger.
Disinfect with Diluted Bleach
- Mix 1 part bleach to 10 parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the quartz and let sit briefly.
- Wipe with a clean cloth and rinse thoroughly. This kills germs without harming quartz.
- Make sure no bleach residue remains on the surface. Wipe it completely dry.
Polish Using a Quartz Polish
- Apply a quartz polish product using a soft, lint-free cloth. Use gentle circular motions.
- This enhances the shine and protection of the countertops after deep cleaning.
- Remove excess polish completely and hand buff to a streak-free finish.
Tougher Cleaning for Stubborn Messes
Black quartz is designed to resist stains, but burnt-on food or dried spills can still happen. With a little extra effort, even set-in messes can be removed successfully:
Use a Plastic Scraper
- For stuck-on gunk or food residue, gently scrape the area with a plastic scraper or the edge of a credit card.
- Apply pressure at a 45° angle and scrape in the direction of the polish lines. This avoids scratching.
Make a Poultice Paste
- Mix a poultice paste using a mild, non-abrasive ingredient like flour, whiting chalk, or baking soda.
- Apply a thick layer over the stain and cover in plastic wrap. Let sit for 24 hours.
- The poultice will draw out deep stains without damaging the surface.
Spot Clean with Non-Acidic Products
- For stubborn marks, use a specially designed non-acidic spot cleaner formulated for quartz.
- Avoid vinegar, lemon juice, alkaline drain cleaners or anything acidic. Test unfamiliar products first.
- Rinse thoroughly and wipe the area completely dry after spot cleaning.
Steam Clean for Sanitization
- Use a handheld steam cleaner periodically to deep clean and sanitize quartz.
- Steam is effective at loosening debris and killing germs without harsh chemicals.
- Wipe with a microfiber cloth and dry thoroughly after steaming. Check for water spots.
Preventing Damage to Black Quartz Countertops
With proper care, black quartz countertops will stay beautiful for decades. To help avoid damage:
Use Cutting Boards
- Always use cutting boards for food prep instead of cutting directly on quartz.
- This prevents dulling of knives that can scratch the surface.
Lift Heavy Objects
- When moving appliances or heavy pans, lift them instead of sliding across the quartz.
- Sliding can scrape the surface even if you don’t see immediate damage.
Avoid Heat Damage
- Always use trivets and hot pads under hot pans, baking dishes, curling irons, etc.
- Quartz can withstand brief exposure to moderate heat but prolonged direct heat can damage the solid surface.
Re-Apply Sealant Yearly
- Have quartz re-sealed by a professional annually to refresh the protective barrier.
- Regular re-sealing helps prevent etching and staining over time.
Address Spills Quickly
- Acidic liquids like wine, fruit juice and tomato sauce can etch quartz if left to sit.
- Wipe up spills immediately to avoid potential damage to the finish.
Simple Steps for Dealing with Stains
Despite quartz’s excellent stain resistance, discoloration can occasionally occur. Here is the proper technique for stain removal:
Blot Up the Spill
- Immediately wipe up as much of the spilled liquid as possible using a clean towel. Avoid aggressive scrubbing.
Flush the Area with Water
- Rinse the area under running water to dilute the remaining spilled liquid and flush it from the surface.
Spray with a Stain Remover
- Apply a specially formulated quartz stain remover directly to the affected area. Check that it is non-acidic.
Let the remover sit for 5 minutes
- Allow the cleaner time to break down the staining material so it can be wiped away more effectively.
Wipe Clean with a Damp Cloth
- Use a soft damp microfiber cloth to wipe away the stain remover solution along with the lifted stain.
Rinse Thoroughly and Dry
- After stain removal, rinse the area well with clean water and dry completely with a lint-free towel.
Repeat as Needed for Stubborn Stains
- For lingering stains that don’t come out right away, repeat the process 1-2 more times until the surface is clean.
Restoring a Damaged Black Quartz Countertop
With proper care, damage to quartz countertops should be minimal. But if damage does occur, there are options for restoration:
Sand Out Minor Scratches
- Light scratches can be gently sanded out using fine grit wet-dry sandpaper (400 grit or higher).
- Rub over the scratch in a circular motion. Start with finer grit paper and work up to smoother grits.
- Make sure the surface remains level when you are done sanding by checking with a straightedge.
Repair Chips and Gouges
- For small chips, mix colored epoxy filler to match your quartz and fill in the damaged section. Allow to dry completely.
- Sand smooth for a seamless finish. Apply a light coat of quartz polish over the repaired area when done.
Hire a Professional for Resurfacing
- Deep gouges or extensive damage may require professional resurfacing. This entails mechanical grinding/polishing.
- Resurfacing removes a thin amount of the quartz material to generate a fresh surface layer. It carries a similar cost as refinishing a bathtub.
Consider Quartz Overlay
- For major damage or to change the color, a quartz overlay involves bonding new quartz material over the old countertop.
- This avoids total replacement at a lower cost but means losing a small amount of countertop depth.
Replace as a Last Resort
- For cases of irreversible staining/damage, total quartz countertop replacement may be required. This has the highest cost.
- Be sure to adequately budget and consider extended kitchen remodeling if going the replacement route.
Cleaning and Care Do’s and Don’ts
To summarize, follow these good practices (and avoid these mistakes!) when cleaning and caring for black quartz countertops:
| DO | DON’T |
|Use microfiber cloths and soft sponges|Use abrasive scrub pads or brushes|
|Blot spills immediately|Let spills sit and dry on surface|
|Clean with non-acidic quartz cleaners|Use harsh chemicals like bleach or alkaline cleaners|
|Rinse thoroughly after cleaning|Allow cleaning residue to remain on counters|
|Re-seal annually with a penetrating sealer|Neglect re-sealing and maintaining sealant layer|
|Lift heavy objects across countertops|Slide heavy pans, appliances, etc. across quartz|
|Wipe up spills of acidic substances quickly|Allow acidic liquids like wine or fruit juice to sit on surface|
|Have minor damage professionally repaired|Attempt DIY chip and scratch repair without training|
Frequently Asked Questions about Cleaning Black Quartz Countertops
Many homeowners have additional questions when learning how to care for black quartz. Here are answers to some common queries:
Is it okay to use vinegar or lemon juice to clean my quartz?
No, avoid using vinegar, lemon juice, or any acidic cleaner directly on quartz. Acids can etch and damage the solid surface over time. Stick to pH neutral cleaners specifically designed for engineered stone.
What kind of disinfectant can I safely use?
Diluted bleach is effective for disinfecting quartz surfaces without posing harm. Mix 1 part bleach to 10 parts water and wipe on and off after 5 minutes. Just be sure to rinse thoroughly and remove all bleach residue.
How can I add shine to my quartz countertops?
Regular use of a quartz polish formulated to enhance engineered stone will add shine and luster. Avoid household cleaners like Windex or vinegar with polishing claims – stick to a product made specifically for quartz.
I noticed a grayish stain on my counters that won’t come out. What should I do?
Grayish or whitish stains often signify etching of the quartz surface. Etching occurs when acids damage the solid surface finish. Try a poultice paste or non-acidic spot treatment to remove the stain. Prevent future etching by wiping up spills immediately.
Is it okay to cut directly on quartz countertops?
It’s best to avoid cutting foods directly on quartz. Always use a cutting board to protect the surface from knife marks. The impact from cutting can chip away at the finish over time.
Black quartz countertops make a gorgeous, modern statement in kitchen and bathroom design. While durable, they do require regular cleaning and care. By using the proper techniques, quartz can be kept looking like new for years before needing professional repair or replacement. The key is being gentle yet thorough when cleaning, re-sealing annually, and addressing spills or damage promptly. With minimal daily effort, black quartz offers maximized style, longevity, and stain resistance. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s care recommendations closely. With a little diligent attention, black quartz countertops are easy to keep dazzlingly clean.