Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Known for their durability and low maintenance requirements, quartz delivers the look of natural stone with less hassle. But are quartz countertops really as easy to care for as many claim? Here’s what you need to know about keeping quartz counters looking their best.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, often referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The result is a man-made material that mimics the look of natural stone but requires less maintenance.
Quartz is non-porous, so it does not require sealing like granite. And because quartz is made from ground quartz crystals, it is harder and less prone to scratching than natural stone. These properties make quartz an easy-care option.
Routine Cleaning and Care
For routine cleaning, quartz requires minimal maintenance. Here are some tips for keeping quartz counters looking their best:
- Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains.
- Use a soft, damp cloth or sponge with a mild soap and warm water. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth.
- Clean counters with a quartz-safe stone cleaner. Look for a PH-balanced formula.
- Disinfect with a stone-safe disinfectant.
- For oil-based stains, use a bit of non-abrasive cleanser.
- For dried spills, soak a cloth in warm water and hold on the area to loosen.
- Avoid scouring pads and powders which can dull the surface.
- Use cutting boards and trivets to protect from knives and hot pans.
- Avoid exposing to strong chemicals like paint removers.
- Don’t use the countertop as a workbench; excessive pressure can damage.
With routine care, quartz requires little maintenance to stay looking new.
Dealing With Stubborn Stains and Marks
While quartz resists stains better than marble or granite, the occasional stubborn stain can still occur. Here are some tips for removing difficult stains from quartz:
For dried food, grease, oil, or soap scum stains:
- Make a baking soda and water paste and apply to the stain. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Scrub with a soft bristle brush and rinse.
- If needed, repeat and allow the paste to sit longer.
For permanent marker, ink, or dye stains:
- Apply a small amount of household bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
- Allow to sit for up to 10 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly. Check to see if stain has lightened or lifted.
- Repeat as needed, allowing the bleach or peroxide to sit longer.
For hard water spots:
- Make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply to the spots.
- Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Scrub and rinse.
- If needed, follow up with a vinegar and water solution.
With a bit of patience, even stubborn stains and marks can usually be removed from quartz counters without damaging the surface. Test cleaners on a small inconspicuous area first.
Preventing Damage to Your Quartz Countertops
While quartz is very durable, the surface can become damaged if proper care isn’t taken. Here are some tips for preventing damage to your quartz counters:
- Always use a cutting board. Don’t cut directly on the counter.
- Place hot pots, pans, or baking sheets on trivets. Avoid exposing quartz to extreme heat.
- Don’t sit or stand on your counters. The excessive pressure can cause cracks.
- Clean up spills immediately to avoid staining. Don’t let liquid sit.
- Use only quartz-safe cleaners. Avoid abrasive cleansers.
- Prevent scratches by avoiding scouring pads. Don’t drag objects across the surface.
- Avoid hitting edges with heavy objects. Chip-resistant does not mean chip-proof.
With proper care and by preventing unnecessary damage, you can keep your quartz counters pristine for decades.
How to Remove Scratches from Quartz
While less prone to scratching than marble or granite, quartz can become scratched over time. Here are some options for removing light surface scratches:
- Use a plastic putty knife to gently smooth the scratch and blend with surrounding areas. Take care not to roughen the surface.
- Try a pumice stone rubbing very lightly in a circular motion. This can buff out shallow marks.
- For deeper scratches, start with a low grit sandpaper (400 grit) and gently sand in the direction of the scratch. Follow up with higher grits.
- A quartz repair kit contains sanding blocks of varying grits to gently sand out scratches.
Take care when sanding to maintain the existing finish. Spot treat scratches and blend edges. Severe scratches may require a professional fabricator.
Summary of Quartz Countertop Care Tips
Caring for quartz requires minimal daily maintenance:
- Clean with mild soap and water. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
- Disinfect regularly with a stone-safe product.
- Blot spills immediately to prevent stains.
- Use trivets and cutting boards to prevent marks.
Occasional deep cleaning may be needed for dried spills or difficult stains. Specialized cleaners, hydrogen peroxide, or diluted bleach often help remove stubborn spots.
Take steps to prevent damage like scratches or cracks by avoiding direct contact with heat and abrasive objects. With proper care, quartz countertops will stay looking like new for many years. Consistent maintenance is key.
Are Quartz Countertops Worth It?
With quartz requiring less maintenance than natural stone, many homeowners find this man-made material provides an ideal balance of durability, ease of care, and aesthetic appeal. While quartz costs more upfront than materials like laminate, it holds up better long-term with proper care.
Benefits that make quartz worth considering for many buyers include:
- Resists scratches better than granite
- Doesn’t need regular sealing
- Stain-resistant compared to marble
- Easy daily maintenance
- Durable and long-lasting
Drawbacks to weigh:
- Higher upfront cost than some materials
- Fewer unique patterns than natural stone
- Can chip on edges if impacted
- Heat damage possible without trivets
If low maintenance coupled with the look of high-end stone appeals to you, quartz offers a durable option worth the investment. With routine care, quartz counters will retain their beauty and resist wear and tear.
FAQs About Caring for Quartz Countertops
Does quartz need to be sealed?
No. Because quartz is non-porous, it does not require sealing. This makes maintenance easier than natural stone.
How do you cut on a quartz countertop?
Always use a cutting board. Cutting directly on the counter can damage or scratch the surface.
Can you use bleach to clean quartz?
Yes, diluted bleach can be used to remove some stains from quartz. Avoid prolonged exposure and test on a small area first.
How long do quartz countertops last?
With proper care and maintenance, quartz counters can last decades. The material is very hard and durable, but chips or cracks are possible with excessive impact.
What happens if quartz gets too hot?
Exposing quartz counters to extreme heat can damage the solid surface resin and cause discoloration or cracks. Always place hot pans on trivets.
How often should you clean quartz?
Clean quartz daily using a soft cloth, mild soap, and water. Disinfect weekly. Avoid abrasive cleaners that may dull the finish.
Can you damage quartz?
Quartz can become damaged if subjected to hard impacts, intense heat, heavy scratches, or exposure to chemicals. Take care to prevent unnecessary damage for a long-lasting counter.
Quartz delivers the look of high-end stone with less daily maintenance required. While no material is impervious to damage, quartz stands up well to regular use with proper care. To keep quartz counters looking pristine, follow these core tips:
- Clean regularly with mild soap and water
- Blot spills quickly to prevent stains
- Use trivets for hot pans
- Don’t cut or place heavy objects directly on the quartz
- Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive scrubbing
With routine cleaning and by preventing unnecessary damage, quartz counters will retain their beauty and resist scratches, stains, and chips. For homeowners seeking natural stone appeal with easier care, quartz offers durability and style without the maintenance headaches.