Are Quartz Countertops Stain Resistant?

Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects in recent years. Often touted as a lower maintenance and more durable alternative to natural stone countertops like granite and marble, quartz counters are made from ground quartz particles combined with resins and pigments.

One of the most common questions homeowners have when considering quartz countertops is: are quartz countertops stain resistant? The short answer is yes, quartz counters are highly stain-resistant and unlikely to stain under normal use. However, they are not completely stain-proof. With proper care and maintenance, quartz countertops can retain their beautiful, pristine appearance for many years.

How Stain Resistant Are Quartz Countertops?

Quartz counters are engineered composites made from approximately 90% ground natural quartz minerals combined with polymer resins that bind the material together. The resins make the countertop non-porous, making it resistant to stains caused by spills and liquids.

Unlike porous natural stones, quartz does not need to be sealed regularly to prevent stains. Liquids and oils do not easily penetrate the surface, allowing spills to be wiped away without leaving marks.

However, while quartz has excellent stain resistance, it is not impervious. Highly pigmented liquids like wine, coffee and fruit juices can stain quartz if left to sit for prolonged periods. Oils, greases and other liquids can also stain if allowed to pool on the surface.

With prompt cleanup of spills, quartz countertops are highly unlikely to stain under normal household use. Their non-porous quality makes them one of the most stain-resistant countertop materials on the market today.

What Types of Stains Can Damage Quartz?

While quartz counters have excellent stain resistance, they are still vulnerable to some types of stubborn stains if proper care is not taken. Here are some of the most common stains quartz is prone to:

Wine and Juice

Pigmented liquids like red wine, grape juice, cranberry juice and tomato sauce are some of the biggest staining threats for quartz counters. If spills are allowed to sit for an extended time, the pigments can seep into the microscopic pores in the material and cause stubborn, reddish stains.

However, if wiped up promptly, these types of spills will not stain quartz. The key is quick cleanup within 5-10 minutes of the spill occurring. Allowing juices and wines to puddle for an hour or more almost guarantees a stain.

Oil and Grease

Cooking oils and greases left on the counter can also stain quartz surfaces. If oil is allowed to pool and sit for prolonged periods, it can penetrate the material and create dark, greasy stains. Wiping up spills immediately is key to prevent oil stain damage.

Dyes and Pigments

Direct contact with strongly colored dyes or pigments can also cause stubborn staining. Spilling a concentrated dye, makeup, or food coloring and failing to wipe it up quickly can allow the pigment to soak into the quartz. Minimizing contact time is crucial with pigmented spills.


Excessive heat can also damage quartz and cause discoloration. Placing hot pans, pots or baking sheets directly on the counter instead of a trivet can potentially burn the surface and create whitish marks. While quartz is heat resistant, using trivets and hot pads is recommended to prevent thermal damage.

How to Remove Stains from Quartz Countertops

If stains do occur on your quartz counters, prompt removal is recommended to prevent permanent damage. Here are some DIY methods to remove common quartz stains:

Clean with Mild Soap and Water

For minor stains, start by cleaning the affected area with a few drops of mild dish soap and warm water. Use a soft cloth or sponge in gentle, circular motions. Rinse thoroughly. Often this simple cleaning is sufficient to remove fresh stains.

Baking Soda Paste

For more stubborn stains, make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply to the stain and let sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that can lift many types of stains without damaging the quartz surface.

Hydrogen Peroxide

An effective bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide can help remove pigmented stains like wine, coffee and fruit juice. Apply full-strength hydrogen peroxide and let bubble for 2-5 minutes before wiping away. Rinse surface thoroughly.

Barkeeper’s Friend

This powdered cleanser contains oxalic acid designed to remove rust, mineral deposits and stubborn stains. Make a paste with water, apply to the stain and let sit briefly before scrubbing and rinsing. Use caution, as abrasives may dull quartz’s polish over time.


For extreme stains, use a small amount of acetone on a clean cloth to spot treat the stain. Avoid excessive rubbing and immediately rinse surface with water. Only use acetone as a last resort, as it can dull quartz finishes.

Preventing Stains on Quartz Countertops

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to caring for quartz counters. By taking a few preventative steps, you can keep your quartz surfaces looking pristine:

  • Wipe up all spills immediately, especially wine, oil and pigmented liquids
  • Avoid excessive direct heat from hot pans and baking sheets
  • Use trivets, hot pads and cutting boards to protect surface
  • Clean quartz regularly with a mild, non-abrasive cleaner
  • Avoid harsh chemicals and acidic cleaners that can etch surface
  • Reseal quartz annually with a specialty countertop sealer
  • Don’t use quartz as a cutting board to avoid nicks and cuts

By taking quick action when spills occur and handling quartz gently during routine use, you can enjoy stain-free, like-new counters for many years.

Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops

There are many benefits that make quartz a popular choice for today’s kitchen and bath renovations. However, no material is perfect. Here is a look at some of the key pros and cons of quartz countertops:


  • Highly stain resistant
  • Durable and scratch resistant
  • Does not require regular sealing
  • Resists chips, cracks and burns
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Neutral tones suitable for any style
  • Long warranty periods (10-15 years typical)


  • Can be damaged by excess heat
  • Vulnerable to strong chemicals
  • Repairing chips and cracks is difficult
  • Limited color/pattern options compared to solid surface
  • Higher cost than laminate countertops
  • Requires professional installation

How Quartz Countertops Are Made

To understand quartz’s durability and stain resistance, it helps to know a bit about the manufacturing process. Quartz counters are made by combining ground quartz mineral particles with polymer resins under intense heat and pressure.

Raw Materials

About 90% of a quartz slab is composed of natural quartz aggregates. Quartz is an abundant hard mineral found in granite, sandstone and other natural stones. Quartz particles are extremely hard and resilient.

Polymeric resins make up about 10% of the material. Resins act as a binder to adhere the quartz particles together into a solid slab. Pigments added to resins provide the color and pattern.

Mixing Process

Quartz aggregates, polymers and pigments are combined in precise proportions and mixed together. The exact formula varies between quartz brands and colors.


The blended quartz material is poured into molds and compressed under enormous pressure. The combination of heat, pressure and vibration compacts the quartz slabs extremely densely.


After initial shaping, the quartz slabs are moved to curing ovens. Intense heat hardens the resins to their permanent solid form. Temperatures often exceed 300°F during this curing stage.


Once cooled and set, the finished slabs are polished to a smooth, shiny finish. Some brands use extra vibrocompression after curing to densify the material further. The slabs are then ready for shipping to distributors.

Quartz Countertop Brand Comparison

While all quartz countertops have similar durability and stain resistance, there are slight differences between various manufacturer brands. Here is how some of the top brands compare:


One of the first engineered quartz brands, Caesarstone quartz is known for excellent durability and stain resistance. A huge variety of colors and patterns are available, along with lifetime limited warranty. Caesarstone is generally on the higher end of the price spectrum.


Made in the USA, Cambria quartz counters feature a natural matte finish for an authentic stone look. They resist stains, scratches and heat very well. Cambria has a large color selection but lower pattern variety than some brands. It is mid-to-upper range in price.


Known for constantly innovating new colors and styles, Silestone offers one of the largest quartz color collections. They also use recycled and sustainable manufacturing processes. Silestone provides excellent stain protection and a standard 10-year warranty.


Viatera counters are highly durable with proprietary polish and stain prevention technology. Subtle veining and patterns give Viatera quartz a distinctive high-end look. Viatera offers a limited lifetime warranty and many bold unique colors.


HanStone Quartz counters are made from the highest purity quartz crystals, making them extremely scratch and stain resistant. They offer natural stone-like appearances in affordable price ranges. HanStone provides a lifetime limited warranty.

FAQs About Quartz Countertop Stains

Some frequently asked questions about stains on quartz counters include:

Can quartz counters be stained by oil or grease?

Yes, oil and grease spills left for prolonged time periods can potentially stain quartz. The key is immediate cleanup of any oils or greases spilled on the counter.

Will quartz stain from red wine or tomato sauce?

Red wine, tomato sauce and other pigmented liquids can stain if allowed to puddle. But wiped up quickly, these spills will not stain a quartz surface.

How long can quartz be left with a spill before staining?

General guidance is to wipe spills within 5-10 minutes if possible. The quicker the better. For oils or pigmented liquids, cleanup should happen immediately.

What household cleaners can stain quartz counters?

Harsh chemicals like oven cleaner, drain cleaner, bleach or alkaline cleaners should not be used on quartz. Stick to mild soap and water or stone-safe cleaners.

Can permanent marker or pen stain quartz counters?

Yes, the dyes in permanent marker and pen can stain quartz if not removed promptly. Use alcohol or acetone on a rag to gently remove ink. Avoid excessive rubbing.


In summary, quartz countertops are highly resistant to stains and unlikely to be damaged under normal use and care. While not 100% impervious, quartz’s non-porous composition prevents most household spills from leaving permanent marks when wiped up quickly. With some basic preventative habits, quartz countertops will retain their pristine, polished beauty for many years. Following manufacturer guidance for cleaning and avoiding abrasive chemicals is key to maintaining quartz’s stellar stain resistance. With prompt cleanup of spills and sensible use, quartz makes an excellent low-maintenance surface for kitchens and baths.