Can 409 Be Used on Quartz Countertops? A Complete Guide

What is 409 Cleaner?

409 is a household cleaning product made by Clorox. It is an all-purpose cleaner marketed as being able to “cut through grease and grime.” The active ingredients in 409 are:

  • 2-Butoxyethanol – A solvent that helps dissolve grease and dirt
  • Tetrapotassium pyrophosphate – A detergent that helps remove stains
  • Sodium carbonate – Helps cut through grease and soften water
  • Fragrance – Provides the distinctive 409 scent

409 does contain some harsher ingredients like solvents and detergents. But when diluted with water, 409 can be an effective grease-fighting cleaner for many household surfaces.

Is 409 Safe for Quartz? The Short Answer

The short answer is yes, 409 cleaner can be safely used on quartz countertops in most cases. However, there are some important caveats to keep in mind:

  • 409 should always be diluted with water before using on quartz. Never use full-strength 409, as it could etch or dull the surface.
  • Limit use to periodic or spot cleaning. Heavy duty degreasers like 409 should not be part of your daily or weekly quartz cleaning routine.
  • Test 409 on an inconspicuous spot first to check for any adverse effects.
  • Some quartz manufacturers advise against using any harsh cleaners like 409. When in doubt, refer to your specific brand’s care and maintenance guide.

So as long as you use 409 correctly on quartz – diluted, sparingly, and with caution – it can be an occasional cleaning option. But more quartz-friendly products are recommended for regular upkeep.

Choosing the Best Dilution Ratio

Using 409 at full strength runs the risk of damaging quartz, so dilution with water is a must. But what’s the best 409-to-water ratio for quartz countertops?

General recommendations are to dilute 409 to about 1:20 or 1:30 409-to-water. That equals about:

  • 1/4 cup 409 per gallon of water
  • 1 tablespoon 409 per quart of water
  • 1 teaspoon 409 per cup of water

These diluted solutions will still provide cleaning power to remove grease, without being so harsh that they harm quartz. Some homeowners are comfortable with 1:10 dilutions for stubborn stains. But erring on the side of more water is safest for a mild quartz cleaning solution.

Using 409 Safely on Quartz Countertops

When using diluted 409 cleaner on quartz, follow these best practices:

  • Spot clean only – don’t use 409 to clean the entire quartz surface. Limit to small areas that need grease-cutting power.
  • Apply the diluted 409 to a soft cloth first – not directly on the quartz. This prevents excessive wetness and staining.
  • Lightly scrub the affected area, then rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.
  • Don’t allow 409 to sit or soak on the quartz. Long contact time can damage the finish.
  • Check the quartz manufacturer’s care guide for any special instructions or warnings. Some brands are more sensitive than others.
  • Test on an inconspicuous spot first, like under the sink or on a side wall. Look for any etching or discoloration.
  • Be extra careful with polished, buffed, or sensitive quartz finishes. Matte or textured quartz is more resistant.

With this careful approach, 409 cleaner can tackle the occasional quartz cleaning challenge while minimizing risks.

Regular Quartz Cleaning and Maintenance

While 409 has its uses for spot cleaning quartz, it’s generally not recommended as part of your routine quartz care regimen. For day-to-day cleaning and upkeep, use gentler options like:

  • Mild dish soap – Apply with soft sponge or cloth and avoid abrasive scrubbing. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Water and microfiber cloth – Hot water is often enough for a quick daily quartz cleaning session.
  • Glass/surface cleaner – Look for no-rinse options like Windex that are safe for stone.
  • Baking soda – Make a paste with water for a gently abrasive scrub to remove stains. Rinse well after.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Diluted peroxide can disinfect and give quartz a brightened appearance.
  • Stone polish or sealers – Use occasionally to enhance quartz’s shine and protection.

Avoid harsh chemicals, acidic cleaners, abrasive pads, and leaving spills or water sitting for long periods. With proper care, your beautiful quartz countertops will maintain their good looks.

Can You Use Other Cleaners on Quartz?

While 409 is one of the most common strong cleaners, there are a range of other products that may be quartz-safe:

  • Other all-purpose cleaners – Grease-fighting types like Mr. Clean, Fantastik, or Simple Green are OK diluted.
  • Disinfecting cleaners – Lysol, Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, or sanitizing sprays are safe when used properly. Rinse surfaces after use.
  • Glass cleaner – Contains less harsh detergents than all-purpose cleaners. Avoid anything with ammonia.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Has natural cleaning and disinfecting abilities. Dilute to avoid bleaching quartz.
  • Vinegar – Has non-acidic, cleaning uses when diluted with water. Not recommended undiluted.
  • Rubbing alcohol – High concentrations can dull quartz. Safer options include diluted isopropyl alcohol.

Always refer to your quartz manufacturer’s recommendations since some products above may damage certain quartz types. Do a spot test first.

Cleaners to Avoid on Quartz Countertops

There are also many cleaners that should be avoided on quartz surfaces:

  • Undiluted bleach – Can damage or discolor quartz over time. Bleach-containing scrub creams also not recommended.
  • Abrasive cleansers – Comet, Ajax, Bon Ami, etc. can scratch. Use non-abrasive soft scrub options if needed.
  • Oven cleaners – Much too harsh and caustic for quartz surfaces. Can quickly etch and corrode countertops.
  • Acidic cleaners – Anything with citric acid, glycolic acid, hydrochloric acid, etc. will damage the resin binders.
  • Alkaline cleaners – Degreasers like Easy-Off are too harsh. Quartz can withstand alkaline cleaners only when diluted.
  • Solvents – Harsh solvents like acetone, paint thinner, nail polish remover should not come in contact with quartz.
  • Bathroom cleaners – Products designed for soap scum on tile and grout are often too strong.

Whenever using a new cleaner on quartz, take precautions. Refer to manufacturer guidance, do a spot test on an inconspicuous area first, and always dilute cleaners properly. This prevents expensive damage or replacement costs.

6 Key Tips for Cleaning Quartz Countertops

To summarize, follow these top tips when cleaning and caring for quartz countertops:

  1. For daily cleaning, use mild dish soap, water, or stone-safe surface cleaners.
  2. Spot clean only with diluted 409 or other degreasers. Do not use over entire surface.
  3. Avoid abrasive pads and scouring compounds which can scratch.
  4. Never use acidic or alkaline cleaners and disinfectants undiluted.
  5. Rinse surfaces thoroughly after using any cleaner. Don’t allow residue to linger.
  6. Refer to manufacturer care instructions for your specific quartz type and warranty support.

FAQs About Using 409 on Quartz

Can I use straight 409 on quartz?

No, full-strength 409 should never be used on quartz. Always dilute 409 with water at a 1:20 to 1:30 ratio before using sparingly on quartz.

Does 409 stain or etch quartz?

When used correctly, diluted 409 is safe for quartz and won’t stain or etch the surface. But undiluted or excessive use of 409 can damage and dull the quartz finish over time.

What removes grease from quartz countertops?

For removing stubborn grease stains, a soft cloth dampened with diluted 409 or another mild degreaser can lift grease from quartz. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.

Can you use Magic Eraser on quartz?

Magic Eraser pads have micro-abrasives that may damage polished quartz. Use with extreme caution and never on a larger area. A soft cloth with diluted cleaner is safer.

Should I seal my quartz countertops?

Most quartz manufacturers claim their products don’t need sealing. But some homeowners choose to apply stone sealers occasionally to enhance stain protection and shine. Use sealers made specifically for engineered stone.


While 409 all-purpose cleaner provides effective grease-cleaning power, it does carry risks for delicate quartz countertop surfaces. With proper dilution and limited, careful use focused only on small areas, 409 can be an occasional cleaning option for quartz. But milder cleaners without harsh detergents or chemicals are better suited for routine quartz care. Follow manufacturer guidance, test any new cleaners first, and take steps to keep your quartz counters looking like new for years to come.