Can Acetone be Used on Quartz Countertops?


The short answer is yes, acetone can be used on quartz countertops, but with some important caveats. When used properly and in moderation, acetone is generally safe for cleaning quartz. However, acetone is a powerful solvent and can damage quartz if misused.

Below, we’ll take a deeper look at using acetone on quartz counters, including:

  • What acetone is and how it works as a cleaner
  • Benefits of using acetone on quartz
  • Potential risks and how to use acetone safely
  • Recommended alternative cleaners for quartz

Properly using acetone allows you to take advantage of its cleaning power while avoiding potential damage to your quartz countertops.

What is Acetone?

Acetone is a colorless, flammable liquid solvent frequently used in cosmetics, paint thinners, and cleaning products. Chemically, acetone is an organic compound known as a ketone.

As a powerful solvent, acetone works by dissolving oils, greases, paints, inks, and adhesives. This allows it to cut through and remove many types of dirt, grime, and residues from surfaces. Acetone evaporates rapidly and does not leave any residue behind.

In the home, pure acetone is most commonly found in nail polish remover. Many nail polish remover products contain a dilute acetone solution ranging from 50-90% acetone mixed with water and coloring.

Benefits of Using Acetone on Quartz

When used properly, here are some of the benefits of using acetone for cleaning quartz countertops:

  • Removes stubborn stains: Acetone’s strong solvent properties allow it to break down and remove many stubborn oil-based stains and residues that other cleaners cannot. This includes stains from dye transfer, permanent marker, super glues and epoxies.
  • Disinfects surface: In addition to cleaning, acetone acts as a disinfectant and can sanitize quartz countertops. This helps eliminate bacteria, viruses, and other germs.
  • Dries quickly: Because acetone evaporates rapidly, there is no need to rinse or wipe a quartz surface after applying acetone. Any cleaned area dries within minutes.
  • Leaves no residue: Acetone does not leave any sticky residue or film behind after drying. This helps maintain the smooth, shiny finish of quartz counters.

Effective spot cleaner: Thanks to its strong solvent properties, acetone can be used as a spot cleaner to remove localized stains without cleaning the entire quartz surface.

Potential Risks of Acetone on Quartz

Despite its cleaning power, acetone does come with some risks when used on quartz:

  • Can dull surface: If allowed to sit too long, concentrated acetone can dull and erode the glossy finish of quartz. Always limit acetone’s contact time on the surface.
  • Can discolor quartz: On some lighter quartz colors, acetone may discolor or “bleach” the surface by removing the pigments. Test acetone on an inconspicuous area first.
  • Can damage sealant: Repeated use of acetone may degrade and damage quartz’s protective sealant over time. This can lead to increased staining.
  • Harsh fumes: Acetone emits strong, unpleasant fumes during use. Work in a well-ventilated area and use sparingly.
  • Flammable: As a flammable solvent, acetone carries a fire risk. Avoid using near open flames or other ignition sources.

How to Safely Use Acetone on Quartz Countertops

When used properly, acetone can be a useful cleaner for quartz counters. Follow these tips for safe use:

Test on Small Inconspicuous Area

Before using acetone to clean a large visible area of quartz, first test it on a small, inconspicuous area like near the backsplash or under the counter overhang. Check for any discoloration or damage after 1-2 minutes and wipe dry.

Use Extremely Sparingly

A little acetone goes a long way. Dampen a clean cloth lightly with acetone and use gentle wiping motions. Avoid excessive rubbing or scrubbing. Immediately wipe any excess acetone off the surface.

Limit Contact Time

Allowing acetone to sit too long on quartz can damage the finish. Limit contact time to 1-2 minutes max. Wipe off any excess acetone and allow the surface to completely air dry.

Dilute with Water

For regular cleaning, consider diluting acetone with an equal part water. This provides added solvent power while reducing the risks from pure acetone.

Increase Ventilation

Always work in a well-ventilated space when using acetone. If possible, open windows or use fans to circulate fresh air and prevent inhaling concentrated fumes. Consider wearing gloves and safety goggles.

Use Non-Acetone Products First

Try gentler cleaners like soap and water before reaching for acetone. Only use acetone for occasional, stubborn stains that require a heavy-duty solvent.

Avoid Bleach-Based Cleaners

Never mix acetone with bleach or bleach-containing cleaners. This can create toxic chloroform gas. Rinse any bleach residue before using acetone.

Recommended Alternatives to Acetone

For routine quartz countertop cleaning, try these safer alternatives first before acetone:

  • Mild soap and water: Use a few drops of dish soap in warm water for an effective daily cleaner.
  • Vinegar: Equal parts vinegar and water helps remove most dirt and stains without harsh chemicals.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: Sanitizes and removes stains from coffee, tea, wine, and more without danger of bleaching.
  • Baking soda: Make a paste with water to scrub away grime. Rinse thoroughly afterward.
  • Glass cleaner: Ammonia-free glass cleaners are safe for polish quartz surfaces.
  • Store-bought quartz cleaners: Look for specialty cleaners made for quartz and other engineered stone.


Acetone can be used to safely clean quartz countertops if certain precautions are followed. Lightly dampen a cloth and wipe affected areas for 1-2 minutes maximum. Avoid excessive rubbing and immediately wipe the surface dry to prevent damage. For everyday cleaning, start with gentler soap and water, vinegar, or other acetone-free options. Reserve acetone only for occasional stubborn stains on quartz when needed. With restrained, careful use, acetone can remove residues other cleaners cannot while maintaining the beauty of your quartz countertops.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using Acetone on Quartz Countertops

Can I use 100% pure acetone on my quartz countertop?

It’s best to dilute pure acetone with at least an equal amount of water. The high concentration of 100% acetone increases the risks of dulling, discoloring or damaging the quartz surface. For tough stains, a 50/50 mix of acetone and water provides added cleaning power with less risk.

How long can I safely leave acetone on a quartz counter?

Only 1-2 minutes maximum. Acetone evaporates quickly, so extended contact is unnecessary. Leaving acetone to sit too long on quartz can erode the finish. Wipe up and dry any excess acetone immediately.

What ratio of water to acetone is best for cleaning quartz?

A 50/50 ratio is ideal. This dilutes the acetone enough to reduce risks on quartz, while still providing extra cleaning strength. For more delicate cleaning, you can use a higher water to acetone ratio like 70% or 80% water.

Can I use nail polish remover to clean my quartz counters?

Yes, as long as the remover contains dilute acetone, usually 50% to 90%. Avoid removers with added moisturizers, vitamins, or glossy sealants which can leave residue. Test nail polish remover on a small inconspicuous spot first before using on visible areas.

Why does acetone leave cloudy marks on my quartz?

This likely occurs from allowing the acetone to sit too long which can erode the finish. It may also be an interaction with other residue on the surface. Try rinsing any cleaner residues first. When using acetone, immediately wipe dry to avoid cloudiness.

Is rubbing alcohol a safe alternative to acetone for cleaning quartz?

Yes, rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) can often be used instead of acetone. It provides solvent cleaning power without as much risk of dulling or discoloring quartz surfaces. Make sure to dilute rubbing alcohol 50/50 with water for best results.

Can I use acetone to remove rust stains from my quartz sink?

Yes, acetone is effective at breaking down and removing rust stains. Dampen a cloth and gently wipe the rusted area for 1-2 minutes maximum. Rinse thoroughly with water afterward and dry with a soft cloth to restore your sink’s shine.

Will acetone remove hard water stains from my quartz?

Unfortunately, no. Being a solvent, acetone does not dissolve mineral deposits from hard water. Use a limescale remover or white vinegar instead to effectively eliminate hard water stains without damaging the quartz.