Vinegar is often touted as a natural, chemical-free cleaning solution. But is it safe to use on quartz countertops? Here is a detailed look at whether you can clean quartz countertops with vinegar.
What are Quartz Countertops?
Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The resulting material is non-porous, stain resistant, and durable. Quartz counters are an increasingly popular alternative to natural stone and laminate.
Some key features of quartz countertops:
- Made from about 90% ground quartz and 10% polymer resins and pigments
- Non-porous so resists staining
- Hard and scratch resistant
- Available in a wide range of colors and patterns
- Less maintenance than natural stone
- Resists heat better than natural stone
Is Vinegar Safe for Cleaning Quartz?
Most quartz manufacturers recommend avoiding vinegar for cleaning quartz countertops. Here’s why:
- Acidic nature: Vinegar has an acetic acid content of about 5-8%. This acidic nature makes it corrosive over time to materials like quartz.
- Etching and dulling: The acid in vinegar can eat away at the resin layer of quartz causing etching and dulling of the surface over time with frequent use. This damage is permanent.
- Loss of shine: Acidic cleaners like vinegar strip off the glossy shine from quartz leaving behind a dull appearance.
- Voids warranty: Using vinegar on quartz goes against most manufacturer’s care and maintenance instructions and can void the warranty.
So while vinegar effectively cleans buildup like hard water stains, its regular use on quartz is not recommended. The cons outweigh the pros.
Recommended Cleaners for Quartz Countertops
To safely clean quartz countertops, use pH neutral cleaners free from acids, alkalis, bleach or abrasives. Some good options include:
- Warm water and mild dish soap
- Stone soap or quartz cleaner
- Hydrogen peroxide cleaner
- Isopropyl alcohol
For stubborn stains, use a non-acidic stain remover formulated for stone surfaces. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations before using any commercial cleaner on quartz.
Best Practices for Cleaning Quartz Counters
Follow these best practices to keep quartz counters clean and damage-free:
- Clean spills immediately to prevent staining
- Regularly clean with a soft sponge or cloth using only recommended cleaners
- Avoid abrasive pads, scouring powders or anything that can scratch the surface
- Rinse off any cleaner residue thoroughly after cleaning
- Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a stone sealer to enhance stain resistance
What to Do If You Used Vinegar on Quartz?
If you’ve accidentally used vinegar on your quartz counters a few times, don’t panic. Just switch to a pH neutral cleaner going forward. If vinegar has been used repeatedly over time, have the counters professionally inspected and re-polished if needed. This can help restore the counters if etching or dullness has started setting in. Avoid acidic cleaners completely from now on.
Can Vinegar Be Used Diluted on Quartz?
Diluting vinegar with water before using it can help but does not eliminate the risks on quartz completely. The vinegar is still acidic enough when diluted to etch and damage resin with repeated use. So it’s best to avoid vinegar altogether and use recommended quartz cleaners for best results.
While vinegar is a popular home remedy, it is too harsh for routine use on quartz counters. The acidic nature of vinegar can damage quartz over time by etching the surface and causing permanent dullness. Always refer to the manufacturer’s care guidelines and test any new cleaner on a small patch first before using it across your quartz countertops. With some basic precautions, you can safely keep quartz counters looking like new for years.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cleaning Quartz Countertops with Vinegar
Can I use undiluted white vinegar to clean quartz countertops?
No, undiluted white vinegar is highly acidic and should never be used on quartz counters. It can damage the resin coating and etch the surface with repeated use. Always dilute vinegar and even then, avoid using it long-term.
What ratio of water to vinegar is safe for quartz?
No ratio of water and vinegar is completely safe for long-term use on quartz. The acid content even when diluted will eventually damage the material. It’s best to use pH neutral quartz cleaners only.
Can I use apple cider vinegar to clean quartz counters?
No, apple cider vinegar is also acidic and should be avoided on quartz. Any type of vinegar is risky due to the acetic acid content that can etch and corrode quartz over time.
If vinegar damaged my quartz counter, can it be fixed?
You may be able to minimize damage by having the quartz counters professionally honed and re-polished. This can help restore some of the gloss and smoothness if etching has occurred. But deep etching may be irreversible.
How often should I seal my quartz counters?
Quartz manufacturers recommend applying a penetrating stone sealer every 1-2 years. This helps enhance stain resistance. Make sure to use a sealer made specifically for quartz.
What are signs of vinegar damage on quartz?
Etching, pitting, and loss of shine are key signs of acid damage on quartz from cleaners like vinegar. The surface may feel rough and appear dull if vinegar was used repeatedly over time.