Can I Use Baking Soda on Quartz Countertops?

Quartz countertops are popular in many modern kitchens due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any countertop material, quartz requires proper care and cleaning to keep it looking its best. Some homeowners wonder if baking soda, a common household cleaner and deodorizer, is safe to use on quartz. Here is a detailed look at whether baking soda can be used to clean quartz countertops.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, also called engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically makes up 90-94% of the material. The rest is polymer resins that bind the quartz particles together and provide color and pattern.

Compared to natural stone like granite, quartz is non-porous, making it very resistant to stains. It is also harder and more durable than other countertop materials. However, acidic substances like lemon juice, vinegar or wine can etch and damage quartz. Abrasive cleaners should also be avoided as they can scratch the surface over time.

Is Baking Soda Safe for Quartz?

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a mild alkaline powder. It has many household uses for cleaning, deodorizing, and cooking. Baking soda is generally considered safe to use on quartz countertops. Here’s why:


Baking soda is soft and does not have abrasive particles that could scratch quartz. It will lightly polish without damaging the surface when used properly.

Helpful for Cleaning

Its mild alkalinity allows baking soda to dissolve some types of dirt and stains on quartz. It can be used to gently scrub away grime.

Effective Deodorizer

Baking soda absorbs odors well. Sprinkling it on quartz and letting it sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping can freshen up countertops.

Won’t Etch or Discolor

Unlike acidic cleaners, baking soda has a neutral pH that makes it safe for quartz. It will not etch or discolor the material with prolonged exposure.

So in summary, baking soda is considered quartz-safe and can be handy for occasional use on countertops. However, there are some caveats to keep in mind.

How to Use Baking Soda on Quartz Countertops

While baking soda won’t damage quartz, improper use can lead to a hazy appearance over time. Here are some tips for safely using baking soda on quartz countertops:

Mix with Water to Form a Paste

For cleaning, mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable paste. Apply the paste to dirty areas and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping clean with a damp cloth. Avoid using baking soda dry, as this can create scratches.

Rinse Thoroughly After Use

Always rinse quartz thoroughly after using baking soda, even if you wipe the surface down. Residual baking soda left on the countertop can create a cloudy film that builds up over time. Rinsing prevents this.

Use Occasionally, Not Daily

Limit baking soda use on quartz to occasional, focused cleaning, not as part of your daily cleaning routine. The abrasiveness of daily baking soda use can eventually damage quartz.

Use a Soft Cloth or Sponge

Gently wipe baking soda paste with a soft cloth, microfiber towel or sponge. Avoid scrubbing pads or abrasive sponges that could scratch. Let the baking soda do the work.

Don’t Use with Other Acidic Cleaners

Don’t mix baking soda with vinegar, lemon juice or other acidic products on quartz. This creates a chemical reaction that can damage the surface.

By following these guidelines, you can safely use baking soda periodically on quartz countertops when needed without worry.

Cleaning Quartz Countertops with Baking Soda

Here are some ways baking soda can be helpful in a quartz cleaning regimen:

Remove Stains and Grime

Mix baking soda with water to make a paste and apply to stains like coffee and tea rings. You can also use it to scrub away dried on grime or food residues. Let the paste sit for 5-10 minutes then wipe clean.

Eliminate Odors

Baking soda is excellent for removing smells from quartz countertops. Sprinkle some on the surface and let sit overnight. The baking soda will absorb odors so they can be wiped away.

Gently Polish

Make a paste with baking soda and water and rub lightly over the entire quartz surface. This will polish and brighten the countertop without damaging the finish. Always rinse thoroughly after polishing.

Clean Backsplashes

Use a baking soda paste to gently scrub quartz backsplashes. Rinse and dry completely. The baking soda is mild enough not to damage grout.

Remove Soap Scum

Apply a baking soda paste to bathroom quartz sinks and counters to dissolve stubborn soap scum buildup. Let sit then wipe away.

Freshen Sinks

Remove odors and stains from quartz sinks by sprinkling baking soda in the sink basin. Let sit for 15 minutes then rinse. This will keep sinks fresh.

Baking soda works well for occasional quartz cleaning when used properly. But it’s important not to overuse it.

How Often Should I Use Baking Soda on Quartz?

These tips will help prevent overusing baking soda on quartz:

  • Use no more than once a week at most. Using it daily is too abrasive over time.
  • Rinse thoroughly after each use to prevent residue buildup.
  • Look for signs of hazing like light scratches. This means you need to cut back on baking soda cleaning.
  • Limit use to focused cleaning tasks, not general surface wiping.
  • Don’t use baking soda at all if quartz has a polished finish, which is more prone to scratching.
  • Switch to gentler cleaners like dish soap or stone cleaner for daily tasks.
  • If quartz becomes cloudy from baking soda, bring back the shine with a quartz-safe polish.

The best practice is to use baking soda sparingly when needed on heavily soiled spots, not as an all-purpose daily cleaner. Be sure to rinse completely afterward. This prevents overuse that can damage quartz over time.

What’s Better for Cleaning Quartz Daily?

For routine quartz cleaning, it’s best to use a gentle liquid cleaner instead of baking soda:

Dish Soap

A few drops of mild dish soap mixed with warm water works well for most daily quartz cleaning. Dish soap cuts through grease and grime without damaging quartz.

pH-Neutral Stone Cleaner

Look for a stone cleaner specifically formulated to be pH-neutral and safe for quartz. This cleans gently without etching or discoloring.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 4 parts water for a mild antiseptic surface cleaner that is quartz-safe.

Microfiber Cloth and Water

A damp microfiber cloth often removes everyday dust and spills on quartz with just water. No cleaner needed.

Using one of these gentler cleaners daily keeps quartz in good condition without needing harsher options like baking soda very often.

Can Baking Soda Scratch Quartz?

While baking soda is softer than other abrasive cleaners, there is still a risk of surface damage over time with frequent use. Here’s how baking soda can potentially scratch quartz:

Grains Caught in Cloth or Sponge

Dry baking soda grains stuck in the fibers of a cloth or sponge can create micro-scratches during wiping or rubbing.

Trapped Grit Under Baking Soda

Particles like sand or dirt trapped under baking soda paste can get dragged across the quartz surface, causing fine scratches.

Hairline Scratches Accumulate

Tiny scratches from baking soda are not visible at first. But over months and years of regular use these accumulate, leading to a scratched appearance.

Dull, Hazy Finish

The accumulative abrasion from baking soda will eventually cause quartz to lose its glossy finish, taking on a scratched, pitted look.

More Noticeable with Solid Colors

Scratches and hazing from long-term baking soda use often show up more on quartz in darker, solid colors compared to white or patterned quartz.

Thankfully these issues arise gradually and can be avoided by minimizing baking soda use. Rinsing thoroughly after each use also helps prevent residue buildup that causes gradual abrasion.

How to Remove Baking Soda Residue from Quartz

If cloudiness, haziness or dull spots appear on quartz from baking soda residue, don’t panic. Here are some tips for removing the residue and restoring quartz’s shine:

Clean with Dish Soap

Mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water. Wipe down the entire quartz surface using a soft cloth. This helps dissolve any baked on baking soda residue.

Use a Quartz Polish

Apply a polish specifically formulated for quartz and buff the surface. Choose a non-abrasive polish to avoid further scratching. Polishing removes residue and brings back the shine.

Make a Vinegar Paste

Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar into a paste, apply to problem spots for 5 minutes, then wipe clean. The chemical reaction can help dissolve baked on gunk.

Steam Clean the Surface

Use a handheld steam cleaner to forcefully dissolve and liquify dried residue. Wipe with a microfiber cloth after steaming.

With a little effort, baking soda residue can be removed to restore quartz countertops’ original beauty and shine. Just be more mindful of rinsing thoroughly after future baking soda cleaning.

How to Disinfect Quartz Countertops

While baking soda has some antibacterial properties, when you need to thoroughly disinfect quartz, other options are better suited:

Bleach Solutions

Mix 1⁄3 cup of bleach into 1 gallon of water. Apply the solution to quartz then rinse. This kills germs without harming quartz.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Use 3% hydrogen peroxide straight from the bottle to disinfect quartz. No need to dilute. Just wipe on and let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing.

Rubbing Alcohol

Wipe quartz down with 70% isopropyl alcohol. This dissolves soils while killing germs due to its antiseptic properties.

Quartz-Safe Disinfectant Spray

Look for EPA-registered disinfectant sprays formulated not to harm quartz, such as Benefect. Spray and let sit per product instructions before wiping.

Disinfectants are stronger than baking soda so they can kill germs better in areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Just check that any disinfectant is quartz-safe before using.

Does Baking Soda Remove Stains from Quartz?

While baking soda can help clean some stains from quartz, it may not remove stubborn stains on its own. For best results:

Use Baking Soda Paste First

Apply a baking soda paste to the stained area and let sit for 10 minutes. The abrasiveness can help lift some stain discoloration.

Follow with a Stain Remover

After using baking soda, spray the stain with a quartz-safe stain remover. Or use a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. This provides extra stain-fighting power.

Avoid Ink, Paint and Dye Stains

Baking soda generally won’t remove stains from ink, paint, food coloring or dyes. These require a stain remover designed for permanent stains.

Consider Professional Help

For stubborn stains that resist baking soda and removers, consider calling in a professional quartz cleaning service. They have industrial cleaners that can get quartz pristine.

So test baking soda first on stains, follow up with a stain remover, and call a pro for especially challenging spots.

How to Remove Other Stains from Quartz

In addition to baking soda, here are the best ways to remove common quartz countertop stains:

Oil-based Stains

Dab vegetable oil on the stain, let sit 60 seconds, then wipe away residue. The oil helps dissolve and draw out oil-based stains.

Food Stains

For stains from foods like beet juice or tomato sauce, spray with hydrogen peroxide. Let bubble for 5 minutes then wipe clean.

Water Marks

Rub lemon oil onto water marks using a soft cloth in circular motions. The citric acid in lemon oil removes mineral deposits.

Mold or Mildew

Spray diluted bleach onto moldy areas then scrub with a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly. Bleach kills mold and mildew.

Hard Water Stains

Use a cloth soaked in white vinegar and lay it on hard water stains for an hour. The acetic acid dissolves mineral deposits.

Dried-On Gunk

Soften stuck-on gunk like food or gum with rubbing alcohol. Let sit a few minutes before gently scraping off.

With the right stain remover for the substance, most quartz stains can be dealt with. Just test on an inconspicuous spot first.

How to Prevent Stains on Quartz

Preventing stains on quartz is easier than removing dried-on stains. Here are some tips:

  • Seal quartz countertops every 6-12 months using a quartz sealer/impregnator. This prevents stains from setting in.
  • Wipe up food and drink spills immediately before they have time to stain. A quick response prevents absorption.
  • Cut citrus fruits on a cutting board, not directly on quartz. The acids can etch quartz and leave residue.
  • Use trivets and hot pads under hot pots and pans. Direct heat exposure can damage quartz.
  • Keep quartz away from harsh chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners or drain openers that can quickly stain.
  • Dust quartz often and wipe with a stone cleaner weekly to prevent buildup of grime that can work into the surface.

With prompt wiping, sealing, and avoiding direct contact with staining agents, it’s possible to keep quartz counters in pristine shape for years.

Does Baking Soda Scratch Other Materials?

Since baking soda is mildly abrasive, take care when using it on surfaces besides quartz:

  • Granite: Avoid using baking soda on polished granite as it can gradually cause scratching and pitting. Use a granite-safe cleaner instead.
  • Marble: Do not use baking soda on marble, as it is very prone to etching and scratching. Use only pH neutral marble cleaner.
  • Solid Surface: Baking soda is safe for solid surface (Corian) countertops since they are non-porous like quartz. Use a soft cloth to prevent micro-scratches.
  • Laminate: Go very light on baking soda when cleaning laminate, as it can wear down the protective coating over time leading to damage.
  • Wood: Don’t use baking soda paste on wood surfaces. Dry baking soda as a deodorizer is okay but avoid wet use.
  • Tile: Baking soda is fine on ceramic, porcelain or stone tiles as long as they are sealed. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.

Get to know your specific counter material and test baking soda on an inconspicuous spot before cleaning the entire surface to be sure it does not cause issues. Each material has different care requirements.

Is Baking Soda Safe for Quartz Sinks?

Quartz sinks have the same properties as quartz counters but require slightly adapted cleaning methods:

Use a Soft Sponge or Cloth

Gently apply baking soda paste to quartz sinks using a soft sponge, cloth or non-abrasive scrubbing pad. Avoid using abrasive scouring pads.

Rinse Thoroughly

After cleaning, carefully rinse away all baking soda residue from quartz sinks. Leaving residue behind can lead to gradual scratching.

Remove Stains Gently

Apply baking soda paste to stained areas of a quartz sink basin and let sit briefly before rinsing. Avoid aggressive back-and-forth scrubbing.

Skip with Polished Finishes

Avoid using baking soda on highly polished quartz sinks, as these scratch more easily. Use a quartz polish instead of baking soda.

Clean Underside Too

For countertop vessel sinks, clean the quartz underside where drips occur using the same gentle method. Pay attention to problem areas.

With some minor precautions, baking soda can be safely used on quartz sinks. Just take care to treat the material gently.

How to Clean Different Quartz Finishes

Quartz is available in various finish textures. Follow these baking soda guidelines for each:

Polished Finish

Use very little baking soda and rub gently, as polished quartz shows scratches more. Consider a quartz polish instead for cleaning.

Matte Finish

Baking soda can be used but avoid scrubbing vigorously on matte quartz. Wipe gently instead.

Concrete Finish

This texture helps hide small scratches but still go gently with baking soda and avoid excessive use.

Leathered or Sueded Finish

These soft finishes also disguise minor scratches well but still require a delicate approach when using baking soda.

Rough or Rustic Finish

Baking soda poses less risk on highly textured quartz since scratches are less visible. But still rinse thoroughly after use.

Get to know your specific quartz finish and adjust baking soda usage accordingly. More delicate finishes need lighter treatment.

Does Color Affect How Baking Soda Cleans Quartz?

Quartz comes in a huge range of colors