Quartz countertops are engineered stone surfaces made from ground quartz mixed with resins and pigments. They are an increasingly popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, like any countertop material, quartz requires proper care and cleaning to keep it looking its best. Using the wrong type of cleaner can damage the surface, so it’s important to know what is safe to use.
Can You Use Granite Cleaner on Quartz?
The short answer is no. Granite and quartz are very different materials, so cleaners formulated for granite may contain chemicals that could etch or dull quartz surfaces.
Quartz countertops have a glossy, non-porous surface that resists staining. But they can be damaged by acidic or abrasive cleaners that are too harsh. Most quartz manufacturers recommend using only pH-neutral cleaners specifically designed for quartz.
Using a granite cleaner that contains acidic ingredients like lemon, vinegar, or bleach can erode the resin binders in quartz. Over time, this can cause quartz to lose its polish and appear etched or cloudy. Abrasive cleaners with grit or harsh scrubbing pads can also scratch the surface.
Recommended Cleaners for Quartz Countertops
To safely clean quartz countertops without causing damage, follow these guidelines:
- Use a pH-balanced quartz cleaner: Look for cleaners labeled for use on engineered stone or quartz. The product should have a neutral pH around 7.
- Avoid anything acidic or abrasive: Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice, bleach, or cleaners containing these. Stay away from scrubbing pads and powders that can scratch.
- Warm water and mild soap: For routine cleaning, a soft sponge or cloth with warm water and mild dish soap is usually sufficient.
- Disinfect occasionally: Every once in a while, use a disinfecting cleaner made for quartz to sanitize the surface.
- Avoid window and glass cleaners: These can streak and leave residue.
- Use a microfiber cloth: Microfiber cloths gently clean without scratching.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops
Here is a simple step-by-step process for safely cleaning quartz countertops:
- Remove any dirt or debris from the countertop with a wet microfiber cloth. For dried spills, soak the area with warm water first to soften.
- Apply a small amount of pH-neutral quartz cleaner to the microfiber cloth, not directly on the countertop.
- Gently wipe the surface using circular motions. Avoid scrubbing aggressively.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water and wipe dry with a dry microfiber cloth.
- Buff gently with a dry microfiber cloth to restore shine and remove any leftover streaks.
- For disinfecting, repeat the process using a disinfecting cleaner formulated for quartz instead of everyday quartz cleaner.
Stain Removal Tips for Quartz
Quartz resists stains quite well. But for stubborn spots:
- Treat spills ASAP before they have time to set.
- Blot liquids immediately to avoid penetration into the pores of natural stone quartz.
- For dried/caked-on spills, soak the area with warm water to soften before cleaning.
- Use a non-abrasive plastic scrub pad and a small amount of non-acidic quartz cleaner to work out the stain gently.
- Avoid bleach, alkaline drain cleaners, rust removers, or oven cleaners on quartz surfaces.
Maintaining the Beauty of Quartz Countertops
With proper care using the right cleaners and techniques, quartz countertops can stay looking like new for many years. Avoid exposing quartz to chemicals that can damage the surface. Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions. And clean up spills promptly to prevent stains and discoloration. With a little regular maintenance, quartz countertops will retain their beauty and elegance for the lifetime of your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use Windex or glass cleaner on quartz countertops?
No, avoid glass cleaners which can leave streaky residue on quartz. Use a specially formulated quartz cleaner instead.
What about using rubbing alcohol to disinfect quartz?
Rubbing alcohol is fine for occasional disinfecting as it will not etch quartz. Just avoid aggressive scrubbing.
Can I use Clorox wipes on a quartz countertop?
It’s best to avoid Clorox and bleach wipes as they are too abrasive for quartz and may contain acids. Use a gentle quartz-safe disinfecting cleaner instead.
What happens if I use granite cleaner on a quartz countertop?
The acids in granite cleaner will eat away at the resin in quartz causing etching and erosion of the glossy surface over time. Always use pH-neutral quartz cleaner only.
How can I make my quartz counters shine like new again?
To restore shine, buff the surface gently with a dry microfiber cloth after cleaning. You can also polish periodically with a quartz polish specifically made for engineered stone. This will remove built-up grime and restore luster.
The Bottom Line
While granite or other stone cleaners may be fine for natural stone surfaces, quartz requires special care. Always check the label to ensure any countertop cleaner you use is approved for engineered stone, chemical-free, and pH-neutral. This prevents damaging quartz with harsh chemicals or abrasives that can ruin the appearance and degrade the material prematurely. Regular cleaning and maintenance with the right quartz-safe products will keep your countertop looking beautiful for years.