Quartz countertops are popular in kitchens and bathrooms thanks to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can get dirty over time and require cleaning. Some homeowners turn to hydrogen peroxide as an effective and safe cleaning solution. Here is a detailed look at using hydrogen peroxide to clean quartz countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins, pigments, and other compounds. The result is a non-porous, durable surface resistant to scratches, stains, and heat.
While natural stone like granite requires regular sealing, quartz does not. The material is non-porous, so spills and messes will not seep in or stain the surface. Quartz requires very little maintenance compared to other countertop materials.
Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe for Quartz?
Hydrogen peroxide is generally considered safe for cleaning quartz surfaces. When diluted with water, hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen, leaving no chemical residues behind.
It is always best to check the care and maintenance guidelines recommended by your specific quartz manufacturer. Most brands approve using diluted hydrogen peroxide solutions for routine cleaning.
Hydrogen peroxide can provide the following benefits for quartz countertops:
- Disinfecting – The bubbling oxygen released from hydrogen peroxide helps kill bacteria, viruses, and other germs on contact. This helps sanitize kitchen countertops.
- Degreasing – Hydrogen peroxide effectively breaks down oil and grease that can build up from cooking. It helps dissolve grime that regular cleaning may miss.
- Whitening – As an oxidizer and bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide can gently whiten and brighten quartz surfaces, returning them to their original luster.
- Removing stains – Hydrogen peroxide can lift stubborn organic stains like coffee, tea, juice, or wine that have set into the surface.
Always spot test hydrogen peroxide on an inconspicuous part of the quartz before widespread use.
How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide on Quartz
When using hydrogen peroxide on quartz countertops, proper dilution and safe application technique are important. Here are some steps to follow:
- Dilute – Mix a solution of 10% hydrogen peroxide and 90% water. Never apply full-strength hydrogen peroxide directly to the quartz.
- Spot test – Dab a small amount of diluted hydrogen peroxide on an out-of-sight area first. Check for any discoloration or other reactions.
- Apply – Use a soft cloth, sponge, or paper towel dampened with the diluted hydrogen peroxide solution. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.
- Let sit – Allow the hydrogen peroxide to sit on oil, grease, or stain for 2-5 minutes before wiping away. This gives it time to work.
- Rinse – Thoroughly rinse the surface with clean water and dry with a soft cloth. Do not leave excess hydrogen peroxide on the quartz.
- Repeat if needed – For tough stains, repeat the hydrogen peroxide application as needed. But do not over-apply or leave the solution to sit for extended periods.
Tips for Using Hydrogen Peroxide on Quartz
Follow these best practices when using hydrogen peroxide cleaner on quartz:
- Always dilute hydrogen peroxide with water at a 1:10 ratio before applying to quartz.
- Avoid using hydrogen peroxide solutions stronger than 10%. Too much can damage or discolor the quartz.
- Combine with baking soda for an abrasive boost on tough grease and grime.
- Never mix hydrogen peroxide with vinegar, as this creates a harsh acidic reaction.
- Rinse thoroughly after each hydrogen peroxide application. Don’t allow excess to dry on the surface.
- Use only soft, non-abrasive cloths and sponges to prevent scratching the quartz.
- Spot test hydrogen peroxide in an inconspicuous area first. Check for discoloration.
- Avoid excessive rubbing or scrubbing, as this can dull the quartz’s shine over time.
- For routine cleaning, a mild soap and water solution is often adequate for quartz.
Reasons to Avoid Hydrogen Peroxide on Quartz
While hydrogen peroxide is largely considered safe for quartz countertops, there are a few reasons some homeowners may wish to avoid it:
- Quartz damage – If incorrectly diluted or overused, hydrogen peroxide can cause discoloration, etching, or other damage to quartz surfaces. Always follow manufacturer guidelines.
- Repeated bleaching – Frequent hydrogen peroxide use can gradually fade or bleach darker quartz colors over an extended period of time.
- Residual moisture – Not fully rinsing away hydrogen peroxide can leave moisture that contributes to hard water spots on quartz when it dries.
- Harsh scrubbing – Aggressive scrubbing with hydrogen peroxide solutions could potentially dull the finish of certain quartz varieties.
- Vinegar reactions – As mentioned, never mix hydrogen peroxide with vinegar cleaners. The resulting chemical reaction can damage many surfaces.
Safer Quartz Cleaning Alternatives
Homeowners who wish to take a more cautious approach can use these safer options instead of hydrogen peroxide for cleaning quartz:
- Mild dish soap – A few drops of gentle dish soap diluted in warm water makes an everyday quartz cleaner free of harsh chemicals.
- Baking soda paste – For a lightly abrasive scrub, mix baking soda with a bit of water to form a spreadable paste and apply to quartz stains.
- Glass cleaner – Streak-free glass cleaners without ammonia are generally safe for use on quartz counters when needed.
- Steam cleaners – A steam cleaner uses only the power of heated vapor to sanitize and loosen grime from quartz. No chemical solutions needed.
Maintaining Your Quartz Countertops
To keep quartz countertops looking like new for years, follow these general care and maintenance guidelines:
- Quickly wipe up spills, don’t allow liquids like wine or fruit juice to sit and stain.
- Use coasters under glasses and trivets under hot pans to prevent etching.
- Clean quartz regularly with a mild soap and water solution.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads that could dull the surface.
- Disinfect quartz periodically with dilute hydrogen peroxide if desired.
- Consider reapplying a quartz sealer every 3-5 years for added protection.
- Check manufacturer guidelines before using any new chemical cleaner on quartz surfaces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is hydrogen peroxide bad for quartz countertops?
No, when properly diluted hydrogen peroxide is generally considered safe and effective for cleaning quartz countertops. Always spot test first and never use higher than 10% concentration solutions. Rinse thoroughly after application.
What ratio of hydrogen peroxide to water should be used on quartz?
Dilute hydrogen peroxide at a 1:10 ratio with water. This equates to 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with 10 parts water. Stronger solutions may damage the quartz.
Can I mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar to clean quartz?
Never mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar to clean quartz countertops. This combination creates a chemical reaction that produces peracetic acid which can damage many surfaces. Always use hydrogen peroxide and vinegar solutions separately.
How long can I leave hydrogen peroxide on a quartz countertop?
Don’t allow diluted hydrogen peroxide solutions to remain on quartz surfaces for longer than 5 minutes before wiping away. Leaving hydrogen peroxide to sit for extended time periods can increase the risk of discoloration or other quartz damage.
Does hydrogen peroxide remove stains from quartz?
Yes, hydrogen peroxide can help lift and remove many organic stains on quartz countertops caused by food and beverages. Allow the diluted peroxide solution to sit for 2-5 minutes on the stain before wiping clean for best results.
Hydrogen peroxide is generally considered a safe cleaning agent for quartz countertops when used properly. Diluting hydrogen peroxide to no more than a 10% solution and thoroughly rinsing afterward prevents the possibility of quartz damage while allowing the peroxide to do its job tackling grease, disinfecting, and brightening dulled areas. Alternatives like baking soda scrubs, steam cleaners, vinegar, and glass cleaners can also keep quartz counters spotless for those wanting to take a chemical-free approach. With regular care and maintenance, quartz countertops can stay looking like new for many years.