Quartz countertops are a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their durability, stain resistance, and stylish appearance. However, like any surface, quartz can be susceptible to bacteria growth if not properly cleaned and maintained. This leads many homeowners to wonder: can I use Microban on my quartz countertops?
What Is Microban?
Microban is a branded antimicrobial technology that is added to products and materials to help inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew, and fungi. The active ingredient in Microban is triclosan, an antibacterial agent.
When Microban is incorporated into a material like quartz countertops during manufacturing, it creates a permanent, built-in defense against microbial growth. The triclosan additive cannot wash off or wear away. It is embedded directly into the countertop material to provide continuous protection over the lifetime of the product.
Is Microban Safe for Quartz?
Using Microban antibacterial cleaners, wipes, or other products will not damage quartz surfaces. Quartz is non-porous, so the Microban additive will remain on the surface of the material without being absorbed below.
However, it is important to note that Microban protection is already built into many quartz countertops during the fabrication process. Check with your countertop supplier to see if they offer Microban-infused quartz. Applying additional Microban products to an already Microban-treated quartz surface is redundant.
Pros of Using Microban on Quartz Countertops
There are several potential benefits to using Microban products on quartz countertops:
Enhanced Antibacterial Protection
While quartz itself has natural antimicrobial properties, Microban can provide an extra level of bacteria-fighting protection. Microban adds a continuous, active defense against potential growth of mold, mildew, fungi, and stench-causing bacteria like E. coli and salmonella.
Surface Hygiene Between Cleanings
Microban prevents the spread and buildup of bacteria between routine cleanings and disinfecting of the quartz. Even if you miss a day or two of cleaning your countertops, Microban is working full-time to inhibit bacterial growth.
By inhibiting the bacteria that causes odors, Microban can help prevent your quartz counters from acquiring any musty or unpleasant smells that can come from bacteria accumulation. Your kitchen and bathrooms stay fresher.
Extra Protection in Kitchens and Baths
Since Microban provides around-the-clock antimicrobial defense, it gives an added measure of protection against bacteria in rooms prone to higher moisture and humidity. Microbes thrive in damp environments like kitchens and bathrooms.
When incorporated into quartz manufacturing, Microban’s antimicrobial protection will not wash away or rub off. It is designed to be effective for the entire lifetime of your countertops. Added Microban cleaners and wipes also provide lasting antimicrobial benefits between regular cleanings.
Cons of Using Microban on Quartz Countertops
There are a few potential downsides to consider regarding Microban on quartz:
As mentioned, many quartz manufacturers now offer built-in Microban protection. Adding more via cleaners and wipes will not provide any additional benefits. The antimicrobial coverage from added Microban will overlap with what’s already integrated into the surface.
Microban cleaning products tend to be priced higher than standard antibacterial cleaners and wipes. If your quartz already contains Microban technology, non-Microban disinfectants can be used just as effectively for routine cleaning.
Some research indicates that excessive use of antimicrobials like triclosan could contribute to antimicrobial resistance, reducing effectiveness over time. However, more studies are still needed to fully confirm.
Triclosan has come under scrutiny in recent years regarding potential safety issues and endocrine disruption. However, current evidence is limited and conflicting. Make sure to follow usage instructions carefully.
Some environmental groups express concern about triclosan discharge into water sources. Avoid overuse and follow disposal instructions to help minimize any potential ecological impacts.
How to Use Microban on Quartz Countertops
If you choose to use Microban on your quartz counters, follow these best practices:
- Use Microban cleaners, wipes, and sprays specifically formulated for stone surfaces. Avoid abrasive scouring pads.
- Focus on high-traffic areas: sink perimeter, stove backsplash, areas around faucets. These are prone to more bacteria buildup.
- Allow cleaner to sit for 2-3 minutes before wiping to allow full disinfecting contact time.
- Rinse thoroughly with water and wipe dry with a soft cloth. Avoid leaving residue.
- Disinfect high-use areas at least once per week or more frequently if desired.
- Quick daily wipe-downs with Microban will remove surface bacteria between deep cleanings.
- Never mix Microban products with bleach, ammonia, or other cleaners.
- Use only as directed and avoid over-application. More is not better.
- Minimize environmental release by wiping up excess andfollowing disposal guidelines.
- Rinse thoroughly after use to avoid residue accumulation.
Quartz Countertop Cleaning Guide
To keep your quartz hygienic and looking like new, follow these best practices:
- Clear counters of clutter and food debris.
- Wash surfaces with warm water and mild soap. Avoid abrasive cleansers.
- Disinfect with Microban antibacterial wipes or spray cleaner.
- Rinse and dry completely.
- Clean counters with a stone-safe cleaner or mild soap and warm water.
- Disinfect with Microban cleaner over entire surface. Allow to sit 2-3 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry with soft cloth.
Deep Cleaning (Monthly)
- Clean entire surface with non-abrasive quartz cleaner or stone soap.
- Disinfect with Microban cleaner over entire surface. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry with soft cloth.
Spills and Stains
- Wipe up food, grease, and dirt immediately to avoid stains.
- Clean oil/grease with dish soap and rinse thoroughly.
- For dried spills, use non-abrasive scraper and quartz cleaner.
- Avoid harsh chemicals like oven cleaners, which can etch.
FAQ About Using Microban on Quartz Countertops
Is it necessary to use Microban on quartz countertops?
It is not required, but can provide extra antibacterial protection and odor prevention between routine cleanings. Many quartz manufacturers now integrate Microban into their slabs during fabrication.
What are the benefits of using Microban on quartz?
Microban provides a continuous, active defense against bacteria growth in between daily and weekly cleanings. It inhibits mold, mildew, fungi, and odors on the quartz surface.
Are Microban cleaners safe for quartz countertops?
Yes, cleaners designed for stone and quartz use are safe. Avoid harsh chemicals, bleaches, acids, and abrasive pads. Always rinse thoroughly after use.
How often should I use Microban on my quartz counters?
High traffic areas around the sink and stove should be disinfected with Microban at least weekly. Quick daily wipe downs provide added protection.
Is it safe to prepare food on quartz treated with Microban?
Yes, Microban is a safe antimicrobial agent designed specifically for use in kitchen and bathroom environments. Always clean and rinse thoroughly before food prep.
Does Microban protection eventually wear off quartz counters?
When integrated into quartz slabs by the manufacturer, Microban lasts for the life of the countertop without wearing off or degrading. Added cleaners also provide lasting antimicrobial benefits.
Can you apply Microban to quartz after installation?
Yes, cleaners, wipes and sprays formulated for stone and quartz can be applied after installation. But quartz made with built-in Microban doesn’t need additional application.
What are the risks of overusing Microban antimicrobial products?
Excessive use of antimicrobials could potentially lead to resistance over time. Follow instructions carefully and minimize ecological release into water sources by wiping up residues.
Microban can provide extra antimicrobial protection for quartz countertops between regular cleanings and disinfecting. Used properly, Microban wipes and cleaners are safe for quartz surfaces. However, take care to avoid overuse, especially if your counters already have built-in Microban technology. With routine cleaning and maintenance, quartz countertops will provide many years of bacteria-free beauty in the kitchen or bath.