Quartz countertops are popular in many modern kitchens because of their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz countertops require proper care and cleaning to keep them looking pristine. Many homeowners wonder if plant-based dish soaps are safe and effective to use on quartz. Below, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using plant-based dish soap to clean quartz countertops.
An Introduction to Quartz Countertops
Before diving into cleaning methods, let’s first understand what quartz countertops are made of. Quartz countertops are engineered stone surfaces that are made from approximately 90% ground quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and pigments.
The quartz crystals make the countertops very hard and durable, while the resins bind the crystals together into a non-porous material. The pigments introduce color and patterns that mimic natural stone. Compared to natural stone like granite, quartz is less prone to staining, etching, and cracking.
However, quartz is not completely invincible. Proper care is required to maintain its pristine appearance for years. Using the wrong cleaning products can damage the surface over time.
Pros of Using Plant-Based Dish Soap on Quartz
Plant-based dish soaps have recently grown in popularity as an eco-friendly cleaning solution. Here are some potential benefits of using plant-based dish soap on quartz countertops:
1. Gentle Cleaning Power
Plant-based dish soaps are designed to clean dishes gently yet effectively. When used properly on quartz countertops, the soap can lift away grease, food residue, dust, and other light soils without harsh scrubbing. Plant-based formulas utilize ingredients like coconut oil, citric acid, and plant extracts to naturally dissolve messes.
2. Non-Toxic and Biodegradable
Conventional dish soaps often contain synthetic fragrances, preservatives, and stabilizers that can be problematic when cleaning countertops where food is prepared. Plant-based dish soaps use plant-derived ingredients that are non-toxic and better for the environment. They are biodegradable and free of phosphates, chlorine, ammonia, and bleach.
3. Leaves No Residue
One problem with some countertop cleaners is that they leave behind a sticky, cloudy residue after cleaning. Plant-based dish soaps are formulated to wash away completely clear without residue when rinsed with water. This helps maintain the quartz’s flawless appearance.
4. Fresh Scent
Compared to other countertop cleaners that can have strong chemical aromas, plant-based dish soaps often have light, pleasant scents from natural oils that make the kitchen smell fresh and clean after use. However, scent options are more limited than other cleaning products.
Plant-based dish soaps generally cost less per ounce than specialty quartz countertop cleaners. Since most households already have dish soap on hand for washing dishes, it can pull double-duty for occasional quartz cleaning without having to purchase another product.
Cons of Using Plant-Based Dish Soap on Quartz
While plant-based dish soaps have some advantages, they also have some drawbacks for routine quartz cleaning:
1. Not Formulated Specifically for Quartz
The biggest con is that plant-based dish soaps are designed for cleaning dishes, not engineered stone. While they may be gentle, they do not contain specific ingredients needed to properly maintain and protect quartz over the long run.
2. May Not Remove Stubborn Stains
While plant-based dish soaps can tackle light daily messes on quartz, they likely won’t have the cleaning power to remove tougher stains like coffee, oil, and grease that have set into the surface. Stronger degreasing agents are needed.
3. Can Build Up Over Time
The oils and moisturizers in plant-based dish soaps meant to hydrate hands can leave a gradual build-up on quartz that leads to streaks and dullness over many washes. Regular use is not recommended for this reason.
4. Not Effective for Disinfecting
Plant-based dish soaps clean but don’t necessarily disinfect quartz countertops. Their formulas lack the bacteria-killing ingredients found in specialty quartz cleaners needed to sanitize surfaces and prevent mold and mildew growth.
5. Can Damage Surface Over Time
While an occasional gentle wipe down with plant-based dish soap likely won’t harm quartz, repeated long-term use can potentially damage the surface according to some manufacturers. The abrasive agents and citric acids meant for dishes may slowly etch and corrode quartz.
Best Practices for Using Plant-Based Dish Soap on Quartz
If you wish to use plant-based dish soap on your quartz, here are some best practices to follow:
- Spot test a small inconspicuous area first to check for any damage or discoloration.
- Use only a small amount of mild plant-based soap and warm water. Avoid excessive scrubbing pressure.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water and completely dry with a soft cloth. Residual moisture can stain.
- Limit use to occasional light spills and messes, not routine overall cleaning.
- Only use on matte or honed quartz finishes. Glossy polished quartz requires more careful cleaning.
- Wait 3-4 days after initial installation before introducing any cleaning product.
- Always check the manufacturer’s care guidelines – not all warranties allow plant-based dish soaps.
Recommended Quartz-Safe Dish Soaps
If you do wish to use plant-based dish soap on your quartz, stick to gentle options like:
- Seventh Generation – Free and Clear Dish Soap
- Puracy – Natural Dish Soap
- Mrs. Meyer’s – Basil Scent Dish Soap
- Ecover – Zero Dish Soap
Avoid more potent formulas containing lemon, vinegar or other acids. Stay away from antibacterial dish soaps, which may contain abrasives and chemicals too harsh for quartz.
Alternative Cleaning Solutions for Quartz Countertops
For routine quartz cleaning and maintenance, it’s best to use cleaners specifically designed for engineered stone. Here are some other cleaning solutions safe for quartz:
PH Neutral Quartz Stone Cleaners
Look for quartz cleaner brands like Granite Gold, Method Daily Granite, StoneTech Revitalizer, or Countertop Magic. These contain ingredients tailored to quartz, are non-acidic, and help seal and protect the surface.
DIY Mix of Mild Soap and Water
Make a gentle cleaner by mixing a couple drops of mild dish or hand soap into warm water. Use a soft sponge or cloth with minimal pressure. Avoid acidic soaps.
Hydrogen Peroxide Disinfecting Solution
For occasional disinfecting, mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle. Mist and wipe down with a soft cloth. Rinse afterwards.
Rubbing Alcohol or Glass Cleaner
For polishing and shining quartz use a spray glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol. Avoid excessive scrubbing.
Baking Soda Paste
Make a paste with baking soda and water to gently lift stains. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
6 FAQs About Using Dish Soap on Quartz Countertops
1. Is Dawn dish soap okay for cleaning quartz?
Original blue Dawn dish soap is quite strong and not recommended for routine use on quartz. It may slowly deteriorate the finish. Their gentle plant-based formula is safer for occasional use.
2. What happens if you use too much dish soap on quartz?
Excessive amounts of dish soap can leave a cloudy residue and build-up on quartz over time. Stick to a small dime-sized drop diluted in water and make sure to rinse thoroughly.
3. Can I use dish soap and vinegar to clean quartz?
Vinegar is acidic and should never be used to clean quartz countertops. Stick to small amounts of mild plant-based dish soap only.
4. How do you remove dried dish soap from quartz?
If dish soap dries on quartz, reconstitute it with warm water and gently wipe it away with a soft cloth. Thoroughly rinse afterwards. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.
5. Should you rinse quartz after using dish soap?
Always rinse quartz thoroughly after cleaning with dish soap and water. Residual soap and moisture can lead to build-up and staining.
6. What is the best dish soap for cleaning quartz?
Mild plant-based dish soaps like Seventh Generation Free & Clear are safest for occasional use. Always spot test first. Specialty quartz cleaners are best for routine maintenance.
While plant-based dish soap can occasionally be used as a gentle cleaner for quartz countertops, it is not ideal as an everyday solution. Small amounts of mild, fragrance-free dish soap may lift away light messes when used sparingly, rinsed fully, and followed by a quartz-safe cleaner. For best results, rely primarily on specialty cleaners formulated just for engineered stone. Be sure to refer to your specific quartz manufacturer’s care recommendations before introducing any new cleaning product. With proper maintenance using the right quartz-safe solutions, your countertops will stay looking like new for many years.