What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone, have become immensely popular in recent years as an alternative to natural stone surfaces like granite and marble. Quartz is made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins, polymers, and pigments under high pressure.
Some key properties of quartz:
- Extremely hard and durable surface
- Resists scratches, stains, heat, and water
- Easy maintenance
- Available in a wide range of colors and patterns
Is Rubbing Alcohol Safe for Quartz?
Rubbing alcohol contains ethanol and isopropyl alcohol which can be harsh on some surfaces. The short answer is – Yes, rubbing alcohol is safe to use on quartz countertops.
Quartz is non-porous so rubbing alcohol does not penetrate or stain the surface. Strong alcohol concentrations like 90% isopropyl alcohol quickly disinfect, remove dirt, and dry without leaving any residue.
However, take care to not let alcohol sit on the surface for a prolonged time as it can dull the quartz over time. Also, blends containing additives like menthol, dye, and fragrances are not recommended.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops with Rubbing Alcohol
Follow these steps to safely clean your quartz countertops with rubbing alcohol:
1. Dust and Wipe the Surface
Wipe the countertop with a soft microfiber cloth to remove any loose dirt and debris. Going over the surface with a dry cloth first prepares the quartz for disinfection.
2. Prepare a Cleaning Solution
Mix equal parts water and 99% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle. A 50/50 solution works well for cleaning most countertops. For heavy grime, you can increase the alcohol concentration to 90% alcohol and 10% water.
3. Apply the Solution and Wait
Spray the alcohol-based solution directly onto the quartz surface and allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes. This gives the alcohol time to dissolve grease and germs.
4. Scrub and Rinse
Use a soft bristle brush and gently scrub the wet surface in circular motions to lift grime from the crevices. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and pat dry with a microfiber towel.
5. Check for Streaks
Inspect the countertop under light to ensure no residue or streaks are left behind. Go over any marks again with a damp microfiber cloth.
Tips for Cleaning Quartz Countertops
- Spot test the alcohol solution on a small area first to check for any discoloration or damage.
- Use a mild dish soap and warm water solution for daily cleaning.
- For hard water stains, use a 50/50 vinegar and water solution.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners and pads that can scratch the surface.
- Disinfect quartz periodically with hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol.
- Rinse thoroughly after cleaning and dry with a soft cloth.
Common Quartz Countertop Cleaning Mistakes
- Using acidic cleaners like lemon, vinegar, etc. frequently
- Letting spills sit too long before wiping them up
- Using harsh chemicals and solvents without dilution
- Cleaning with abrasive pads, sponges or brushes
- Not rinsing completely after cleaning
Can I Use Other Disinfectants on Quartz?
While rubbing alcohol is safe for occasional use, it is best to use a quartz-specific disinfectant for regular cleaning. Here are some options:
- Hydrogen peroxide: An effective disinfectant safe for quartz.
- Quaternary ammonium: Found in many antibacterial wipes and sprays specially formulated for stone.
- Sodium hypochlorite: Diluted bleach can sanitize quartz surfaces.
- Vinegar: Helps kill bacteria and viruses with its acidic properties.
No matter which disinfectant you choose, always spot test first and follow with a thorough rinse. This keeps the quartz sparkling clean and free of residue buildup.
Can Rubbing Alcohol Damage My Quartz Countertop?
When used properly, rubbing alcohol poses no risks to quartz surfaces. However, take care of the following to avoid potential damage:
- Limit use of 90%+ alcohol concentrations only for occasional deep cleaning.
- Do not let alcohol sit for prolonged periods. Wipe down within 5 minutes.
- Avoid alcohol-based cleaners with added fragrances, colors or thickening agents.
- Always dilute with water and use only as much as needed.
- Rinse thoroughly after disinfecting to prevent residue buildup.
- Check manufacturer’s care instructions before using any new cleaning agent.
- Test on a small patch first to watch for adverse reactions.
Rubbing alcohol is a versatile household item that can effectively sanitize quartz countertops when used properly. Dilute it with water, limit contact time, use only a soft cloth, and rinse thoroughly after cleaning. For routine maintenance, use gentler quartz-safe cleaners. With some care and caution, you can safely incorporate rubbing alcohol into your quartz cleaning routine. Just be sure to spot test first and not overdo its use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it okay to use rubbing alcohol daily on my quartz countertops?
No, you should not use full-strength rubbing alcohol daily on quartz. The alcohol can cause drying and discoloration with excessive use. Limit rubbing alcohol to weekly or monthly disinfecting. For daily cleaning, use mild soap and water.
How long should I leave rubbing alcohol on quartz?
Do not leave rubbing alcohol sitting on the surface for more than 5 minutes. The solvents can damage the resin coating with prolonged exposure. Apply the diluted alcohol, allow 2-3 minutes contact time, then wipe and rinse.
Can I mix rubbing alcohol with vinegar to clean quartz?
It is not recommended. While both can be used separately, rubbing alcohol and vinegar can react and neutralize each other when mixed. This makes the blended solution less effective for cleaning.
Does rubbing alcohol leave any shiny coating or residue on quartz?
High-purity isopropyl alcohol will not leave any oily residue or shiny film on the quartz surface when used correctly. Ensure you wipe the surface thoroughly after disinfecting so no pooling liquid remains.
Is it okay to use alcohol wipes on a quartz countertop?
Yes, alcohol wipes are safe for occasional disinfecting of quartz. Look for wipes containing 60-70% isopropyl alcohol and no extra additives. Make sure to rinse with water after wiping the surface.