Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can get dirty over time and require cleaning. Some homeowners use vinegar as a natural cleaning solution for quartz. But is vinegar actually safe for quartz counters?
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resin and pigments. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-94%.
Some key properties of quartz:
- Extremely hard and scratch resistant surface
- Non-porous – resists stains and bacteria growth
- Durable and heat resistant
- Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns
- Less expensive than natural stone alternatives like granite
The non-porous nature and durability of quartz make it an ideal countertop material for kitchens and bathrooms. It’s low maintenance compared to other natural stone surfaces.
Is Vinegar Safe for Cleaning Quartz?
Vinegar is generally considered safe for cleaning quartz surfaces. Most quartz manufacturers approve using diluted vinegar for routine cleaning.
Here are some benefits of using vinegar to clean quartz:
- Natural acidity – Vinegar’s acidic nature helps remove dried-on food, hard water stains, soap scum, and mineral deposits.
- Streak-free shine – Vinegar helps sanitize and disinfect while leaving a clean, streak-free shine on quartz.
- Economical option – Distilled white vinegar is inexpensive and versatile for household cleaning.
- Environmentally friendly – Vinegar is a green alternative to harsh chemical cleaners. It’s biodegradable and emits no dangerous fumes.
However, there are also some precautions to take when using vinegar on quartz:
- Dilute it – Only use vinegar mixed with water at a 1:1 ratio. Undiluted vinegar may etch or damage the quartz sealant.
- Avoid immersion – Never let vinegar solution sit or soak on the quartz. Wipe it off immediately after cleaning.
- Rinse thoroughly – Make sure to rinse the surface completely after cleaning to remove any vinegar residue.
- Spot test first – Try a small test patch before cleaning the entire quartz surface to check for any adverse effects.
As long as you follow the proper dilution and cleaning methods, vinegar presents minimal risk to quartz counters. But it’s always smart to double check the care and maintenance guide from your specific quartz manufacturer.
Step-By-Step Guide to Cleaning Quartz with Vinegar
Here is a simple step-by-step process for safely cleaning quartz countertops with vinegar:
- Distilled white vinegar
- Spray bottle
- Soft microfiber cloths
- Mild liquid dish soap (optional)
- Clean bucket or bowl of water
Step 1 – Dust and Dry the Surface
Wipe down the countertop with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any loose dirt, crumbs or debris before wet cleaning. Make sure the quartz surface is completely dry before applying the vinegar solution.
Step 2 – Create Vinegar Cleaning Solution
Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. For example, combine:
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
You can also add a couple drops of mild dish soap to help cut through grease. Shake the bottle to mix the solution.
Step 3 – Apply Vinegar Solution to Quartz
Lightly spray or wipe the diluted vinegar solution directly onto the quartz surface. Avoid saturating the countertop.
Step 4 – Clean Surface with Soft Cloth
Gently rub the vinegar solution over the surface using a soft microfiber cloth or sponge. The vinegar will help loosen and dissolve any dried-on messes.
Step 5 – Rinse Thoroughly
Take a clean microfiber cloth dampened with fresh water and wipe the countertop to remove all vinegar solution. Make sure to rinse thoroughly so no vinegar residue remains on the quartz.
Step 6 – Dry and Buff Surface
After rinsing, dry the countertop with a clean microfiber towel by gently buffing in circular motions. This will eliminate any water spots or streaks and leave a shine.
Step 7 – Inspect and Repeat if Needed
Inspect the quartz to ensure it looks clean and streak-free. Repeat steps 3-6 if any stubborn spots remain. The vinegar should help break down residue without harsh scrubbing.
And that’s it! Follow these simple steps for cleaning quartz safely and effectively with vinegar.
Tips for Maintaining Quartz Countertops
Besides regular vinegar cleaning, there are some other good habits for keeping quartz counters looking like new:
- Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains – especially oil, wine or fruit juices that can etch quartz.
- Use cutting boards to avoid direct knife contact on the surface.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads that could scratch the finish.
- Prevent damage from hot items by using trivets and hot pads.
- Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a stone sealer to maintain water repellency.
- For dried-on messes, let a damp rag soaked in baking soda sit on the stain for a few minutes before gently scrubbing.
- In between deeper cleanings, keep surfaces dust-free with microfiber cloths.
By using vinegar and other gentle cleaners, quartz can maintain its original beauty and avoid damage over many years.
Common Questions About Vinegar and Quartz
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about using vinegar on quartz countertops:
Is it okay to use vinegar daily on my quartz counters?
No, you should not use vinegar to clean quartz daily. Frequent vinegar use could strip the sealant and cause etching over time. Limit vinegar cleaning to once a week or less for routine maintenance. For daily surface cleaning, use only water and mild soap with a soft sponge or cloth.
Can I mix other cleaners like hydrogen peroxide with vinegar?
It’s best to avoid mixing vinegar with other cleaning products like hydrogen peroxide, ammonia or bleach. In combination, these chemicals can damage and discolor quartz. Always test mixtures on a small inconspicuous spot first.
How can I get dried lemon/lime juice stains out of my quartz?
Citrus juice can etch into quartz leaving stubborn stains. First try rubbing the stain with a paste of baking soda and water. If needed, apply diluted vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. Avoid abrasive scouring that could scratch the surface.
I accidentally let vinegar sit too long on a spot – is my quartz ruined?
If vinegar solution sat too long in one area, don’t panic. Flush the spot thoroughly with water and dry immediately. Then inspect to see if any etching occurred. Minor etching may be remedied by resealing the surface. But deep etching may require professional resurfacing.
Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar?
It’s best to use plain distilled white vinegar for cleaning quartz counters. Avoid apple cider, balsamic, red wine or other vinegar varieties which can discolor the surface. Always spot test natural solutions like lemon juice or tea tree oil before using on quartz.
How do I get rid of hard water or soap scum buildup on quartz?
Hard water deposits and soap scum can be tackled with diluted vinegar applied and rubbed with a soft cloth or sponge. Let the vinegar sit for a few minutes before rinsing. For severe buildup, cover with a paste of baking soda and water overnight before scrubbing and rinsing clean.
Maintain Your Quartz Countertops With Vinegar
Quartz offers beauty and practicality unrivaled by other countertop materials. With proper care, quartz countertops can stay looking pristine for decades. Vinegar presents a safe, economical, and eco-friendly cleaning solution for routine quartz maintenance.
Along with other gentle cleaning methods, vinegar helps remove stains and restore quartz counters’ original shine and lustre. By using vinegar properly and limiting everyday exposure to dirt and damage, you can enjoy durable, easy-care quartz surfaces for years to come.