Can Quartz Countertops Be Stained With Permanent Marker?

Quartz countertops are renowned for their durability and stain resistance. However, some stains like permanent marker can be challenging to remove from quartz. Here is a detailed guide on whether quartz countertops can be stained by permanent markers and how to remove such stains.

An Introduction to Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone, have surged in popularity in recent years. They are made from roughly 90% ground natural quartz combined with polymer resins and pigments. The resins bind the quartz particles together to form a hard, non-porous surface.

The resins make quartz more flexible and workable than natural stone. Quartz slabs can be fabricated into various shapes and sizes. Key benefits of quartz countertops include:

  • Extremely durable and scratch-resistant surface
  • Stain resistance
  • Easy maintenance
  • Wide range of colors and patterns
  • Seamless appearance
  • Heat and impact resistant

With proper care and maintenance, quartz countertops can remain in pristine condition for years. But can permanent markers stain them?

Can Permanent Markers Stain Quartz Countertops?

The short answer is yes, permanent markers can stain quartz. The pigments and dyes in permanent markers are designed to set deep into surfaces. When used on quartz countertops, they can leave behind stubborn stains.

However, quartz is less porous than natural stone. So the stains remain on the surface and do not absorb deep into the material. With the right cleaning methods, you can remove permanent marker stains from quartz.

Here are some tips on preventing and removing permanent marker stains on quartz:

Use Coasters and Placemats

Avoid leaving uncapped markers on the countertop. The ink can leak out and stain the surface. Use coasters or placemats when working with markers on quartz.

Act Quickly

If a permanent marker accidentally stains the quartz, act immediately. The longer the ink sets in, the harder it will be to remove.

Try Gentle Cleaners First

Start with a gentle cleaner like soapy water or a baking soda paste. Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently rub the stain in circular motions. This may lift fresh marker stains.

Use a Stain Remover

For stubborn permanent marker stains, use a commercial stain remover designed for stone and quartz. Or make a DIY stain remover by mixing equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a paste.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Do not use harsh chemicals like bleach, ammonia or abrasive cleaners on quartz. They can damage the surface and cause discoloration. Acetone should also be avoided.

Consider Sanding and Polishing

If all else fails, lightly sand the stained area with fine grit sandpaper. Then use a quartz polish to restore the shine. Professional refinishing may be needed for deep set stains.

With some care and effort, permanent marker stains can be removed from quartz countertops without damaging the surface. But prevention is always better to avoid stains and costly repairs.

How to Remove Dried Permanent Marker Stains from Quartz

Permanent marker stains that have dried and set on quartz countertops can be more stubborn to remove. But don’t despair, you can still get rid of them with some cleaning hacks. Here are the steps to remove dried permanent marker stains from quartz:

Prepare the Workspace

Clear and protect the area around the stain. Cover nearby surfaces with towels. Have some rags or sponges ready.

Try Nail Polish Remover

Use an acetone-based nail polish remover. Dip a cotton ball and gently dab on the stain. The acetone can break down the pigments.

Make a Baking Soda Paste

Mix 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda with a few drops of water to form a paste. Spread the paste on the stain and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. The baking soda will draw out the pigments.

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can also lift stubborn marker stains. Apply it directly or mix with baking soda into a paste. Let it dwell for 10 minutes before wiping.

Try a Stain Removal Poultice

Buy a stain removal poultice from a hardware store or make one with talc powder and hydrogen peroxide. Apply on the stain, cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight. This can pull deep set stains.

Use a Magic Eraser

Gently rub a magic eraser on the marker stain in a circular motion. The melamine foam can help lift the pigment without scratching quartz.

Sand and Re-polish

For very stubborn dried marker stains, some light sanding followed by re-polishing may be needed. Use fine grit sandpaper and polish to restore sheen.

With some cleaning elbow grease, you can get rid of dried permanent marker stains on quartz too. Be patient and use multiple treatments if needed. And consider sealants to make future stains easier to clean.

How to Prevent Permanent Marker Stains on Quartz

The saying “prevention is better than cure” holds true when it comes to avoiding permanent marker stains on quartz counters. Here are some handy tips to keep quartz surfaces pristine and marker-stain free:

  • Keep markers capped and stored away when not in use. Avoid leaving uncapped markers on the countertop.
  • Use marker mats or boards when working with kids using markers. This keeps potential stains confined to the mat.
  • Clean up any marker spills or leaks immediately with soap and water. Don’t let stains set.
  • Teach kids to use markers responsibly on appropriate surfaces, not Quartz counters. Supervise young kids.
  • Use sealants and coatings to make quartz surfaces more stain resistant. Reapply them periodically.
  • Place coasters under opaque mugs. Ink can transfer from mugs to Quartz.
  • Ensure quartz installers apply sealant properly to all edges and seams.
  • Avoid using abrasive pads or scrubbers to clean quartz. Use only soft cloths and sponges.

With some diligence and family cooperation, you can prevent permanent marker stains from marring the beauty of your quartz countertops.

How to Clean Quartz Countertops from Permanent Marker

Cleaning quartz counters after permanent marker stains requires using the right techniques and cleaners. Follow these do’s and don’ts:


  • Act quickly before stains set using soapy water or baking soda paste.
  • Use hydrogen peroxide, nail polish remover, or poultices for dried stains.
  • Rub gently with non-abrasive soft sponge or magic eraser.
  • Use a small amount of cleaner and keep surface wet while cleaning.
  • Rinse thoroughly after cleaning and buff dry with microfiber cloth.


  • Let stains sit overnight.
  • Use harsh chemicals like bleach, alkaline cleaners, or ammonia.
  • Use abrasive pads, brushes, or scrubs that can scratch quartz.
  • Apply excessive pressure while rubbing stains.
  • Leave any cleaning residue on the countertop.

Do Test First

Always try any cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not etch or discolor the quartz.

With some care and effort, permanent marker stains can be safely cleaned off quartz surfaces without causing damage. Consistent maintenance is key to keeping quartz counters looking pristine.

Does Sealing Quartz Countertops Prevent Permanent Marker Stains?

Sealing quartz countertops can provide an added layer of protection by making the surface more stain resistant. Sealing fills the microscopic pores in quartz, preventing stains from penetrating deeply.

However, sealers cannot make quartz totally stain proof. Markers contain staining agents that can still adhere to the surface. But sealing makes stains easier to clean before they set in.

Here are some benefits of sealing quartz counters:

  • Adds spill and stain resistance.
  • Allows stains to be cleaned more easily.
  • Reduces the need for frequent repolishing.
  • Makes routine cleaning easier.
  • Prevents buildup of dirt in crevices and pores.
  • Retains the glossy finish longer.
  • Protects against etching and dulling over time.

Sealing is recommended every 1-2 years for quartz counters. Use a high quality sealer designed specifically for quartz and stone surfaces. Make sure to apply it carefully according to manufacturer’s directions.

While sealing won’t make quartz immune to permanent marker stains, it adds worthwhile protection. But markers should still be used carefully around quartz surfaces.

Tips for Using Markers Around Quartz Countertops

To avoid permanent marker stains on quartz counters, keep these tips in mind:

  • Supervise young kids using markers and provide proper surfaces.
  • Use placemats, coasters or boards when using markers.
  • Store markers in a zip pouch or drawer when not in use.
  • Keep caps on markers when not writing or drawing.
  • Use water-based markers instead of permanent oil-based ones.
  • Clean up spills, leaks or drips promptly with soapy water.
  • Avoid using markers roughly or pressing hard on quartz.
  • Use sealants and reapply them every 1-2 years.
  • Teach kids and family marker safety around quartz counters.

With some care and precaution, it is possible to use markers without staining quartz surfaces. But permanent markers should still be handled with extra care around quartz.

Common Questions about Permanent Markers on Quartz

Can I use permanent markers on quartz at all?

Permanent markers are not recommended for use directly on quartz. If needed, use them briefly on placemats or boards. Promptly wipe any accidental marks using the cleaning methods discussed earlier.

What household items can remove permanent marker from quartz?

Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, acetone, and magic eraser are common household items that can safely tackle permanent marker stains on quartz. Avoid harsh chemicals.

How do I remove a permanent marker stain from a quartz countertop edge?

Use a small amount of baking soda paste or hydrogen peroxide on a cotton swab. Gently rub along the edge, wiping residue frequently with a damp microfiber cloth. Avoid excessive pressure.

Can nail polish remover damage my quartz countertop?

Acetone-based nail polish remover is generally safe on quartz if used sparingly on stains and wiped off promptly. But repeated heavy application directly on quartz can cause dulling.

Why won’t permanent marker stains come out of my quartz counters?

Deep set or aged stains can be harder to remove. Try repeating treatments with baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. For really stubborn stains, professional refinishing may be needed.


While permanent markers can stain quartz countertops, the stains can be removed with prompt cleaning using appropriate methods. The keys are acting quickly, using gentle but effective cleaners, and avoiding abrasives. Sealing quartz also adds worthwhile stain protection.

With responsible use of markers and proper care, it is possible to keep quartz counters free of permanent marker stains. But markers should always be used cautiously around quartz surfaces.