Quartz countertops are popular in many homes today thanks to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz counters still require occasional cleaning to keep them looking pristine. Some homeowners wonder if bleach can be used safely on quartz. Here is a detailed look at whether bleach can be used on quartz counters.
What is Quartz?
Quartz counters are engineered stone made from roughly 90% ground natural quartz blended with polyresin adhesives and pigments. The result is a durable, non-porous surface that resists scratches, stains, and heat.
Quartz is an ideal choice for busy kitchens and baths because it is:
- Highly durable and scratch resistant
- Non-porous so it won’t harbor bacteria
- Resistant to stains and etching
- Heat tolerant
- Available in a wide range of colors and patterns
Is it Safe to Use Bleach on Quartz Counters?
The short answer is no, bleach should not be used to clean quartz counters. Here’s why:
Bleach Can Discolor Quartz
While quartz counters are stain-resistant, they are not entirely stain-proof. Prolonged exposure to harsh chemicals like bleach can cause discoloration of the surface over time.
Quartz contains colored resin in the stone mix. These added pigments give quartz its beautiful array of color options. However, the resin is not impervious to the oxidizing effects of bleach.
With repeated exposure, bleach could lighten or spot the quartz surface leading to an uneven appearance.
Bleach is Too Harsh for Routine Cleaning
Bleach is a powerful cleaner intended for sanitizing and removing stubborn stains. However, quartz countertops do not require such an aggressive cleanser for regular maintenance.
In fact, the manufacturer recommendations for most quartz products specifically advise against using bleach or any cleaners containing chlorine. They caution that bleach can degrade the surface shine.
Using overly-harsh cleaners like bleach frequently is simply unnecessary for quartz care. A mild soap and water is all that is needed for day-to-day cleaning.
It May Damage the Sealant
Many quartz slabs are treated with a protective sealant by the manufacturer. This water-based sealant helps inhibit stains and damage.
However, bleach and other harsh chemicals can break down sealants with repeated use. This leaves the quartz vulnerable to staining and etching over time.
Since re-applying sealant requires a trained technician, it’s best to avoid cleaners that can degrade the protective layer.
Best Practices for Cleaning Quartz Countertops
While bleach is too harsh for quartz, these counters are very simple to keep clean:
- For routine cleaning: Use a soft sponge or cloth with warm water and mild soap. Avoid abrasive cleansers or scrubbing pads.
- For dried spills: Spray with an all-purpose cleaner or non-bleach disinfectant. Wipe with circular motions and rinse.
- For stains: Apply a paste of baking soda and water. Let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing. For stubborn stains, use a non-bleach cleaner designed for stone.
- For shine: Buff occasionally with a soft cloth and stone polish formulated for quartz.
Always blot spills quickly to prevent discoloration or etching. Avoid placing hot pans directly on the surface. Use a cutting board for food prep.
With proper care, your beautiful quartz counters will stay looking like new for many years. Avoiding harsh chemicals like bleach is key to maintaining their flawless appearance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Using Bleach on Quartz
Can I use just a little bleach to clean my quartz?
No, even small amounts of bleach over time can cause discoloration. It’s best to avoid bleach entirely and use a gentler quartz-safe cleaner.
What if I already used bleach on my counters?
If you’ve only used bleach once or twice, a thorough cleaning with a quartz polish should remove any residue. But if you notice light spots or discoloration, call a pro. Harsh chemicals may have damaged the sealant.
Is it ok to use bleach products like Soft Scrub with bleach?
No, you should avoid any cleansers containing bleach or chlorine compounds, even in small amounts. Use a non-abrasive cleaner specifically formulated to be safe for quartz.
Can I mix bleach and water to sanitize my counters?
Bleach solutions are too risky for quartz. Opt for a disinfecting stone cleaner or rubbing alcohol to safely sanitize without bleach. Avoid harsh mixing chemicals.
What about using bleach on quartz tiles or floors?
Bleach should be avoided on all quartz surfaces, including tiles and flooring. Use a pH-neutral floor cleaner instead. Bleach can dull, etch, or discolor quartz tile grout over time.
The Bottom Line
While quartz counters are pretty impervious, bleaches and harsh cleansers can jeopardize their flawless finish. Skipping the bleach helps ensure your quartz countertops remain beautiful for many years. For routine cleaning, mild soap and water is all that is needed to keep quartz counters looking like new. With proper care, quartz is a durable, stain-resistant, and low-maintenance option that can handle busy kitchens. Just say no to bleach!