Can You Steam Quartz Countertops?

Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, proper cleaning and care is still required to keep them looking their best. Some homeowners may wonder if steaming is an effective cleaning method for quartz counters. Here is a detailed look at whether or not you can steam quartz countertops.

What is Quartz?

Before examining steaming, it helps to understand what quartz countertops are made of. Quartz counters are engineered stone slabs created from roughly 90% ground natural quartz crystals combined with polyresin binders and pigments. This combination results in a very hard, non-porous surface that resists scratches, stains, impact, heat, and other damage.

Compared to natural stone like granite, quartz offers a more consistent appearance and requires less ongoing sealing and maintenance. This makes it an appealing low-maintenance option for busy kitchens. However, quartz still requires proper care to prevent damage over time.

Is Steam Cleaning Safe for Quartz?

When it comes to effectively cleaning quartz counters without causing harm, steam cleaning receives mixed reviews. Here are some key considerations regarding using steam:

Temperature Concerns

One potential issue with steaming quartz is the high heat involved. Quartz can withstand temperatures up to 212°F before possible damage occurs. However, steam reaches much higher temperatures around 275°F – 300°F when pressure is added. This intense heat could potentially damage or discolor the resin binders in quartz.

Moisture Issues

Another concern is moisture penetration. While quartz itself is non-porous, the seams between slabs can be somewhat porous. Steam could penetrate these seams and get trapped underneath, leading to de-lamination or formation of molds/mildew.

Surface Damage Risks

Finally, there is a risk that the hot steam vapor blasting the quartz surface under pressure can slowly erode the glossy finish over time. This can gradually dull areas that are steamed repeatedly. The high heat and pressure may also loosen debris that could scratch the surface.

Manufacturer Warnings Against Steam

Most major quartz manufacturers including Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone clearly advise against using steam cleaners on their products. The risks of excessive heat, moisture, and surface damage leads most companies to prohibit steam cleaning in their warranty policies.

Cambria’s official care guide plainly states:

“Do not use steam cleaners on your Cambria surfaces. The use of steam cleaners will void your Cambria warranty.”

Likewise, Caesarstone has a similar warning:

“Never use steam cleaners or harsh chemicals not specifically designed for use on natural stone to clean Caesarstone surfaces. Using steam cleaners or harsh chemicals may void your warranty.”

So while steaming may seem like an effective cleaning technique, most quartz makers do not feel the risks are worth it.

Recommended Cleaning Methods

To safely clean quartz counters without risking damage, the experts recommend these gentler techniques:

  • Wipe daily with a soft damp microfiber cloth or sponge with warm water. For dirtier surfaces, use a mild soap diluted in the water.
  • For dried spills or stuck-on messes, use a non-abrasive cleaning pad with warm water and mild soap. Avoid scrubbing aggressively.
  • Disinfect periodically with a cleaner made specifically for quartz that contains bleach alternatives like hydrogen peroxide.
  • For polishing and added shine, use a specialty quartz polish product applied with a soft cloth.

Avoid abrasive cleaners, scrapes, or scouring pads that could scratch the surface. With proper daily and weekly cleaning habits, quartz countertops can stay looking like new for many years without the risks of steam cleaning.

Can You Steam Other Engineered Stone?

Similar warnings exist against steaming other engineered stone surfaces like granite, marble, and solid surfaces. The risks of damage due to heat, moisture, and pressure make steam unsuitable for most composite stone materials.

However, one potential exception is porcelain. Porcelain slabs are generally dense and non-porous enough to withstand steam. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s care guide to confirm if steaming porcelain counters is approved or not.

Key Takeaways on Steaming Quartz

To summarize the key points on whether quartz countertops can be steam cleaned:

  • The high heat and pressure of steam can potentially damage quartz resin binders.
  • Trapped moisture from steam can lead to de-lamination and mildew growth.
  • Repeated steaming may gradually dull and erode the surface over time.
  • Major quartz manufacturers strongly advise against using steam cleaners.
  • Warm water, mild soap, soft clothes, and specialized cleaners are safer options.
  • Other engineered stone surfaces also carry risks if steamed.

While steaming may seem convenient, the potential risks make it an improper cleaning method for most quartz countertops. To keep quartz counters looking like new for many years, follow the manufacturer’s recommended care and cleaning practices.

Frequently Asked Questions About Steaming Quartz

Can I use a handheld clothes steamer on my quartz countertop?

No, you should not use a handheld garment steamer on quartz counters. While not as hot and forceful as an electric steam cleaner, handheld steamers still reach temperatures above what quartz can handle and may damage the surface over time.

What if I’ve already steamed my quartz counters?

If you’ve steamed quartz surfaces, carefully inspect for any signs of damage like discoloration, dull spots, or separated seams. Discontinue steaming immediately and only use the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning methods moving forward. If damage exists, contact a professional for repair options.

Is it safe to steam quartz shower walls and backsplashes?

No, the same risks apply to quartz used on shower walls. The manufacturers prohibit steaming any quartz surfaces, including vertical installations. Use a soft cloth with warm water and mild detergent for safe cleaning instead.

Can I steam other quartz surfaces like floors or tile?

Quartz tile contains the same material composition as slab counters, so the same precautions apply. Do not use steam cleaners on quartz tile floors or wall tiles. Follow the tile maker’s instructions using only recommended cleaners.

What about using steam in areas near my quartz counters?

Avoid directing steam cleaners too close to quartz countertops from other surfaces. The indirect heat and moisture could potentially damage edges or seams over time. Keep steam focused only on appropriate steam-safe areas.


Quartz offers gorgeous, low-maintenance countertops, but steaming is not among the recommended cleaning methods. To avoid permanent damage, follow the manufacturer’s care guidelines and use only non-abrasive cleaners and soft materials when cleaning quartz surfaces. With proper daily and weekly cleaning habits, quartz countertops will retain their beauty for many years without requiring risky steam cleaning. Handle quartz counters with care and rely on safer cleaning techniques to keep them looking like new.