Can You Use Baking Soda to Clean Quartz Countertops?

Quartz countertops are popular in many homes today due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, they still require regular cleaning to keep them looking their best. Some people wonder if baking soda can be used to clean quartz countertops. Here is a detailed look at using baking soda to clean quartz countertops.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-94%. The rest consists of polymer resins that bind the material together.

The combination creates a hard, non-porous surface that is resistant to scratches, stains, heat, and moisture. It does not require sealing like natural stone. The variety of colors and patterns available mimic looks of granite, marble, and other stones.

Benefits of Using Baking Soda on Quartz

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a mild alkali that can provide some benefits when cleaning quartz counters:

  • Gentle abrasive action: The fine gritty texture of baking soda can help lightly scrub surfaces without scratching. This helps remove some dirt and residues.
  • Deodorizing abilities: Baking soda is known to absorb odors. It can help freshen countertops.
  • Removes some stains: Baking soda can lift some staining from foods, drinks, and other sources thanks to its mild abrasiveness and alkaline properties.
  • Safe for surfaces: Baking soda is a soft, non-toxic substance that will not harm quartz.

How to Clean Quartz Countertops with Baking Soda

Here is a simple process for cleaning quartz with baking soda:

  1. Remove all debris, crumbs, and dirt from the countertop. Wipe down with a damp microfiber cloth.
  2. Make a paste by mixing a couple tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable paste.
  3. Apply the paste to areas of the countertop you wish to clean. Use a soft cloth, sponge, or scrub brush to gently rub the paste over the surface.
  4. Let the paste sit for several minutes to allow the baking soda to work. Then rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  5. Dry the countertop with a clean towel. Buff with a microfiber cloth to restore shine.

Tips for Best Results

  • Stick to a couple tablespoons of baking soda at a time. Don’t overapply.
  • Add a drop of mild dish soap to the paste for extra cleaning power.
  • Target any stubborn stains by letting the paste sit on them for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing.
  • Use a soft bristle toothbrush for working into crevices and seams in a scrubbing motion.
  • Avoid excessive scrubbing pressure to prevent damaging the quartz. The baking soda does the work.
  • For a deodorizing boost, sprinkle baking soda directly on the countertop. Let sit overnight, then wipe clean in the morning.

What Not to Use on Quartz Countertops

Despite being durable, quartz counters have some limitations with certain cleaners and substances:

✘ No abrasive scouring pads or powders

✘ No acidic or alkaline cleaners (vinegar, bleach, ammonia)

✘ No harsh degreasers or solvents

✘ Avoid getting strong chemicals like paint removers on the surface

✘ No wax or sealants should be applied

Always refer to your countertop manufacturer’s care guidelines for approved cleaning methods. Harsh cleaners and improper practices can eat away at the finish or cause etching.

Alternative Cleaning Options

Baking soda is just one option for cleaning quartz counters without damage. Here are some other good choices:

  • Mild dish soap – Great for cleaning grease, food spills, and typical dirt and debris accumulation.
  • pH-neutral stone cleaner – Specialty cleaners formulated just for engineered stone surfaces provide effective cleaning without etching or dulling.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – The bubbling effect helps lift stains. Follow with a rinse and dry.
  • Glass cleaner – Removes some stains like wine and juice residues. Contains ammonia so rinse surfaces thoroughly after use.

Maintaining Your Quartz Countertops

Follow these tips to keep quartz counters clean and prevent extensive scrubbing:

  • Wipe up spills right away to prevent stains from setting.
  • Clean counters at least once a week with a mild soap and water.
  • Use trivets and cutting boards to protect from hot pans and food prep.
  • Reseal seam areas every 1-2 years with color-matched caulk.
  • Avoid exposing counters to strong chemicals.
  • Consider professional quartz cleaning services for a deep clean every 3-5 years.

The Bottom Line

Baking soda is a handy item to keep in your cleaning toolkit for occasional use on quartz surfaces. Combined with gentle scrubbing, it can remove some stains and odors without damage. However, frequent or harsh scrubbing with any abrasive substance could eventually erode the finish. For best results, minimize abrasive cleaning and use baking soda just for occasional targeted cleaning for your quartz countertops.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertops with Baking Soda

Can baking soda scratch my quartz countertop?

Baking soda is soft and crumbly, so it does not pose a significant scratch risk on quartz. When used properly with gentle pressure, baking soda can safely clean quartz without scratching or damaging the durable surface. Avoid rubbing aggressively or using with abrasive scrubbers.

What’s the best way to apply baking soda to clean quartz?

Make a paste by mixing 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda with water. Spread the paste onto the areas needing cleaning. Let sit for several minutes before wiping clean. The paste allows extended contact time for the baking soda to work.

How often should I clean quartz counters with baking soda?

Regular cleaning with baking soda should not be needed. The maximum recommended frequency is once per week for maintenance cleaning. Over-cleaning with baking soda risks wearing away the finish over time. Use baking soda paste occasionally for spot cleaning stains.

Is baking soda alone strong enough to clean tough stains?

For some stubborn stains, baking soda alone may not be enough. Try adding a couple drops of mild dish soap to the paste for extra cleaning power on greasy stains. For really tough stains, a specialty quartz cleaner or hydrogen peroxide may be more effective than baking soda.

Does baking soda disinfect quartz countertops?

Baking soda alone does not provide significant disinfecting properties. While it has light deodorizing abilities, baking soda does not effectively kill germs or sanitize surfaces. For occasional disinfecting, use an EPA-registered quartz-safe sanitizing spray.

Can I use baking soda and vinegar to clean quartz counters?

No, avoid mixing baking soda and vinegar. While fine separately, the chemical reaction created when combining baking soda and vinegar can aggressively bubble and fizz on the countertop surface. This risks damaging the quartz.

What should I avoid putting on quartz countertops?

Avoid abrasive cleaners, acidic substances like vinegar, alkalines like bleach, harsh degreasers, wax, sealants, and solvents. Only use cleaners specifically formulated as quartz-safe to prevent etching, discoloration, and other damage to the surface.

Does quartz need to be sealed like natural stone?

No, quartz does not require regular sealing. The resin binding makes quartz non-porous, so sealing is not necessary. In fact, sealants could create buildup on quartz that attracts more grime. Simply cleaning quartz with mild soap and water is all that is needed for routine maintenance.

In Conclusion

Baking soda can be used occasionally to clean quartz countertops gently without damage. Its mild abrasive texture helps lift some grime and stains when used properly. However, baking soda should not replace regular stone-safe cleaners. Avoid harsh scrubbing and over-frequent baking soda cleaning to prevent long-term erosion of the finish. When used sparingly, baking soda can be a handy supplement to gently clean and freshen quartz countertops.