Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom surfaces due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any countertop material, quartz can show signs of wear over time. Using the right cleaning products is key to keeping quartz looking like new. One product that often comes up in discussions of cleaning quartz is Bar Keepers Friend. Here is a detailed look at whether Bar Keepers Friend is safe to use on quartz countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The result is a non-porous, highly durable surface that resists scratches, stains, and heat.
Some key features of quartz countertops:
- Made from 90-94% ground quartz bound together with resin
- Non-porous so resists staining
- Extremely hard and durable surface
- Available in a wide range of colors and patterns
- Requires very little maintenance
- Resists scratches and burns better than granite
- Does not require annual sealing like natural stone
Quartz offers an attractive, low-maintenance alternative to granite and marble for countertops. However, it must still be cared for properly to maintain its beauty.
What is Bar Keepers Friend?
Bar Keepers Friend is a household cleaning product designed to clean a variety of surfaces including stainless steel, ceramic, porcelain, copper, and more. It contains oxalic acid along with abrasives to help remove tarnish, mineral deposits, rust, and other stubborn stains from hard surfaces.
Key facts about Bar Keepers Friend:
- Comes as a powder or liquid formula
- Contains oxalic acid and abrasives
- Creates a chemical reaction when combined with water to lift stains
- Safe for many surfaces but can damage some materials
- Often used for cleaning stainless steel and porcelain
While Bar Keepers Friend works well on many surfaces, its abrasive formula means it is not suitable for all countertop materials and finishes.
Can You Use Bar Keepers Friend on Quartz Countertops?
The short answer is yes, Bar Keepers Friend can generally be used safely on quartz countertops. However, there are a few important caveats:
Use the powder formula only – The liquid formula contains bleach which should not be used on quartz. Stick to the powder formula without bleach.
Use a non-abrasive sponge or cloth – Although quartz is highly scratch-resistant, you don’t want to risk micro-scratches by using an abrasive sponge or scrubber. Use a soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge.
Spot clean only – Only use Bar Keepers Friend on isolated stains and spots. Don’t use it to clean the entire quartz surface which could lead to a polished look in cleaned areas.
Rinse thoroughly – After cleaning with Bar Keepers Friend, rinse the quartz thoroughly with clean water to remove any residue. Residue could damage the finish over time.
Avoid rough quartz finishes – On quartz with a textured or rough finish, even the powder formula may be too abrasive and lead to gradual damage. Use caution or avoid it altogether on rough finishes.
Test first – As always, test Bar Keepers Friend in an inconspicuous spot first to check for any adverse effects before cleaning a visible area of the countertop.
Use as needed only – Don’t overuse Bar Keepers Friend or use it for daily cleaning. It should only be used as needed for stubborn stains.
How to Use Bar Keepers Friend on Quartz
If using Bar Keepers Friend on quartz countertops, follow these steps:
- Before starting, make sure the countertop has been recently cleaned with soap and water. Remove any loose debris or dirt.
- Shake the powder formula to mix it up before using.
- Apply a small amount of the powder directly onto a dampened soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge.
- Gently rub the stained area using small circular motions. Avoid pressing too hard.
- Let the product sit for 2-3 minutes before rinsing to allow time for the chemicals to work.
- Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water to remove all powder residue.
- Dry the area with a soft towel and check that the stain has lifted. Repeat as needed for stubborn stains.
- Once done, wash the countertop with a quartz-safe cleaner and water to remove any remaining residue.
- Finally, buff the area dry with a soft microfiber cloth.
By following these steps, you can safely use Bar Keepers Friend powder to remove isolated stains and discoloration from quartz countertops without damaging the surface.
Safer Alternatives for Cleaning Quartz
While Bar Keepers Friend can be used on quartz in a pinch, it is generally better to stick to cleaners specifically formulated for quartz and natural stone. Some good options include:
- Mild dish soap – Diluted dish soap is a simple daily quartz cleaner.
- Stone soap – Specialty soaps designed for natural stone and quartz provide gentle cleaning.
- Hydrogen peroxide – Helps whiten quartz and remove some stains without abrasives.
- Baking soda – A non-abrasive scrub for quartz made of just baking soda and water.
- Glass cleaner – For shining and streak-free cleaning of quartz surfaces.
Always check the quartz manufacturer’s care instructions for their recommended cleaners and avoid products containing lemon, vinegar, or abrasives. With routine gentle cleaning, quartz countertops will retain their beauty for many years.
Frequently Asked Questions about Using Bar Keepers Friend on Quartz Countertops
Can I use Bar Keepers Friend daily to clean my quartz countertops?
No, Bar Keepers Friend should only be used occasionally as needed to treat stubborn stains and discoloration. Daily cleaning of quartz should be done with mild soap and water or a specially formulated quartz cleaner.
What happens if I use the liquid Bar Keepers Friend formula on my quartz?
The liquid formula contains bleach, which can damage and discolor quartz surfaces. Only the powder formula should be used. Test first.
Is it okay to use Bar Keepers Friend on polished or rough quartz finishes?
Use caution with rough quartz finishes, as even the powder can damage some textured surfaces over time. It’s safest to use Bar Keepers Friend only on polished quartz.
Can I use Bar Keepers Friend on engineered marble quartz countertops?
Yes, the same precautions apply. Bar Keepers Friend powder can be used sparingly on engineered marble quartz. Avoid over-scrubbing textured areas.
Will Bar Keepers Friend remove hard water stains from my quartz countertop?
It can help remove some hard water staining and mineral deposits. For best results, pre-treat dried water spots with lemon juice before gently scrubbing with Bar Keepers Friend powder.
Although quartz countertops are incredibly durable, stains and marks can still occur that require the cleaning power of Bar Keepers Friend. When used correctly and in moderation, Bar Keepers Friend powder can safely tackle stubborn spots on quartz surfaces. Just be sure to dilute it, follow manufacturer instructions, and thoroughly rinse after use. For routine maintenance cleaning, stick to mild detergents or cleaners specifically formulated for quartz and natural stone. With the proper care, your beautiful quartz countertops will stay looking like new for many years.