Cleaning and caring for quartz countertops properly is key to keeping them looking their best. Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural stone particles and resins that create a durable, low-maintenance countertop. While quartz stands up well to daily wear and tear, using the wrong cleaners can damage the surface. So, can you use bleach on quartz countertops?
Should You Use Bleach on Quartz Countertops?
Overall, bleach is not recommended for routine cleaning of quartz countertops. The reason is that the harsh chemicals in bleach can degrade the resin binders that give quartz its durability. Over time, repeated use of bleach can cause quartz to lose its shine and smooth surface texture.
However, periodic use of diluted bleach can be safe when done properly. If you need to disinfect your quartz surface or remove stubborn stains, using a mild bleach solution may be effective as long as you follow these precautions:
- Dilute bleach: Only use bleach solutions with a 5-10% strength. Higher concentrations increase the risk of damage.
- Spot clean: Apply diluted bleach directly to the stained/dirty area with a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid wiping the entire surface.
- Rinse thoroughly: Rinse twice with clean water after bleaching to remove all chemical residue.
- Use infrequently: Limit bleach use on quartz to once or twice a month maximum. More frequent use increases damage risk.
- Never combine with other cleaners: Only use bleach on its own, not in conjunction with other acidic or alkaline cleaners.
Best Cleaners for Quartz Countertops
Since bleach has the potential to harm quartz over time, it’s best to rely on gentler cleaners for routine maintenance. Here are the best options:
Mild Soap and Water
For day-to-day cleaning, plain warm water and mild dish soap easily remove most dirt and grime from quartz. Use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth when washing. Avoid abrasive scouring pads.
PH-Neutral Stone Cleaners
Look for stone cleaners specifically formulated to be pH neutral. These won’t degrade the resins or etch quartz. Popular brands include Method Daily Granite & Stone Cleaner and Granite Gold Daily Cleaner.
A hydrogen peroxide solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts water can disinfect quartz without the risks of bleach. Wipe on and rinse thoroughly after 5 minutes.
Baking Soda and Water Paste
For scrubbing away grease, grime buildup, use a paste of baking soda and water. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that clears away messes without scratching.
Proper Care Prevents the Need for Bleach
With the right maintenance strategy, you can keep your quartz spotless without having to resort to harsh bleaches. Here are some tips:
- Clean spills immediately to prevent stains.
- Seal quartz every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer. This makes cleaning easier.
- Avoid putting hot pans directly on quartz. Use trivets and hot pads.
- Don’t let grease or food residues linger. Clean cooktops and backsplashes daily.
- Use cutting boards instead of cutting directly on quartz.
By taking proper care of quartz and cleaning with gentler products, you can safely keep your countertops looking like new for years without bleach. Only use diluted bleach for occasional disinfecting and stubborn stains, not as an everyday quartz cleaner.
Frequently Asked Questions About Using Bleach on Quartz Countertops
Can I use bleach wipes on my quartz countertops?
No, you should avoid using bleach wipes, even disinfecting wipes, on quartz countertops. The prolonged exposure to bleach from wipes can cause discoloration and degradation over time.
What ratio of bleach to water is safe for quartz?
A 5-10% bleach solution, or about 1 part bleach to 10-20 parts water, is recommended for quartz. Test on an inconspicuous spot first and rinse thoroughly after 5 minutes.
Is it okay to mix bleach and vinegar to clean quartz?
Never mix bleach and vinegar. This combination creates chlorine gas, which is toxic and can damage lungs. Always use bleach separately from other cleaners.
Can I put bleach directly on quartz to remove stains?
No, bleach should be diluted before putting it on quartz. Full strength bleach can take off the shine and etch the surface. Always dilute with water first.
How can I get bleach stains out of my quartz countertop?
If you notice discoloration from concentrated bleach, spray the area with hydrogen peroxide and let sit 15 minutes before rinsing. This may help remove some bleaching damage.
While bleach has effective disinfecting and stain-removing abilities, its downsides make it a risky choice for routine quartz care. Diluted bleach should only be used occasionally and with great care on quartz surfaces. For day-to-day cleaning, rely on gentler options like PH-neutral stone cleaners, baking soda, mild dish soap, and hydrogen peroxide. With the proper maintenance strategy, you can keep your beautiful quartz countertops spotless without needing harsh bleach.