What is CLR?
CLR (Calcium, Lime, and Rust remover) is a common household cleaner made by Jelmar. It uses lactic acid and gluconic acid to break down and dissolve mineral deposits, soap scum, hard water stains, rust stains, and other tough buildup. CLR comes in various formulations – original, bathroom and kitchen, outdoor, etc.
CLR is an effective cleaner for many surfaces, such as tile, grout, sinks, tubs, glass, stainless steel, and more. However, it is important to check if CLR is safe for your specific material. Acid-based cleaners like CLR should be used with caution on stone, metal, and other surfaces that can be damaged by acids.
Is CLR Safe for Quartz?
The short answer is no, CLR is generally not recommended for use on quartz countertops. While it is an effective cleaner, the acidic formula of CLR can damage the resin binders used in quartz. Using CLR repeatedly over time can etch and corrode the surface.
Most quartz manufacturers strongly advise against using CLR or other acidic cleaners on quartz counters. Products containing lemon, vinegar, or other acids are also not recommended. The resin binders that hold quartz together are susceptible to acidic breakdown.
Best Cleaners for Quartz Countertops
While CLR is convenient for removing stubborn stains, it’s best to stick to cleaners specifically designed for quartz. Here are some better options:
- Mild soap and water – For day-to-day cleaning, plain soap and water is often sufficient to keep quartz counters clean. Use a soft sponge or cloth.
- Quartz cleaner – Many companies like Cambria, Silestone and Caesarstone make their own branded quartz cleaners. These are safe, effective choices.
- Glass cleaner – For shiny polished quartz, a non-abrasive glass/surface cleaner works well and contains no acids.
- Hydrogen peroxide – A mild hydrogen peroxide solution helps remove stains without damaging the quartz. Always test first.
- Baking soda – Make a paste of baking soda and water to gently scrub away residue. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
Tips for Keeping Quartz Clean
Regular cleaning and proper care keeps quartz looking like new for many years:
- Wipe up spills quickly to prevent stains setting in.
- Clean with a soft, damp microfiber cloth. Avoid abrasive pads.
- Use a cutting board instead of cutting directly on the counter.
- Don’t let oils, wine or other liquids soak into the surface.
- Avoid harsh chemicals and acidic cleaners.
- Consider a yearly professional deep cleaning.
Can You Use CLR on Other Countertop Materials?
- Solid surface (Corian): Yes, CLR is safe for solid surface counters. Start with a diluted solution.
- Granite: Use CLR very sparingly and carefully on granite, as acids can etch and damage the surface over time. Spot test first.
- Marble: No, marble is very prone to acid etching and damage, even from mild cleaners like CLR. Use only marble-safe products.
- Tile/Grout: Yes, CLR can be used to effectively remove soap scum, hard water deposits and stains from tile and grout.
- Stainless steel: CLR is safe for stainless steel sinks and appliances, just be sure to rinse thoroughly after use.
While CLR is an effective cleaner for many household surfaces, it should be avoided for quartz countertops. The acidic formula can deteriorate the resin used to bind quartz particles together. Instead, use a specially formulated quartz cleaner or mild, non-abrasive cleaners to keep your quartz counters pristine. With regular care and cleaning, quartz maintains its beauty for many years. Avoiding harsh chemicals like CLR prevents costly damage.
Frequently Asked Questions About Using CLR on Quartz Countertops
Can I use CLR to remove stubborn stains from my quartz counters?
No, you should never use CLR on quartz counters. The acids in CLR will damage the resin binders in the quartz. Use a cleaner specifically formulated for quartz instead.
What happens if I accidentally used CLR on my quartz?
If CLR was used accidentally once, immediately rinse thoroughly with water. Do not use CLR again. Over time, repeated use of CLR can pit, corrode and ruin quartz surfaces.
Is it okay to use CLR on just a small area of quartz?
No, CLR and other acids should never be used on any part of quartz counters. Just a small application can start breaking down the resin.
Can I mix CLR with water to dilute it before using on quartz?
No, diluting CLR will not make it safe for quartz. Even diluted, the acidic formula can still damage and etch the quartz over repeat applications.
I need to remove rust stains from my quartz sink. Is CLR okay for that?
CLR is effective for rust removal, but should still be avoided on quartz. Use a rust remover specifically formulated as quartz-safe instead. Or try baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
Can You Use CLR on Quartz Countertops?
Using Calcium, Lime, and Rust (CLR) cleaner on quartz countertops is not typically recommended. Quartz contains polymer resins that bind the quartz crystals together. CLR and other acidic cleaners can break down those resins, damaging the structural integrity of the countertop over time.
What is CLR?
CLR is a common household cleaning product made by Jelmar. It contains lactic acid and gluconic acid to help dissolve mineral deposits, soap scum, hard water buildup, and other stains.
CLR comes in various formulations, including:
- Original CLR
- CLR Bathroom and Kitchen
- CLR Outdoor
- CLR Calcium, Lime, and Oxidation Spot Remover
While effective on many surfaces, CLR and similar acid-based cleaners should be used cautiously. Acid can damage or etch surfaces like natural stone, metal, and quartz over repeat exposure.
Why CLR is Not Ideal for Quartz
Most manufacturers advise against using CLR or other acidic cleaners on quartz for a few important reasons:
Damages the resin – Quartz countertops are made from roughly 90% ground quartz crystals blended with polymer resins that act as a binding agent. Acidic cleaners like CLR break down those resins over time.
Etching and corrosion – Repeated use of CLR can cause etching and pits to form on the surface as the acids eat away at the resin binders. This damage is permanent.
Voids the warranty – Using harsh chemicals like CLR or bleach often voids the manufacturer’s warranty for quartz counters.
Alters the appearance – CLR can alter the smooth, glossy look of quartz, making the surface appear corroded or rough.
Recommended Cleaners for Quartz
To safely clean quartz and avoid damage, use these mild cleaner options instead of CLR:
- Warm water and mild dish soap
- Quartz-specific cleaners (made by Caesarstone, Silestone, Cambria, etc)
- Non-abrasive glass and surface cleaners
- Diluted hydrogen peroxide (spot test first)
- Baking soda paste
Vinegar, lemon juice, and other acids should also be avoided. Always rinse thoroughly after cleaning. Blot spills quickly to prevent stains from setting.
Keeping Quartz Countertops in Good Condition
- Wipe up spills immediately
- Use cutting boards, don’t cut directly on quartz
- Clean with soft, non-abrasive cloths only
- Avoid exposing quartz to oils, dyes, and liquids for prolonged periods
- Consider an annual professional deep cleaning
Can CLR Be Used on Other Countertop Materials?
CLR can be used carefully on some materials like:
- Tile and grout
- Stainless steel
- Solid surface (Corian)
However, CLR should be avoided on surfaces like:
- Butcher block
Always spot test CLR on an inconspicuous area first before widespread use.
While CLR is an effective cleaner for many surfaces, it should be avoided on quartz countertops. The acids in CLR will damage the resin binders in quartz over time, leading to permanent etching and erosion of the surface. To safely clean quartz, use a specially formulated quartz cleaner or a mild, non-abrasive cleaner instead. This prevents costly damage and keeps your quartz counters looking pristine for years.
Frequently Asked Questions about CLR and Quartz
Is it okay to use a small amount of CLR to remove a stubborn stain on quartz?
No, CLR should never be used on quartz counters, even for spot cleaning. The acids will damage the resin binders. Use a quartz-safe stain remover instead.
What happens if I accidentally got some CLR on my quartz counter?
Immediately rinse the area thoroughly with water to dilute the CLR. Do not use CLR again in the future. While a one-time exposure may not cause noticeable damage, repeated use will ruin the quartz over time.
Can I mix CLR with water to make it safer to use on quartz?
Diluting CLR does not make it safe for use on quartz. Even mixed with water, the acidic chemicals can still etch and eat away at quartz resin with repeated use. Avoid CLR entirely.
Is CLR okay for just removing water spots on quartz?
No, CLR should never be used on quartz, even for something like water spot removal. Use a quartz-specific cleaner instead that is designed to remove spots safely.
Can CLR be used on a quartz sink or quartz tile?
CLR should be avoided on any quartz surface, including sinks, counters, tiles, vanities, etc. The acid in CLR will gradually damage the resin binder and corrode quartz surfaces.
Quartz countertops are susceptible to damage from harsh, acidic cleaners like CLR. The best practice is to avoid CLR entirely and instead use specialty quartz cleaners or mild soaps and detergents. This prevents the acids in CLR from eroding the resin binders that hold quartz together. Following the manufacturer’s care recommendations avoids permanent etching or corrosion. With proper cleaning methods, quartz countertops can stay looking pristine for many years.