Quartz countertops are an incredibly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their beauty, durability, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can suffer from sticky spills and residue that need to be cleaned off. A common question homeowners have is whether harsh chemical cleaners like Goof Off can be safely used on quartz. Here is a detailed look at using Goof Off on quartz countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and pigments. The resins bind the quartz together to form a durable, non-porous surface that resists scratches, stains, and heat.
Some key features of quartz:
- Extremely durable and scratch-resistant surface
- Non-porous so resists stains
- Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns
- Low maintenance compared to natural stone
- Resists chips and cracks better than natural stone
- Not heat sensitive like natural stone countertops
Understanding the composition of quartz will help understand the best cleaning approach.
Is Goof Off Safe for Quartz?
Goof Off is a powerful chemical cleaner designed to remove things like gum, glue, stickers, grease, wax, and oil stains. The active ingredients in Goof Off products are solvents like xylene, acetone, methyl acetate, and petroleum distillates.
The short answer is no, Goof Off should never be used to clean quartz countertops. The harsh chemicals can damage the resin binders and etch or discolor the quartz surface. Quartz is stain-resistant, but not 100% stain-proof when exposed to strong chemicals.
Recommended Quartz Cleaning Products
While Goof Off is too harsh for quartz, there are many cleaning products specifically designed for engineered stone:
- Mild soap and water – For daily cleaning, plain soap and water is all that is needed. Dish soap works well.
- pH-neutral stone cleaner – Look for a cleaner made for quartz and other engineered stones. Popular brands like Method and Granite Gold make quartz-safe cleaners.
- Disinfecting cleaners – For a deeper clean, look for disinfectants like Lysol that are safe for quartz. Check the label.
- Baking soda – Make a paste with baking soda and water to gently scrub stains. Rinse well.
- Hydrogen peroxide – Diluted hydrogen peroxide can disinfect and whiten quartz.
- Glass cleaner – For polishing and shine, use a vinegar or ammonia-free glass cleaner. Avoid products with dyes.
Always rinse surfaces thoroughly with clean water after cleaning quartz. Check the manufacturer’s care guide for their recommended products.
How to Remove Tough Stains from Quartz
Here are some tips for removing stubborn stains from quartz countertops without damaging the surface:
Oils, Grease, Food Stains: Use a baking soda paste and scrub gently with a soft cloth or brush. Rinse and dry thoroughly. For stuck-on food, soak the area with hot water to loosen before scrubbing.
Liquid Stains: Blot up the spill immediately. Flush the area with hot water and dish soap and scrub gently if needed. Avoid abrasive scouring pads.
Dried Spills: Heat up a damp cloth in the microwave for 30-60 seconds until very warm but not scalding. Place the heated cloth over the dried spill to loosen and lift. Repeat heating and scrubbing if needed.
Mild Stains: Use a pH-balanced quartz cleaner and scrub with a soft brush or Scotch-Brite pad. Rinse thoroughly. For white quartz, try diluted hydrogen peroxide.
Etch Marks: Use a polish made specifically for quartz to remove light etching. Rub in circular motions. Avoid polishes with abrasives. Re-seal and buff surface afterwards.
For severe stains that don’t respond to cleaning, call in a professional stone restoration company. Harsh DIY methods can permanently damage quartz.
Maintaining Your Quartz Countertops
With proper care, quartz countertops will stay looking like new for many years:
- Wipe up spills quickly to prevent stains setting in.
- Use trivets, mats and cutting boards to protect from scratches and burns.
- Clean frequently with mild soap and water.
- Disinfect occasionally with a quartz-safe cleaner.
- Avoid exposing to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners etc.
- Re-seal quartz every 1-2 years with a stone sealer.
- Don’t place hot pans directly on quartz surfaces.
Can You Use Goof Off on Other Counter Surfaces?
- Solid surface – Safe to use if diluted
- Laminate – Test on small area first
- Granite – Avoid as it can etch natural stone
- Marble – Avoid at all costs as it will damage marble
- Wood – Not recommended as it can damage finish
- Stainless steel – Diluted use is okay – avoid abrasives
Always check the care instructions for your specific countertop materials before using any harsh chemical cleaners. When in doubt, stick to milder cleaners to be safe.
Quartz countertops are lovely and durable, but also sensitive to harsh chemicals. Avoid using Goof Off and other solvent-based cleaners, as they can damage and discolor the quartz. For routine cleaning, mild soap and water is best. For stubborn stains, use a specially formulated quartz cleaner and some elbow grease. With proper care, quartz countertops will stay looking pristine for many years.