Vinegar is often touted as a natural, non-toxic cleaning solution. Its acidic properties make it great for dissolving dirt, grime, and hard water deposits. But is it safe for your quartz countertops? Here’s what you need to know about using vinegar on quartz.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from crushed quartz combined with resins and pigments. The result is a durable, non-porous surface that resists stains, scratches, and heat better than natural stone.
Unlike granite or marble, quartz doesn’t need to be sealed. The resin binds the crushed stone together so liquids don’t penetrate the surface. However, quartz can still suffer etching and dulling over time from acidic substances.
Is Vinegar Safe for Quartz?
Most quartz manufacturers say mild acids like vinegar are fine for cleaning. However, vinegar should be diluted and only used for short periods. Undiluted vinegar and prolonged exposure can damage the finish and cause etching.
Here are a few tips for safely using vinegar on quartz:
- Dilute vinegar by mixing 1 part vinegar with 3-4 parts water. Never use vinegar undiluted.
- Limit cleaning to a small area and wipe off within 5 minutes. Don’t let vinegar sit.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.
- Don’t use vinegar daily. Use only occasionally for stubborn stains and buildup.
- Check your manufacturer’s care guide. Some brands prohibit vinegar entirely.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops
For routine cleaning, warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap are all you need. Gently scrub with a soft sponge or cloth. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
For stuck-on dirt or stains:
- Mix a mild solution of dish soap and warm water. Use a soft cloth or sponge.
- Try baking soda and water paste. Gently rub with a damp sponge.
- Use a specialty quartz cleaner according to product instructions.
- Spot clean dried spills with a plastic scraper. Avoid metal scouring pads.
What to Avoid on Quartz
While quartz stands up well compared to other counter materials, some substances can damage the surface:
- Undiluted vinegar – causes etching
- Harsh chemicals like oven cleaner, drain cleaner, bleach, etc.
- Abrasive cleansers with grit
- Leaving spills like wine, coffee, or juice sitting for prolonged periods
- Cutting directly on the counter without a cutting board
6 FAQs About Using Vinegar on Quartz
1. Is white vinegar okay for cleaning quartz?
White vinegar is fine for quartz if diluted 1:3 with water. Limit use to small areas and 5 minutes max before rinsing. Undiluted vinegar can dull the finish.
2. Can I mix baking soda and vinegar to clean quartz?
No, avoid mixing baking soda and vinegar. The chemical reaction neutralizes the acidic vinegar but leaves an alkaline residue. This alkalinity can damage the quartz over time.
3. What ratio of vinegar to water is safe for quartz?
Mix 1 part vinegar to 3-4 parts water. A typical quartz-safe cleaning solution would be 1⁄4 cup vinegar plus 1 cup water. Never use vinegar undiluted.
4. How long can vinegar sit on quartz?
Don’t let vinegar sit on quartz. Wipe on, let stand briefly (1-2 minutes max), then rinse immediately with clean water. Prolonged exposure can cause etching.
5. Can I use apple cider vinegar to clean quartz?
Yes, apple cider vinegar is fine when diluted. It has a similar acidity to white vinegar. Follow the same precautions and never use undiluted.
6. What kind of damage can vinegar cause quartz?
Vinegar can etch quartz, leaving a dull, frosted appearance. Etching occurs on a microscopic level as the acid eats away the glossy resin finish. Severe etching may require professional refinishing.
While vinegar can be used to clean quartz counters, it requires caution. Dilute vinegar, limit time of exposure, and test a small area first. For routine cleaning, dish soap and water is the safest bet. Be sure to rinse vinegar thoroughly, avoid mixing with baking soda, and check your manufacturer’s recommendations. With proper care, your quartz counters can stay beautiful for years.