Could White Quartz Countertops Stain?

White quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, easy maintenance, and beautiful appearance. However, some people wonder if white quartz can become stained and how to prevent stains. Here is a detailed look at whether white quartz countertops stain and how to keep them looking pristine.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically makes up 90-94% of the material. Polyester resins bind the quartz crystals together to form a durable, non-porous surface.

The resins make quartz more flexible and resistant to cracks and chips. Pigments added during manufacturing give quartz its color and pattern. When ground down small enough, pure white quartz has a continuous look.

Can White Quartz Stain?

The short answer is yes, white quartz can become stained. However, quartz is less prone to staining than other natural stone countertops, like marble or granite. Here’s why:

Non-Porous Material

Due to its man-made compressed composition, quartz lacks the natural pores and crevices found in granite and marble. With nowhere for stains to seep in, spills remain on the surface rather than absorbing into the material. This makes many stains easier to remove.

Greater Stain Resistance

The resin binders used in manufacturing make quartz more stain-resistant than natural stone. However, it is not completely stain-proof. Prolonged exposure to staining agents can cause discoloration over time.

Heat Tolerance

Quartz holds up well against heat. You can place hot pans directly on the surface without worry. Heat typically will not damage or discolor white quartz.

While resistant, it’s important to note that white quartz can become stained by certain materials. Let’s look at some potential staining agents.

What Can Stain White Quartz?

Though quartz has exceptional stain resistance, it is still susceptible to damage from prolonged exposure to certain substances. Here are some common staining culprits:

Oils and Grease

Food oils and greases, like vegetable, olive or coconut oil, can stain if left on the counter. The longer the exposure, the higher chance for discoloration.

Dark Liquids

Dark-pigmented liquids like red wine, juice, maple syrup, soy sauce and coffee can stain if not promptly cleaned. Dyes from the deep colors may penetrate the surface over time.

Strong Chemicals

Quartz can become damaged by harsh cleaners, paint removers, bleaches or drain openers. Using mild dish soap and water is best for cleaning.

Permanent Markers

Permanent marker, sharpie or paint pen left on the surface may cause stubborn stains. The colorants can bond with the resin material.


Excessive heat from cooking pans, cigarettes or other extremely hot objects laid directly on the quartz can potentially burn or scorch the surface.

With prompt cleaning, short-term exposure to many of these substances will not stain white quartz. However, prolonged contact increases the risk.

How to Prevent White Quartz Stains

While quartz stands up against stains comparatively well, it still requires some care and maintenance. Here are tips to prevent stains on white quartz:

  • Clean up spills immediately, especially oils, dyes, wine and coffee.
  • Use cutting boards and trivets. Avoid placing hot items directly on the quartz.
  • For cooking prep, wipe the counter often to remove oils, spices and residue.
  • Read cleaning product labels carefully. Avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Clean thoroughly with a gentle soap and water. Rinse any cleaning residue.
  • Re-seal the countertop every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer made for quartz.
  • Don’t let stains sit. Attend to any discoloration right away.

With prompt care, you can keep white quartz counters in pristine condition for years.

How to Remove Stains from White Quartz

If stains occur on white quartz, prompt cleaning is key. Here are tips for removing some common quartz stains:

Food Stains

  • First try gentle dish soap and warm water. For dried on residue, let it soak for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing.
  • For tougher oil stains, apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and scrub with a soft brush or sponge.
  • Avoid harsh cleaners like bleach or alkaline solutions which can damage quartz.

Liquid Spills

  • Blot up the spilled liquid immediately. For dried on stains, place a towel soaked in warm water over the spot to soften it, then clean with dish soap.
  • For stubborn stains from dark liquids like wine, try a mild bleach cleaner formulated for stone. Test first in an inconspicuous spot.
  • For coffee stains, make a paste with baking soda and peroxide. Let it sit briefly before scrubbing and rinsing.

Marker Stains

  • Rubbing alcohol or acetone nail polish remover can help lift permanent marker stains. Apply and let it soak in for 5-10 minutes.
  • For tougher marker stains, carefully use a razor blade to scrape off the discoloration, taking care not to scratch the quartz.

Heat Stains

  • Heat stains and minor burns need to be honed out by a professional fabricator. Don’t try to sand or scrape the quartz yourself.
  • For light scorch marks, use a white polishing compound made for engineered stone.

With prompt, careful cleaning, most stains can be removed from quartz. Avoid using harsh chemicals which may damage the surface further. For stubborn stains not improving with DIY methods, contact a professional for help.

Maintaining White Quartz Countertops

To keep white quartz counters looking like new, follow these care and maintenance guidelines:

  • Clean frequently with mild soap and water. Rinse thoroughly and dry with soft cloth.
  • Avoid exposing the surface to strong chemicals and solvents.
  • For cooking prep, keep the area around the stove wiped down.
  • Use cutting boards and hot pads rather than placing items directly on the quartz.
  • Re-seal the countertop every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer made for engineered stone.
  • Immediately wipe up spills, especially from staining agents like wine, coffee and oil.
  • Check manufacturer’s care instructions for cleaning products to avoid damage.
  • Attend to any stains right away. Don’t let them set in.

With regular care and prompt attention, white quartz countertops will stay beautiful and elegant for many years of use. The key is addressing any staining issues quickly before they have a chance to set in.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can white quartz stain from water?

No, water alone will not stain or damage white quartz. However, allowing liquids like wine, coffee and juice to sit on the surface can lead to staining over time.

Do white quartz countertops need to be sealed?

It is recommended to seal quartz counters every 1-2 years. Sealing is not mandatory, but helps prevent stains by making the surface more repellent. Use a sealer specifically designed for engineered stone.

Will lemon juice stain white quartz?

Pure lemon juice should not stain quartz if wiped up quickly. Prolonged exposure may lead to etching or erosion of the surface over time however. Cut lemons on a cutting board instead of directly on quartz.

Can you bleach white quartz countertops?

It’s best to avoid bleach and harsh chemicals on quartz. For stubborn stains, use a mild bleach stone cleaner and test first in an inconspicuous spot. Avoid excessive bleaching which may damage the resin binders.

What happens if you don’t seal quartz countertops?

Over time, unsealed quartz is more prone to staining from spills penetrating into the surface. Sealing is not mandatory but helps protect quartz by making the counters more repellent.


White quartz countertops are an excellent choice that provide beauty, durability and easy maintenance. While resistant, quartz can become stained if exposed to oils, dyes, heat and chemicals. With prompt care and cleaning, white quartz counters will stay looking pristine. Keep the surface sealed, attend to spills quickly and avoid harsh cleaners. Follow these tips and you can enjoy stunning white quartz countertops that resist stains for years.