Quartz countertops are popular choices for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, some homeowners wonder if quartz can become stained and how to properly care for these surfaces. Here is a comprehensive guide on do quartz countertops stain and how to keep them clean.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The resins bind the quartz together into a solid, non-porous surface.
The main benefits of quartz countertops are:
- Extremely durable – resistant to scratches, heat, and stains
- Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns
- Requires very little maintenance
- Non-porous so does not need to be sealed
- Resists bacteria growth
Do Quartz Countertops Stain?
The short answer is quartz countertops are stain-resistant, but not entirely stain-proof. While quartz resists stains from common kitchen substances like wine, vinegar, tea, lemon juice, and oils, prolonged exposure can result in stains. Highly pigmented liquids like beet juice or colored liquids containing artificial dyes have a higher chance of staining quartz.
Here are some tips to prevent stains on quartz:
- Clean up spills immediately – Don’t let liquids sit for extended periods. The quicker you wipe up a spill, the less likely it will stain.
- Use coasters under glasses – Absorbent coasters will prevent condensation rings.
- Avoid exposing quartz to strong chemicals – Chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners, etc. can damage and discolor quartz.
- Seal any cracks – Cracks in the surface make it more prone to staining. Fill small chips and cracks with epoxy resin.
How to Remove Stains from Quartz
If stains do occur on quartz, they can often be removed with some persistence and the right techniques. Here are methods to remove common quartz countertop stains:
Grease and Oil Stains
- Mix together warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap.
- Apply the soapy water to the stain and let sit for 5-10 minutes. This helps break down the oil.
- Gently scrub with a soft cloth, sponge or non-abrasive scrub pad.
- Rinse clean with water and dry thoroughly.
- For dried grease stains, let a dab of baking soda sit on the stain for 10 minutes prior to scrubbing. The baking soda will help draw out the grease.
- Immediately blot the spill with a paper towel but avoid aggressively rubbing it which can drive the stain deeper.
- Mix a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the stain, covering the entire area.
- Let the baking soda paste sit for at least an hour, or even overnight if needed for stubborn stains.
- Scrub off the dried paste with a soft cloth and rinse clean. The baking soda will have drawn out the stain.
- For stains that have dried and set, use a razor blade scraper to gently scrape off the top layer of the stain.
- Apply a poultice made from baking soda and water and let sit for several hours.
- Scrub and rinse away. The poultice will pull out deep stains from below the surface.
Hard Water Marks
- Mix equal parts white vinegar and water.
- Spray the solution onto the mineral deposit stains and marks.
- Wipe with a damp microfiber cloth after 5-10 minutes.
- Rinse clean with water.
- For stubborn hard water stains, cover the entire stain with undiluted white vinegar for 1-2 hours before scrubbing clean.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops
Regular cleaning is the best way to keep quartz looking like new. Here are tips for maintaining quartz countertops:
- Clean frequently with a mild soap and warm water. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
- Disinfect surfaces with a sanitizing spray cleaner containing bleach. Quartz resists bacteria growth.
- Use a squeegee to remove water after cleaning. Letting water air dry can lead to buildup of mineral deposits.
- For a deep clean, use a mix of one part mild soap and one part clear ammonia diluted in water.
- Reseal any repaired cracks or chips annually with an epoxy resin to prevent stains and damage.
- Avoid sitting hot pots or pans directly on the surface. Use trivets and hot pads.
How to Prevent Damage to Quartz
While quartz is very durable, the surface can become damaged if proper care isn’t taken:
- Use cutting boards for food prep. Don’t cut directly on the counter.
- Don’t place burning cigarettes or other extreme heat sources on the surface.
- Lift heavy objects when moving them over the counter. Dragging can scratch.
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub pads which can dull the finish.
- Don’t use countertop as a step stool as impact can chip the edges.
FAQs About Quartz Countertop Stains
Can quartz chip or crack?
Yes, quartz can chip if subjected to blunt force or impact. Avoid hitting edges with heavy pans. High heat can also cause cracks in quartz.
What chemicals damage quartz?
Prolonged exposure to very strong chemicals like paint removers, nail polish removers, battery acids, etc. can damage quartz and cause discoloration. Don’t let these chemicals sit on quartz.
How do you remove dried food from quartz?
Soften dried food spills by letting warm soapy water sit on the area for 5 minutes before scrubbing with a soft cloth. Avoid abrasive scrub pads.
Can you use Magic Eraser on quartz?
Yes, Magic Eraser sponges can be used to remove some stains from quartz but avoid excessive scrubbing pressure. Test first on a small area.
What happens if you use Windex on quartz?
Windex and other household cleaners are safe for cleaning quartz countertops as long as they are used properly. Avoid harsh scrubbing.
Quartz countertops are prone to staining if not properly cared for. However, many stains can be removed or avoided with regular maintenance and prompt attention. Always blot spills quickly and use sealers and poultices to treat problem areas. With some care, quartz countertops will maintain their good looks for many years. Be sure to use cutting boards, trivets and avoid harsh chemicals. Contact a pro if deep stains persist.