Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and easy maintenance. However, proper care is still required to keep quartz counters looking like new. This comprehensive guide will provide tips on cleaning, sealing, preventing damage, and more.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is an engineered stone made from crushed quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and pigments. The quartz provides strength and durability, while resins bind the material together.
Benefits of Quartz Countertops:
- Extremely durable and scratch-resistant
- Available in wide range of colors and patterns
- Requires minimal maintenance
- Resists staining from spills
- Non-porous so less prone to bacterial growth
- Heat and impact resistant
Routine Cleaning of Quartz Counters
Daily cleaning is simple and only requires a few minutes. Follow these steps:
1. Wipe Down Daily
- Use a soft, non-abrasive cloth or sponge. Microfiber is ideal.
- Warm water with a small amount of mild soap or stone cleaner. Avoid harsh cleaners.
- Gently wipe in circles and rinse clean.
- Completely dry surface to prevent water spots.
This quick cleaning prevents buildup and removes light debris.
2. Address Spills Immediately
- Blot liquids right away before they have a chance to soak in or dry.
- For oils or grease, use degreasing cleaner made for stone.
- Avoid abrasive pads or paper towels that could scratch.
- Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Prompt cleaning prevents stubborn staining.
3. Heavy-Duty Deep Cleaning
- Periodically do a more thorough cleaning session.
- Use a non-abrasive quartz cleaner and soft scrub brush.
- Give extra attention to grout lines and edges.
- Rinse entirely with clean water.
Deep cleaning removes stuck-on grime that routine wiping misses.
Preventing Damage to Quartz Countertops
Though durable, quartz can become damaged if proper care isn’t taken:
Use Cutting Boards
- Never slice or cut directly on the counter.
- Always use a cutting board, preferably wood or plastic.
- Protects against scratches and nicks in counter.
Avoid Excessive Heat
- Don’t place hot pots, pans, or bakeware directly on surface.
- Always use trivets or hot pads.
- Rapid temperature changes can damage quartz.
Lift Heavy Objects
- Never drag cookware or appliances across the quartz.
- Always lift objects to move them.
- Prevent scratches from sliding items.
Clean Up Spills Promptly
- Don’t let spills seep into seams and cause stains.
- Promptly wipe any drips or spills.
- Rinse thoroughly with water and dry.
Use the Right Cleaners
- Never use abrasive pads or powders.
- Avoid acidic or alkaline cleaners.
- Use only cleaners made specifically for quartz.
How to Remove Tough Stains on Quartz
Quartz resists stains well, but accidents happen. Here are tips for stubborn spots:
Dried Food and Grease
- Allow grease to soften for 30 minutes.
- Gently scrape away excess with plastic putty knife.
- Mix warm water and degreaser and scrub with soft cloth or brush.
- Rinse thoroughly and repeat if needed.
Wine, Coffee, and Tea Stains
- Mix baking soda and water into a paste.
- Use a soft cloth to rub paste on stain in circles.
- Let paste sit for 5 minutes then scrub again.
- Rinse cleaned area and dry thoroughly.
Marker or Pen Stains
- Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to stained spot.
- Gently rub with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge.
- Rewet cloth with alcohol as needed.
- Rinse area thoroughly after stain lightens.
Hard Water Marks
- Make a paste with baking soda and water.
- Rub paste onto hardened water spots using a soft cloth.
- Let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing.
- Repeat if needed for stubborn buildup.
How to Seal Quartz Countertops
Sealing quartz counters isn’t mandatory, but can provide added protection:
Why Seal Quartz?
- Adds repellent layer to prevent staining.
- Helps fill microscopic pores to inhibit bacteria.
- Easier to wipe away spills and dirt.
- Enhances shine and keeps colors vibrant.
When to Seal Quartz
- Every 1-2 years for routine maintenance.
- After deep cleaning to renew sealer.
- If counters seem to get dirtier easier.
- Following damage repairs.
- Clear counters of everything and clean thoroughly.
- Apply thin even coats with a soft cloth, following product directions.
- Allow sealer to soak in for 15-20 minutes between coats.
- Add 2-3 coats for most effective protection.
Caring for Sealed Quartz
- Let cure for 24 hours after final coat.
- Use only pH-neutral cleaners.
- Reapply sealer every 1-2 years.
- Spot treat food stains quickly to avoid seepage.
How to Disinfect Quartz Countertops
Proper disinfecting kills germs and bacteria on quartz surfaces:
- Always clean before disinfecting.
- Remove all dirt, grease, and debris.
- This allows disinfectants to work most effectively.
- White vinegar or hydrogen peroxide solutions.
- Alcohol-based disinfecting wipes.
- Diluted bleach – no more than 1/4 cup per gallon of water.
- Spray or wipe disinfectant liberally on surfaces.
- Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes so it can fully sanitize.
- Never mix cleaners together under any circumstances.
Rinse and Dry
- Thoroughly rinse disinfected areas with fresh water.
- Completely dry quartz counters to prevent streaks.
- Repeat process regularly to maintain sanitation.
How to Remove Etching and Discoloration
Quartz can become etched or stained over time. Here’s how to restore its appearance:
Causes of Damage
- Prolonged exposure to acidic fluids like juice, wine or vinegar.
- Using abrasive cleaners that dull the surface.
- Harsh impacts that etch the surface.
- Use etching cream containing finely abrasive particles.
- Rub cream in circular motions using a soft cloth.
- Rinse counters thoroughly afterwards.
- Make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
- Apply paste to discolored areas.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes before rinsing.
- Repeat as needed until original color is restored.
Preventing Future Damage
- Seal counters to protect from acidic liquids.
- Always use cutting boards.
- Clean spills immediately before they soak in.
- Avoid corrosive cleaners.
How to Perform Routine Quartz Maintenance
Consistent maintenance preserves the look and extend the life of quartz:
Keep Quartz Looking New
- Follow all manufacturer’s care recommendations.
- Promptly clean all spills.
- Use a vinyl cover mat when preparing food.
- Avoid direct heat exposure.
- Reseal every 1-2 years.
Check Condition Frequently
- Inspect for any cracks, chips or discoloration.
- Look for damaged caulk or grout around edges.
- Ensure water flows properly towards sink.
Address Issues Quickly
- Repair any caulk or grout right away.
- Heat and impact can gradually damage quartz.
- Have a pro reshine etched or dulled areas.
Deep Clean Every 6 Months
- Clear all items from counters.
- Use a stone-safe alkaline cleaner.
- Scrub entire surface with a soft brush.
- Completely rinse and dry.
Compare to New Quartz
- Occasionally look at newer quartz.
- Note any loss of shine or discoloration.
- Restore original appearance promptly.
Professional Quartz Countertop Restoration
For some repairs or restoration, it’s best to hire a qualified professional.
Reasons to Call a Pro
- Deep scratches or gouges in surface.
- Persistent etching or dulling.
- Hard water buildup and calcium deposits.
- Major staining that won’t come out.
- Chips, cracks, or loose countertop seams.
- Gentle polishing to remove minor scratches and restore sheen.
- Invisible seam repair for cracks and gaps.
- Stain removal treatments for stubborn discoloration.
- Color enhancements to brighten dull areas.
- Complete resurfacing for severely damaged quartz.
Benefits of Professional Service
- Correct tools and training to repair quartz properly.
- Avoid potential damage from DIY mistakes.
- Improved safety removing stains with strong chemicals.
- Manufacturer-approved techniques may preserve warranty.
- Restores beauty, sanitation, and value of quartz investment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Caring for Quartz Countertops
What cleaners should be avoided on quartz?
Avoid abrasive cleaners, alkaline or acidic cleaners, bleach, vinegar, hydrofluoric acid, scouring powders, oven cleaners, and limescale removers. Only use cleaners specifically formulated for quartz.
Does quartz need to be sealed?
Sealing isn’t strictly required, but can provide added protection. Reapply sealer every 1-2 years for optimal results. New quartz should be sealed immediately after installation.
How can I get rid of hard water stains on my quartz?
Make a paste of baking soda and water and rub into the stains using a soft cloth. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before rinsing. Repeat as needed for stubborn buildup. Using a quartz sealer can also help prevent hard water staining.
What should I use to sanitize quartz counters?
Diluted bleach, alcohol-based wipes, hydrogen peroxide, and white vinegar all effectively sanitize quartz. Avoid mixing cleaners and completely rinse surfaces after sanitizing.
Why does my quartz counter have a dull spot?
This is likely etching caused by exposure to an acidic substance. Use an etching cream containing minerals to gently smooth and restore the quartz finish. Avoid spills of acidic liquids like wine, fruit juice or vinegar.
How can I get rid of cloudy spots on my quartz?
This is likely residue from hard water or mineral deposits. Wipe with equal parts water and white vinegar, then rinse clean. Avoid using mineral-heavy water when cleaning.
How durable are quartz countertops compared to other materials?
Quartz is one of the most durable countertop materials available, second only to granite. It’s significantly more scratch and stain resistant than surfaces like marble, laminate, concrete, or butcher block.
Can you cut on quartz countertops?
Never cut directly on quartz. Always use a cutting board to prevent deep scratches and nicks. Over time, cutting will damage the surface finish.
Quartz offers timeless beauty and unmatched durability. By following these care and maintenance guidelines, you can keep quartz counters looking pristine for years. Use mild cleaners, promptly address spills, avoid direct heat exposure, and reseal surfaces periodically. Contact a professional for repairs beyond simple cleaning. With proper care, quartz countertops will maintain their refined appearance long-term.