Silestone quartz countertops are an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom surfaces due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, proper cleaning and care is still required to keep Silestone counters looking like new. This comprehensive guide will provide tips and best practices for cleaning, polishing, protecting, and maintaining the beauty of Silestone quartz.
Before getting started, make sure you have the proper supplies on hand:
- Mild dish soap or stone cleaner
- Soft cloth, sponge, or non-abrasive brush
- Microfiber towels
- HEPA vacuum cleaner
- Quartz countertop polish and sealant
Avoid using any abrasive pads or cleansers that could damage the surface. Acids and alkaline-based cleaners should also be avoided.
How to Clean Silestone Quartz Countertops
For regular daily cleaning, simply use a soft sponge or cloth with warm water and mild dish soap. Gently wipe down the entire surface to remove any dust, fingerprints, crumbs, or light stains. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean microfiber towel to prevent water spots.
For a more thorough periodic cleaning, use a specially formulated stone cleaner and softly scrub the entire countertop with a non-abrasive brush. This will remove stuck-on dirt and residues. Make sure to rinse several times. Finish by spraying quartz polish over the surface and buffing dry with a microfiber towel.
To remove stuck-on food, grease, or other difficult stains:
- Apply a small amount of stone cleaner directly to the stain and let sit for 5 minutes. This gives the cleaner time to break down the stain.
- Gently scrub the area in circular motions using a soft cloth or brush.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry the surface completely.
- For stubborn stains, repeat as needed. Avoid aggressively scrubbing, which may damage the finish.
To disinfect a Silestone countertop, simply wipe down all surfaces with an EPA-registered disinfectant cleaner or solution. Let the disinfectant sit for the manufacturer’s recommended contact time before rinsing. This will kill germs and bacteria. Quartz is non-porous and won’t absorb disinfectants.
How to Polish and Seal Silestone Countertops
It’s recommended to apply a quartz polish and sealant every 1-2 years to maintain luster and prevent stains from penetrating the surface. Here’s how:
- Clean the countertop thoroughly before polishing. Make sure the surface is completely dry.
- Apply a small amount of quartz polish evenly across the entire countertop surface.
- Using a clean cloth, buff the polish over the surface using circular motions.
- Allow the polish to dry completely, usually about 10 minutes.
- Finally, apply a thin even layer of quartz sealant with a lint-free cloth or foam applicator.
- Allow sealant to dry for at least 2 hours before using countertops. This will prevent streaks.
Polishing and sealing fills in micro-abrasions and provides a protective barrier against moisture and stains. Be sure to use products specifically designed for quartz.
Cleaning Difficult Spills on Silestone
Accidents happen, so here are some tips for dealing with difficult spills:
Grease and Oil
- Immediately blot away excess spill using an absorbent cloth. Avoid aggressive rubbing.
- Spray a degreasing stone cleaner and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Gently scrub with a soft brush and rinse thoroughly.
- Repeat as needed for tough grease stains.
- Pour baking soda or powdered dishwasher detergent directly on the spill to absorb it.
- Let sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
- For dried stains, use hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or lemon juice.
- Rinse several times. The acidity in wine can damage the finish if left too long.
Coffee and Tea Stains
- Mix equal parts vinegar and water and pour directly on the stain.
- Scrub gently with a soft brush and rinse thoroughly.
- For tougher stains, make a baking soda paste and scrub.
Marker or Pen
- Spray hairspray on the stain and let sit for 5 minutes. This will loosen the ink.
- Gently scrub with a soft cloth or brush.
- Use rubbing alcohol or acetone for stubborn marker stains. Rinse thoroughly.
Avoid Cutting Directly on Quartz
Avoid using knives or sharp objects directly on the countertop. Always use a cutting board to prevent scratching and preserve the smooth finish. The quartz is extremely hard, but not totally scratch proof.
How to Remove Etch Marks and Scratches
Minor scratches and etch marks can sometimes occur on quartz countertops with regular use over time. Here are some tips for removal:
- Use a polish specifically made for etched or damaged quartz. Apply to affected areas and buff in circular motions using a soft cloth.
- For deeper scratches, use 00 gauge steel wool to gently buff the scratch. Take care not to scratch surrounding areas.
- Re-polish and re-seal the countertop after buffing scratches. This seals the micro-abrasions.
- Avoid using aggressive abrasives or acidic cleansers which can worsen etching.
For major scratches or damage, professional resurfacing may be required. Contact a certified fabricator. DIY kits are also available.
How to Clean Backsplash and Joints
- Use a small brush or toothbrush to gently scrub grout joints. Avoid excessive moisture.
- Clean backsplash tile using the same stone cleaners and soft cloth, taking care not to drizzle cleaner into open joints.
- Never use harsh chemicals or abrasives on grout. This can lead to deterioration.
- Prevent stains by sealing grout every 1-2 years. Use a specially designed grout sealant.
Tips for Maintaining Your Silestone Countertops
- Avoid exposing Silestone quartz to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners, etc. Rinse spills quickly.
- Don’t use abrasive pads or scrubbers. Always use soft cloth or brushes.
- Blot spills immediately to prevent staining. Don’t let liquids sit.
- Keep heavy objects centered when placing on countertops. Don’t allow edges to overhang.
- Use trivets or hot pads under hot pots and pans. Quartz can withstand heat but prolonged direct exposure may damage the surface.
- Re-seal countertops every 1-2 years for optimal stain protection.
- Check manufacturer warranty and keep documentation for your Silestone installation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use vinegar to clean Silestone quartz?
Yes, you can safely use diluted vinegar to help remove some stains and disinfect quartz. Always mix with water at a 1:1 ratio and rinse thoroughly after cleaning. Avoid prolonged exposure to acids.
Does quartz need to be sealed?
Sealing is not required, but recommended every 1-2 years to enhance stain resistance and water repellency. Use sealants specifically made for quartz.
What happens if Silestone quartz gets scratched?
Minor scratches can often be buffed out by re-polishing. Deeper scratches may require professional resurfacing. Be sure to keep quartz sealed to minimize scratching.
Can you use baking soda to clean quartz countertops?
Yes, baking soda makes an effective natural cleaner for quartz. Make a paste with water and gently scrub stains. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning. Avoid abrasive scrubs.
How do you get dried food stuck on Silestone?
For dried-on messes, soften the food stain by soaking the area with warm water for several minutes. Gently scrub with a soft brush or cloth and stone cleaner. Repeat as needed for stubborn spots.
With proper care and regular cleaning, Silestone quartz countertops will remain in excellent condition for years. Always use recommended products and soft, non-abrasive materials to clean the surface. Seal and polish periodically to maintain the glossy finish. Avoid direct cuts on the surface and exposure to strong chemicals. With some simple maintenance, your Silestone quartz countertops will stay looking beautiful.