Quartz countertops are popular in many modern homes due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and easy maintenance. However, proper cleaning and protection are still required to keep quartz counters looking like new for years. This guide will provide useful tips for cleaning and caring for quartz.
Supplies Needed for Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Having the right supplies on hand will make cleaning quartz counters much easier. Here are some recommended items to have for regular quartz care and maintenance:
- Mild dish soap or stone cleaner – Avoid abrasive cleaners. A gentle liquid soap is best for routine cleaning.
- Soft cloth or sponge – Use a non-abrasive cloth to avoid scratching. Microfiber cloths work well.
- Warm water – Warm, soapy water is all that is needed for most cleaning.
- Non-acetone polish remover – For removing dried spills or polish. Avoid abrasive pads.
- High-quality sealant – Sealing quartz regularly will add protection.
- Paper towels – For drying and buffing after cleaning.
- Optional: Soft-bristle brush – Helpful for cleaning textured areas.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops
Daily cleaning of quartz counters only requires a simple wipe down with a damp cloth or sponge using warm water and mild soap. Here are the step-by-step instructions:
1. Rinse with Warm Water
Rinse the quartz surface with warm water to remove any loose debris. Water alone is often adequate for light daily cleaning.
2. Apply Mild Soap
Put a small amount of mild dish soap or stone cleaner on a soft cloth or sponge dampened with warm water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners.
3. Clean Surface
Wipe down the entire surface with the soapy cloth, using small circular motions. Apply light pressure as needed for dried spills.
4. Rinse Well
Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove all soapy residue. Wipe dry with paper towels.
For routine daily maintenance, these simple steps are all that is needed to keep quartz sparkling.
How to Remove Dried Spills and Messes
Accidents happen, but dried coffee, wine, grease, and other messes can be removed from quartz using a non-acetone polish remover specially formulated to be safe for stone. Follow these steps:
1. Try Warm Water
First, try to loosen the dried spill by letting warm water soak for several minutes. Gently rub with a soft cloth or sponge.
2. Apply Non-Acetone Cleaner
For stubborn messes, apply a small amount of non-acetone cleaner directly on the spot and let it sit for 5 minutes.
3. Gently Rub in Circles
Rub the cleaner in gentle circles using a soft cloth or sponge. Slowly increase pressure if needed.
4. Rinse Thoroughly
Keep rinsing until all soap residue is removed. Buff dry with a paper towel. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.
Repeat if needed for tough stains. This method can tackle even old, dried-on spills without damaging the quartz.
How to Clean Other Quartz Surfaces
Quartz is often used for countertops, backsplashes, vanities, and shower walls. The same cleaning principles apply for these other quartz surfaces:
- Backsplashes – Warm water and mild soap with gentle scrubbing will clean quartz backsplashes. Rinse thoroughly.
- Bathroom vanities – Use a soft cloth with warm, soapy water. Take care to rinse away soap residue.
- Showers – A squeegee prevents water spots. Periodically clean with a non-abrasive cleaner.
- Outdoors – Outdoor quartz can be cleaned just like indoor. Power washing is not recommended.
Always scrub gently in circles and rinse quartz surfaces thoroughly after cleaning. Avoid bleach, alkaline cleaners, or anything abrasive.
Tips for Preventing Damage
Quartz is very durable, but proper care will keep it damage-free for decades:
- Use cutting boards and hot pads – Never cut directly on quartz. Use trivets for hot pans.
- Clean up spills quickly – Don’t let spills sit.Promptly wipe up liquids.
- Avoid harsh chemicals – Stick to mild dish soap or stone cleaners. Avoid bleach and alkaline cleaners.
- Do not use abrasive pads – Soft cloths and sponges prevent scratching.
- Seal regularly -Annual sealing adds protection from stains and etching.
With regular cleaning and prompt mess removal, quartz counters will stay beautiful for life.
How to Remove Stains from Quartz
Quartz resists stains remarkably well, but deeply set oil and grease stains can sometimes penetrate the surface. For tough stains:
1. Try Dish Soap First
Apply a small amount of dish soap directly on the stain and let sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing in circles with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly.
2. Use Baking Soda and Water Paste
Make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply to the stain and allow to sit for an hour before scrubbing and rinsing.
3. Consider a Poultice
For stubborn stains, buying a pre-made quartz poultice at the hardware store can help draw out deep oil stains with repeated applications.
4. Consult a Pro
If stains persist after multiple attempts, consult a quartz countertop installation pro. Some stains require professional-strength stain removers.
Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach or alkaline cleaners which can damage quartz. The key is to start with mild cleaners and progressively move to stronger options only if needed.
How to Remove Etching from Quartz
While quartz resists most damage, acidic substances like citrus, vinegar, wine, and tomatoes can cause etching over time. Here are tips for removing and preventing quartz etching:
- For light etching, use a polish made specifically for quartz along with a soft cloth to rub out dull areas. Avoid vigorous scrubbing.
- Severe etching may require calling in a professional quartz fabricator to polish out damage using specialized tools.
- To prevent future etching, always wipe up spills immediately and avoid exposing quartz to acidic substances for long periods.
- Using trivets for pots and pans and cutting boards for food prep can prevent etching damage.
- Regularly sealing quartz provides added protection from etching. Reseal yearly.
With proper care, quartz etching can usually be prevented or reversed. But deep etching may require a pro’s help. The key is quick cleanup of spills to avoid permanent damage.
How to Seal Quartz Countertops
Sealing quartz counters is not mandatory, but it does provide extra protection:
Why Seal Quartz?
- Adds a protective barrier that repels stains
- Makes cleaning easier
- Prevents etching from acidic liquids
- Reduces appearance of light scratches/scuffs
How Often to Seal
- Annual sealing is recommended for high-use kitchen counters
- Bathroom quartz can be sealed every 2-3 years
What Sealant to Use
- Use a sealant designed specifically for quartz – check hardware stores
- Avoid flammable sealants containing silicone
- Clean quartz thoroughly first with mild cleaner and soft cloth
- Apply sealant evenly according to product instructions
- Buff off any excess sealant residue after drying
- Avoid use for 24 hours while sealant fully cures
- Improper sealing can make quartz slippery or cause discoloration. Test first in an inconspicuous spot.
Proper sealing provides an added layer of protection for quartz surfaces. Be sure to use a high-quality quartz-safe sealant and apply according to directions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Is it okay to use bleach or alkaline cleaners on quartz?
No, avoid bleaches, alkaline cleaners like ammonia, or acidic cleaners like vinegar. They can damage and discolor quartz over time. Mild dish soap is recommended.
How do you sanitize a quartz countertop?
Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water in a spray bottle. Spray quartz and let sit briefly before wiping clean with a soft cloth. Avoid excessive scrubbing.
What is the best cleaner for daily use on quartz?
For routine daily cleaning, warm water mixed with a small amount of mild non-abrasive dish soap or stone cleaner is ideal for quartz counters.
How can you remove hard water stains from quartz?
Hard water stains can be removed with a diluted white vinegar solution. Mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water. Scrub with a soft cloth, then rinse thoroughly. Repeat if needed.
Is Formula 409® safe for cleaning quartz?
Yes, Formula 409® is generally considered safe for use on quartz counters when diluted with water. Avoid other harsh spray cleaners containing bleach, alkali, or acid.
Can lemon juice damage quartz?
Yes, acids like lemon juice should be promptly wiped from quartz. Leaving acidic foods and liquids for prolonged periods can eventually cause etching on the surface over time.
Regular cleaning and prompt mess removal will keep quartz counters looking like new for years. Avoid abrasives or harsh chemicals. Simple dish soap and water provides all the cleaning power needed for routine maintenance.
Deep stains may require special removers, and etching can be an issue over time with excess exposure to acidic substances. With proper care, quartz countertops will stay beautiful and durable for life. Sealing counters annually provides added protection for a small amount of effort.