Cleaning black fingerprints and smudges off quartz countertops can seem daunting, but with the right techniques and products, you can keep your quartz looking like new. Here are some tips for removing black fingerprints and restoring the beautiful shine to your quartz countertops.
Why Quartz Countertops Show Fingerprints
Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular option for kitchens and bathrooms because they are durable, low-maintenance, and come in a wide range of colors and patterns. However, one downside of quartz is that it tends to show fingerprints, oil smudges, and other marks quite visibly.
The main reason quartz shows smudges is that it has a non-porous surface. Unlike natural stone, liquids cannot penetrate quartz so they sit on the surface. Dark-colored quartz countertops also make fingerprints stand out more noticeably.
While quartz won’t stain like marble or granite, keeping it free of fingerprints and looking clean requires regular maintenance. The good news is quartz is easy to clean with the right approach.
Use a Microfiber Cloth
The first step in cleaning quartz countertops is using a high-quality microfiber cloth. Microfiber cloths are specially designed to lock in and lift away dirt, grease, and fingerprints from surfaces.
Opt for a thick, plush microfiber cloth that is gentle enough for everyday use on quartz. Dampen the cloth with warm water and wring it out thoroughly so it is just slightly moist.
Try a Simple Warm Water Clean
For light fingerprint smudges, you can often remove them with a damp microfiber cloth and nothing else. The heat and moisture help loosen the oils that cause fingerprints so you can wipe them away without chemicals.
Gently wipe the entire quartz surface using small circular motions. Avoid scrubbing or using pressure, which can create new scratches. Once you have wiped the full area, rinse your cloth if needed and repeat until all fingerprints have lifted.
This simple warm water technique may be all you need for routine quartz countertop care after cooking or occasional use.
Use a PH-Neutral Cleaner
For more stubborn oil and dirt buildup, a specially formulated quartz cleaner can help dissolve grime so it wipes away without damaging the surface. Look for a non-abrasive cleaner that is pH-neutral and approved for use on engineered stone.
Spray the cleaner directly onto soiled areas of the countertop. Let it sit briefly to penetrate grime. Use your microfiber cloth to gently wipe away the cleaner and lifted dirt. Avoid using excessive force or pressure.
PH-neutral quartz cleaners contain mild detergents to break down oil and dirt without etching or dulling the quartz. With regular use, they can keep your countertops looking brand new.
Try a Baking Soda Paste
For cleaning jobs that require a little extra scrubbing power, baking soda is a handy solution. The mild abrasiveness of baking soda helps lift away stuck-on grime and dislodges deep dirt from the microscopic pores of quartz.
Make a paste by mixing a few tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a thick paste. Using your microfiber cloth, gently rub the paste over stained or dirty areas using small circular motions. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Baking soda is non-toxic and safe for routine use. It adds cleaning power without damaging the finish of your countertops.
Use a Magic Eraser
Mr Clean Magic Erasers are popular cleaning tools for removing marks on walls, floors, and countertops. The melamine foam construction of Magic Erasers lets them scrub away grime without scratching.
Lightly wet a Magic Eraser and wring out any excess water. Gently rub stained areas and you will see the eraser lift away dirt and residues. Avoid excessive pressure, as erasers can damage polished finishes if used too aggressively.
Magic Erasers can be effective for removing scuffs and ground-in grime on quartz. Be sure to rinse and dry completely after cleaning.
Prevent Future Fingerprints and Smudges
The best way to keep quartz countertops looking their best is to prevent fingerprints and smudges in the first place. Here are some handy tips for minimizing future fingerprints:
- Wipe up food prep messes and spills right away
- Use cutting boards rather than slicing directly on the quartz
- Apply a granite or quartz sealer occasionally to help repel oils
- Avoid using quartz cleaner with oils, as this can attract more fingerprints over time
- Use placemats under dishes to protect from scratches and food debris
- Clean quartz regularly with a PH-neutral cleaner and microfiber cloths
With the right products and techniques, you can enjoy gorgeous, fingerprint-free quartz countertops. A little routine maintenance goes a long way in maintaining the look, shine, and durability of quartz surfaces.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Should I use different cleaners for different colored quartz?
No, you can use the same cleaning methods and products regardless of the color of your quartz countertops. Quartz is non-porous so scrubs, detergents, and cleaners work uniformly across lighter and darker quartz colors. Just take care to avoid cleaners that contain dyes or bleach that could stain lighter quartz.
How can I make my countertops more fingerprint resistant?
Applying a penetrating sealer formulated for quartz countertops every 6-12 months can help reduce fingerprints by making the surface more repellent. Sealers fill in microscopic pores to prevent oils and moisture from penetrating. Look for an impregnating sealer approved for engineered stone.
Should I avoid vinegar or abrasive cleaners on quartz?
Yes, you should never use products containing vinegar, lemon juice, or harsh chemicals on quartz counters. The acidity in vinegar can damage and etch the quartz finish. Likewise, avoid abrasive cleansers or scrubbing pads that could scratch the polished surface. Mild, non-abrasive cleaners are best.
How can I sanitize my quartz countertops?
To sanitize quartz and kill germs without harming the surface, use a disinfecting cleaner made specifically for stone surfaces. Or, make a sanitizing solution by mixing 1/3 cup of bleach into 1 gallon of water. Thoroughly rinse and dry quartz after sanitizing to remove any bleach residue.
How often should I clean my quartz countertops?
Ideally, wipe down quartz counters after each use to keep oil and grime from building up. Quick daily wipe downs help prevent deep stains. For a thorough cleaning, use a PH-neutral cleaner to clean the full surface about once a week or as needed. Avoid letting spills sit too long before wiping up.
While quartz countertops are prone to showing fingerprints and smudges, these unsightly marks don’t have to be a nuisance. With the right cleaning techniques using microfiber cloths, warm water, baking soda, or PH-neutral cleaners, you can safely remove fingerprints and keep your quartz counters looking like new.
Be sure to use non-abrasive cleaning methods to avoid scratching the surface. Daily maintenance wiping and occasional deep cleaning will prevent oil buildup that leads to stubborn stains. Keeping quartz free of fingerprints improves its aesthetic appeal and helps it maintain its shine and durability for years to come.