Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects because of their durability, visually appealing patterns, and resistance to stains. However, like any surface, quartz can get minor scorch marks and burns over time from hot pans or other heat exposure. The good news is that quartz is non-porous, so most burn marks can be removed with the proper cleaning techniques. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to clean burn off quartz countertops.
What Causes Burn Marks on Quartz?
Quartz countertops are engineered from natural stone minerals combined with resins for binding. This makes the material incredibly hard and resistant to scratches, chips, and cracks. However, the resin can get damaged from excessive direct heat exposure over time. Here are some common causes of burn marks on quartz:
- Hot pans or pots – Direct contact with a very hot pan, especially without a trivet, can scorch or discolor the resin binding on quartz. Dark brownish marks may appear.
- Flames from burners – If a gas stove burner flame extends past the cookware and directly hits the countertop, it can singe the surface.
- Hot appliances – Allowing any very hot small appliances like kettles, slow cookers, or portable grills to directly contact the quartz can potentially damage the resin binder.
- Curling irons or hair straighteners – Leaving very hot styling tools directly on a quartz vanity top instead of resting on a heat-proof mat could lead to marks over time.
While quartz is generally heat-resistant, excessive direct contact with flames or extremely hot items above 150°C (300°F) can compromise the resins used in manufacturing. The good news is that most minor singe marks are purely cosmetic and do not affect the integrity of the countertop.
Mild Burn Marks – Cleaning Methods
If you have noticed small, mild discolorations or burn marks on your quartz countertops, there are some simple cleaning solutions to try first. Here are effective options for removing minimal heat damage:
Baking Soda Paste
Baking soda is a gentle abrasive cleaner that can lift some burn stains without damaging the quartz:
- Make a paste with 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water.
- Use a soft cloth or sponge to rub the paste into the burn mark using small circular motions.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing clean with water and drying with a towel.
- Repeat as needed for stubborn marks.
The baking soda offers a safe scrubbing action to break down and dissolve some of the stained resins. Always avoid using excessive pressure, which could scratch the surface over time.
As a bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide can help to lighten some discoloration from minor burning:
- Apply undiluted 3% hydrogen peroxide directly to the burn marks.
- Let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Wipe away with a damp sponge or cloth.
- Rinse thoroughly.
Peroxide helps to oxidize the stained area and return it closer to the original color. However, this is only effective for very faint burns.
For light marks, a cleaning paste made with dish soap may lift some burning stains:
- Make a paste using dish soap and baking soda, or just dish soap and water.
- Gently rub into stain with a sponge. Let sit briefly.
- Rinse well and towel dry.
The surfactants in dish soap help to penetrate and dissolve some bonded resins. Use a minimal amount of pressure.
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
The popular Magic Eraser cleaning pads contain a very light abrasive that can buff away discoloration without damaging quartz:
- Slightly dampen a Magic Eraser.
- Use light, circular motions to rub mark.
- Rinse surface thoroughly after cleaning.
Test on an inconspicuous spot first, as excessive scrubbing can potentially etch the finish over time.
Always blot spills and stains promptly to avoid residue getting baked on by heat exposure. For mild burns, regularly cleaning the quartz also helps prevent any marks from becoming permanent.
Moderate to Severe Burn Marks
For more noticeable burn marks or heat damage that does not wipe away with regular cleaning, stronger solutions may be required. It is best to start with the least harsh options first:
Baking Soda & Peroxide Paste
For a more intensive cleaning paste, combine baking soda with hydrogen peroxide:
- Make a thick paste using 2 parts baking soda, 1 part water, and 1 part hydrogen peroxide.
- Spread paste over burns and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Wipe clean with a soft damp sponge, rinsing thoroughly after.
The combined effect of the baking soda’s scrubbing power and peroxide’s bleaching can help break down tougher burn stains without damaging the finish.
Bar Keeper’s Friend
This popular cleaning powder contains oxalic acid to cut through all sorts of difficult stains. To use on quartz:
- Make paste with Bar Keeper’s Friend and water.
- Apply paste to burn marks and wait 5-10 minutes.
- Wipe clean and rinse thoroughly.
It may take a few applications for stubborn marks. Bar Keeper’s Friend should only be used as needed, not for regular cleaning, as the oxalic acid can etch surfaces over time.
Baking Soda & Vinegar
For an all-natural cleaning solution, you can combine baking soda with vinegar. The chemical reaction between the ingredients releases bubbles that can help lift away burn stains:
- Sprinkle baking soda generously over marks.
- Use a spray bottle to spritz with undiluted white vinegar.
- Watch foaming action for 2-3 minutes.
- Wipe away residue with damp sponge and rinse.
Repeat if needed for severe discoloration. The vinegar may leave some temporary haze which can be buffed out.
Using a mild abrasive pad can safely remove some burn marks without damaging the finish. Always follow with a polish to blend any minor scratches.
- Dampen Scotch-Brite pad under running water.
- Gently rub mark in circular motions. Avoid excessive pressure.
- Rinse and polish surface after cleaning.
Check an inconspicuous area first to ensure the pad does not leave any dull spots.
For any cleaning method, test first on a small patch underneath sinks or other hidden areas. Take care using any abrasive tools sparingly to prevent dulling the finish over time.
Removing Severe Heat Damage
For the deepest burn stains or actual bubbles/pitting in the countertop from flames or direct high heat, professional help may be required:
Quartz countertops can be professionally resurfaced to remove severe burning damage and restore the finish. This is done by:
- Cleaning and lightly sanding the damaged areas.
- Applying new quartz material to fill chips or gouges.
- Buffing and polishing to blend with the existing countertop.
This restores the appearance and protects the integrity of the countertop. Costs average $100-200 per hour.
For extreme heat damage that has warped or melted areas of the quartz, a full countertop replacement may be needed. This involves:
- Removing and disposing of the damaged countertop sections.
- Measuring and fabricating new quartz pieces.
- Seamlessly installing the new countertops.
Although expensive, replacement is sometimes required for melted or cracked areas. Get quotes from countertop installers to compare costs for replacement versus refinishing.
With proper care, quartz countertops should resist most daily wear-and-tear. But accidental burning can happen. Being prepared with the right techniques to clean burn off quartz countertops can restore their appearance quickly.
Common Questions About Cleaning Burn Marks on Quartz
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about removing burn stains from quartz countertops:
Can I use bleach to clean burn marks off quartz?
It’s best to avoid bleach, as the harsh chemicals can yellow or etch the surface over time. For light stains, hydrogen peroxide is a gentler bleach alternative. For tougher stains, an oxalic acid cleaner like Bar Keeper’s Friend is recommended over harsh bleach.
Will burn marks come out of quartz?
Most minor burning, scorching, or discoloration can be removed from quartz with the proper cleaning methods. Mild heat damage often comes out with baking soda scrubbing or hydrogen peroxide. Moderate stains may require heavier duty cleaners. But deep burning may permanently damage the resin binding and require refinishing or replacement.
How do you get melted plastic off quartz countertop?
For plastic melted onto quartz from a hot pot or appliance, first try gently scraping off any solids with a plastic scraper. Then apply baking soda paste and rub with a soft sponge to dissolve and lift away melted resin. Wipe clean and rinse thoroughly. If any staining remains, use Bar Keeper’s Friend or vinegar with baking soda as needed.
Can you sand down burn marks on quartz?
Use extreme care sanding quartz. While professional refinishers have specialty materials to resurface quartz, DIY sanding is risky. It could damage the finish, dull the surface, or round the crisp edges over time. Instead, try the recommended cleaning solutions first before attempting to sand burn marks.
How do you get rid of heat marks on quartz?
Heat marks often wipe away with baking soda paste, hydrogen peroxide, dish soap cleaning, or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. For stubborn marks, make a paste with Bar Keeper’s Friend or use baking soda with vinegar to dissolve away the tougher stains. Permanent pitting may need professional refinishing. Avoid exposing the quartz to direct high heat.
Quartz delivers unparalleled durability for kitchen countertops, resisting scratches, stains and cracks from daily wear-and-tear. But like any surface, quartz can get minor burn marks over time from hot pans, flames, or appliances. Fortunately, most mild heat damage or discoloration can be removed with some simple cleaning solutions like baking soda pastes, hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, or Magic Erasers.
For more stubborn burning stains, Bar Keeper’s Friend, baking soda with vinegar, or a mild scrub pad can often get the quartz back to its original condition without damaging the finish. Severe damage like bubbling or pitting may require professional refinishing for a permanent fix. With the right techniques, you can successfully clean burn off quartz countertops and restore their appearance. Handle any heat damage promptly before marks become permanent.