Quartz countertops are popular in many modern kitchens because of their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any countertop material, quartz can get stained by grease over time if spills are not cleaned up promptly. With the right cleaning solutions and techniques, you can easily remove grease stains from quartz and restore its beautiful, like-new appearance.
What Causes Grease Stains on Quartz?
Quartz countertops are non-porous, so spills don’t soak in like they would on more porous natural stone. However, oil-based products like cooking oils, butter, and grease can leave surface stains on quartz if left to sit. The oil seeps into tiny pits and pores on the surface, discoloring the area.
Grease stains often occur in high-traffic zones like near the stove or sink. Common culprits include:
- Cooking oils and grease splatters from frying, sautéing, etc.
- Spilled condiments like salad dressings, butter, or margarine
- Residue from cleaning products like all-purpose spray
- Skincare products like makeup and moisturizers
Though quartz resists staining better than marble or granite, no surface is totally immune. The key is using the right stain removal methods before the grease has time to set in and dry out.
How to Remove Grease and Oil Stains from Quartz
Cleaning grease off quartz requires using the right grease-cutting cleaners along with some scrubbing elbow grease. Here are the best ways to remove grease and oil stains from quartz countertops:
Step 1: Wipe Up Excess Grease
As soon as you notice a greasy spill on your quartz, grab a paper towel and wipe up as much of the excess oil as possible. This helps prevent the grease from penetrating deeper over time.
Step 2: Apply a Degreasing Cleaner
Next, spray a degreasing cleaner made for stone surfaces directly onto the stain. Good options include:
- Dawn dish soap
- Zep Fast 505 cleaner
- Granite Gold Daily Cleaner
- Bar Keeper’s Friend
Let the degreaser sit for 2-3 minutes so it can break down the oily residue.
Step 3: Scrub with a Soft Cloth or Sponge
Dip a soft, non-abrasive cloth or sponge into warm water and scrub the degreaser over the stained area. Apply light pressure and rub in small circular motions to help lift the grime away.
Avoid using harsh scrubbing pads, which could scratch the quartz surface. A microfiber cloth, soft sponge, or nylon bristle brush all work well.
Step 4: Rinse Thoroughly
Once the stain looks lifted, rinse the area well with clean water to remove all the degreaser and grime. Wipe dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Step 5: Repeat as Needed for Stubborn Stains
If any oily discoloration remains after the first try, repeat the process. Let the degreaser sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing again. The longer it has to work, the better it will lift stubborn grease.
Step 6: Use Baking Soda for Extra Cleaning Power
For really tough grease stains, make a paste with baking soda and water. Spread the paste over the stain and let sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing clean. The abrasiveness of the baking soda combined with a degreaser provides extra grease-cutting power.
Step 7: Seal with a Quartz Countertop Sealer
Once the stain is removed, consider applying a penetrating quartz sealer. Sealers make the surface more resistant to oil-based stains in the future. Reapply sealer every 1-2 years for ongoing protection.
Tips for Preventing Grease Stains on Quartz
Regular cleaning and prompt stain removal is key to keeping quartz counters grease-free. Here are some handy tips for preventing grease stains in the first place:
- Wipe up food prep messes and spills as they occur. Don’t let grease sit.
- Use cutting boards and trivets when preparing food to protect the surface.
- Avoid using quartz as a Worksurface when working with dough or sticky batters that can leave residue.
- Clean quartz with a quartz-safe cleaner at least once a week to prevent buildup.
- Use a dilution of mild dish soap and water for everyday cleaning.
- Reseal quartz countertops every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer.
- Don’t let skincare products, cleaners, or other household chemicals sit on quartz. Wipe up spills promptly.
How to Remove Other Common Stains from Quartz
While grease and oil are notorious quartz stain culprits, other substances can also discolor quartz if left on too long. Here’s a quick rundown on how to remove other common quartz stains:
Wine, Coffee, and Food Stains
- First try mild dish soap and warm water. If needed, use baking soda or hydrogen peroxide paste.
Dried Spills and Grime
- Use a soft cloth dipped in warm water to loosen and lift away residue.
Hard Water Marks
- Wipe with equal parts water and white vinegar. Rinse thoroughly.
Mold or Mildew
- Spray diluted bleach onto the stain and let sit 15 minutes before rinsing.
- Make a paste with cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide. Let sit for 1 hour, then scrub and rinse.
- Minor etch marks can be buffed gently with a wet 600-grit sandpaper. Use a circular polishing motion.
When to Call a Professional for Quartz Cleaning
For routine grease cleaning, you can likely handle the job at home with the right supplies. However, if you try every grease-removal trick without success, or the stain has set in extensively, calling a professional may be needed. Professionals have commercial-grade cleaners and tools that can deep clean and resurface quartz.
Signs you may need professional help include:
- Grease stains that are extensive or have been there a long time
- Stains in textured or intricate quartz patterns that are hard to reach
- Bad scratches or etching damage along with the stains
- Discoloration that does not diminish despite aggressive cleaning attempts
Look for an established professional that specializes in quartz and stone restoration. They can assess the damage and provide options like deep cleaning, resurfacing, or in worst cases, a quartz countertop replacement.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Grease Off Quartz
Still have questions about getting pesky grease stains out of your quartz countertops? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:
What is the fastest way to remove fresh grease stains from quartz?
For fresh stains, quickly wiping away excess oil then using a degreaser like Dawn and scrubbing immediately is best. This can often remove new grease stains with minimal elbow grease.
What homemade cleaners work well on grease stains in quartz?
Dish soap, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and vinegar can all be combined into effective homemade degreasing solutions for quartz. Just avoid DIY cleaners with harsh acids or abrasives that could damage the surface.
Will using bleach harm my quartz countertops?
In general, it’s best to avoid bleach and other harsh chemicals on quartz. However, diluted bleach can occasionally be used for stubborn mold or mildew stains with proper rinsing. Still, excessive use of bleach may dull the surface over time.
Can I use a magic eraser to remove grease from quartz?
Magic erasers work well for lifting some stains from quartz but the abrasiveness can potentially dull the surface sheen. Use gentle pressure and limit magic eraser use to avoid damaging quartz.
What happens if I can’t get old, dried-on grease stains out of my quartz?
Set-in grease stains that resist removal may require professional deep cleaning or resurfacing to remove. Damaged areas may need quartz patching or full replacement in severe cases. Catching stains early is key.
Restore Your Quartz Countertops’ Clean, Like-New Appearance
Don’t let grease stains ruin the beautiful quartz surfaces in your kitchen. With the proper cleaning techniques using quartz-safe degreasers, even tough oil stains can be removed to restore your counters’ original appearance. Just be sure to wipe up spills quickly when they happen to prevent permanent discoloration.
Follow the degreasing steps outlined above, repeating as needed for stubborn stains. Pay special attention to heavy-use areas around stoves, sinks, and appliances. With some periodic elbow grease, your quartz countertops will stay glistening and grease-free for years of cooking and entertaining!