How to Clean Makeup Quartz Countertops

Cleaning makeup stains from quartz countertops can seem daunting, but with the right techniques and products, you can keep them looking like new. Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural quartz crystals and resins that creates a durable, stain-resistant surface. However, makeup contains pigments, oils, and waxes that can leave stubborn stains if left to sit. The key is using the proper cleaning methods before stains have a chance to set.

Why Quartz Countertops Stain from Makeup

Quartz is less porous than natural stone, but still contains small pores that allow liquids to seep in. Pigments in colored makeup especially can settle into these pores over time. Oils and waxes also cling to the surface, creating buildup that leads to stains. Here are some reasons quartz counters stain from makeup:

  • Pigments – Ingredients like iron oxides, carmine, and ultramarines give makeup its color. These stubborn pigments sink into quartz pores.
  • Oils – Foundations, lipsticks, and other makeup contain plant oils, silicones, and waxes that leave oily residues.
  • Improper Cleaning – Using too-harsh cleaners, abrasive pads, or letting stains set can exacerbate staining.
  • Heat Exposure – Leaving makeup items near hot surfaces like stovetops can melt and fuse makeup onto the countertop.

Understanding what causes quartz counters to stain helps inform the best cleaning methods.

How to Prevent Makeup Stains on Quartz

Preventing stains in the first place is easier than removing them after the fact. Here are tips to stop makeup from staining your quartz:

  • Wipe up spills immediately with a soft, damp cloth. Don’t let makeup sit.
  • Use a makeup organizer or tray to contain products. Avoid spreading over countertop.
  • Clean counters thoroughly with a gentle quartz cleaner weekly.
  • Avoid harsh cleaners like bleach, alkalis, or anything too abrasive.
  • Blot liquid spills rather than rubbing aggressively to prevent pushing stain deeper.
  • Install backsplashes to protect walls from makeup spatter near sinks.
  • Don’t place hot tools like curling irons or straighteners on counters when on.
  • Seal quartz annually with a penetrating quartz sealer.
  • Use cutting boards, trivets, and hot pads under appliances to prevent burning residue onto counters.

With consistent gentle cleaning and awareness of spills, you can curb quartz countertop stains.

Supplies Needed to Remove Makeup Stains from Quartz

Removing set-in makeup stains requires using the right supplies to lift pigments without damaging the quartz. Here are the best cleaning agents and tools:

  • pH-neutral quartz cleaner – Avoid harsh cleaners. Use a gentle cleaner specifically formulated for quartz.
  • Dish soap – For light stains, blue dawn mixed with warm water can help lift oils.
  • Baking soda – Makes a non-abrasive scrub to lift surface stains without scratching.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Helps break down pigment stains with its oxidizing properties.
  • Cleaning wipes – Helpful for quick wipe-ups of spills and preventing stains.
  • Soft cloths – Use microfiber cloths or soft cotton rags to avoid scratching quartz.
  • Poultice – For stubborn stains, a clay-based poultice can draw out absorbed stains.
  • Nylon brush – A soft-bristle brush helps agitate cleaners into stains.
  • Paste wax – After cleaning, waxing quartz helps seal out future stains.

Avoid using steel wool pads, Magic Erasers, or anything too abrasive that could damage the quartz surface. Test cleaners on inconspicuous areas first.

Cleaning Light Makeup Stains from Quartz

For light foundation, concealer, or powder stains that haven’t set into the stone, these cleaning methods can help remove the makeup:

Dish Soap and Water

  • Mix a few drops of mild dish detergent like Dawn blue soap into a bowl of warm water.
  • Dip a soft cloth into the solution. Wring it out so it’s damp but not dripping wet.
  • Gently wipe the stained area using light, circular motions.
  • Rinse with a damp cloth and dry with a towel.

The surfactants in dish soap help break up oils and lift light makeup stains without damaging the quartz.

pH-Neutral Quartz Cleaner

  • Spray quartz cleaner directly onto the stain.
  • Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes.
  • Wipe in circles with soft cloth until stain is gone.
  • Rinse and air dry.

Use a cleaner specifically formulated for quartz rather than multi-surface cleaners.

Baking Soda Paste

  • Make a paste with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water.
  • Apply paste to stain with soft cloth or nylon brush.
  • Let sit 5-10 minutes.
  • Scrub gently and rinse.

The mild abrasiveness of baking soda lifts surface stains without scratching quartz.

Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Pour small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly on stain.
  • Let bubble for 2-3 minutes.
  • Wipe up with soft cloth.

Peroxide oxidizes and lifts fresh makeup stains but won’t damage quartz sealants.

Removing Dried-On Makeup Stains from Quartz

When makeup stains have set into quartz and dried on the surface, stronger cleaning methods may be required:

Heat Method

  • Heat a clothes iron to medium setting.
  • Place thin cotton cloth over stain.
  • Run hot iron over the cloth, keeping it moving.
  • The heat helps dissolve oils and waxes so makeup releases.
  • Scrub with baking soda paste while warm and rinse.

Poultice Paste

  • Mix clay-based poultice according to package directions.
  • Apply to stain 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch thick.
  • Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to dry overnight.
  • Remove poultice and scrub remnants of stain away.

Poultices draw deep stains out of quartz pores to the surface.

Oxygen Bleach

  • Make thick paste with oxygen bleach powder and small amount of water.
  • Apply paste carefully to stain.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 4-6 hours.
  • Scrub and rinse thoroughly.

Oxygen bleach contains hydrogen peroxide to lift stubborn makeup stains.

Dishwasher Detergent

  • Spread a layer of powdered dishwasher detergent on the stain.
  • Mix equal parts warm water and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Pour the solution onto the detergent and allow bubbling.
  • Scrub with soft brush and rinse.

Detergents have surfactants and enzymes to break down oils and waxes.

Tips for Removing Specific Makeup Stains

Depending on the type of makeup, you may need to tailor your approach:

Foundation and Concealer

  • Use hydrogen peroxide or oxygen bleach paste to lighten.
  • Heat method dissolves foundation’s oils, waxes.
  • Dish soap cuts through heavy foundation formulas.

Lipstick and Lip Gloss

  • Dab with hydrogen peroxide to oxidize pigments.
  • Gently scrape excess with plastic putty knife.
  • Use heat method to melt waxes for easier removal.


  • Soften with hydrogen peroxide and wipe gently.
  • Apply dish soap paste and let sit before rubbing.
  • Magic eraser sponges can lift mascara but test first.

Eyeshadow and Powder

  • Use a dry microfiber cloth to blot up excess powder.
  • Dish soap helps break up waxy binders in shadow.
  • For cream shadow, heat method lifts oily formulas.

Knowing the makeup type helps determine the most effective stain removal method.

How to Remove Burned-On Makeup Stains from Quartz

Allowing hot styling tools to touch quartz counters can burn makeup residue into stubborn stains. For these, try:

  • Gently scrape excess with plastic putty knife. Don’t gouge quartz.
  • Apply poultice paste to pull burned stain from quartz pores.
  • Use oxygen bleach cleaner for its stain-fighting peroxide.
  • Try heat method with an iron to re-melt burned makeup for removal.
  • Rub with baking soda paste for mild abrasive cleaning.
  • Test small area with magic eraser sponge if needed.
  • Bleach may lighten burned stains but can damage quartz over time.

Avoid using metal scrapers or anything too harsh when cleaning burned-on stains to prevent scratching the quartz.

How to Sanitize Quartz Countertops After Makeup Removal

After deep cleaning makeup stains from quartz, it’s important to sanitize the surface:

  • Mix 1 tsp bleach into 1 quart water.
  • Wipe down counters with bleach solution using clean cloth.
  • Let sit 3-5 minutes before rinsing with just water.
  • Mix equal parts water and vinegar for a natural sanitizer.
  • Spray on and wipe with microfiber cloth.
  • Allow to air dry. Vinegar smell dissipates as it dries.

Sanitizing prevents makeup residues from causing bacteria and buildup after cleaning. Be sure to rinse bleach thoroughly as it can damage quartz over time.

How to Seal Quartz Countertops

Sealing quartz after deep cleaning provides added protection:

  • Clean counters thoroughly before sealing.
  • Apply thin even coating of sealing product with soft cloth.
  • Rub into stone with circular motions.
  • Allow sealer to soak 5-10 minutes.
  • Wipe all excess sealer off surface.
  • Buff dry with new cloth.
  • Allow to cure fully for 24-48 hours.

Penetrating sealers soak into pores but don’t leave a surface coating. Follow product directions closely. Reseal quartz every 1-2 years.

How Often to Professionally Restore Quartz Surfaces

While quartz stands up well to daily wear and tear, professional restoration is sometimes needed:

  • Every 3-5 Years – Counters with heavy daily use may need a professional deep cleaning and resealing. An epoxy resin renewal treatment can also renew quartz.
  • Every 7-10 Years – Average home use will require professional restoration every decade or so. This includes deep cleaning, resealing, and epoxy treatment.
  • At Time of Resale – Many homeowners will opt to have quartz professionally restored before listing their home for sale. This ensures the counters look their best.

Look for an experienced quartz restoration company. Avoid companies that simply polish quartz, which can damage the engineered stone over time.

Answering Common Questions About Cleaning Makeup on Quartz

Cleaning makeup from quartz leads to some frequently asked questions:

Does Quartz Stain Easily From Makeup?

Quartz is less prone to staining than marble or granite. However, its textured surface and microscopic pores do allow some makeup pigments to soak in over time with repeated use. Oils and waxes also cling and build up. Annual sealing helps prevent staining.

What Kind of Cleaner Should You Use on Quartz?

Avoid harsh cleaners like those with acids, alkalis or bleach. Use a gentle pH-neutral cleaner specially formulated for quartz instead. Look for ones made without dyes, fragrances or VOCs.

How Do You Shine Up Dull Quartz Countertops?

Avoid abrasive polishes or waxes meant for natural stone. These scratch quartz. Use a quartz polish instead. For shine, buff with a soft cloth and quartz sealer which helps fill in pores.

Does Lemon Juice Help Clean Quartz Countertops?

Do not use lemon juice. Though a mild acid, its acidic nature can damage quartz sealants over time. Stick to gentle cleaners like dish soap, baking soda or hydrogen peroxide mixed into water for cleaning quartz.

How Do You Sanitize Quartz After Cleaning Makeup?

Mix 1 teaspoon of bleach per quart of water. Wipe down the quartz with a clean cloth soaked in this solution. Let sit 3-5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. You can also use a 50/50 vinegar and water solution. Spray on and wipe off.

In Conclusion

Cleaning makeup stains like foundation, mascara, lipstick and eyeshadow from quartz counters can be challenging. But using the proper methods and products, you can successfully remove stains and keep your quartz gleaming. Preventing stains through daily care and quick wipe ups also minimizes the need for deep cleaning. With some elbow grease and these targeted stain removal techniques, you can get your stained quartz counters back to their original beauty.