Man made quartz countertops have become a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, stylish appearance, and low maintenance. However, like any countertop material, quartz requires proper cleaning and care to keep it looking like new. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to clean quartz countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and pigments. This combination makes the material harder and more resilient than natural stone.
The main benefits of quartz countertops include:
- Durability – Quartz is non-porous and stain, scratch, heat and chip resistant. However, it is not indestructible.
- Low maintenance – Quartz requires very little maintenance compared to natural stone.
- Appearance – Quartz comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns that resemble natural stone.
- Hygienic – The non-porous surface prevents bacteria growth.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops
Here are some tips on how to properly clean and care for your quartz countertops:
1. Regular Cleaning
- Use a mild pH-neutral cleaner like dish soap and warm water to clean quartz. Avoid abrasive cleaners that can dull the surface.
- Use a soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge for cleaning. Do not use scrubbing pads.
- Rinse well and dry with a soft towel after cleaning.
- For dried spills, soak the area with warm water to soften the substance before cleaning.
2. Remove Stains
- For oil-based stains, use a degreasing cleaner made specifically for quartz.
- For difficult stains, make a paste with baking soda and water and gently rub onto the stain using a soft cloth. Rinse well.
- Use hydrogen peroxide and a soft cloth to remove stubborn stains.
- Quartz can harbor bacteria just like any other surface. Use a disinfecting cleaner or bleach solution to sanitize.
- Dilute the disinfecting solution as recommended and wipe over the entire surface. Rinse well after disinfecting.
4. Polish and Shine
- Use a stone polish made specifically for engineered quartz to restore sheen and shine. Avoid wax-based polishes.
- Use a soft dry cloth and rub the polish in circular motions.
- Buff with a clean dry cloth after polishing to remove any residue.
5. Prevent Scratches and Chips
- Use cutting boards and trivets to protect the surface from knives and hot pans.
- Avoid abrasive scouring pads and powders that can scratch the surface.
- Do not place excessively hot items directly on the countertop.
- Apply a quartz sealant on a regular basis to enhance surface shine and help minimize etching.
Cleaning Products to Avoid
There are some cleaning products that should be avoided on quartz surfaces:
- Abrasive cleaners with particles that can scratch the surface.
- Alkaline cleaners like ammonia and bleach as they can dull the surface.
- Vinegar is acidic and can etch or corrode quartz over time.
- Solvent-based or harsh degreasers should be avoided.
- Do not use wax-based cleaners or polishes not formulated for quartz.
Tips for Maintaining Quartz Countertops
- Clean up spills immediately to prevent stains from setting in.
- Rinse the surface after cleaning with any sort of cleaner.
- Use trivets and cutting boards to minimize direct impact on the surface.
- Re-seal quartz every 1-2 years with a penetrating quartz sealer.
- Avoid placing hot items directly on the surface.
- Use a gentle circular motion when cleaning versus harsh scrubbing or scouring.
Can You Use Bleach on Quartz?
It is best to avoid bleach and other harsh alkaline cleaners on quartz countertops. Prolonged exposure to bleach can discolor and pit the surface of quartz over time. For occasional disinfecting, use a bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Wipe the area with the diluted bleach, rinse thoroughly with water, wipe dry, and follow up by cleaning with a PH-neutral cleaner like dish soap. This helps remove any bleach residue.
How to Remove Dried Food and Grease
Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the affected area using a soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge. Let the paste sit for 5-10 minutes. This allows the baking soda paste to break down the substance. Wipe off the paste and rinse the area thoroughly. For stubborn grease stains, use a degreasing cleaner formulated specifically for quartz after the baking soda treatment.
How Often Should You Seal Quartz?
It is recommended to seal your quartz countertops every 1-2 years to maintain protection and enhance shine. Use a penetrating sealer made specifically for quartz following the manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid topical coating sealers. Make sure to clean and dry the surface thoroughly before applying the sealer.
Can You Use Vinegar on Quartz?
Vinegar is acidic and should be avoided as a regular cleaner for quartz. Prolonged use of vinegar can etch and corrode the surface over time. For the occasional cleaning job, use a mild vinegar solution of 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water. Rinse very thoroughly after cleaning to remove any acidic vinegar residue.
Can You Use Magic Eraser on Quartz?
Magic eraser cleaning pads are made of melamine foam which is a very fine abrasive. It is best to avoid using Magic Erasers on quartz countertops as the abrasive particles can potentially dull the surface over time with excessive use. If you do use one, make sure to use a light hand and rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
Quartz countertops are an excellent choice for kitchen and bathroom surfaces due to their stylish good looks and extreme durability. By using the proper cleaners and techniques, quartz countertops can stay looking like new for many years. Avoid abrasive cleaners and acidic substances, and follow the manufacturer’s care recommendations. With regular cleaning and occasional re-sealing, you can enjoy beautiful, low maintenance quartz countertops for a lifetime.