Quartz countertops are popular in many modern kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, stain resistance, and variety of colors and patterns. However, like any countertop material, quartz requires proper cleaning and maintenance, especially when brand new, to keep it looking its best. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to clean new quartz countertops.
Supplies Needed for Cleaning New Quartz Countertops
Cleaning and caring for new quartz countertops doesn’t require anything too elaborate. Here are the basic supplies you’ll need:
- Mild liquid dish soap or stone soap
- Soft cloths or microfiber towels
- Baby shampoo (optional)
- pH-neutral granite cleaner (optional)
- Soft-bristle cleaning brush
- Clean water
- High-quality sealer (specially formulated for quartz)
Avoid using any abrasive cleaners, pads, or sponges, as they can damage the surface of the quartz. Steer clear of vinegar, bleach, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals as well. Stick to mild liquid soaps and specialty stone cleaners.
Initial Deep Cleaning of New Quartz Countertops
Once your new quartz countertop installation is complete, the first thing you’ll want to do is give the counters a thorough initial cleaning. This helps remove any dirt, residue, or debris from the fabrication and installation process.
Remove Any Building Residue
Examine the quartz carefully and use a soft cloth to wipe away any dried adhesive, grout, mortar, or other installation materials. Be gentle—don’t use anything abrasive.
Wash with Dish Soap
Fill a bucket or basin with warm water and add a couple squirts of liquid dish soap. Dampen a soft cloth or sponge in the soapy water and wipe down the entire surface of the quartz. Rinse frequently and change the water as needed.
Rinse and Dry
Thoroughly rinse the quartz using clean water and a fresh cloth to remove any soapy residue. Wipe the countertop dry with a soft towel. Inspect closely and repeat any soapy washing on stubborn areas.
Clean Corners and Crevices
Use a soft-bristle brush dipped in warm, soapy water to gently clean any hard-to-reach corners, crevices, or decorative edges where grime can collect. Rinse and dry these areas well.
Wash any quartz backsplashes around the countertops using the same process. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Remove Haze and Residue
There may still be some hazy residue or dullness left after installation. Use a pH-neutral stone cleaner to remove this and enhance shine. Rinse immediately with clean water and dry with soft cloths.
Routine Cleaning of Quartz Countertops
Once your new quartz counters have been given an initial deep cleaning, regular maintenance cleaning is pretty easy. Here are some tips for keeping them clean on a daily or weekly basis:
Daily Quick Cleaning
Each day, simply use a soft sponge or damp cloth with a small amount of mild soap and warm water to wipe away any spills, grease, food residue, dust, and other daily grime that accumulates. Rinse and wipe dry.
Weekly Deep Cleaning
About once a week, give your quartz counters a more thorough cleaning. Fill a basin with warm water and a few drops of baby shampoo or stone soap. Using a soft cloth or sponge, wash the entire surface of the counters. Pay extra attention to grout lines, corners, and areas around sinks and fixtures. Rinse very thoroughly with clean water and dry completely.
Remove Stubborn Stains
For stubborn stains like dried food, grease, or hard water marks, use a soft cloth, sponge, or brush with a gentle pH-neutral stone cleaner. Apply it to the stain, allow it to sit per the label instructions, gently scrub, and then rinse immediately. Repeat as needed for tough stains.
About once or twice per month, after cleaning, disinfect your quartz countertops using rubbing alcohol or an antibacterial stone cleaner. This helps kill germs and bacteria that can build up over time. Always rinse after disinfecting.
Deep Clean Grout Lines
For extra dirty grout lines, use a soft-bristle grout brush, toothbrush, or cotton swab dipped in warm, soapy water. Gently scrub along the length of each grout line to remove grime buildup. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
Maintenance and Care Tips for New Quartz
In addition to regular cleaning, be sure to follow these maintenance and care tips to keep your new quartz looking its absolute best:
- Always use cutting boards, trivets, and hot pads. Never cut or place extremely hot items directly on the quartz.
- Blot up spills immediately to prevent staining, especially oil, wine, coffee, and other pigmented liquids.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners or rough scrubbing pads that can damage the surface.
- Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a specialty stone sealer to prevent stains from penetrating.
- Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables to remove dirt and chemicals that can etch quartz surfaces.
- For matte finish quartz, occasionally use a rejuvenating cleaner specifically made for matte stone.
- Thoroughly dry around sinks and fixtures to discourage water marks and mineral buildup.
How to Clean Specific Stains and Problems
Despite quartz being quite stain-resistant, some spills and problems can still occur. Here is how to tackle some common quartz countertop stains and cleaning challenges:
- First try dish soap and warm water. If needed, use an alkaline-based cleaner or ammonia.
Wine, Coffee, or Fruit Juice Stains
- Mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a paste. Gently scrub onto the stain and rinse.
Hard Water Marks and Mineral Buildup
- Use a cleaner containing lemon, vinegar, or other mild acids to help dissolve mineral deposits. Rinse thoroughly.
Mold or Mildew Stains
- Apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing. Scrub with baking soda if needed.
Etch Marks and Discoloration
- Rubbing the area with 0000 steel wool can help reduce etch marks. Resealing may also help minimize discoloration.
Dried Grease Stains
- Gently scrape off what you can with a plastic scraper. Use a degreasing stone cleaner to remove the rest of the grease.
Tough Food Stains
- Apply a poultice made from pH-neutral stone cleaner, laundry detergent, and powdered oxygen bleach. Let sit before rinsing.
Ink, Dye, or Makeup Stains
- Try using an alcohol-based cleaner or nail polish remover. Avoid acetone-based removers.
Always thoroughly test stains removers and cleaning solutions on an inconspicuous area first to ensure they don’t etch or discolor the stone.
How to Care for a Matte Finish Quartz Countertop
Matte finish quartz counters have a luxurious, natural feel compared to a polished surface. However, they do require a little bit different cleaning routine:
- Use pH neutral cleaning solutions only, as acidic cleaners will ruin the matte surface faster.
- Blot up spills immediately before they have a chance to soak in.
- Clean with soft cloths, not abrasive sponges or scrubbers.
- Avoid rubbing the surface too vigorously during cleaning.
- Use a rejuvenating cleaner made for matte stone every month or so to retain the soft matte finish.
- Consider using coasters under glasses to prevent etching of the surface.
Take extra care with matte quartz counters to keep them looking exquisitely soft and not overly worn or scrubbed.
How to Properly Seal Quartz Countertops
While quartz doesn’t require sealing as often as more porous natural stone, it is still a good idea to seal your counters every 1-2 years. Proper sealing helps prevent stains from soaking into microscopic pores in the surface. Here are some tips for sealing quartz:
- Clean the quartz thoroughly before sealing to remove any residue.
- Read the sealant directions carefully and test on a small area first.
- Apply enough sealant to lightly coat the surface without oversaturating or pooling.
- Allow the first coat to dry completely per the manufacturer’s directions, usually 20-60 minutes.
- For maximum protection, apply a second thin, even coat following the same steps.
- Avoid heavy use of the counters for at least 24 hours to allow the sealer to fully cure.
- Reapply sealant every 1-2 years, or whenever water starts to soak in instead of beading up on the surface.
Always choose a high-quality sealer specifically designed for use on quartz surfaces. This prevents discoloration or damage to the quartz.
How to Remove Difficult Spills from Quartz
For those really stubborn stains or spills on your quartz that routine cleaning can’t tackle, don’t panic. Here are some techniques for removing tricky spots:
Use a Poultice
Poulticing is a technique professionals use to draw out deep stains. Mix a pH neutral cleaning powder into a pasty solution with water or hydrogen peroxide, apply to the stain, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to dry completely before rinsing.
Try a Bleaching Agent
For organic stains, make a paste with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and apply to the stain. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the paste to lift the stain for 24-48 hours before rinsing.
Employ Gentle Heat
For waxy or greasy spills, carefully hold a hair dryer 6-8 inches above the surface and heat the spot for 1-2 minutes until it softens, then wipe clean using degreasing dish soap on a soft cloth.
Utilize a Pressure Washer
As a last resort for extreme stains, experienced professionals may use a mild pressure washer in the 100-400 psi range with warm water and a fan tip nozzle held 6+ inches away. This should only be done as an absolute last step to avoid damage.
Consult a Pro
For stains you just can’t seem to remove yourself, don’t risk damaging your investment—it’s best to call in a professional stone restoration company at that point for expert cleaning.
How to Remove Scratches from New Quartz
Finding light scratches on brand new quartz can be frustrating. Try these tips for removing minor scratches from quartz counters:
- Clean the area thoroughly to remove any dirt or residue. Examine the scratch closely—if it’s superficial, you may be able to polish it out yourself.
- For light hairline scratches, use a buffing sponge designed for quartz or a 000 or 0000 grade steel wool. Rub gently in the direction of the polish lines to blend out the scratch. Avoid scrubbing too aggressively.
- Apply a polish enhancer or restorative polishing cream to the buffing pad or steel wool to help remove and minimize scratches while polishing.
- Alternative, try using a plastic scrub pad or soft buffing block along with the polishing cream, again rubbing gently in direction of the polish lines.
- Afterwards, clean the quartz thoroughly with soap and water to remove any residue and buff dry. Reseal if necessary.
If excessive or deep scratches are present, it’s best to hire a professional quartz fabricator to refinish or resurface the counters to prevent damage during polishing. Any polish lines may be more visible on matte finish quartz.
How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Quartz
Hard water containing minerals can leave unsightly stains on quartz surfaces over time. To remove:
- Wipe the quartz with a cloth dampened with distilled white vinegar. Let the vinegar sit 5-10 minutes.
- Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a spreadable paste. Apply to the stains and let sit for 24 hours.
- Scrub stains gently with a soft cloth and plain water.
- Rinse several times with warm distilled water to remove any cleaning residue.
- Buff dry with soft cloths.
Repeat process as needed for stubborn buildup. Prevent hard water stains by thoroughly drying quartz surfaces after cleaning and sealing regularly.
How to Remove Etch Marks from Quartz Countertops
Acidic substances like citrus, vinegar, wine, tomatoes, and harsh cleaners can etch, or damage, the polish on quartz surfaces. Here’s how to minimize their appearance:
- Rub the etch mark gently with fine steel wool using minimal pressure to blend out the texture difference.
- Reseal the quartz countertop with an impregnating sealant, which helps fill micro abrasions.
- Use a polish enhancer or surface restorer to help blend the etch mark into the surrounding quartz.
While etch marks can’t be fully removed from quartz without refinishing, the above steps can minimize their visibility. Avoid using acidic cleaners and be sure to wipe up spills quickly.
How to Get Shine Back on Dull Quartz
Over time, quartz can start to look a bit dull and lose its luxurious luster. To restore shine:
- Deep clean using degreasing dish soap, baby shampoo, or pH-neutral stone cleaner. Rinse thoroughly.
- Follow with a quartz polish enhancer or restorative polish treatment.
- Use a buffing pad or super-fine (0000 grade) steel wool to gently buff in the direction of the polish lines.
- Apply an impregnating quartz sealer to renew protection and enhance shine.
- For matte finish quartz specifically, use a rejuvenating matte quartz cleaner weekly.
Regular polishing and sealing helps maintain the glossy sheen quartz is known for. Avoid abrasive scrubbing, which can contribute to a dull, scratched appearance over time.
Tips to Keep New Quartz Looking Brand-New
Here are some extra tips to help your quartz counters retain their pristine, factory-fresh beauty:
- Use cutting boards and trivets when preparing food.
- Clean up spills immediately before they have a chance to soak in or stain.
- Rinse fruits, vegetables, and containers before setting on the counters.
- Avoid using abrasive scrubbers or products containing acids, bleach or ammonia.
- Reseal with a specialty quartz sealer every 1-2 years.
- For matte finish quartz, use a dedicated matte stone cleaner regularly.
- Gently wipe the counters at the end of each day to remove any grime.
- Consider professional stone cleaning services periodically to revitalize the finish.
Follow these best practices, and your beautiful new quartz counters will stay looking like new for many years!
Frequently Asked Questions about Cleaning Quartz Countertops
There are a few common questions that come up when cleaning and caring for quartz countertops. Here are answers to some frequent quartz cleaning FAQs:
Can you use vinegar to clean quartz?
Vinegar is acidic, so avoid using it to clean quartz regularly. On occasion, it can be used mixed with water to remove hard water stains, but be sure to rinse thoroughly. Never leave straight vinegar sitting on the stone.
What happens if you don’t seal quartz countertops?
Quartz does not require sealing as often as more porous natural stones. However, sealing every 1-2 years helps prevent stains from penetrating the surface. Unsealed counters may be more prone to damage.
How do you polish dull quartz countertops?
Dull quartz can be polished by using a quartz polish enhancer and buffing gently with a soft pad. Resealing the counters also helps restore shine. Avoid scrubbing aggressively, which can actually worsen dullness.
Can Mr. Clean products be used on quartz?
Most standard Mr. Clean products contain chemicals too harsh for quartz. However, Mr. Clean does make a specialized quartz countertop cleaner that is safe when used according to the label directions.
Is a magic eraser safe for quartz?
Magic erasers work well for gently removing some stains. However, take care not to rub too aggressively, as the eraser can wear down the finish over time, causing dullness. Avoid using on matte finish quartz.
How do you get dried grout residue off new quartz?
Use a soft brush or sponge with warm, soapy water to gently scrub and loosen dried grout. Take care not to damage grout lines. Avoid scraping tools. An alkaline cleaner can help if soap doesn’t cut through the residue.
Can quartz counters stain permanently?
Quartz is very stain resistant, so permanent stains are unlikely with proper care and prompt cleanup of spills. However, deeply-set stains are possible if the right cleaner is not used. Professional help may be needed.
Quartz offers durability and low-maintenance charm, but still requires proper cleaning routines to keep the finish looking its very best. Be sure to provide quartz counters a thorough initial deep cleaning immediately after installation. Follow up with daily and weekly maintenance cleaning using only gentle, specially formulated stone cleaners. Take care when handling spills to avoid stains. Reseal periodically. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbing. With this quartz cleaning regimen, your counters will maintain their exquisite, like-new appearance for many years before needing professional restoration.