How to Clean Pencil Marks Off Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, stylish appearance, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can get dirty over time, especially if it is used heavily. Pencil marks are one of the most stubborn stains that can occur on quartz. The good news is that with the right cleaning methods, you can safely remove pencil marks from your quartz countertops.

What You Need to Clean Pencil Marks Off Quartz

Before you start cleaning, you’ll need to gather the proper supplies:

  • Dish soap or other mild detergent
  • Soft cloth, sponge, or non-abrasive scrub pad
  • Magic eraser or pencil eraser
  • Mineral spirits or acetone (optional)
  • Clean water
  • Microfiber cloth for drying

Avoid using any abrasive cleaners or scouring pads, as they can scratch and damage the quartz surface. You’ll also want to steer clear of bleach and other harsh chemicals.

Cleaning Methods to Try

Here are some simple, effective ways to clean pencil marks off quartz countertops:

Dish Soap and Water

Mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water and use a soft cloth or sponge to gently wipe the marks. Let it sit briefly, then scrub lightly and rinse clean. The surfactants in dish soap can help break up and dissolve greasy pencil residue.

Pencil Eraser

An ordinary pencil eraser, magic eraser, or drafting eraser are often sufficient for erasing light pencil marks. Gently rub the eraser over the marks in a circular motion, taking care not to scrub too vigorously. This works best for fresh pencil marks that haven’t had time to really set in.

Mineral Spirits

For stubborn, dried-on marks, you may need a solvent like mineral spirits. Dip a soft cloth into the mineral spirits and gently rub the marks. Be sure to spot test first in an inconspicuous area, as mineral spirits can sometimes dull quartz’s shine. Promptly rinse with soapy water.

Acetone (Nail Polish Remover)

In cases where mineral spirits are ineffective, acetone-based nail polish remover can also dissolve tough pencil marks. Use a small amount on a cotton ball and rub gently over marks. Rinse surface thoroughly after cleaning. Avoid prolonged exposure, as acetone can damage some quartz sealers.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

The popular Magic Eraser works well to scrub off many household stains. Simply wet the eraser, then gently rub stained areas using light, circular motions. This can remove pencil marks without damaging the quartz. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after erasing.

Baking Soda Paste

For an all-natural option, make a paste by mixing baking soda with a few drops of water or lemon juice. Spread the paste onto marks and let sit briefly before scrubbing with a soft cloth or sponge. Baking soda is a mildly abrasive cleaner that can break down residue without scratching.

Tips for Removing Pencil Marks From Quartz

  • Always rub gently when erasing marks to avoid damaging the quartz surface. Never use abrasive scrub pads or brushes.
  • When using chemical cleaners, spot test first and rinse thoroughly afterwards.
  • For best results, clean marks soon after they occur. The longer residue sits, the harder it’ll be to remove.
  • If marks remain after cleaning, repeat process using a solvent like mineral spirits or acetone.
  • To help prevent marks, use pencil sharpeners and write only on designated surfaces, not directly on the quartz.

How to Avoid Pencil Marks on Quartz

Prevention is the best way to deal with pencil stains on quartz counters. Here are some tips to keep your quartz pristine:

  • Use pens instead of pencils when writing near your quartz. Ink is much easier to wipe away.
  • Install a hanging wall calendar, chalkboard, or dry erase board for reminders instead of writing directly on counters.
  • Keep pencils and pencil sharpeners off kitchen counters and use them only on appropriate surfaces.
  • Immediately wipe up any pencil marks left accidentally before they have a chance to settle in.
  • Apply a quality quartz sealer annually to make the surface more stain resistant.
  • Avoid placing porous papers directly on the quartz, as carbon from pencils can transfer through.

With the proper supplies and techniques, you can safely remove pesky pencil marks from your quartz countertops without damaging the surface. The key is using gentle yet effective cleaners and promptly treating any stains. With extra care taken while writing and coloring near your counters, you can also prevent many pencil marks from occurring in the first place.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Pencil Marks Off Quartz Countertops

Can I use bleach or oven cleaner to remove marks from quartz?

No, avoid using bleach, oven cleaner, or any harsh chemicals on your quartz countertops. These can damage, discolor or dull the quartz surface. Mild dish soap, pencil erasers, or mineral spirits are safer options.

How can I remove ink or permanent marker from my quartz?

For removing inks or permanent marker, gently rub with isopropyl alcohol using a soft cloth. Dish soap can also help break up pigment. Avoid abrasive cleaners, as they could scrape off the stained top layer of the quartz along with the marks.

Will magic erasers scratch my quartz countertops?

Magic erasers are generally safe for use on quartz counters when used gently. Rub lightly using circular motions. Avoid pressing too hard or using on a dirty eraser, which could potentially mar the finish. Any mild scratches caused can often be buffed out by a professional.

How do I get rid of etched pencil marks on my quartz?

Heavily etched marks may require a solvent like acetone applied with a cotton ball using very light pressure. Mineral spirits can also help dissolve any greasy residue settled into etches. Avoid aggressive scrubbing, as this may worsen etching. Having your quartz professionally polished can remove etching damage.

Why do some stains reappear on my quartz after cleaning?

If stains reappear after removing them, it means the residue has penetrated into etches or pores in the quartz. Use a toothbrush and baking soda paste to gently scrub out embedded grime. A rinse with vinegar after cleaning can help remove any leftover buildup. Filling etches with epoxy may be required for stubborn reappearing marks.


Pencil marks on quartz countertops can be annoying, but they don’t have to be permanent. With the proper supplies and techniques, you can safely remove marks without damaging your countertops. The key is being gentle yet persistent. Rub marks with a soft eraser, mild detergent, or solvent using light circular motions. Protect your quartz by using pens instead of pencils, cleaning up marks promptly, and applying an annual sealer. With some diligence, your quartz countertops can stay looking like new.