Cleaning quartz countertops regularly is important to keep them looking their best. However, accidents happen and stains can occur. Don’t panic – quartz is non-porous, making stains unlikely to penetrate or permanently set into the surface. With the proper cleaning methods, even stubborn stains can be removed from quartz. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to clean quartz countertop stains.
What Causes Stains on Quartz Countertops?
There are a few common causes of stains on quartz countertops:
- Food and beverages – Spilled drinks like wine, coffee, and juice can leave behind stains, especially if left to sit. Foods with strong pigments like tomatoes, berries, and spices can also discolor quartz.
- Oils and grease – Cooking oils and greasy foods may leave oily residues. These can attract dirt and grime and lead to stained areas.
- Chemicals and cleaners – Improper cleaning with harsh chemicals like bleach, oven cleaners, etc. can damage and stain quartz.
- Other substances – Makeup, ink, dyes, paints, and more can stain if spilled and not cleaned up promptly.
Cleaning Tips to Prevent Stains
Preventing stains on quartz counters is easier than removing them. Follow these tips:
- Wipe up spills immediately before they have a chance to set.
- Use cutting boards and trivets to protect the surface.
- Clean with a mild soap and water regularly. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
- Re-seal quartz once a year with a stone sealer.
- Don’t place hot items directly on the counter. Use hot pads.
How to Remove Stains from Quartz Countertops
If stains occur, use these methods to remove them:
Step 1: Try a Gentle Cleaner
- Make a cleaning solution of warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap.
- Use a soft sponge or cloth to gently clean the stained area. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.
- Rinse well and dry with a soft towel. Many stains will lift after simple cleaning.
Step 2: Use a Quartz Cleaner
- If dish soap doesn’t work, use a specially formulated quartz cleaner.
- Spray or apply it directly onto the stain. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Wipe away gently with a soft cloth, rinse, and dry. Don’t leave cleaner to sit too long.
Step 3: Try a Poultice
- For stubborn stains, make a poultice to draw out the discoloration.
- Mix flour and hydrogen peroxide into a paste. Apply to the stain thickly.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 24 hours. Scrape off and rinse.
Step 4: Use Bleach or Acetone
- For extremely stubborn stains, use a dilute bleach or acetone solution.
- Try 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Or dip a cotton ball in acetone and dab onto the stain.
- Rinse immediately and thoroughly to avoid damage to the quartz. Monitor for 1 minute.
- This is a last resort method as it can damage the surface. Test first.
Step 5: Use a Magic Eraser
- Magic erasers work well on stubborn stains. Dampen the eraser and gently rub onto the stained spot.
- Take care not to over-scrub as this can dull the quartz surface over time.
Step 6: Call a Professional
- If all else fails, call a professional quartz countertop cleaning company. They have commercial-grade cleaners and tools to remove the most stubborn stains without harming quartz. This is recommended over attempting to grind, sand, or scrape stains yourself.
Tips for Preventing Future Stains
Once you’ve succeeded in removing stains from your quartz, keep these tips in mind to avoid future staining:
- Seal quartz counters annually with a stone sealer. This creates a protective barrier.
- Immediately wipe up spills, splatters, and drips when cooking.
- Avoid using quartz as a cutting surface. Always use a cutting board.
- Clean counters regularly with mild soap and water.
- Don’t place hot pots or pans directly on quartz. Use trivets and hot pads.
- Reconsider harsh chemicals like bleach, oven cleaners, etc. Stick to quartz-safe cleaners.
- Apply a hydrophobic cream weekly to repel liquids.
With proper care and prompt stain removal, quartz countertops will stay looking bright, clean, and beautiful for years. Be diligent and don’t hesitate to call a pro for tough stains.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertop Stains
Can I use bleach to clean quartz counters?
Bleach should only be used as a last resort for extremely stubborn stains. Even then, it should be diluted 10:1 with water. Prolonged exposure or undiluted bleach can damage and discolor quartz.
What about using vinegar?
White vinegar is a mild acid that can be used safely to clean quartz. Make a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and wipe over stains. Rinse thoroughly after. Don’t allow vinegar to sit too long.
Will magic erasers scratch my quartz?
Magic erasers are mildly abrasive, so take care not to over-scrub, which can dull the surface over time. Dampen before use and rub gently on stains. Don’t use on Quartz with a polished finish.
How can I get dye transfer stains out of my quartz?
Dye transfer from clothes, towels, etc. can be hard to remove. Use a poultice, magic eraser, or diluted bleach. If those don’t work, call a pro. Avoid using dye-transfer prone items on quartz.
What should I do about scratches or etches in quartz?
Minor scratches can be buffed out by a pro. Deep scratches may require a full resurfacing. Etches from chemicals require refinishing too. Avoid abrasive scrubbers and harsh cleaners that can damage.
Does sealing quartz really help prevent stains?
Yes, annual sealing creates a protective barrier that prevents stains from penetrating. It also makes cleaning easier. Use a stone sealer made for quartz. Reapply yearly.
How can I get rid of dried food stains?
For dried food stains, generously cover with a poultice paste and allow it to draw out the stain over 24 hours. Scrape off and rinse clean. Repeat if needed.
Regular cleaning and prompt attention to spills is key for avoiding stains on quartz countertops. If stains occur, start with mild cleaning methods like dish soap, then progress to commercial cleaners, poultices, and mild abrasives. For extremely stubborn stains, diluted bleach or acetone can be tried very briefly and carefully. Avoid harsh chemicals and scouring pads. With the proper care, quartz countertops will stay beautiful and stain-free for years to come.