Quartz countertops are beautiful and durable, but like any surface they can get stained over time. Don’t worry – with the right products and techniques, you can get your quartz counters looking like new again. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to clean quartz countertop stains.
What Causes Stains on Quartz Countertops?
Quartz is non-porous, so spills and stains don’t penetrate the surface. However, residues from spills can build up over time. Common culprits that can stain quartz include:
- Oils and grease from cooking
- Coffee and tea
- Fruit juices
- Vinegar, wine, and acidic foods
- Dyes from highly pigmented foods like turmeric and berries
- Hard water deposits
- Metal marks from pots and pans
While quartz resists stains better than other countertop materials, prolonged exposure to staining agents can lead to stubborn spots and discoloration. But with the right cleaning methods, you can safely remove quartz countertop stains without damaging the surface.
How to Remove Common Stains from Quartz Countertops
For food, beverage and water stains:
- Mix a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing with a soft brush or sponge. Rinse clean.
- Make a cleaning paste with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Spread on the stain and let sit for up to an hour before scrubbing clean.
- Use a non-abrasive cleaner formulated for stone surfaces. Spray on and wipe away.
For grease and oil stains:
- Clean with a degreasing dish soap, concentrated detergent or all-purpose cleaner. Apply with a soft sponge or cloth and scrub gently.
- Use an ammonia-based cleaner. Apply with a soft cloth, let it sit for 5 minutes before wiping clean.
- Make a paste with baking soda and water. Spread on the greasy stain and let sit overnight. Scrub away in the morning.
For hard water stains:
- Make a paste using lemon juice and baking soda. Apply to the stain and let sit for a few hours before scrubbing clean. The citric acid helps dissolve mineral deposits.
- Use undiluted white vinegar. Soak a cloth and place it on the stain for 1-2 hours, then scrub away.
- Use a hard water stain remover formulated for stone and quartz. Apply as directed and rinse.
For metal marks:
- Immediately wipe the area with glass cleaner or ammonia. This prevents staining.
- Make a paste with baking soda and water and gently scrub the marks away.
- Use a poultice made with pH-neutral oxygen bleach, flour and water. Apply to the stain, cover with plastic wrap and allow to work overnight before scrubbing clean.
For dye stains:
- Make a poultice using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a spreadable paste. Apply to the stain, allow to sit for 4-6 hours under plastic wrap, then scrub clean.
- Use an oxygen bleach cleaner made for stone surfaces. Check the label and follow directions.
- Try rubbing the stain gently with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. This can lift dye without damaging the quartz.
Helpful Tips for Cleaning Quartz Counters
- Always use a mild cleaner specifically designed for quartz and stone. Avoid harsh chemicals.
- Blot spills quickly to prevent staining. Don’t let liquids sit.
- Scrub gently with a soft cloth, sponge or brush. Avoid abrasive pads.
- For stubborn stains, let a poultice or cleaning paste sit for hours to lift the stain before scrubbing.
- Thoroughly rinse and dry quartz after applying any cleaner to prevent streaks.
- Reseal quartz countertops every 1-2 years with a penetrating quartz sealer to prevent stains.
- Avoid getting quartz too hot. Trivets and hot pads can prevent scorch marks.
With the proper care, quartz countertops can stay looking beautiful for many years. Follow these cleaning tips to remove stains from your quartz surfaces. Be patient, persistent and use the safest cleaners to lift spots and discoloration without damaging the quartz.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertop Stains
Can you use bleach to clean quartz countertops?
No, avoid using bleach or chlorine-based cleaners on quartz counters. The chemicals in bleach can damage and discolor the quartz over time. Use a specially formulated oxygen-bleach cleaner if needed.
What homemade cleaners work on quartz stains?
Mix baking soda with water into a paste to scrub stains. Diluted hydrogen peroxide also works to lift many stains. Make a citrus-scented paste with lemon juice and baking soda. For heavy stains, cover with a poultice of baking soda and diluted hydrogen peroxide.
How do you get dried on food stains off quartz?
For dried food, make a paste of baking soda and water. Spread on the stain and let sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing with a soft brush. You can also let a hydrogen peroxide-baking soda mix sit for up to an hour before scrubbing.
Can I use Magic Erasers to clean quartz countertops?
Yes, Magic Erasers can be used to gently lift some stains from quartz surfaces without damaging the material. Avoid excessive scrubbing and test on an inconspicuous spot first.
How can I prevent stains on my quartz counters?
Blot spills immediately before they set. Use trivets and cutting boards to protect the surface. Clean counters frequently with a quartz-safe cleaner. Avoid harsh chemicals. Reseal quartz every 1-2 years.
What do I do if a stain won’t come out?
For stubborn stains, make a poultice with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Apply to the stain, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 4-6 hours before scrubbing. You can also try a stubborn stain remover made for quartz and stone.
Can vinegar damage quartz countertops?
Undiluted vinegar is generally considered safe for cleaning quartz. Limit contact time to an hour or less. Do not use vinegar with acidic foods on quartz, as prolonged exposure can etch the surface. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning with vinegar.
Regular cleaning and prompt treatment of spills prevents lasting stains on quartz countertops. With the proper techniques and non-abrasive cleaners, you can safely remove stains without damaging the quartz surface. Using homemade pastes and oxygen-bleach cleaners avoids the harsh chemicals that can discolor quartz over time. With some persistence and the right products, you can keep your quartz counters looking like new.