Quartz master countertops are popular in many modern kitchens for their durability, aesthetic appeal, and easy maintenance. However, over time, quartz can accumulate grime, stains, and residues that require cleaning to keep the surface looking its best. With proper techniques and products, cleaning quartz countertops doesn’t have to be a chore. This guide will walk you through the best methods for keeping quartz master countertops spotless.
What Are Quartz Master Countertops?
Quartz countertops, often referred to as engineered stone, are composed mainly of ground quartz crystals combined with pigments for color and a polymer resin binder. The quartz aggregate provides hardness and durability while the resin allows flexibility for shaping and installation.
Unlike natural stone countertops, such as granite or marble, that require sealing to prevent staining, quartz master countertops are non-porous so liquids and stains don’t easily penetrate the surface. However, quartz can still accumulate buildup that dulls the finish over time.
Brands like Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI offer numerous quartz master countertop colors and patterns to suit any decor. Always check the manufacturer’s care instructions but most quartz requires minimal maintenance to look pristine for years.
Supplies Needed for Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Cleaning quartz master countertops doesn’t require specialized tools or hard-to-find products. Here are the basic supplies you’ll need:
- Mild liquid dish soap – Look for a gentle soap without additives like lotions that can leave residue. Dish soap helps lift dirt and grease.
- Soft cleaning cloth or sponge – Avoid abrasive pads or paper towels that could scratch. Microfiber cloths work well.
- pH-neutral stone cleaner – Specifically formulated for stone surfaces without acids or harsh chemicals. Helpful for removing stuck-on grime.
- Disinfecting cleaner – Look for EPA-registered, non-bleach disinfectants safe for use on quartz. Great for sanitizing surfaces.
- Glass cleaner – Useful for polishing stainless steel sinks or faucets. Look for a streak-free formula.
- Small soft brush – Helpful for cleaning grout lines or textured areas of quartz.
- Cleaning toothbrush – For scrubbing tiny crevices on quartz surfaces.
- Clean water and microfiber cloths – For rinsing and drying the counters after cleaning.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops Daily
Daily cleaning helps prevent buildup that can get harder to remove over time. Here’s a quick daily cleaning routine for quartz master countertops:
1. Remove loose debris.
Wipe down the counters with a dry microfiber cloth to remove crumbs, dirt, and other debris. Cleaning counters while dry prevents spreading mess.
2. Wash with warm water and mild soap.
Add a small squirt of liquid dish soap to warm water. Dampen a soft cloth or sponge then wipe down the entire counter surface. Avoid saturating quartz with excessive water.
3. Rinse and dry completely.
Thoroughly rinse counters with clean water to remove all soap residue. Dry the surface completely with a clean cloth. Any moisture left behind can cause streaks.
4. Disinfect occasionally.
Use your preferred disinfecting cleaner to sanitize and kill bacteria from kitchen messes. Spray or wipe on disinfectant then let sit per product instructions before a final rinse.
Daily cleaning should keep quartz looking clean, but once a week deep cleaning helps revitalize the surface.
How to Deep Clean Quartz Countertops
Over time, quartz surfaces can develop a dulled patina from regular use. Oils, grease, soap scum, hard water spots and other grime can adhere to the surface. Deep cleaning helps remove buildup and restore shine.
1. Sweep or wipe surfaces.
Remove any debris, crumbs or food first so you’re not pushing it around while cleaning. Start with a dry counter.
2. Apply a stone cleaner.
Spray a pH-neutral stone cleaner formulated for quartz directly onto the surface. Avoid bleach or acidic cleaners that can damage quartz.
3. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Letting the cleaner soak helps break up residue. Don’t let the cleaner dry on the surface.
4. Scrub with a soft brush.
Use a soft bristle brush, toothbrush, or Dobie pad to gently scrub stuck-on grime or stains. Apply light pressure and avoid abrasive scrubbing.
5. Rinse thoroughly.
Rinse the counters very well with clean water to remove all cleaner residue. Letting cleaner residue sit can damage the finish.
6. Dry and polish.
Wipe excess moisture with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. Buff gently to restore shine.
Repeat weekly, or as needed for stubborn spots, to keep quartz countertops looking their best.
How to Remove Common Stains from Quartz Countertops
Quartz is impressively stain-resistant but it’s not completely stain-proof. Over time, spills and messes can leave discoloration that requires special attention to remove. Here are tips for removing some common quartz countertop stains:
Coffee and tea stains – Mix baking soda and water into a paste then gently scrub stained areas. Rinse and dry thoroughly. The alkalinity in baking soda helps dissolve organic staining from drinks.
Red wine – Lightly wet the stain then sprinkle with salt and blot with a cloth. The salt helps absorb the pigment. Rinse and clean as usual.
Oil-based stains – Use a bit of non-abrasive scrubbing cleaner and a soft brush to gently lift grease, oil or butter stains after softening with warm water. Avoid aggressive scrubbing.
Dried spills or grime – Soak a cleaning cloth in warm water and hold over the stain for 1-2 minutes to soften. Gently scrub with a damp cloth and pH-neutral stone cleaner then rinse.
Hard water spots – Wipe with equal parts water and vinegar. The acidity in vinegar removes mineral deposits. Rinse thoroughly afterward.
Mold or mildew – Spray with hydrogen peroxide and let bubble for 10 minutes. Scrub gently with a soft brush then rinse. Let dry completely to inhibit more mold growth.
For messes cleaned up promptly, dish soap and water should remove most stains. But for stubborn, set-in stains, these targeted cleaning methods can help remove them.
How to Sanitize and Disinfect Quartz Countertops
Kitchen counters see a lot of mess and germs. While quartz itself discourages bacterial growth, thoroughly disinfecting counters helps ensure a sanitary work surface.
Use EPA-registered disinfectants
Look for disinfecting cleaners approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for use against bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. Check product labels and instructions for safe use on stone surfaces.
Allow proper contact time
Disinfectants need to remain visibly wet on the surface for a specified contact time to fully sanitize, which can range from 3-10 minutes. Don’t wipe or rinse before the product has had time to work.
Scrub textured areas
Use a small brush to work disinfecting cleaner into grout lines or textured quartz surfaces where bacteria can lurk. Let sit for the full contact time before rinsing.
Avoid bleach solutions
While bleach can disinfect, the harsh chemicals in it can damage or discolor quartz. Opt for safer disinfectants effective against common household germs.
Wipe down after food prep
Thoroughly wiping counters after preparing raw meat, eggs or other foods removes bacteria that can spread and contaminate later. Kill remaining germs with disinfectant.
Regular disinfecting and paying special attention to food contact areas helps eliminate illness-causing germs on quartz countertops.
How to Care for Quartz Sinks
Built-in quartz sinks and rinse bowls create a beautiful, seamless look in today’s stylish kitchens. The non-porous material makes quartz sinks very hygienic and easy to keep clean. Here are some tips for cleaning and caring for a quartz sink:
- Quartz sinks can be cleaned with the same mild dish soap and soft cloth used on countertops. For stuck-on gunk, let the sink soak for 10 minutes then scrub gently with a Dobie pad.
- While quartz is scratch resistant, avoid abrasive scouring powders or pads that could eventually dull the finish.
- Use a gentle glass cleaner like Windex to help keep quartz sparkling. For hard water spots, wipe with equal parts vinegar and water.
- Take care not to drop heavy pots, pans or kitchen tools that could chip or crack quartz. The surface is tough but not completely damage-proof.
- Run very hot water slowly into a quartz sink. Sudden extreme temperature changes from scalding water can potentially damage the sink.
- Don’t use quartz sinks as a cutting board. Knives can scrape and scratch the surface. Always use a separate cutting board.
With regular gentle cleaning and avoiding heat or impact damage, quartz sinks stay beautiful and functional for many years.
How to Remove Scratches from Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops are very scratch resistant thanks to their composition but they aren’t scratch-proof. Over years of use, small scratches can appear on the surface, mainly caused by sliding dishes, pots or appliances across the counters. Thankfully, light scratches can be minimized.
For thin surface scratches, rub a damp cloth with a small amount of Bar Keepers Friend or Bon Ami in a circular motion. Avoid other abrasive powders. Rinse thoroughly afterward and buff dry.
Use 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper to gently smooth deeper scratches. Sand lightly in the direction of the scratch then wipe clean. Finish by buffing the area with a quartz polish to blend the finish.
Major scratches may require calling in a professional fabricator to refinish the damaged section of quartz. They can sand and buff out scratches and restore the polish.
Taking care to avoid dragging dishes, pots or appliances across the counter can help prevent scratching in the first place. But for existing light scratches, there are ways to diminish their appearance at home.
How to Remove Etching from Quartz Countertops
Along with scratching, quartz surfaces can also become etched over time. Etching shows up as cloudy, hazy areas on the surface rather than defined scratches. Common causes of etching include:
- Spills of acidic liquids like lemon juice, vinegar or chemicals
- Leaving cleaners or soap residue to dry on the counter
- Exposure to extreme heat
- Contact with abrasive pads or powders
To remove light etching:
- Gently rub a slurry of baking soda and water over the hazy area using a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly.
- Alternately, use a buffing pad or very fine (at least 600-grit) sandpaper to lightly sand the etch mark. Sand in a circular motion.
- Finish by wiping the area with a quartz polish to blend the refinished section.
For deeper etching that exposes the actual quartz matrix, a professional fabricator may be needed to hone and re-polish the surface. Preventing long term exposure to acids and abrasives helps avoid etching in the first place.
How to Seal Quartz Countertops
Unlike natural stone, quartz countertops don’t require sealing since they are non-porous. Liquids don’t actually penetrate the surface, making sealing unnecessary.
In fact, sealers used on natural stone can actually damage quartz surfaces:
- Sealers can discolor or create a hazy film on quartz that obscures the finish.
- Chemical sealers can react with the resin binder and slowly break it down.
- Solvent-based sealers might yellow or etch quartz.
- Waxy sealants are hard to remove once applied.
Instead of sealing, the best way to keep quartz looking its best is regular cleaning with mild soap and water and avoiding exposure to chemicals or other damaging agents. Maintenance is easy without the extra step of sealing required for natural stone.
How to Disinfect Quartz Countertops Without Damaging Them
Disinfecting quartz provides peace of mind against illness-causing germs in the kitchen. However, some cleaners contain chemicals that can damage surfaces over time. Here are tips for safely disinfecting:
- Opt for hydrogen peroxide based disinfectants which break down into water and oxygen without leaving chemical residue.
- Look for plant-based disinfectants like thyme oil which are non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
- Avoid disinfectants with phthalates, ammonia, bleach or chlorine which can strip quartz over time, causing erosion and dullness.
- Don’t use disinfectant wipes containing alcohols which can dull quartz shine.
- Mix a diluted bleach spray at 1 part bleach to 9 parts water for occasional disinfecting. Avoid frequent use.
- Always thoroughly rinse disinfectants from quartz to prevent chemical buildup.
With the right non-damaging disinfectant and proper care, you can sanitize quartz worry-free.
How to Make Quartz Countertops Shine
While quartz maintains its glossy sheen for years, environmental factors can cause dulling over time. Here are tips for restoring luster:
- Regularly clean quartz with a pH-neutral stone cleaner, not just mild detergent, to remove soap scum and hard water buildup.
- Occasionally deep clean surfaces with a Dobie pad or soft brush and stone cleaner to remove stuck-on grime that causes dullness.
- Use a quartz polish specifically designed for engineered stone. Avoid wax-based polishes. Massage a small amount into clean counters using a soft cloth in circular motions.
- For water spots and mineral etching, rub surfaces with a bit of baking soda. Rinse then dry completely to remove cloudiness.
- Inspect nearby windows and skylights for UV damage which can yellow quartz. Consider adding window films to block harmful rays.
With proper care, quartz master countertops retain their radiant, glossy finish for many years. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for deep conditioning if your counters lose their luster.
How to Remove Dried Grout from Quartz Countertops
Installing new tile backsplashes can result in grout residue drying on quartz countertops. Remove dried grout as soon as possible to avoid permanent damage:
- Let any fresh grout dry completely first. Wet grout smears easily.
- Carefully scrape off any thick clumps with a plastic putty knife or spatula to avoid scratching.
- Mix a paste of baking soda and water. Spread over grout residue and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Gently scrub with a soft bristle brush or Dobie pad to lift residue.
- Wipe the area clean with a damp microfiber cloth. Avoid excessive moisture.
- If any stain remains, apply a few drops of hydrogen peroxide and scrub gently to lift it. Rinse thoroughly.
- Dry completely and buff with a soft cloth.
Avoid using acidic grout cleaners which can etch quartz. With some patience and gentle abrasion, baking soda or peroxide remove dried grout safely.
How to Cut on Quartz Countertops
Quartz makes an impressively durable work surface in kitchens, but avoid direct cutting on the countertop. Here’s how to protect quartz when cutting:
- Always use a separate cutting board, not the countertop, when chopping, slicing or carving foods.
- Select a cutting board in a contrasting color to make any transferred crumbs easy to see.
- Opt for wood, plastic or bamboo boards which are gentle on knife edges. Avoid glass or stone boards that could scratch.
- Add a thin cushioned mat under the cutting board to absorb impact and protect the counters.
- Use a special countertop scrape to sweep crumbs off cutting boards directly into the trash or compost.
- Avoid cutting anything hard or tough enough to scratch quartz like uncooked bones, hard-crusted breads, or winter squash varieties.
- Wash cutting boards promptly since lingering juices and oils can stain.
Taking a few sensible precautions keeps quartz pristine when cutting and prepping foods. The small investment in cutting boards pays off with countertops that stay looking new.
How Often to Reseal Quartz Countertops
Resealing is an important maintenance step for natural stone countertops like granite or marble to prevent stains and damage. But quartz counters DO NOT require regular resealing since they are non-porous.
In fact, sealants can cause more harm than good on engineered quartz:
- Sealers leave behind a residue on quartz that is difficult to remove. This causes visible cloudiness in the finish.
- Chemical sealants can react with quartz, damaging the resin binder and gradually breaking it down.
- Wax-based sealers are especially difficult to strip off once applied.
- Solvent sealers have ingredients that could etch or yellow the quartz.
Since liquids don’t penetrate quartz counters, resealing provides no real benefit and risks damaging the surface. Simply clean quartz regularly with mild soap and water to maintain its factory-fresh beauty. Consult the manufacturer’s care guide for optimal maintenance recommendations.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops Before First Use
New quartz counters should be cleaned thoroughly before being put to use in the kitchen. Here are some tips for