How to Clean Rust from Quartz Countertops

Rust stains on quartz countertops can be unsightly and difficult to remove. However, with a little effort and the right cleaning solutions, you can get your quartz counters looking like new again. Here are some tips for removing rust from quartz.

What Causes Rust on Quartz?

Quartz countertops are non-porous and resistant to most stains. However, rust can still occur when:

  • Iron-rich materials like nails, screws or pots/pans are left on the surface for prolonged periods. As the iron oxidizes, it leaves behind rust deposits.
  • Metal objects resting on the countertop get wet, allowing rust to form.
  • Acidic substances like lemon juice or vinegar react with metal objects on the counter, causing rust stains.
  • Using abrasive scouring pads on metal objects resting on the quartz leads to scratches. These scratches accumulate rust over time.

Cleaning Mild Rust Stains from Quartz

For light rust marks that have not set in, try these simple cleaning solutions first:

Baking Soda and Water Paste

Make a paste of baking soda and water and gently rub it onto the rust stain using a soft cloth or sponge. Let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing and drying the area thoroughly. The mild abrasive action of baking soda can lift fresh rust stains.

Lemon Juice

Use undiluted lemon juice and rub it onto the stain with a paper towel or soft cloth. Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing and drying the quartz. The citric acid in lemon juice helps dissolve rust deposits.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Apply hydrogen peroxide directly on the rust mark and let it bubble for 2-3 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly with water and wipe dry with a soft cloth. Hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant and stain-remover.

Cleaning Stubborn Rust Stains from Quartz

For more stubborn rust marks or stains that have set into the surface, try these solutions:

Non-Acidic Rust Removers

Look for rust removers that are specifically formulated for stone and quartz surfaces. They contain ingredients like oxalic acid, ascorbic acid, citric acid that dissolve and loosen rust without damaging the quartz.

  • Apply a small amount of the remover directly on the stain as per the product instructions.
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Scrub gently with a soft brush or sponge.
  • Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

Vinegar Soak

Make a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 2 parts water. Dip a cloth or paper towel in this solution and place it directly on top of the rust stain.

  • Let it soak for 2-3 hours. Check intermittently if the stain is lifting.
  • Once done, rinse with clean water and dry the area.
  • For tougher stains, leave the vinegar solution overnight before rinsing.

Baking Soda + Hydrogen Peroxide

Make a paste using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Apply it on the stained area and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing clean. The combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide works together to lift tough stains.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Gently rub a damp magic eraser sponge on the rust stain in a circular motion. It will help abrade and lift the discoloration without damaging the quartz surface. Rinse and dry the countertop afterwards.

Tips to Prevent Rust Stains on Quartz

Prevention is the best way to deal with stubborn stains like rust on quartz counters. Here are some useful tips:

  • Wipe up spills immediately, especially those containing acids like lemon juice, vinegar or wine.
  • Never leave metal objects directly on the quartz surface for extended periods. Use coasters or trivets under pots and pans.
  • Clean and dry metal marks left behind by pots, keys etc. right away.
  • Use only non-abrasive cleaners formulated for quartz on your counters. Avoid bleaches, alkalis, acids.
  • Clean spills from around the sink area frequently to prevent moisture damage.
  • Consider applying a quality quartz sealer every 1-2 years for added protection.

Can You Remove Rust Stains from Quartz Yourself?

In most cases, you can remove rust stains from quartz countertops at home using the solutions mentioned above. However, for very stubborn stains that have etched into the surface, or widespread rust damage, it is best to call in a professional quartz restoration service. They have access to more powerful cleaning solutions and tools to remove the stains without damaging the countertop.

Getting rid of rust from quartz requires patience and using the right rust-removal products formulated for stone surfaces. With some elbow grease, you can restore the pristine look of your quartz countertops. Be sure to take steps to prevent future rust stains too!

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Rust from Quartz Countertops

How do I know if the rust stain has etched into my quartz countertop?

You can tell if a rust stain has etched into the quartz if it appears as a discolored mark in the surface and cannot be removed with regular cleaning. Etched stains feel rough or gritty to touch compared to the smooth quartz around it.

What home remedies can damage my quartz countertops?

Avoid using alkaline cleaners like ammonia, bleach or alkalis on quartz as they can damage the surface. Acidic solutions like vinegar should only be used for short periods as they can etch the stone. Store-bought cleaners containing dyes, pigments or oils can also stain quartz.

Can I use CLR to remove rust from my quartz countertop?

No, CLR which stands for Calcium, Lime and Rust remover is too harsh to use on quartz surfaces. The acids in CLR will damage and pit polished stone. Opt for rust removers specifically formulated for quartz and natural stone instead.

How long should I let a rust remover sit on quartz?

Follow the product instructions, but typically rust removers need 5-15 minutes of dwell time on the stain to work effectively. Do not let acidic removers sit for over 30 minutes as they can damage the stone.

Can Magic Eraser damage quartz countertops?

Magic erasers contain melamine foam which serves as a mild abrasive. When dampened with water and used gently in a circular motion, they can lift rust stains from quartz without causing scratches. Do not rub aggressively.

Why is my quartz countertop getting rust stains around the sink area?

Rust marks around a sink drain or faucet is usually due to water exposure. Letting water pool around metal areas leads to oxidation. Regularly cleaning and drying the area prevents rust discoloration.

How can I protect my quartz from future rust stains?

Avoid leaving metal objects directly on the counter. Clean up spills quickly. Use coasters, trivets and cutting boards. Apply a penetrating quartz sealer every 1-2 years. And clean the sink area frequently to prevent moisture damage.

Can rust stains reappear on quartz after cleaning?

If the rusting source is not removed, stains can return. Residual rust left in scratches or etched areas can also reoxidize when exposed to moisture. Sealing the quartz after cleaning helps protect it from recurring stains.

What’s the best way to clean rust stains around quartz sink areas?

Use a non-acidic cleaner formulated for natural stone on sink-adjacent areas. Avoid abrasive scouring pads. Wipe the area dry after use to prevent moisture buildup. Apply a stone sealer around sinks every year for added protection.

When should I call a professional for rust stain removal from quartz?

If DIY rust removal methods are ineffective and stains persist, or there is widespread rust etching that requires heavy-duty cleaning, call a professional quartz cleaner. They have access to stronger chemicals and tools to remove stains and re-polish damaged areas.