How to Clean Rust Stains Off Quartz Countertops


Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can get stained from time to time. Rust stains, in particular, can be tricky to remove given the porous nature of natural stone surfaces. Thankfully, with a bit of effort and the right cleaning solutions, you can get those stubborn iron oxide stains off your quartz countertops.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the most effective methods for removing rust stains from quartz, using common household ingredients and store-bought cleaners. With some scrubbing and patience, you can restore the pristine look of your countertops. Let’s get started!

What Causes Rust Stains on Quartz?

Before we dive into stain removal, it helps to understand what causes rust on quartz in the first place. Rust stains occur when iron particles come into contact with your countertop. The iron then oxidizes, leaving behind the characteristic reddish-brown discoloration.

Common causes of rust stains include:

  • Metal cookware: Pots, pans, and utensils made from iron or steel can deposit rust if placed directly on the quartz. Always use a trivet or hot pad when putting hot metal cookware on any surface.
  • Plumbing fixtures: Iron-rich water dripping from nozzles, faucets, and leaky pipes can leave rust marks over time. Have your plumbing system serviced if you see rust-colored water.
  • Supplements: Iron supplements and multivitamins can stain if left on the counter and exposed to moisture. Wipe up any spills right away.
  • Nails, screws, and tools: Iron-based hardware and tools resting on the quartz can oxidize and stain the surface. Keep them off your counters.
  • Sponges and cleaning rags: Iron residues on sponges and dirty rags can transfer to your countertop during cleaning. Avoid using rusty scrubbers.

With the source identified, you can take steps to prevent future stains. But for existing ones, it’s time to learn how to remove the unsightly marks.

Home Remedies for Cleaning Rust on Quartz Countertops

Many household pantry items make excellent eco-friendly cleaners for stain removal. Let’s look at some easy home remedies you can try on rust stains:

Baking Soda

Baking soda is mildly abrasive and alkaline, making it ideal for cleaning rust on quartz. Try this:

  • Make a paste by mixing 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water.
  • Apply the paste to the stain and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Scrub with a soft cloth or sponge rinse.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean towel.

For tougher stains, cover the paste with a damp paper towel overnight before scrubbing. The extended dwell time helps lift the stain.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is an acidic cleaner that can help dissolve rust deposits on quartz. Follow these steps:

  • Pour undiluted white vinegar directly onto the stain.
  • Let it sit for 15-20 minutes to penetrate the stain.
  • Wipe away the vinegar and rinse the area.
  • Dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Apply a few more rounds of vinegar as needed for stubborn marks.

Lemon Juice

Like vinegar, lemon juice contains acidic citric acid that breaks down rust stains.

  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto the stained area and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Scrub with a soft sponge, rinse, and dry thoroughly.


For light stains, plain table salt can be an effective abrasive scrub.

  • Make a paste with salt and lemon juice/white vinegar.
  • Gently rub onto the stain for 2-3 minutes.
  • Rinse and wipe dry with a soft cloth.

The salt crystals help lift the stain without damaging the quartz.

Commercial Cleaners for Removing Rust

For tough rust marks or extensive stains, chemical-based cleaners often work better than homemade solutions:

Bar Keeper’s Friend

This popular cleaner contains oxalic acid and fine abrasives that can penetrate and lift rust from quartz.

  • Apply Bar Keeper’s Friend powder directly to the stain.
  • Add just enough water to make a paste.
  • Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Scrub and rinse thoroughly.

It may take a few applications, but the stains will eventually fade away.

Rust Stain Removers

Look for commercial cleaners formulated specifically for rust in the tile and grout section. Popular brands include Whink Rust Stain Remover, Iron-Out, and CLR Cleaners.

  • Spray or pour the product directly onto the stain.
  • Let it dwell 5-10 minutes.
  • Scrub with a sponge or soft brush.
  • Rinse several times.

Always spot test in an inconspicuous area first, as acidic formulas can etch some stone surfaces.

Bleach Gel

Thick bleach gels cling to vertical surfaces better than liquid bleach. The chlorine breaks down the iron oxide stains.

  • Apply a liberal amount of gel to the stain.
  • Cover with plastic wrap. This prevents the gel from drying out.
  • Let sit overnight.
  • Remove the wrap and rinse thoroughly in the morning.

Take care not to leave bleach on too long, as this can damage the quartz sealant.

Magic Eraser

These cleaning melamine sponges can tackle all kinds of difficult stains.

  • Dampen a Magic Eraser and squeeze out excess water.
  • Gently rub stained areas using light pressure.
  • Rinse and dry the surface afterward.

The abrasives in the sponge lift stains without scratching.

Tips for Removing Rust Stains from Quartz Countertops

Follow these best practices when tackling rust on your quartz:

  • Act fast! Fresh stains are easier to remove.
  • Always do a test spot in an inconspicuous area first.
  • Apply pressure gently to avoid scratching the surface.
  • Give cleaners time to work before wiping or rinsing.
  • Repeat applications if needed until stain is completely gone.
  • Avoid abrasive scouring pads, steel wool, or sharp tools.
  • Rinse thoroughly after cleaning to prevent residue buildup.
  • Dry with soft cloth to prevent water marks.
  • Consider re-sealing your quartz annually to protect from stains.

With some persistent cleaning using these methods, you can banish rust stains from quartz. Just be patient and do not over-scrub, or you risk damaging the surface.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Rust Off Quartz Countertops

How do you get rust off quartz countertops?

The most effective way is to use a specialized rust remover or stain cleaner formulated for stone surfaces. Let it sit to penetrate the stain, then scrub gently with a soft sponge. Acidic cleaners like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice can also work to dissolve rust deposits. Avoid abrasive scouring pads.

What removes rust stains from quartz?

Bar Keepers Friend, Iron-Out, Whink Rust Remover, CLR Cleaners, and bleach gel are chemical cleaners made to remove tough rust stains from stone, tile, and quartz. For a non-toxic option, try baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, or salt scrub. Always spot test first.

How do you get metal stains off a quartz countertop?

To remove metal stains like rust or copper from quartz, make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply to the stain and let sit before gently scrubbing and rinsing. Alternately, use a rust stain remover formulated for stone. Do not use harsh abrasives or acids that can damage the finish.

Does vinegar remove rust from quartz?

Yes, vinegar effectively breaks down and dissolves rust stains on quartz surfaces. The acetic acid reacts with the iron oxide rust to lift the stains. Pour undiluted vinegar on the stain and let sit for 15-20 minutes before wiping clean. Repeat as needed for stubborn stains.

Can Magic Eraser remove rust stains from quartz?

Magic Erasers can be used to lightly scrub and remove rust stains from quartz countertops. Dampen the melamine sponge, then gently rub stained areas using minimal pressure. Avoid excessive scrubbing, as it can dull the surface over time. Rinse and dry after cleaning.

Final Thoughts

Rust stains don’t stand a chance against the cleaning methods outlined in this guide! With the right products and techniques, you can banish those pesky iron oxide marks from quartz counters for good. Just be sure to use the gentlest approach possible to avoid damaging the surface.

Stay diligent about wiping spills, keeping metal cookware on trivets, and cleaning with non-abrasives. And consider having your quartz counters professionally re-sealed annually for added protection.

With a bit of elbow grease and cleaning know-how, you can keep your quartz countertops looking like new for years to come. Good luck removing those rust stains!