How to Clean Soap Scum from Quartz Countertops

Cleaning soap scum from quartz countertops can seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, you can keep your counters looking like new. Here are some tips for effectively removing soap scum from quartz.

What Causes Soap Scum on Quartz?

Soap scum forms when soap residues combine with mineral deposits from water. The binders in soap allow the residues to stick to surfaces, while hard water leaves behind minerals like calcium and magnesium. When these elements interact, they create an insoluble film that adheres to countertops.

Quartz countertops are non-porous, so soap scum sits on the surface. Over time, it accumulates and leads to cloudy, dull areas on your counters. Soap scum is often white or gray in color but can also appear as rainbow-colored stains. It’s unsightly and can be a haven for bacteria.

How to Remove Soap Scum from Quartz Countertops

Removing soap scum requires a bit of elbow grease. Quartz is highly resistant to staining and etching, so you can use mildly abrasive cleaners. Stay away from harsh chemicals like bleach that could damage the surface.

Supplies You’ll Need

  • Nonabrasive scrubbing sponge or soft cloth
  • Warm water
  • pH-neutral cleaner or baking soda
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Small bowl for mixing cleaning solutions

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Mix a cleaning solution. For a simple option, make a paste with baking soda and water. You can also use a few drops of white vinegar and water. Commercial quartz cleaners work too.
  2. Wet the countertop surface. Use a spray bottle filled with warm water to lightly dampen the soapy areas you want to clean.
  3. Apply the cleaner. Spread the paste or cleaning solution onto the soap scum stains. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Scrub the area. Use a soft cloth or nonabrasive sponge in circular motions to gently scrub the soap scum. Rinse frequently.
  5. Rinse thoroughly. Wipe away all the cleaning solution with warm water and dry with a clean cloth.
  6. Repeat as needed. For stubborn stains, repeat the process until the quartz is gleaming.
  7. Seal and protect. Consider applying a quartz countertop sealer every 6-12 months to help prevent buildup.

Tips for Preventing Soap Scum on Quartz

Stopping soap scum before it starts is ideal. Here are some handy tips:

  • Rinse counters after each use to remove soap residues.
  • Squeegee counters dry after washing dishes or hands.
  • Use a liquid soap dispenser rather than leaving a soap bar on the counter.
  • Install a water softener to reduce mineral content.
  • Avoid highly pigmented cleansers that can stain.
  • Clean counters at least once a week to stop buildup.

How to Clean Soap Scum from Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are prone to soap scum buildup from handwashing dishes and more. Here are some of the most effective methods for removing that unsightly film.

Use a pH-Neutral Cleaner

pH-neutral cleaners are formulated to remove grease, dirt, and soap scum without damaging surfaces. Look for ones specifically made for stone and quartz. Apply the cleaner to soapy areas and let it sit before wiping.

Baking Soda Paste

Make a paste with equal parts baking soda and water. Spread onto stained areas, let sit 5-10 minutes, then scrub with a soft sponge before rinsing. The mild abrasiveness lifts soap scum without scratching.

Vinegar Solution

Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Spray or wipe onto soapy buildup and allow to sit before scrubbing and rinsing. The acid in vinegar breaks down soap scum.

Soft Scrub Paste

Gently rub a soft scrub cleaner like Bon Ami onto affected areas using a damp sponge. Rinse thoroughly. Avoid anything too abrasive.

Steam Clean

Use a handheld steam cleaner to melt soap scum away. Focus steam onto stained areas, then wipe residue with a microfiber cloth. Repeat as needed.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Dampen a Magic Eraser and rub gently over soap scum stains. The melamine foam lifts residue without chemicals. Be cautious not to scrub too hard.

Common Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertops

Cleaning quartz counters doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Can I use bleach or harsh chemicals on quartz?

No, stick to mild cleaners. Harsh chemicals like bleach, oven cleaners, etc. can damage or discolor quartz.

How can I make quartz counters shine?

For extra shine, clean with a quartz polish/cleaner or buff with a soft cloth after regular cleaning. Avoid waxes which can cause buildup.

What happens if I use something too abrasive?

Overly abrasive pads or cleansers can dull the surface and lead to swirl marks over time. Use soft sponges and non-scratching products.

How often should I clean quartz counters?

Clean quartz at least once a week with quick daily wipe-downs. More frequent cleaning prevents stubborn stains.

Can quartz counters stain from spills?

Quartz resists stains, but some spills like wine, coffee and oil can stain if left too long. Wipe up promptly to avoid issues.


With regular cleaning using non-abrasive products and soft scrubbing, you can keep your quartz looking beautiful and soap-scum free. Stay on top of daily wipe-downs, use preventative measures, and give counters a deep clean whenever you notice buildup. Consistent care will help your quartz counters maintain their sleek, polished aesthetic for years.