Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, stylish appearance, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can still get stained from spills and regular use. The good news is that quartz is non-porous, so stains tend to stay on the surface rather than absorb deep into the material. With the right cleaning methods, you can remove stains from quartz and restore its original beauty.
What Causes Stains on Quartz?
Quartz is resistant to many common kitchen stains, but it is still possible for some substances to leave discoloration if left on the surface. Here are some of the most common causes of stains on quartz countertops:
- Oil-based spills like olive oil, grease, and cooking oils
- Tomatoes, ketchup, pasta sauce, and other acidic foods
- Coffee, tea, and other drinks with pigment
- Dyes from chemicals, makeup, or colored foods
- Hard water deposits and soap scum buildup
- Heat from hot pans and appliances
Care should be taken to wipe up acidic and pigmented spills as soon as possible to prevent staining. But even dried-on stains can usually be removed with the right cleaning techniques.
Cleaning Products Safe for Use on Quartz
It’s important to use the right cleaners for quartz to avoid damaging the surface during stain removal. Here are some cleaning solutions that are safe for quartz:
- Mild dish soap and warm water
- Stone cleaner or granite cleaner
- Baking soda paste
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Cleaners specifically formulated for quartz
Avoid using any abrasive cleaners, scrubbing pads, or products with high acid or alkaline content. These can scratch, etch, or dull the quartz surface over time. Always refer to the manufacturer’s care recommendations before using a new cleaner on your countertops.
Steps to Remove Common Stains from Quartz
Here is a step-by-step process to clean some of the most stubborn stains from quartz countertops:
For Dried-On Food, Grease, and Oil Stains:
- Mix a mild detergent like dish soap with warm water in a spray bottle. Liberally spray the stained area.
- Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes so the cleaner can penetrate the stain.
- Use a soft sponge or cloth to gently scrub the stain in circular motions. Avoid abrasive scrubbers.
- Rinse well with clean water and dry with a soft towel.
- For tougher stains, make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply to the stain and let sit overnight before scrubbing and rinsing. The baking soda will help draw out discoloration.
For Wine, Coffee, Tea Stains:
- Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water. Liberally spray the stain.
- Allow to sit for 10 minutes. The peroxide will bubble up and help lift the stain.
- Scrub with a soft sponge or towel.
- Rinse clean and dry thoroughly. The hydrogen peroxide can bleach the quartz if left on too long, so limit contact time.
For Hard Water Stains:
- Wipe the quartz surfaces with undiluted white vinegar. The acetic acid in vinegar will help dissolve mineral deposits.
- Let the vinegar sit for 5 minutes before wiping clean with a damp cloth.
- For stubborn hard water stains, apply a baking soda paste. Let it sit overnight before scrubbing and rinsing.
- Buff dry with a microfiber cloth.
For Soap Scum Buildup:
- Spray stained areas with full strength white vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes. This will cut through soap film.
- Scrub with a plastic-bristle brush or sponge. Avoid wire brushes that can scratch.
- Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.
Maintaining Your Quartz Countertops
Regular cleaning and prompt stain removal are key to keeping quartz looking like new. Here are some maintenance tips:
- Wipe up spills immediately, especially acidic substances.
- Clean quartz at least once a week with a quartz-safe cleaner.
- Use cutting boards and trivets to protect the surface from knives and hot pans.
- Avoid exposing the countertops to very high heat.
- Re-seal quartz annually with a quartz sealer to boost stain resistance.
- Avoid using cleaners that contain lemon, vinegar, or other acids.
- Rinse the surface after cleaning to remove any chemical residue.
By understanding what causes stains and learning the proper cleaning techniques, you can keep your quartz countertops looking pristine for years to come. With a little care, quartz will maintain its radiant, stain-free shine.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Can I use bleach to clean quartz countertops?
No, bleach and other harsh chemicals like oven cleaners should never be used on quartz. They can damage or discolor the surface. Mild dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and stone cleaners are safer options.
How can I make my quartz more stain resistant?
Applying a penetrating quartz sealer every 6-12 months will make the surface more stain repellent. Be sure to use a sealer made specifically for quartz.
What should I avoid putting on quartz countertops?
Avoid exposing quartz to very hot pots and pans, strong chemicals, or acidic foods like lemon juice. Using trivets and wiping up spills quickly will help prevent damage.
Can stains come back after removing them from quartz?
It’s possible for some light stains or etching marks to return if the original cause of the stain wasn’t fully eliminated. Make sure to rinse counters thoroughly after cleaning to remove all soap or chemical residue.
What’s the best way to clean tough dried-on stains from quartz?
For challenging dried-on stains, make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply a thick layer over the stain, let sit overnight, then scrub off in the morning. The baking soda helps draw out deep stains.
Quartz countertops are prone to staining from time to time. By understanding what causes the stains and using the safest cleaning solutions and techniques, these stains can usually be removed. With prompt cleanup of spills and regular maintenance cleaning, quartz countertops will retain their like-new beauty for many years before needing professional restoration. Be sure to refer to the manufacturer’s care guide for your specific quartz variety and model number before attempting any stain removal. With some elbow grease and quartz-safe cleaners, your counters can look stunning once again.