Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can get stained from spills and daily wear and tear. The good news is that quartz is non-porous, so stains tend to sit on the surface rather than absorb into the material. With the right cleaning methods, you can often remove stains from quartz and restore its original beauty.
What Causes Stains on Quartz Countertops?
There are a few common causes of stains on quartz countertops:
- Food and beverages – Things like coffee, tea, wine, juice, and tomato sauce can stain quartz surfaces. The acids, oils, and pigments in these substances can discolor the material.
- Grease and oil – Greasy spills from cooking can leave behind a residue that leads to staining.
- Cosmetics – Makeup, lotions, and hair products often contain pigments that can transfer to countertops.
- Medications – Certain over-the-counter medicines like benzoyl peroxide can react with the chemicals in quartz and cause stains.
- Hard water spots – Mineral deposits from tap water can build up and leave marks on the surface.
- Cuts and scratches – Damage to the surface can allow spills and grime to seep in and discolor the quartz.
How to Remove Stains from Quartz Countertops
Here are the most effective methods for removing various types of stains from quartz:
Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need
- Mild liquid dish soap
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Soft cleaning rag or sponge
- Non-abrasive scrub pad
- Spray bottle filled with water
Food and Beverage Stains
For stains caused by drinks like coffee and juice or food items like tomato sauce:
- Blot up any excess liquid immediately with a paper towel. Avoid scrubbing aggressively while the spill is wet.
- Mix a solution of 2 parts water and 1 part mild dish soap. Use a damp sponge or cloth to wipe the stain with the soapy solution.
- If needed, make a paste by sprinkling some baking soda directly on the stain and rubbing it in with a soft scrub pad. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.
Grease and Oil Stains
For oily stains from food prep and cooking:
- Sprinkle baking soda directly on the greasy stain and let sit for 5-10 minutes. The baking soda will help absorb and lift the grease.
- Use a soft sponge or cloth to gently rub the baking soda into the stain.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.
- If any residue remains, repeat steps 1-3 as needed.
For stubborn makeup and personal care product stains:
- Apply a small amount of undiluted white vinegar directly onto the stain.
- Let the vinegar sit for 2-3 minutes to break down the pigment molecules responsible for the discoloration.
- Wipe away the vinegar with a damp cloth and rinse thoroughly with water.
- Repeat as needed for tough stains. The vinegar should lift the stubborn pigments without damaging the quartz surface.
Hard Water Stain Removal
To remove cloudy hard water stains:
- Wipe the surface with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar. The acetic acid in vinegar will help dissolve mineral deposits.
- If needed, make a paste with baking soda and water. Spread onto stubborn spots and let sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
- Dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.
- Prevent hard water stains by wiping quartz dry after use and cleaning regularly with vinegar.
To prevent scratching and damage that can lead to stains:
- Use cutting boards and hot pads on quartz surfaces.
- Don’t drag heavy cookware or appliances across the countertops.
- Avoid abrasive scouring pads and powders which can dull and scratch the finish.
- Use a soft sponge or cloth for daily cleaning.
When to Call a Professional
If stains persist after multiple cleaning attempts, or you notice etching and wearing on the surface, it’s best to call in a professional quartz countertop cleaning company. They have access to more powerful cleaning solutions and polishing equipment to remove tough stains and restore the quartz to like-new condition.
Professionals also have specialty training and expertise to address stains on quartz without accidentally damaging the material. It’s better to be safe than cause permanent discoloration or wearing by over-scrubbing stubborn stains yourself.
Maintain Your Quartz Countertops
With regular light cleaning and prompt attention to spills, you can keep quartz counters looking beautiful for years. Follow these maintenance tips:
- Wipe up spills immediately to prevent staining.
- Clean quartz 1-2 times per week with a mild soap and water solution.
- Use a cleaning agent specially formulated for quartz about once a month.
- Avoid abrasive pads and cleansers which can dull the finish.
- Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer to prevent stains from setting in the surface pores.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertop Stains
Can I use bleach to remove stains from quartz?
No, avoid using bleach or hydrogen peroxide on quartz countertops. The chemicals can react with the resin used to make quartz and lead to discoloration or damage.
What is the best homemade stain remover for quartz?
A mix of mild dish soap and warm water can remove most stains. For tougher stains, make a paste with baking soda and water or use undiluted white vinegar. Avoid harsh chemicals.
How do I get dried food stains off my quartz countertop?
Gently scrape off any dried food debris with a plastic scraper. Apply warm soapy water and let sit briefly to soften the stain, then wipe clean with a soft sponge in circular motions. Repeat as needed.
Can lemon juice remove stains from quartz surfaces?
Yes, the citric acid in lemon juice can help break down and dissolve stains. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto the stain, let sit 2-3 minutes, wipe away, and rinse. Be careful not to leave lemon juice on too long as the acidity can damage quartz over time.
What removes yellow stains from quartz?
For yellow discoloration, wipe on some hydrogen peroxide and let sit for 2-3 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. The peroxide will bubble away many organic stains without damaging quartz.
Quartz countertops are prone to stains from daily use, but nearly all stains can be removed with the proper cleaning methods. By addressing spills quickly and using gentle cleaners like dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda, you can keep your quartz counters looking like new. For stubborn stains, call in a professional quartz cleaner to avoid damaging the surface. With regular care and maintenance, quartz countertops will stay beautiful for many years.