How to Clean Water Stains on Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, stain resistance, and modern aesthetic. However, even quartz can develop stubborn stains over time, especially water stains around the sink area. Don’t worry – these stains can usually be removed with the right cleaning methods and products. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to effectively clean water stains on quartz countertops.

What Causes Water Stains on Quartz?

Water stains on quartz countertops are typically caused by:

  • Water with high mineral content, like hard water, which leaves behind mineral deposits like calcium and magnesium.
  • Soap scum residue accumulating over time.
  • Spills allowed to sit too long before wiping up.
  • Using cleaners that contain oils, dyes or chemicals that etch the surface.

Quartz is non-porous, so stains remain on the surface rather than absorbing into the material. With the proper cleaning solutions and techniques, these stains can be removed.

How to Remove Mild Water Stains from Quartz

For light surface stains:

  • Mix a mild detergent like dish soap or Murphy’s Oil Soap with warm water.
  • Use a soft microfiber cloth, sponge or nylon scrub pad to gently clean the stained area with the soapy mixture. Avoid abrasive scouring pads.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft towel.
  • Repeat as needed for stubborn stains. The warm soapy water should help break up and dissolve stains.
  • For hard water stains, use a 50/50 vinegar and water solution. The vinegar will help dissolve mineral deposits. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Use a quartz polish or mineral oil to add shine back and further clean.

With mild stains, the above steps using gentle cleaners, warm water, and some scrubbing with a non-abrasive pad is usually effective for removing stains on quartz.

How to Treat Stubborn Water Stains on Quartz

For difficult stains that remain after trying mild detergents:

  • Make a baking soda paste by mixing 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water.
  • Apply the paste to stained areas and let sit for 5-10 minutes. This allows the baking soda to break down stain compounds.
  • Scrub using a soft bristled cleaning brush or dobie pad.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry.
  • If stains persist, create a paste with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Let sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. The peroxide will help brighten the quartz.
  • Bar Keepers Friend cleaner can also be used to make a paste for stubborn stains.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser may also help lift difficult stains with light scrubbing. Be sure to rinse thoroughly.
  • For extreme cases, an alkaline quartz cleaner like ZEP Commercial Heavy Duty Stone Cleaner can be used carefully according to directions. Only use strong cleaners for very stubborn stains.

The abrasive pastes help scrub away staining, while the chemical cleaners dissolve and lift stains. Test products first on a small area to ensure they do not etch or dull the quartz finish.

How to Remove Dried Liquid Stains from Quartz

For dried-on spills like wine, coffee or juice:

  • Use a plastic putty knife or spatula to gently scrape and lift any hardened material. Take care not to scratch the quartz.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol to stubborn, dried-on stains. Let sit briefly before scrubbing with a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Make a DIY scrub of lemon juice mixed with cream of tartar or salt. Use to scrub stained area, then rinse.
  • For tough orgainc stains, try a hydrogen peroxide and ammonia mixture. Handle carefully as this can be hazardous when mixed.

The goal is to break down and dissolve any staining residues before attempting to lift and rinse away. Avoid abrasive pads and hot water, which can spread and set stains.

How to Prevent Water Stains on Quartz

Prevention is key to keeping quartz free of water stains:

  • Wipe up spills immediately before they have a chance to set.
  • Use coasters under glasses and containers to avoid ring marks.
  • Protect the sink area with a drying mat when not in use.
  • Rinse soap residue thoroughly when washing dishes.
  • Avoid using oil-based cleaners or soaps that can leave residue.
  • Use a quartz sealing product to add an invisible protective layer. Reapply regularly.
  • Keep quartz out of direct sunlight which can cause fading over time.

With prompt cleanup of spills and messes, quartz countertops can stay looking like new for many years. Performing a deep clean every so often will keep the surface free of water stains. Follow these tips and use the right quartz-safe cleaning solutions to remove stubborn stains effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Water Stains on Quartz Countertops

What is the best way to clean water stains on quartz?

For light stains, use a mild detergent, warm water, and a soft scrubbing pad. For stubborn stains, make a paste with baking soda and water or use specialty quartz cleaners according to product instructions. Test cleaners first on a small area.

What should I avoid using to clean quartz counters?

Avoid abrasive pads, alkaline cleaners, acetone, paint remover, oven cleaner, and bleach, which can etch and damage the quartz surface.

Can I use vinegar to clean water stains on quartz?

Yes, you can use undiluted white vinegar to help dissolve and remove hard water stains and mineral deposits. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning with vinegar.

Will Magic Erasers damage my quartz countertops?

Magic Erasers can be used safely on quartz if used gently with light scrubbing. Do not rub aggressively which could dull the finish. Rinse thoroughly after use.

How can I make my quartz counters stain resistant?

Apply a quartz sealing product regularly, about once a year, to add an invisible protective layer. This prevents stains from setting into the surface. Wipe spills quickly when they occur.

What is the best quartz cleaner product to buy?

Some top recommended quartz cleaners are ZEP Heavy Duty Stone Cleaner, Method Daily Granite Cleaner, TriNova Granite Cleaner and Sealer, and Black Diamond Stoneworks Quartz Cleaner.


Water stains on quartz countertops are common around the sink area, but with the proper cleaning methods, these stains can be removed. First try mild detergents, warm water, and soft scrubbing. For stubborn stains, use baking soda pastes, hydrogen peroxide, quartz cleaners, or ammonia and alcohol solutions carefully. Prevent stains by sealing and promptly wiping spills. With some periodic deep cleaning, quartz countertops can stay looking pristine and beautiful for many years. Be sure to use cleaning products designed for non-porous stone surfaces like quartz.