How to Get a Rust Stain Out of Quartz Countertop

Getting a rust stain on your quartz countertop can be frustrating, but with the right products and techniques, you can remove it. Here are some tips for how to get a rust stain out of a quartz countertop.

What Causes Rust Stains on Quartz?

Quartz countertops are non-porous, so rust stains happen when metal objects like pots, pans or utensils are left on the surface. The iron oxide from the metal reacts with moisture in the air, leaving behind the rust discoloration.

Common causes include:

  • Leaving cast iron cookware on the countertop
  • Allowing metal pots or utensils to air dry after washing
  • Using abrasive scouring pads that leave behind metal residue
  • Exposure to nails, screws or metal fillings from installations or repairs

Rust stains can range from light orange to dark brown depending on the length of exposure and can be difficult to remove if left for too long.

How to Remove Rust Stains from Quartz Countertops

Try a Poultice Paste

Making a poultice paste is one of the most effective ways to draw rust stains out of quartz. Here’s how:

  1. Mix a cleaning product like Bar Keeper’s Friend or Comet with just enough water to make a spreadable paste.
  2. Apply the paste directly to the stain and cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Let sit for at least 4 hours, or overnight for tougher stains.
  4. Remove the plastic and scrub the paste with a soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge.
  5. Rinse thoroughly. Repeat if needed for stubborn stains.

The oxalic acid in the cleanser reacts with the rust to help lift it from the pores of the quartz. The paste helps keep it in contact with the stain.

Try pH-Neutral Cleaners

pH-balanced cleaners are formulated to remove stains without etching or discoloring stone surfaces. Good options include:

  • White vinegar – Has mild acidic properties to dissolve rust.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Breaks down stubborn stains with oxygen bubbles.
    -pH-neutral stone cleaners – Sold under brands like Method or StoneTech.

Mix a small amount with warm water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on the stain and let sit for 5 minutes before wiping clean with a soft cloth. Repeat as needed.

Use a Pumice Stone

A pumice stone is a mildly abrasive tool made from volcanic rock that can lift many types of stains. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Wet the stone and wring out any excess water. You want it moist, not dripping.
  2. Gently rub stained areas with the pumice stone using circular motions.
  3. Wipe surface with a clean, damp cloth.
  4. Check that the stain has lifted. Repeat if needed.

The fine grittiness of the stone provides gentle abrasion without damaging the quartz. Take care not to scrub too hard.

Consult a Professional

For rust stains that resist home treatments, consider contacting a professional stone restoration company. They have access to more powerful cleaners and tools like:

  • Poultice powders with bleach or hydrogen peroxide
  • Rotary buffing tools with felt pads
  • Wet diamond polishing pads

Pros can employ techniques like honing and polishing to remove stains from below the surface while preserving the countertop’s glossy finish. This option is best for severe stains.

Tips to Prevent Rust Stains on Quartz

Preventing rust stains in the first place will save you the hassle of having to remove them. Here are some handy tips:

  • Wipe up spills and water drops promptly to avoid moisture damage.
  • Use coasters under bottles, pots and vases.
  • Seal any metal holes/cuts made in the quartz during installations.
  • Avoid leaving cast iron or steel wool on the surface.
  • Use only non-abrasive cleaners and soft cloths.
  • Consider a sealer to add extra protection from stains.

With proper care and by addressing stains promptly, you can keep your quartz countertops looking like new. Follow these removal tips to tackle any rust stains that do occur. Contact pros for severe discoloration that resists home treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use bleach to remove rust stains from quartz?

Bleach is not recommended. It can discolor or etch quartz over time. For tough stains, use a cleaner containing oxalic acid instead. Always spot test in an inconspicuous area first.

Will a rust stain come back after removing it?

If the source of the rust is eliminated, the stain should not reappear after proper removal. Prevent future stains by keeping metal objects away from the quartz. Seal any metal holes or cuts.

What about rust stains around a sink?

Rust in a sink likely comes from metal drain components below. You may need to disassemble the drain and replace rusted parts to stop the source. Stains may be more challenging to remove from textured areas.

Can I use lemon juice to remove rust?

Yes, lemon juice contains citric acid that can help dissolve rust stains. Combine with baking soda for extra scrubbing power. Rinse thoroughly afterwards and repeat if needed. Lemon may lighten the quartz color, so spot test first.

Will vinegar etch my quartz countertop?

White vinegar is generally considered quartz-safe. It has lower acidity than citrus juices or acidic cleaners that can damage the finish. As always, rinse thoroughly after use and spot test first before treating the entire surface.


Rust stains on quartz countertops occur when metal objects interact with surface moisture. Removal involves chemical cleaners, abrasion tools and patience. For best results, address stains promptly before they have time to set in. With the right techniques and care, you can keep your quartz counters looking like new and rust-free.