How to Get a Stain Out of a Quartz Countertop

Quartz countertops are popular in many homes today because they are durable, stylish, and low maintenance. However, like any countertop material, quartz can still become stained from spills and daily wear and tear. Thankfully, it is possible to remove many types of stains from quartz with the right cleaning methods and products. This comprehensive guide will provide tips and step-by-step instructions for getting out various stubborn stains from your quartz countertop.

What is Quartz?

Before learning how to remove stains from quartz, it helps to understand what exactly quartz countertops are made of. Quartz countertops are engineered stone surfaces containing around 90% ground natural quartz aggregates combined with polymers and pigments. The exact composition varies by brand and product line.

The quartz crystals make the material hard and durable, while the polymers act as a binding agent. The pigments add color and pattern. Compared to natural stone like granite, quartz is less porous, making it stain-resistant but not completely stain-proof. When stains do occur, they tend to remain on the surface rather than absorbing deep into the material.

Benefits of Quartz Countertops

There are several reasons why quartz countertops are so popular:

  • Durable – Made from one of the hardest minerals, quartz stands up well to heavy use. It does not easily scratch, scorch or chip.
  • Low Maintenance – Quartz resists stains, etching and heat better than many other countertop materials. Simple cleaning is often all it needs.
  • Stylish – Available in a wide array of colors and patterns that mimic natural stone and other materials but with more consistency.
  • Non-Porous – With very little porosity, quartz does not have to be regularly sealed like natural stone.
  • Hygienic – The non-porous surface inhibits bacterial growth.

While quartz is less likely to stain than more porous natural stone, stains can still occur and require removal.

Common Causes of Staining on Quartz

Quartz countertops may become stained by:

  • Food and Beverages – Ingredients like coffee, tea, wine, fruit juices, vinegar, oils, grease, and tomatoes can all cause stains.
  • Toiletries – Cosmetics, soap, lotions, and medications often contain dyes that can discolor the surface.
  • Household Chemicals – Cleaners, solvents, bleach, and other chemicals may react with the resin in quartz and alter its color.
  • Metal Marks – Lead and copper are prone to leaving grayish-black stains. Iron can also stain quartz surfaces.
  • Mold and Mildew – Moisture that lingers on quartz provides an environment where mold and mildew growth can occur.
  • Hard Water Deposits – Mineral deposits from tap water can etch into the surface leaving cloudy, whitish marks.
  • Burn Marks – Hot pans, especially cast iron, can scorch quartz and leave darkened burn spots if left in contact.

Knowing the common causes of staining can help identify the best cleaning methods to try first.

Supplies Needed for Cleaning Quartz Stains

Removing stains from quartz countertops does not require specialized tools. Most stains can be tackled with regular household cleaning items, while a few may need a more heavy-duty cleaner. Here are the basic supplies to have on hand:

  • Old toothbrush
  • Soft cloths
  • Paper towels
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • White vinegar
  • Baby oil or mineral oil
  • Non-abrasive cleaner like Soft Scrub®
  • Magic Eraser®
  • Antibacterial cleaner
  • Poultice powder

General Tips for Cleaning Quartz Countertops

Follow these basic dos and don’ts when cleaning and removing stains from quartz:

  • Wipe up spills as soon as they happen. The longer a stain sits, the harder it will be to remove.
  • Always use a mild, non-abrasive cleaner. Never use abrasive pads, scouring powders, alkaline cleaners, or anything acidic.
  • Apply cleaners to a soft cloth first rather than directly on the countertop. This prevents the chemicals from seeping into seams or edges.
  • Rinse the surface thoroughly after applying any cleaner. Residue left behind can attract more dirt.
  • For dried or stubborn stains, let the cleaning solution sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping to allow it to penetrate the stain.
  • Avoid bleach, alkalis, hydrofluoric acid, dichloromethane, trichloroethylene, methylene chloride, paint removers, oven cleaners, and mineral spirits.
  • Do not use sealers or waxes on quartz countertops which can actually stain the surface.

With the right supplies and techniques, many stains can now be removed from quartz countertops without professional help. Always start with the gentlest method first before moving to a stronger cleaner. Test on an inconspicuous area to ensure the cleaner does not damage the finish.

How to Remove Common Stains from Quartz Countertops

Here are the best cleaning methods for specific types of stains:

Food and Beverage Stains

Coffee, tea, wine, fruit juice, oils, grease, and other food and drinks can stain quartz countertops. To remove:

  • Wipe up any excess liquid immediately. For dried stains, scrape off any chunks with a plastic spatula or credit card first.
  • Mix a few drops of dish soap into a cup of warm water. Dip a soft cloth into the soapy water and rub the stain gently.
  • For tougher stains, apply some baking soda directly on the stain and rub with a damp cloth using circular motions. Let sit 5 minutes before rinsing. The baking soda will help absorb discoloration.
  • Alternately, mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 4 parts water and apply over the stain using a soft cloth. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before wiping clean.

Dye Stains from Cosmetics, Soap and Medications

Beauty products, soaps, creams and pills can leave stubborn stains from artificial coloring and dyes on quartz counters. To remove:

  • First try rubbing the stain lightly with a Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser® and warm water. This can lift off dye stains from the surface.
  • For deeper stains, make a paste by mixing 2-3 tablespoons baking soda with 1 tablespoon water. Spread the paste onto the stain and allow to sit for up to 24 hours if stain persists. Reapply if needed.
  • Mineral oil can also help dissolve cosmetic stains. Apply a small amount directly on the stain and rub with a soft cloth until it lifts. Wipe clean afterwards with soapy water.

Chemical and Medication Stains

Household cleaners, solvents, and medications can react with quartz and leave stubborn stains if not wiped up promptly. To remove:

  • Mix a solution of 2 parts water and 1 part hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the stain and let fizz 5 minutes before wiping clean.
  • For tough stains, apply a poultice paste. Mix 2 tablespoons poultice powder with 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide to form a spreadable paste. Apply paste 1/4 inch thick over stain. Cover with plastic wrap and allow paste to dry completely, usually 24-48 hours. Scrape off and rinse.
  • Avoid using bleach or alkaline cleaners which can worsen chemical stains. Use a cleaner made specifically for quartz instead.

Metal Stains from Lead, Copper, or Iron

Lead, copper, cast iron, and even silverware can react with quartz and leave grayish marks. To remove:

  • Re-wet a Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser® and scrub the metal stain gently. This can lift off metal marks from the surface.
  • Mix cream of tartar with hydrogen peroxide to form a paste. Spread paste over the stain and let sit for 1 hour before rinsing clean. The oxalic acid in cream of tartar removes metal discoloration .
  • For stubborn metal stains, apply a poultice paste overnight as described above for chemical stains. The prolonged contact will draw out embedded metals.

Mold and Mildew Stains

Mold and mildew growth results in dark blotchy stains on quartz. To remove:

  • Mix 1/2 cup bleach into 1 gallon of water. Dip a soft cloth into the diluted bleach solution and wipe over the stains. Never apply bleach directly to quartz.
  • Spray the moldy areas with straight 3% hydrogen peroxide and let fizz for 5 minutes. Wipe clean. No need to rinse. The peroxide will kill the mold.
  • For recurring mold/mildew growth, clean frequently with an antibacterial quartz cleaner like Method® Antibacterial All-Purpose Cleaner. Prevent moisture buildup.

Etching and Mineral Deposits from Hard Water

Over time, mineral deposits in tap water can etch quartz leaving cloudy marks and rings. To remove:

  • Buff gently using a soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge with some baking soda and water. The baking soda is a mild abrasive.
  • Alternatively, use a poultice paste as described above. Apply over deposits, let dry completely, then scrape off.
  • Going forward, wipe up water splashes immediately, avoid excess steam, and clean regularly with a quartz-safe cleaner to prevent buildup.

Heat Marks and Burns

Hot pans, especially cast iron, can scorch quartz leaving burned spots. To remove:

  • First try rubbing the mark gently with a wet Magic Eraser®. This abrasive sponge can remove some light surface scorching.
  • For deeper burns, make a paste from baking soda and water. Apply to the burned area and let sit overnight. Reapply if needed. The baking soda will draw out burned carbon staining.
  • Use a trimmer tile to protect that area of countertop when placing hot pans. Or invest is a hot pad with silicone feet to allow air flow.

With the right cleaning techniques, most stains can be removed from quartz countertops without replacing the damaged section. Be patient and allow cleaners multiple applications if the stain persists. Avoid abrasive pads and acidic or alkaline cleaners which can worsen etching. With prompt care, quartz countertops will maintain their durability and beauty for years.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertops

Here are answers to some common questions about removing stains from quartz:

Can I use bleach to clean quartz counters?

Use bleach sparingly and highly diluted with water. Straight concentrated bleach can damage the resin binding and discolor quartz. For tough mold stains, mix 1/2 cup bleach into 1 gallon water and wipe on cautiously with a cloth. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

What natural remedies remove stains from quartz?

Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and cream of tartar work well to clean quartz without harsh chemicals. Make pastes, sprays or rub gently with damp baking soda. Test natural cleaners first to avoid possible etching.

How do you get dried food stains off a quartz counter?

For dried food spills like coffee and grease, first scrape off any chunks with a plastic spatula. Apply a few drops of dish soap to the stain and let sit 5 minutes to soften. Gently scrub with a soft cloth or sponge using circular motions. Rinse thoroughly.

Can you use magic eraser on quartz countertops?

Yes, Magic Erasers® are safe for cleaning quartz countertops. The melamine foam is a very mild abrasive that can lift many surface stains without scratching the finish. Slightly dampen the eraser and rub stained areas gently using light pressure.

How do you remove hard water stains from quartz?

Hard water leaves mineral deposits that can etch quartz over time. Make a paste of baking soda and water and gently rub deposits away. Alternatively, apply a poultice powder paste to draw out minerals. Clean regularly with a quartz-safe cleaner to prevent buildup.

How do you get rid of burnt marks on quartz?

For light scorch marks, gently rub with a wet Magic Eraser® using minimal pressure. For deeper burns, make a thick paste of baking soda and water. Spread over burn and let sit overnight before rinsing clean. Reapply if needed until burn stain disappears.

Can you use Soft Scrub on engineered quartz?

Yes, Soft Scrub® is safe for use on quartz since it contains no acidic ingredients. Apply a small amount directly on stains. Allow to sit briefly before rubbing with a damp soft cloth or sponge in circular motions. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

What is the best homemade quartz cleaner?

Make an effective DIY quartz cleaner by combining 2 cups water, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap, and 5 drops of lemon essential oil. Mix well and pour into a spray bottle. Spritz over countertops and wipe clean with a soft cloth.


Quartz countertops are prone to staining from spills, chemicals, metals, heat, and daily use. Thankfully, most stains can be removed with the proper cleaning techniques and non-abrasive products. Always start with the gentlest approach like dish soap, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide. For dried, stubborn stains, try a poultice paste or Magic Eraser® scrubbing. Avoid harsh chemicals and acids. With prompt care, quartz countertops will stay beautiful and stain-free for many years. Implement these practical stain removal methods as soon as spills happen to keep quartz counters looking like new.