How to Get Anything Off Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are popular in kitchens and bathrooms because of their durability, ease of maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, like any surface, quartz can get stained, etched, or otherwise marked up over time. Fortunately, there are techniques you can use to remove most messes from your quartz countertops and restore their original beauty.

Cleaning Supplies for Quartz Countertops

Having the right supplies on hand will make cleaning quartz countertops much easier. Here are some recommended products:

  • Mild dish soap and warm water – For most messes, a soft cloth or sponge with warm, soapy water is the best cleaning solution. Avoid harsh cleaners.
  • Baking soda – Works as a gentle abrasive to lift stains. Make a paste with water to scrub marks.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Helps lift stubborn stains and disinfect countertops.
  • Scotch-Brite scrub sponge – For gently removing stuck-on messes. Avoid highly abrasive pads.
  • Microfiber cloths – Gentler than paper towels for wiping up spills.
  • Soft nylon brush – For working cleaning solutions into textured areas.
  • pH-neutral stone cleaner – For periodic deep cleaning and polishing.

Removing Everyday Messes from Quartz

For most basic kitchen and bathroom messes, a mild dish soap and water solution is all you need. Here’s how to clean up some typical quartz countertop stains:

Food and Drink Spills

  • Wipe up any spills as soon as possible to prevent staining. Use a microfiber cloth or paper towel.
  • For dried-on messes, apply dish soap and warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Wipe clean.
  • For stubborn dried stains, make a paste of baking soda and water. Gently scrub and rinse.

Grease and Oil

  • Immediately absorb grease/oil spills with an absorbent cloth. Don’t wipe, as that can spread the stain.
  • Apply a dot of dish soap and rub it over the stain using a soft brush or sponge. Rinse clean.
  • For tough oil stains, sprinkle baking soda over the grease spot and rub gently with a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly.

Hard Water Marks and Soap Scum

  • Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply to the hardened water/soap buildup. Let sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing clean.
  • Full-strength white vinegar can also help dissolve these stains. Apply and let sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping.

Dried Cement or Grout

  • Try softening the hardened cement or grout by soaking the spot with vinegar for 5-10 minutes.
  • Gently scrape at the mess with a plastic putty knife or the edge of a credit card, then scrub with baking soda paste.
  • Unhardened grout or wet cement can be wiped up easily with a damp cloth before drying.

Marker and Pen

  • Immediately wipe up fresh marker or pen with a damp cloth. For dried marks, try hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, or acetone nail polish remover, then wash.
  • Magic eraser cleaning pads can also lift stubborn ink stains. Be gentle, as the abrasive pad can dull quartz’s shine.

Drain Cleaners, Oven Cleaners, etc.

  • Rinse the countertop immediately with water if exposed to harsh cleaners like drain opener, rust remover, or oven cleaner.
  • Follow up by cleaning with dish soap and water to remove any chemical residue.

How to Remove Etching and Scratches from Quartz

While quartz is very scratch-resistant, it’s not completely impervious to damage over time. Here are some remedies for scratched or etched quartz:

Light Surface Scratches

  • Try a baking soda paste first. The gentle abrasion can buff out minor scratches. Rinse clean.
  • Use a polishing compound designed for quartz or other engineered stone. Apply with a soft cloth and buff in circular motions.
  • 600-800 grit wet-dry sandpaper can polish very fine scratches. Sand lightly, keep the surface wet, and follow up with a stone polish to restore luster.


  • For light acid etching, buff the spots gently with a wet 400 grit sanding sponge, then use a stone polish.
  • For deeper etching, start with more aggressive sandpaper like 200-300 grit, working your way up to finer grits. Finish by polishing.
  • Severely etched spots may need professional resurfacing. The top layer of quartz may need mechanical sanding and re-polishing to remove deep damage.

Cuts and Gouges

  • Very deep scratches may require filling with color-matched epoxy filler. Consult a professional, as this is a tricky DIY repair.
  • For less severe gouges, try filling first with a clear two-part resin designed for stone repairs. Sand smooth and polish once cured.

Maintaining Your Quartz Countertops

Regular care and maintenance will keep your quartz surfaces looking like new for years:

  • Wipe up spills promptly to prevent stains.
  • Use cutting boards and trivets to protect from scratches and heat damage. Never cut directly on quartz.
  • Clean with mild soap and water. Avoid abrasive cleaners and scouring pads.
  • For stubborn messes, use a soft brush or plastic scrubbing pad and baking soda paste.
  • Disinfect periodically with diluted hydrogen peroxide.
  • Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer made for engineered stone.
  • Avoid exposing to strong chemicals like paint removers, drain cleaners, etc. Rinse any spills promptly.

FAQs About Cleaning Quartz Countertops

Can I use vinegar to clean quartz?

Yes, you can use diluted white vinegar to help dissolve hard water stains, soap scum, and other stubborn buildup on quartz. Always rinse thoroughly. Full strength vinegar could etch polished quartz surfaces over time.

What happens if quartz gets scratched?

Minor surface scratches can often be buffed out using baking soda paste or fine wet-dry sandpaper. Deeper scratches may require professional repairs like filling and resurfacing. Be sure to use cutting boards on quartz to prevent scratches.

How can I get dried food or grease stains out of quartz?

For dried-on food spills or grease, let a baking soda paste or diluted hydrogen peroxide sit on the spot for 5-10 minutes to loosen the stain, then gently scrub with a soft brush before rinsing. Avoid abrasive scouring pads.

Can I use bleach to clean my quartz countertops?

It’s best to avoid bleach and harsh chemicals, as they can damage or discolor quartz over time. For disinfecting, use a dilute hydrogen peroxide cleaner instead. Always rinse surfaces thoroughly after cleaning.

What’s the best way to polish quartz countertops?

Use a pH-neutral stone cleaner or polish made specifically for engineered stone. Apply with a soft cloth using circular motions. Avoid acidic cleaners than can dull the surface. Reseal quartz every 1-2 years.


While quartz countertops are very low-maintenance compared to other stone surfaces, they can become stained, etched, or scratched over years of use. By using the right techniques and cleaning products, however, you can safely remove almost any mess from quartz. With proper care, quartz countertops will stay looking like new for decades. Be sure to wipe up spills promptly, use cutting boards, and avoid harsh chemicals.