How to Get Marker Out of Quartz Countertop

Quartz countertops are a popular option for kitchens and bathrooms because of their durability, stain resistance, and stylish appearance. However, like any surface, quartz can become marked over time with pens, markers, paints, and more. Removing these stubborn stains takes a bit of effort, but it is possible with the right techniques and cleaning solutions. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to get marker out of quartz countertop surfaces.

Why Markers and Pens Mark Quartz Countertops

Quartz is an engineered stone made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The resin forms a hard, non-porous surface that resists stains from food and beverages. However, markers and pens contain dyes that can sit on top of the quartz and discolor it. The dyes can even penetrate into micro-scratches and etchings on the surface.

Certain types of markers and pens contain indelible ink that is designed to permanently mark surfaces. These will be very difficult if not impossible to remove from quartz. Regular washable marker ink, however, can usually be cleaned with some work.

Key reasons markers and pens mark quartz:

  • Pigment sits on the surface and stains it
  • Dye seeps into micro-abrasions and scratches
  • Permanent marker ink is designed to bond strongly

Being non-porous, quartz does not easily absorb stains. But it is still prone to discoloration without the proper maintenance. Understanding why markers mark the surface is helpful for removing them.

Cleaning Supplies Needed

Removing marker and pen stains from quartz requires using the right cleaning solutions. Here are the recommended supplies to have on hand:

  • Goo Gone – This mild adhesive remover is safe for quartz and excellent at breaking down marker pigments.
  • Baking soda – Works as a gentle abrasive to lift stains off the surface. Mix with water to make a paste.
  • Dish soap – Helps cut through grease and oils. Use a small amount of mild dish detergent.
  • Magic eraser – The melamine foam in magic erasers can scrub off tough marks without scratching.
  • Acetone nail polish remover – For permanent marker, an acetone-based remover is often needed to dissolve the dyes.
  • Soft cloths – Use microfiber cloths or soft paper towels to avoid scratching quartz.
  • Plastic scraper – A plastic putty knife can help gently lift marker off the surface. Avoid metal scrapers.

Having the proper cleaning solutions on hand is key for tackling marker stains on quartz successfully. Avoid abrasive products like bleach, acidic cleaners, or scrubbing pads which can damage the surface.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these detailed steps to remove dried marker or pen stains from your quartz countertop or surface:

1. Prepare the Quartz Surface

First, clear all items off the section of the quartz you will be cleaning. Make sure the surface is completely dry before attempting to remove stains. Remove any dirt or debris with a damp microfiber cloth.

Having a clean, dry workspace makes it easier to focus on the marker stains and see your progress.

2. Apply Goo Gone

Goo Gone is the MVP cleaner when it comes to breaking down marker pigments on quartz. Apply a quarter-sized amount directly onto the marker stain. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes. This allows the Goo Gone time to penetrate and loosen the marker.

Avoid using too much Goo Gone – a small amount is effective. Also avoid letting it sit for more than 2 minutes, as extended exposure can dull quartz’s shine.

3. Scrub with Baking Soda Paste

Make a paste by sprinkling baking soda onto the Goo Gone and mixing a few drops of water. Use a soft cloth or magic eraser sponge to gently scrub the area in circular motions. Add a little elbow grease to physically lift the staining from the surface.

The baking soda provides gentle abrasion to remove the marker, while the Goo Gone keeps it from re-depositing onto the quartz. Rinse and re-apply as needed.

4. Use Dish Soap if Needed

For stubborn marks, add a couple drops of mild dish detergent to the baking soda paste. Dish soap helps cut through oils and grease – substances often found in ink. Continue scrubbing with the paste.

Make sure to use a brand like Dawn or Palmolive. Avoid dish soaps with strong fragrances or additives. The small amount of soap won’t harm quartz. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.

5. Try a Plastic Scraper

A plastic putty knife or scraper can help lift off marker stains after applying Goo Gone. Hold the scraper at a 30 degree angle and gently scrape the surface, adding pressure as needed. This can speed up removal of thick, caked-on marker.

Scrape slowly and carefully to avoid scratching the quartz. Make sure to rinse completely afterward, as scraping can leave a residue.

6. Use Acetone for Permanent Marker

For permanent marker that contains strong industrial dyes, an acetone-based nail polish remover may be needed. Use a soft cloth dampened with a small amount of acetone. Gently rub the stained area for 30-60 seconds.

Never pour acetone directly on quartz, as it can damage the finish. Also avoid scrubbing, as that increases the risk of etching. Acetone should only be attempted after other methods fail.

7. Clean Area with Water

Once the marker stain is removed, wash the entire cleaned area with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. This ensures no Goo Gone, baking soda, or cleaning residue is left behind. Rinse several times then blot dry with a soft towel.

Inspect under lighting to ensure the marker stain is fully gone. Repeat steps as needed for any remaining discoloration. Avoid scrubbing the same spot extensively, as that can damage the surface over time.

Helpful Tips and Precautions

Follow these tips when tackling marker and pen discolorations on quartz:

  • Test cleaners on an inconspicuous spot first to check for any damage to the finish.
  • Avoid using too much pressure when scrubbing to prevent scratching the surface.
  • Don’t use steel wool pads or abrasive scrub brushes which can scratch quartz.
  • Rinse thoroughly after using chemical cleaners like acetone or Goo Gone.
  • Wipe spills as soon as possible to prevent staining and avoid permanent damage.
  • Consider re-sealing quartz once or twice a year to enhance stain resistance.
  • For tough permanent marker, call a professional countertop installer for expert stain removal.

With the proper methods and care, you can successfully remove marker from quartz countertops without ruining the appearance. Consistent maintenance and cleaning is key for keeping quartz surfaces looking like new.

Steps to Prevent Marker Stains

Preventing stains in the first place is the best practice. Here are pro tips to stop markers from ruining your quartz:

Use Sealant

Have your quartz counters sealed by a professional every 6-12 months. Quality sealants fill in micro-pores and create a protective barrier against stains. This makes regular cleaning easier.

Avoid Certain Markers

Don’t use permanent markers, dry erase markers, or paint pens near quartz surfaces. The ink in these is designed to adhere tenaciously and can permanently stain if they mark the surface.

Clean Up Spills Quickly

Don’t let ink or marker sit on quartz for long periods. Immediately wipe spills with a damp cloth. This prevents the pigments from fully setting into the surface.

Use Trivets and Placemats

Put trivets under hot pots and pans. Use placemats under dishes to protect from ceramic scratches that can allow stains to seep in.

Apply Wax Paper for Art Projects

Before kids use washable markers for art, put down wax paper on the section of quartz to protect it. Lift off and discard the paper when done.

Consistent care helps avoid marker mishaps. But if stains do occur, use the techniques in this guide to get quartz back to a pristine condition. With some elbow grease and the right stain-fighting products, marker doesn’t stand a chance!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Clorox wipes on quartz countertops?

Avoid using Clorox and other bleach wipes on quartz counters. The chemicals can damage the finish and bleach will not effectively remove marker stains. Use a mild dish soap and water instead.

What happens if you leave permanent marker on quartz?

If permanent marker is left on a quartz surface for an extended time, it can set into the stone and potentially leave a permanent stain. Use an acetone remover promptly to avoid lasting discoloration.

Can you use Magic Eraser on engineered quartz?

Yes, Magic Eraser cleaning pads are safe for scrubbing marks off quartz when dampened with water. Allow30-60 seconds after application of Goo Gone before scrubbing with the Magic Eraser.

Why does Sharpie mark on quartz?

Sharpies contain intense pigments and alcohol-based carriers designed to permanently mark surfaces. The alcohol allows the pigments to penetrate quartz, while the dye adheres to the surface. Make sure to wipe off ASAP.

What is the best homemade quartz cleaner?

An effective homemade cleaner is a paste of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and water. Mix to form a spreadable paste, apply to stains, let sit 2-3 minutes, and scrub with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly afterward.

Can Mr. Clean Magic Eraser remove permanent marker from quartz?

Magic Eraser may be able to lift some permanent marker stains, but likely will not remove the most tenacious inks on its own. Use it in combination with Goo Gone, baking soda, and a plastic scraper for best results.

Is dry erase marker bad for quartz?

Dry erase markers contain dyes that can stain quartz. While the stains are removable with cleaning, it’s best to avoid using dry erase markers on the surface to prevent discoloration. Use a special whiteboard instead.

Can you use rubbing alcohol to remove marker from quartz?

Rubbing alcohol can potentially dull and discolor quartz, so it should be avoided. For more intense stains, try a small amount of acetone nail polish remover applied with a soft cloth instead.

How do you remove dried paint from quartz countertop?

Use Goo Gone or WD-40 sprayed onto a soft cloth to help break down dried acrylic paint on quartz. Gently scrape with a plastic putty knife, then scrub using baking soda and water. Finish by washing with mild dish soap.


Quartz countertops are prone to staining from markers, pens, paints, and inks without proper care. But armed with the right techniques and cleaning solutions, these stubborn stains can be removed successfully.

Try baking soda scrubs, magic erasers, Goo Gone, acetone, and plastic scrapers to tackle marks without damaging quartz. With some work, your countertops can look bright and beautiful again.

Be sure to clean spills quickly in the future to avoid permanent discoloration. And take steps like using sealants and placemats to prevent stains in the first place. With this guide’s advice, you can keep your quartz surfaces sparkling clean long-term.