How to Get Nail Polish Remover off Quartz Countertop

Removing nail polish from quartz countertops can seem daunting, but with the right products and techniques, it can be done safely and effectively. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to get nail polish remover off quartz countertops without damaging the surface.

Why Quartz Countertops Stain from Nail Polish Remover

Quartz countertops are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resin and pigments. This gives them a beautiful, sleek appearance that is non-porous and more resistant to stains than natural stone. However, they can still be susceptible to staining from harsh chemicals like acetone nail polish remover.

Acetone acts as a solvent that can break down the resin binder in quartz. This binds the quartz crystals together into the smooth countertop material. When the resin weakens and breaks apart, it creates etching and pits within the surface, leaving behind a stained appearance. The longer the acetone sits on the quartz, the deeper the potential damage.

Cleaning Products to Avoid

When trying to remove nail polish from quartz, it’s important to avoid using certain cleaning products that can worsen staining:

  • Acetone – This harsh solvent etches and wears away the resin.
  • Abrasive cleaners – Any scrubbing pads or powders will grind away the surface.
  • Bleach-based cleaners – These can discolor and pit the quartz.
  • Ammonia – This chemical corrodes and eats away quartz resin.

Instead of these harsh chemicals, use only mild cleaners free of acetone, bleach or ammonia. More gentle, effective options are covered next.

Removing Fresh Nail Polish Spills

If you catch a nail polish spill soon after it happens, follow these steps:

Step 1: Blot the Stain

  • Blot the wet polish right away with a paper towel or clean rag. Don’t rub it around.

Step 2: Apply Non-Acetone Polish Remover

  • Use a non-acetone nail polish remover labeled as “quartz safe”. Gently wipe with a cloth.

Step 3: Clean with Mild Soap and Water

  • Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water. Wipe the area to rinse away any leftover remover residue.

Step 4: Dry Completely

  • Make sure no moisture is left on the quartz. Fully drying prevents any faded polish stains.

Catching fresh spills quickly can help lift the polish before it has a chance to sink in and stain the quartz.

Removing Dried Nail Polish Stains

If an old, dried nail polish stain has set into the quartz, try this process:

Step 1: Apply Baked Baking Soda Paste

  • Make a paste with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Spread onto the stain thickly.

Step 2: Cover with Damp Paper Towel

  • Place a damp paper towel over the baking soda paste to prevent drying.

Step 3: Let Sit for 4-6 Hours

  • Keep the paste on for several hours to lift the stain from the quartz.

Step 4: Scrub Lightly with Soft Cloth or Sponge

  • After letting it sit, gently scrub to remove the paste and stain. Avoid abrasive scouring pads.

Step 5: Rinse Clean

  • Rinse the quartz thoroughly with clean water to remove all paste residue. Wipe dry with a soft cloth.

Step 6: Repeat as Needed

  • For stubborn stains, repeat this process until the stain has lifted.

Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help lift stained nail polish without harsh chemicals. Be patient and let the paste work.

Preventing Future Nail Polish Stains

Once you’ve removed nail polish stains from your quartz, keep these tips in mind to prevent future stains:

  • Apply nail polish only in designated areas, not directly on quartz counters.
  • Use a nail polish remover specifically labeled for use on quartz.
  • Clean up any spills immediately, don’t let them dry on.
  • Avoid any cleaners with acetone, bleach or ammonia.
  • Always use a trivet or mat under hot pans and dishes.
  • Wipe up spills right away to prevent staining.
  • Reseal and maintain quartz regularly with a stone sealer.

When to Call for Professional Help

If you have attempted stain removal unsuccessfully and the polish stain persists, contact a professional stone restoration company. They have access to more powerful cleaning solutions and tools that can extract difficult stains without harming quartz.

Professionals can also re-polish etched or pitted areas of quartz countertops to restore their smooth finish. For old, set-in stains or damage beyond DIY methods, calling a pro may be your best option.


Removing nail polish quickly and using the proper stain removal techniques can allow you to safely eliminate nail polish from quartz counters without damage. Avoid harsh chemicals at all costs. For old stains, be patient and let baking soda paste lift the stain before scrubbing. And take steps to prevent future stains by using only quartz-safe products on your beautiful counters.