How to Get Pen Out of Quartz Countertop

Removing pen marks from a quartz countertop can seem daunting, but with a few simple techniques and ingredients readily available at home, you can make your countertop look clean and new again. Here are some effective methods for removing pen from quartz countertops.

What You’ll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Magic eraser/melamine foam
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Soft cloth or paper towels

Before starting, test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the countertop to ensure it doesn’t damage or discolor the surface. Avoid abrasive cleaners or materials that could scratch quartz.

Use Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is often effective at dissolving and removing ink stains.

  • Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol directly onto the pen mark.
  • Let it sit for 1-2 minutes to break down the ink.
  • Wipe away the alcohol and ink residue with a soft cloth or paper towel.
  • Repeat as needed until the stain is completely gone.

The alcohol should start lifting and dissolving the ink upon contact. Be patient and let it sit to fully penetrate and loosen the stain before wiping.

Try Melamine Foam

Melamine foam, commonly sold as Magic Erasers, can be used to gently lift pen stains from quartz.

  • Lightly dampen the melamine foam with water.
  • Gently rub the stain in a circular motion. The foam will help absorb and lift the ink.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and dry thoroughly once the mark is removed.

Avoid excessive rubbing or pressure, as melamine foam can lightly abrade some surfaces. Test on a small area first.

Make a Baking Soda Paste

For stubborn marks, make a paste with baking soda and water. The mild abrasiveness of the baking soda can help scrub away tough stains.

  • Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a paste.
  • Use a soft cloth, sponge, or your fingers to rub the paste onto the stained area.
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse clean with water.
  • Dry the area thoroughly afterward.

Repeat as needed for hard-to-remove ink stains.

Use Dish Soap

Dish soap combined with warm water can effectively break down oil-based pen inks.

  • Mix a few drops of dish soap into warm water until slightly sudsy.
  • Apply the soapy mixture directly to the stain.
  • Let sit briefly, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry the area.

If needed, allow the soapy solution to soak longer before rinsing.

Try White Vinegar

White vinegar’s acidic properties help dissolve and cut through stains.

  • Spray or wipe undiluted white vinegar directly on the pen mark.
  • Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Wipe away the vinegar and rinse the area clean.
  • Dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Vinegar may lighten or etch some surfaces, so test on a small spot first.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prevent pen marks on my quartz countertop?

Use coasters, placemats or trivets under glasses, bowls and dishes to protect the surface. Keep pens and pencils off the countertop when not in use. Seal or coat quartz occasionally with a penetrating sealer to repel stains.

Will nail polish remover take pen off quartz?

No, avoid nail polish remover or acetone. These can damage and dissolve quartz surfaces. Use a gentler alcohol-based remover. Test on a small area first.

What removes dried permanent marker from quartz?

Rubbing alcohol or hairspray can help dissolve dried permanent marker. Apply liberally and let soak in for up to 5 minutes before gently wiping and rinsing clean. Repeat as needed.

Can I use Magic Eraser on all quartz countertops?

Test on a small inconspicuous spot first. Some quartz contains additional resins or coatings that may get damaged by melamine foam. Use minimal pressure and rubbing to avoid abrasion.

How do you clean quartz without damaging the finish?

Use pH-neutral cleaners designed for stone. Avoid acidic or alkaline cleaners that can etch quartz. Rinse soap residue thoroughly. Blot spills quickly instead of scrubbing. Avoid abrasive scouring pads.


Removing pen marks from quartz does take some patience, but with a few household ingredients and gentle cleaning methods, you can successfully eliminate ink stains without damaging the finish. Test any new cleaner on a small area first. Let staining agents like rubbing alcohol or vinegar soak in to work most effectively. With some perseverance, your quartz countertop can look pristine again.