White quartz countertops can add a clean, bright look to any kitchen. But permanent marker stains can quickly ruin the appearance. Removing stubborn permanent marker stains from quartz requires using the right techniques and products. With some patience and elbow grease, you can get your white quartz countertops looking like new again.
What You’ll Need
- Rubbing alcohol
- Acetone nail polish remover
- Baking soda
- Dish soap
- Magic eraser sponge
- Soft cloth
- Paper towels
- Plastic spatula
- Eye protection
- Ventilation (open windows or fans)
Step 1: Try Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is often effective at removing permanent marker stains. The alcohol can help break down and dissolve the binding agents in the ink.
To try rubbing alcohol:
- Put on gloves, eye protection and provide ventilation. Rubbing alcohol fumes can be strong.
- Pour some rubbing alcohol onto a soft cloth.
- Gently rub the alcohol on the stained area using circular motions. Apply light pressure.
- Let the alcohol sit on the stain for 1-2 minutes so it can penetrate and break down the ink.
- Wipe away the rubbing alcohol and check if the stain has lightened or come off.
- Repeat as needed until the stain is removed. The marker may come off gradually with repeated applications and rubbing.
Step 2: Try Acetone Nail Polish Remover
If rubbing alcohol alone doesn’t remove the stain, try acetone-based nail polish remover. The acetone solvent can be even more effective at dissolving and removing permanent marker.
To try nail polish remover:
- Ventilate the area and put on gloves. Acetone fumes are strong.
- Dip a cloth or paper towel in the nail polish remover so it’s fully saturated.
- Place the saturated cloth on the stain and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. This gives the acetone time to break down the ink.
- Rub the nail polish remover into the stain using firm, circular motions. Apply pressure, but not so much that you risk scratching the quartz.
- Check if the stain has lightened or come off. If needed, reapply nail polish remover and repeat rubbing.
- Once removed, wipe the area with water to rinse away any acetone residue.
Step 3: Make a Baking Soda Paste
For more stubborn permanent marker stains, make a baking soda paste. The gentle abrasive properties of baking soda can help lift the stain off the quartz.
To make a baking soda paste:
- In a small bowl, mix 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable paste.
- Using a plastic spatula, spread the paste over the stained area to cover it.
- Let the paste sit for 5 minutes. This gives it time to penetrate and interact with the ink stain.
- Rub the paste into the stain using a circular motion. Apply moderate pressure with the spatula or use a toothbrush for scrubbing action.
- Once you’ve scrubbed thoroughly, wipe away the paste with a damp cloth. Check if the stain has lightened or lifted.
- If needed, repeat the process using more baking soda paste. The abrasion can gradually lift the stain.
- Rinse with water when finished to remove any baking soda residue.
Step 4: Use Dish Soap
Dish soap combined with rubbing can also help erase permanent marker stains. The surfactants and degreasers in dish soap help break down oils and ink pigments.
To use dish soap:
- Mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water in a small bowl.
- Dip a soft cloth or toothbrush in the soap mixture.
- Gently rub the soapy mixture onto the stain using back-and-forth motions. Concentrate on scrubbing the most stained areas.
- Let the soap sit for 2-3 minutes to penetrate before rinsing.
- Rinse away the dish soap thoroughly with clean water.
- Check if the stain has lightened or come off. Repeat as needed until it lifts.
Step 5: Try a Magic Eraser
Magic eraser cleaning sponges can also help remove stubborn permanent marker stains from quartz countertops. The melamine foam abrasive can lift ink without damaging the quartz.
To use a Magic Eraser:
- Lightly dampen the Magic Eraser and wring out excess water. You want it moist, not dripping.
- Gently rub the stain using circular motions, applying moderate pressure.
- Check if the marker has lightened or lifted after about 30 seconds of scrubbing.
- Re-dampen the eraser as needed to keep it moist. The water helps activate the cleaning capabilities.
- Continue gently scrubbing until the stain fully lifts. Avoid excessive pressure.
- Rinse the area with water when finished erasing.
Helpful Tips and Warnings
- If one method doesn’t fully remove the stain, try combining methods. For example, use baking soda paste first, then rubbing alcohol.
- Avoid excessive pressure when scrubbing. Quartz is durable but aggressive scrubbing can damage the surface over time.
- Test stain removers on an inconspicuous spot first to check for any discoloration of the quartz.
- Don’t use bleach or hydrogen peroxide. These chemicals can discolor white quartz.
- Work in small sections for best results. Focus on gently lifting the stain away little by little.
- Thoroughly rinse and dry the countertop after cleaning to prevent streaks.
- For big stains, let removers sit for 5+ minutes before scrubbing to give them time to penetrate the ink.
- Promptly clean any future stains before they have time to set and become harder to remove.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best stain removal methods for white quartz countertops?
Rubbing alcohol, acetone nail polish remover, baking soda paste, dish soap, and Magic Erasers can all be effective at removing permanent marker stains from white quartz. Often a combination of methods works best for stubborn stains. Gently scrubbing and letting removers sit before wiping is key.
How can I prevent permanent marker stains on my quartz countertop?
Avoid leaving permanent markers unattended on the countertop. Promptly wipe up any accidental marks using a cloth dampened with soap and water. This can prevent stains from setting. Using washable markers is also an option.
Will nail polish remover damage my quartz countertop?
Acetone nail polish remover is generally safe for quartz if rinsed thoroughly after use. But repeated heavy exposure could potentially dull the surface over a long period. Minimize exposure by applying remover only to the stained area.
Can I use bleach to remove permanent marker from quartz?
No, avoid using bleach or hydrogen peroxide on quartz countertops. These chemicals can discolor and damage quartz surfaces. Milder products like isopropyl alcohol and dish soap are safer options.
How can I avoid scratching my quartz countertop when removing stains?
Always use non-abrasive soft cloths or sponges to gently rub stains. Avoid using excessive pressure or very abrasive scrubbers. Quartz is durable but the surface can scratch if over-scrubbed aggressively.
Why won’t the stain come fully off even after aggressively scrubbing?
Aggressive scrubbing can sometimes drive stains deeper into the porous quartz material, making removal even harder. Try letting removers sit longer to penetrate before gently wiping stains away. Repeated light applications often work better than heavy scrubbing.
Can I use the same stain removal methods on colored quartz?
It’s best to be more cautious with colored quartz. Test removers in an inconspicuous spot first. Avoid excessive scrubbing. Use the gentlest method that lifts the stain to avoid damaging the color coating.
Removing permanent marker stains from white quartz countertops is very possible with the right techniques. Using rubbing alcohol, acetone remover, baking soda paste, dish soap, or Magic Erasers can all help lift stubborn ink stains without damaging the quartz surface. Be sure to work gradually and gently rub stains away rather than aggressively over-scrubbing. With some time and patience, you can get your quartz countertops looking clean and bright again. Consistently wiping up any marks right away can also help prevent permanent staining.