How to Get Rid of Rust on Quartz Countertops

Rust stains on quartz countertops can be unsightly and difficult to remove. Quartz is a very durable material, but it is not impervious to damage. With the right products and techniques, you can get those stubborn rust stains off your quartz and have it looking like new again.

What Causes Rust on Quartz?

Rust forms when iron or steel comes into contact with moisture and oxygen. Some common causes of rust on quartz countertops include:

  • Metal pans, pots, or utensils resting on the surface
  • Iron or steel wool used for cleaning
  • Nails or screws used in the original installation
  • Metal fittings on faucets and plumbing fixtures
  • Leaking pipes or appliances underneath

The iron leaches onto the surface leaving behind reddish-brown stains. If left untreated, the stains can eat away at the quartz leaving permanent etching or pits.

Removing Light Rust Stains from Quartz

For light surface stains that have not etched into the quartz, you can try these simple removal methods:

Baking Soda and Water Paste

Make a paste with 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. Apply it to the stain and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Scrub with a soft cloth or sponge rinse thoroughly. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that can lift rust off the surface.

Lemon Juice and Salt

Cut a lemon in half and dip it in salt. Use the lemon to scrub the rust stain. The acidity in the lemon helps dissolve the rust while the salt provides a gentle scouring action. Rinse well and dry with a soft cloth.

Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

Mix 2 parts hydrogen peroxide with 1 part baking soda until you form a spreadable paste. Apply to the stain and allow to bubble for 2-3 minutes. Wipe away with damp cloth. The peroxide reacts with the rust to help lift it off.

Removing Stubborn Rust Stains from Quartz

For deeper rust stains that are etched into the quartz surface, stronger chemical cleaners are required:

Oxalic Acid

Also called wood bleach, oxalic acid is effective at dissolving stubborn rust stains. Make a solution of 1-2 tablespoons of oxalic acid powder per 1 cup of warm water. Apply it to the stain with a soft cloth. Let it sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. Use gloves and work in a ventilated area.

Phosphoric Acid Cleaner

Look for a commercial rust remover that contains phosphoric acid. Products such as Whink Rust Stain Remover or Iron-Out are available at most hardware stores. Wet the stain and apply the cleaner. Let it work for 5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing thoroughly.

Bleach Gel

Apply a thick bleach gel to the stain and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow to sit overnight before scrubbing and rinsing in the morning. The extended contact time lets the bleach fully oxidize the rust.

Preventing Future Rust Stains on Quartz

To keep your quartz pristine and rust-free for years to come, keep these prevention tips in mind:

  • Wipe up spills immediately, don’t let moisture sit
  • Use coasters under bottles, cans, pots
  • Seal any cracks and joints with caulk
  • Avoid contact with iron, steel wool, or cast iron
  • Clean under appliances regularly to catch leaks early

With proper care and cleaning, quartz countertops can stay looking like new for many years. Act quickly when rust stains occur, and utilize the effective removal methods outlined above. With some elbow grease, you can bid farewell to those unsightly rust marks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to remove rust from quartz?

It depends on the severity of the stain, but light surface stains may come off with just 5-10 minutes of scrubbing. Deep set rust stains require an acid cleaner and extended time (up to overnight) to fully lift out.

Can I use CLR to remove rust from quartz?

Yes, CLR (Calcium, Lime, and Rust remover) is formulated to dissolve and remove rust stains. Apply it to the affected area, let it sit 5-10 minutes, then scrub and rinse off. It may take a couple treatments for stubborn stains.

What kind of acid removes rust from quartz?

Oxalic acid and phosphoric acid are commonly used to remove rust from quartz. They effectively dissolve and detach the rust so it can be wiped away. Bleach gel also works by chemically oxidizing the rust.

Will rust come back after removing it from quartz?

If the source of the rust is eliminated, and proper care is taken to keep the quartz surface dry and protected from iron contamination, the rust should not come back after removal. Prevent future problems by sealing cracks, wiping spills quickly, and using coasters.

Can I use magic eraser to remove rust from quartz?

Yes, Magic Erasers contain a mild abrasive that can help scrub off surface rust stains. Dampen the eraser and rub it over the stain using light pressure. Avoid excessive scrubbing, as it may dull the quartz over time. Magic erasers work best on light stains.


Rust stains can happen even on durable quartz countertops when they come into contact with iron contaminants. With the proper cleaning solutions and techniques, these stains can be removed to restore the look of your countertops. For best results, start with gentle homemade pastes for light stains, then gradually move up to stronger commercial acid cleaners for stubborn rust that has etched into the surface. Take steps to prevent future rust stains by wiping spills immediately, using coasters, and sealing any cracks and joints around sinks and fixtures. With some perseverance, you can get your quartz counters gleaming once again.