How to Get Rid of Stains on Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for modern kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, visual appeal, and low maintenance. However, like any countertop material, quartz can be susceptible to stains over time if not properly cleaned and cared for. The good news is that most stains can be removed from quartz with the right techniques and cleaning solutions. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to get rid of various types of stains on quartz countertops.

What Causes Stains on Quartz?

Quartz is made from natural stone particles combined with polymer resins. This makes quartz non-porous and resistant to scratches, heat, and most household stains. However, quartz is not completely stain-proof. Certain materials can leave discolorations if left on the surface. Common causes of stains on quartz include:

  • Spilled foods and beverages – Coffee, tea, wine, tomato sauce, oil, etc.
  • Grease and cooking oils
  • Cosmetics and skincare products
  • Ink and dye transfer
  • Hard water spots and mineral deposits
  • Metal marks from pots, pans and utensils

Stains occur when pigments from these materials get lodged in surface scratches and etchings. The non-porous nature of quartz prevents stains from penetrating deep into the material, making them easier to remove with proper cleaning.

Cleaning and Care to Prevent Stains

The best way to keep quartz spotless is by providing routine care and practicing preventative cleaning. Here are some tips:

  • Wipe up spills immediately before they have a chance to set in.
  • Clean quartz regularly with a mild soap and water.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners and scrubbing pads which can scratch the surface.
  • Use a gentle quartz-safe cleaner for daily maintenance.
  • Rinse thoroughly after cleaning and dry with a soft cloth.
  • Use trivets and cutting boards to minimize direct contact with hot pans.
  • Re-seal and polish quartz once a year to fill in micro-scratches.

With regular gentle cleaning and by treating quartz with care, you can keep stains at bay. But accidents do happen! Here’s how to remove the most common quartz countertop stains.

Removing Dried Food and Grease Stains

Foods and greases that are allowed to dry on the quartz leave oily residues that cause yellowish discoloration. Here’s how to treat set-in food and grease stains:

Step 1 – Sprinkle baking soda over the stain

The alkaline baking soda helps break down the oily stain. Apply a generous amount and let sit for 5 minutes. The baking soda will work to lift and draw out the stain.

Step 2 – Create a paste with hydrogen peroxide

Mix 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide with the baking soda to form a spreadable paste. Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleach and whitening agent that will bubble away grime.

Step 3 – Let the paste sit for 30 minutes

Do not rinse off the paste yet. Allow it to sit on the stained area undisturbed for 30 minutes to work its magic. This gives the solution time to penetrate and lift the stain.

Step 4 – Wipe away the paste

After 30 minutes, wipe away the paste thoroughly with a soft damp cloth. Rinse the area with clean water and dry well with a microfiber towel.

Step 5 – Repeat as needed

Check if the stain has lightened or disappeared completely. For stubborn oil stains, repeat this process leaving the paste on for an hour before wiping away. The stain should lift after a few treatments.

Cleaning Up Dried Spills and Soaking Stains

Sugary spills like wine, coffee and juice can leave stubborn stains if allowed to dry on quartz. Cooking oils can also leave unsightly discolorations. For dried-on stains:

Step 1 – Soak a cloth in hot water

Wring out the excess water so the cloth is damp. Drape the hot cloth over the stained area and let sit for 5-10 minutes. The heat will help loosen up the stain.

Step 2 – Sprinkle some baking soda

Remove the cloth and sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the stain while the surface is still warm. This draws out any remaining oily residue.

Step 3 – Scrub gently with a soft brush

Use a gentle brush with soft bristles to work the baking soda into the stain. Apply light pressure and abrasion to lift the stain. Avoid scrubbing too vigorously on a small concentrated area.

Step 4 – Rinse and dry

Once scrubbed, rinse the area thoroughly with clean water. Wipe dry with a soft microfiber cloth. Check if the stain has lightened or disappeared. Repeat as needed for stubborn stains.

Step 5 – Use hydrogen peroxide if needed

For additional whitening power, make a hydrogen peroxide paste as mentioned previously. Apply on the area and let sit before rinsing.

Removing Water Spots and Mineral Deposits

Hard water can leave behind calcium or limescale deposits that etch quartz and look like hazy spots. To get rid of them:

Step 1 – Mix vinegar and water

Combine equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Vinegar is a mild acid that dissolves mineral deposits.

Step 2 – Dip a cloth and apply on spots

Dip a soft clean cloth in the vinegar solution and ring out excess liquid. Drape the damp cloth over the spots and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Step 3 – Scrub and rinse

Scrub gently with a soft brush, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. Dry the area completely.

Step 4 – Use baking soda if needed

For stubborn water spots, make a paste with baking soda and water. Gently rub the paste over the area using a soft toothbrush. Rinse when done.

Step 5 – Avoid harsh acids

Do not use lemon juice, chemical cleaners or abrasive pads. These can etch and damage the quartz. The vinegar softens deposits for easy removal.

Removing Dye Transfer and Ink Stains

Quartz can pick up discoloration from ink pens, markers, newspaper print and fabrics. To treat:

Step 1 – Apply rubbing alcohol

Pour some rubbing alcohol directly onto a clean cloth. Start rubbing the stained area gently. The alcohol will help break down stubborn ink and dye stains.

Step 2 – Scrub with baking soda

After rubbing with alcohol, scrub the stain lightly with a baking soda paste as outlined earlier. The baking soda will draw out any residual colors.

Step 3 – Rinse and dry

Once you have rubbed and scrubbed with the solutions, rinse the area thoroughly. Wipe dry with a clean soft cloth. Check if the stain has disappeared.

Step 4 – Use hydrogen peroxide if needed

For extra stain-fighting power, apply hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. This can help lift out the last traces of color.

Step 5 – Avoid bleach

Do not use chlorine bleach or abrasive cleaners as these can damage the quartz surface.

Removing Cosmetic and Skincare Stains

Oily makeup and skincare products like foundation, mascara and self-tanners can transfer onto quartz leaving behind noticeable discoloration. Try this for cosmetic stains:

Step 1 – Apply eye makeup remover

Use a small amount of oil-based makeup remover on a soft cloth. Gently rub it onto the stained area to dissolve oily cosmetics.

Step 2 – Make a baking soda paste

Once you have removed any makeup residue, make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply it over the stain and let sit for 20 minutes.

Step 3 – Scrub and rinse

Use a gentle scrubbing motion with a soft cloth or brush to work in the baking soda paste. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Step 4 – Use hydrogen peroxide if needed

For stubborn cosmetic stains, apply a hydrogen peroxide paste after scrubbing away the baking soda mix.

Step 5 – Avoid harsh makeup removers

Do not use heavy duty makeup removers or solvents as these can damage the quartz. Mild removers and baking soda work well.

Tips for Preventing Future Stains

  • Clean up spills immediately before they have a chance to set in. This makes stains much easier to remove.
  • Always use cutting boards, trivets and placemats. Don’t place hot pans or food directly on quartz.
  • Apply mineral oil to minor scratches. Oil fills in and masks small surface defects making them less prone to catching stains.
  • Have quartz professionally re-polished once a year. This removes etching and restores the smooth finish.
  • Re-seal quartz annually with a penetrating quartz-grade sealer. This prevents stains from setting in.
  • Avoid direct sunlight over time. UV rays can slowly cause yellowish discoloration.

With the right care and cleaning methods, stains can be effectively removed from quartz countertops. Be sure to address any stains quickly and follow the proper techniques for each type. Consistent maintenance will keep your quartz surfaces pristine and beautiful for years.