Getting rings and stains out of your quartz countertop can seem daunting, but with the right techniques and products, it can be easier than you think. Quartz countertops are durable and low-maintenance, but they can still show signs of wear over time. Here’s a helpful guide on how to effectively clean rings, stains, and discoloration on quartz.
What Causes Rings and Stains on Quartz?
Quartz countertops are made from crushed quartz blended with resin and pigments. This makes them non-porous, so spills and stains don’t easily soak in. However, the surface can still show marks over time. Some common causes of stains and rings include:
- Placing wet glasses, cups, or plates directly on the counter, which can leave water marks or rings.
- Spills from foods and drinks that contain pigments, like coffee, tea, wine, and certain juices. The acidity can etch the surface.
- Harsh cleaners that contain acids, alkalis, or abrasive compounds. These can damage the finish.
- Metal pans or appliances placed directly on the counter, which may scratch or dull the surface.
- Accumulated dirt, grease, and soap scum that builds up in heavily used areas.
Effective Cleaning Agents for Quartz Countertops
It’s important to use the right cleaning solutions for quartz so you don’t accidentally damage the surface while trying to clean it. Here are some safe, effective options:
- Mild liquid dish soap: An all-purpose cleaner diluted with warm water can lift dirt and grease.
- Baking soda: Acts as a gentle scrubbing agent to remove stains. Make a paste with water.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Helps whiten and brighten quartz. Dilute with water before using.
- Vinegar: Helps dissolve hard water deposits, soap scum, and mineral stains. Mix with water.
- Ammonia: Cuts through grease and disinfects. Dilute prior to use.
Avoid abrasive cleaners, bleach, alkaline chemicals, acetone, and scouring pads as these can etch or dull quartz. Check the manufacturer’s care guide too for any specific instructions.
Steps to Remove Rings and Stains from Quartz
Follow these steps to effectively clean rings, dried spills, and stubborn stains from your quartz countertop:
1. Prepare the Workspace
Clear everything off the countertop you want to clean. Have a microfiber cloth, cleaning solutions, and a plastic putty knife or scraper tool ready. Protect nearby surfaces.
2. Try Mild Cleaners First
Mix a mild, non-abrasive cleaner like dish soap, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide with warm water in a spray bottle. Spray on the stain and let sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing gently with a damp cloth. Avoid circular motions.
3. Use Baking Soda for Stubborn Stains
Make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply to the stained area and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Use a damp cloth to scrub the paste gently over the stain. Rinse thoroughly.
4. Use Ammonia or Acetone for Extreme Cases
For tough grease, wine, or food stains, use household ammonia or acetone diluted with water. Check for any damage to a small inconspicuous area first. Rinse immediately after cleaning.
5. Gently Scrape Off Any Remaining Grime
If stains remain after cleaning, use a plastic putty knife to gently scrape any dirt or grime off the surface. Apply pressure at a 45° angle and work carefully to avoid scratching.
6. Rinse and Dry Completely
Rinse the cleaned area thoroughly with clean water to remove all residue. Blot dry immediately with microfiber cloths to prevent water spots. A dry surface is a clean surface!
Preventing Future Stains and Marks
To help keep your quartz pristine after removing stains:
- Use cutting boards and trivets when preparing food.
- Clean up spills immediately before they set.
- Disinfect regularly with a quartz-safe cleaner.
- Avoid direct heat exposure from hot pans and appliances.
- Reseal if the finish appears worn or etched.
- Don’t let liquids pool or dry on the surface.
With proper routine cleaning and by treating stains promptly, you can keep your quartz countertops looking like new for years. Just be sure to use the right products and proven removal techniques.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I remove dried-on food and grease?
For sticky dried-on messes, soften them up using a mix of warm water and dish soap or an ammonia-based cleaner. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes. Gently scrape off any chunks, then scrub with a damp cloth and rinse. Avoid abrasive pads.
What’s the best way to get rid of hard water rings?
Hard water deposits leave stubborn whitish rings. Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply to the marks. Or use diluted vinegar and scrub gently with a cloth. The acids help dissolve mineral deposits so they can be wiped away.
How do I whiten a quartz countertop that looks dingy?
To brighten up a quartz surface, make a paste using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Spread on and let sit briefly before scrubbing clean. For a quick shine, simply wipe with a soft cloth dipped in diluted hydrogen peroxide.
What should I avoid getting on my quartz counter?
Avoid direct exposure to extreme heat, acids that can etch the finish, and harsh chemicals with abrasives. Never cut directly on the surface. Also prevent permanent stains by promptly cleaning spills that contain dyes, like wine, coffee, and fruit juice.
Can I use a Magic Eraser to clean quartz counters?
Magic Erasers contain melamine foam, which is a very fine abrasive. This can potentially dull and scratch quartz, so it’s best to avoid using them. Stick to gentle cleaners along with a microfiber cloth or soft sponge instead.
Removing dried-on spills, rings, and stains from quartz countertops is possible with the proper techniques. Always start with the gentlest approach using mild detergents or natural cleaning solutions. For tougher messes, move up to baking soda scrubs, diluted acetone, ammonia, or careful scraping. The key is being persistent yet gentle to avoid damaging the quartz surface. With some elbow grease and quartz-safe cleaners, you can erase blemishes and restore your counters’ original beauty.