How to Get Rust Off a Quartz Countertop

Quartz countertops are popular in many modern kitchens due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, like any surface, quartz can be susceptible to stains from rust if metal items are left on the countertop. Rust stains can be unsightly and difficult to remove, but with the right techniques and products, you can get your quartz countertop looking like new again.

What Causes Rust Stains on Quartz?

Rust stains on quartz are caused by iron oxide, which occurs when iron is exposed to moisture for a prolonged period. Common causes of rust stains on quartz countertops include:

  • Leaving cast iron cookware or pans on the countertop
  • Iron nails, screws or metal tools sitting on the surface
  • Cans, metal bowls or utensils resting on the quartz
  • Using iron supplements near the countertop and spilling droplets of water

Iron oxide binds to the quartz, leaving behind the characteristic rusty orange/brown stain. Rust can be challenging to remove from quartz because of its porous, non-porous surface which allows the stain to penetrate deeper. But with patience and using the right rust removers, even set-in stains can be eliminated.

Cleaning vs. Removing Rust Stains from Quartz

It’s important to understand the difference between cleaning and removing rust stains from quartz:


This involves light surface removal of new or minor rust stains using gentle cleaners and scrubbing. Cleaning can help lift fresh spots of rust off the countertop.


This focuses on treating stubborn, set-in rust stains that cleaning alone cannot eliminate. Removing rust involves using more intensive rust removal solutions that work to break down and dissolve the iron oxide.

New rust stains can often be cleaned, while older rust spots will need to be removed. Both techniques are covered in detail in the steps below.

Step-by-Step Guide to Remove Rust from Quartz Countertops

Follow these steps to safely and effectively remove rust stains from your quartz countertop:

1. Prepare the Countertop Area

  • Clear everything off the countertop surface to expose the stained area. Remove any food, cookware, appliances, etc.
  • Make sure the countertop is completely dry before treating rust stains. Blot with a towel if needed.

2. Try Cleaning with Baking Soda and Water

Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help scrub off new or minor rust stains:

  • Mix a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water.
  • Using a soft cloth or sponge, gently rub the paste onto the stained area using small circular motions.
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with clean water.
  • Dry the surface completely with a towel.

If the stain appears lighter or removed, the baking soda treatment may have been sufficient for surface cleaning.

3. Clean with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Magic Erasers provide slightly more cleaning power for light rust stains in quartz:

  • Sweep the stain with a dry Magic Eraser, applying light pressure.
  • Dampen the pad and work in a circular motion to scrub the rust spot for 60-90 seconds.
  • Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water and dry.

Check if the rust stain appears lighter or removed after cleaning. If not, move on to a rust removal solution.

4. Apply a Rust Remover Solution

For stubborn rust that remains after cleaning, use a commercial rust removal product:

  • Bar Keepers Friend – Sprinkle powder onto the stain and add just enough water to form a paste. Let sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing with a damp sponge in circles. Rinse thoroughly. Can also apply with a damp sponge and scrub immediately.
  • Whink Rust Stain Remover – Spray liquid directly onto stain. Let sit for 1-2 minutes before scrubbing with a damp cloth or sponge. Rinse surface thoroughly after treatment.
  • Rust-Oleum Rust Dissolver Gel – Apply gel onto stain and let sit for 15-30 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. Reapply if needed for tough stains.
  • Concrete & Masonry Rust Removers – Products like Rejuvenate Concrete & Masonry Rust Remover can be applied to quartz. Follow product instructions carefully.

Apply a small amount first and spot test an inconspicuous area to ensure the product does not etch or discolor the quartz.

5. Scrub the Rust Stain

Once you’ve applied a rust remover, agitate the area with a scrubbing motion:

  • Use a soft cloth, sponge, or nylon scrubbing pad. Do not use abrasive scouring pads or steel wool.
  • Scrub in a circular motion while applying moderate pressure.
  • Scrub for 30-90 seconds to work the remover into the stain.
  • Let removers sit for the recommended time before scrubbing if needed.

Scrubbing helps activate the remover and lift the rust from the microscopic pores of the quartz.

6. Rinse and Dry Completely

After scrubbing, it’s important to thoroughly rinse and dry the countertop:

  • Rinse with clean water 3-4 times to remove any rust remover residue.
  • Blot dry with clean towels to soak up excess moisture.
  • Allow to air dry fully for 30 minutes before using. Remaining moisture can re-oxidize iron and lead to new stains.

Proper rinsing and drying prevents rust stains from reappearing after treatment.

7. Repeat as Needed for Stubborn Rust

For very stubborn rust stains in quartz:

  • Reapply remover and scrub again if stain remains after first application. Let sit longer before scrubbing.
  • Try a different rust remover if the initial product does not lift the stain.
  • Use a nylon scrubbing pad for extra scrubbing power if needed.

Repeating the process or switching products gives even set-in rust stains a good chance of being removed.

8. Prevent Future Rust Stains

Once you’ve succeeded in removing those unsightly rust stains from your quartz, take steps to prevent new ones from forming:

  • Wipe up spills immediately to avoid moisture sitting on the surface.
  • Avoid leaving metal objects on the countertop for extended periods. Keep iron supplement bottles in cabinets.
  • Use coasters under cans, pans, and other rust-prone items.
  • Sealing your quartz countertop every 1-2 years will make it more stain resistant.
  • Clean quartz with a stone-safe cleaner regularly to prevent buildup.

Tips and Precautions When Removing Rust from Quartz

Follow these tips when attempting rust removal to get the best results without damaging your countertop:

  • Quartz can withstand rust removers, but check the product instructions to be safe. Test in an inconspicuous spot first.
  • Apply removers carefully to avoid drips on countertop seams and edges. Limit to stained area only.
  • Do not use harsh chemicals like bleach, alkaline cleaners, or acidic toilet bowl cleaners which can etch and discolor quartz.
  • Avoid abrasive scouring pads or steel wool. Use a soft cloth, sponge or nylon pad to gently scrub.
  • Rinse repeatedly with clean water to eliminate chemicals and lifted rust particles from the porous surface.
  • If needed, restore quartz shine and luster with a polishing paste or mineral oil after cleaning.

With the right rust removal techniques and care, you can keep your quartz countertops looking like new and rust-free for years before needing professional treatment. Always test products first, and enlist a countertop pro for advice and help with difficult stains that resist removal.

FAQs About Removing Rust Stains from Quartz Countertops

How do you remove old, set-in rust stains from quartz?

Old rust stains require a more intensive removal process. Make a thick paste with Bar Keepers Friend and water and apply to the stain. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub with a damp sponge before rinsing thoroughly. For really stubborn stains, use a rust remover like Whink or a concrete rust remover. Apply the liquid, let sit for 15-30 minutes, and scrub vigorously before rinsing. Going over the area with a nylon scrubbing pad can also help lift out deeply set rust.

What household items can remove rust from quartz?

White vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and Magic Erasers are readily available items that can help clean minor quartz rust stains. Make a paste with baking soda and water and gently scrub. Dampen a Magic Eraser and rub stain in a circular motion. For tougher stains, spray with undiluted hydrogen peroxide and scrub with a cloth. Always spot test first, as acids may etch quartz.

Can you use CLR to remove rust from quartz countertops?

CLR (Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover) is an acidic product designed for cleaning and removing rust and mineral deposits. While it can be effective for rust removal, CLR and similar acid-based cleaners should be avoided for quartz countertops. The acids can potentially etch, discolor or damage quartz surfaces. Opt for rust removers specifically formulated to be quartz-safe. Always test solvents in an inconspicuous spot first before applying to visible areas.

What removes rust stains permanently from quartz?

No rust stain remover can permanently remove the possibility of new rust stains forming. However, Whink Rust Stain Remover is highly effective at dissolving and lifting even set-in rust stains from the microscopic pores of quartz. Follow with thorough rinsing and drying. Bar Keepers Friend or a concrete/masonry rust treatment can also provide longer-lasting rust removal. Be sure to take preventive steps like sealing, using coasters and immediate cleanup of spills to stop reoccurrence of stubborn rust.

Can you use Magic Eraser to remove rust from quartz?

Yes, Magic Erasers can be used to clean and remove light rust staining from quartz countertops. Sweep the stain with a dry Eraser first. Dampen the pad slightly and rub in a gentle circular motion on the affected area for up to 90 seconds. The melamine foam helps lift surface rust marks. Thoroughly rinse with clean water afterwards. Magic Erasers work best for new, minor stains rather than heavily set-in rust. Be cautious about excessive scrubbing which could potentially dull the quartz.

Removing troublesome rust stains from quartz countertops is definitely achievable with the proper cleaning techniques and rust-fighting products. Always start with the gentlest options like baking soda paste or hydrogen peroxide first before moving to stronger commercial rust removers. With some scrubbing elbow grease and patience, you can get your stained quartz looking clean and beautiful again. Be attentive to prevent future rust spots by caring for your countertops properly.