Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need
- Non-abrasive cleaner or dish soap
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Soft cloths
- Non-abrasive scrub pad
- Plastic scraper
- Eye protection
- Rubber gloves
Before starting, put on gloves and eye protection. Quartz can chip if you scrub too aggressively, sending pieces flying. Safety first!
Remove Surface Grime and Soap Scum
First, wash the countertop well with a non-abrasive cleaner or mild dish soap and warm water. This will remove any surface grime that may be hindering rust removal.
Rinse thoroughly after washing. Make sure to wipe away all soap residue, as leaving soap on the surface can hinder the vinegar’s effectiveness.
Make a Baking Soda Paste
Combine baking soda and white vinegar into a spreadable paste. The baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive and the vinegar helps dissolve rust.
Start with about 1/2 cup baking soda and add vinegar gradually while mixing until a paste forms. Add more baking soda or vinegar as needed to make a thick paste.
Apply the Paste to the Stain
Spread the paste generously over the rust stain, at least 1/8 inch thick. Make sure to extend the paste a couple inches beyond the edges of the stain.
Let it sit for at least 15 minutes. This gives the ingredients time to work at dissolving the rust.
Scrub the Paste
After letting it sit, scrub the paste with a soft cloth or non-abrasive scrub pad. Apply light pressure and rub in small circular motions.
Scrape off any remaining paste with a plastic scraper. Be sure to keep the scraper flat to avoid scratching the quartz.
Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water. Check to see if the stain has lightened or disappeared.
Repeat as Needed
If the rust stain persists, repeat the entire process. Rust can be quite stubborn, so you may need 2-3 applications to fully remove it.
Let the quartz dry completely between treatments. Don’t leave the baking soda paste sitting for more than 30 minutes each time.
To help prevent future rust stains on your quartz:
- Wipe up spills immediately, especially acidic foods like lemon juice
- Use coasters under bottles, vases, etc.
- Seal any metal edges (sinks, fixtures) with caulk
- Avoid exposing quartz to bleach or drain cleaners
- Keep quartz dry; wipe up standing water quickly
With some perseverance and the right cleaning methods, you can get your quartz countertops free of rust stains. Just be patient and gentle to avoid damaging the surface. Consistent prevention will also help keep your quartz pristine.
Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Rust from Quartz
How did rust get on my quartz countertop?
Rust likely formed when something made of iron, like cookware, grill tools, or a bottle cap, was left sitting on the quartz while wet. The iron then oxidized, leaving behind rust. Acidic foods and moisture speed up rust formation.
Can I use other acids besides vinegar?
Vinegar is your safest bet for DIY rust removal. While other acids like lemon juice or coke may dissolve rust, they could also etch or stain quartz. Stick to mild white vinegar.
How can I prevent scratches during cleaning?
Always use a soft cloth, sponge, or scrub pad designed not to scratch. Apply minimal pressure when scrubbing. Don’t use abrasive cleansers or scouring pads, as they can scratch quartz.
Will this method work on other stains?
No, this paste is specifically formulated to remove rust. For other stains, use a quartz-safe cleaner and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Never use bleach or oven cleaner on quartz.
Can I get rust stains off quartz without chemicals?
Unfortunately, rust needs an acidic ingredient like vinegar to dissolve effectively. Baking soda alone provides abrasion but doesn’t break down rust chemically. The paste gives the most powerful stain removal.
Rust stains can be frustrating, but with some baking soda, vinegar, and elbow grease, you can get your quartz countertops pristine again. Always test products on a small area first to ensure they won’t etch or discolor the quartz. Consistent care and prevention will keep your counters looking like new for years to come.