Sharpies and other permanent markers can leave frustrating stains on quartz countertops. However, with the right techniques and cleaning solutions, you can remove Sharpie marks from quartz. Here are some effective methods for getting Sharpie off quartz countertop surfaces.
Why Sharpies Stain Quartz Counters
Sharpies contain pigments that are designed to adhere strongly to surfaces. When the ink soaks into porous materials like paper, it becomes trapped in the fibers.
Quartz counters are non-porous, so Sharpies cannot penetrate the solid surface. However, the ink can still stick stubbornly to the top layer of the quartz. The binders in the marker formula help it cling to the smooth quartz material.
Though quartz resists stains better than natural stone, permanent marker pigments can still cause stubborn discoloration if left on the surface. The sooner you act to remove the marks, the better your chances of eliminating the stains.
Cleaning Solutions for Removing Sharpie from Quartz
Dry Erase Markers
Using a dry erase marker over the top of a Sharpie stain on quartz can help lift and absorb the ink. The solvents in dry erase markers are effective at dissolving and removing permanent marker pigments.
To use this cleaning trick:
- Color over the Sharpie stain completely with a dry erase marker using a back and forth motion.
- Before the dry erase ink dries, wipe it off the quartz using a microfiber cloth or paper towel.
- Repeat this process until you have removed as much of the Sharpie stain as possible.
- Finish by cleaning the area with a quartz countertop cleaner or mild soapy water.
Another common household item that can tackle Sharpie on quartz is rubbing alcohol. The alcohol breaks down the permanent marker ink, allowing you to wipe it away.
Follow these steps to use rubbing alcohol on a quartz countertop:
- Pour some isopropyl alcohol (70% concentration or higher) onto a soft cloth.
- Rub the alcohol over the Sharpie stain in a circular motion. Apply gentle pressure.
- Let the alcohol sit on the mark for 1-2 minutes so it can penetrate the ink.
- Wipe away the rubbing alcohol and check if the Sharpie mark has lifted.
- Reapply alcohol as needed until the stain disappears. Rinse with water and dry the area.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
For a non-toxic DIY cleaner, you can mix baking soda and vinegar to make a simple paste. The bubbling reaction helps break down stubborn permanent marker stains.
Here is how to clean Sharpie off quartz using this technique:
- Sprinkle baking soda directly onto the stained area of the countertop.
- Pour a small amount of white vinegar over the baking soda. The mixture will fizz and bubble.
- Allow the paste to sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing with a damp cloth or sponge.
- Wipe clean and rinse thoroughly with water. Dry the area with a towel.
Commercial Quartz Cleaners
Look for commercial cleaners specifically formulated to clean and remove stains from quartz surfaces without damaging the material. These cleaners contain potent solvents tailored to dissolve permanent marker ink.
- Spray or apply the specialist quartz cleaner directly to the Sharpie stain following the product instructions.
- Let it soak in for a minute or two before scrubbing with a sponge or brush.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry the countertop. Check if the stain needs further applications.
Tips for Preventing Sharpie Stains on Quartz
- Use coasters under cups and glasses and trivets under hot pots and pans to protect the quartz surface.
- Clean up spills immediately before they have a chance to soak in and stain.
- Avoid using pens, markers or leaving color printed documents directly on the countertop surface.
- Reseal and replace worn sections of your countertops to limit penetration of stains over time.
- Apply a penetrating quartz sealer 1-2 times per year for added protection.
Can You Completely Remove Sharpie from Quartz?
With the right cleaning methods, you can fully eliminate fresh Sharpie stains from quartz countertops in most cases. However, if the marks are allowed to set in over an extended time, some faint staining may remain even after intensive cleaning.
The key is to act fast, using concentrated cleaners and solvents to dissolve the permanent ink before it bonds strongly to the quartz. Gentle abrasives may also help lift stubborn marks during the cleaning process.
Test your chosen removal method first on an inconspicuous area to ensure it does not dull or etch the quartz surface. With some persistence, you can successfully get Sharpie off quartz countertops while keeping them looking like new.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for Sharpie to stain quartz?
Sharpie ink can soak into and bond with a quartz surface within 24-48 hours. It’s best to clean off any accidental marker markings right away before permanent staining occurs.
What household items can remove Sharpie from quartz?
Rubbing alcohol, dry erase markers, baking soda and vinegar can all be used to remove Sharpie stains from quartz. Avoid harsh chemicals like paint thinner.
Does toothpaste work to remove Sharpie from quartz?
Toothpaste is mildly abrasive, so rubbing a small amount over the stain can help lift some of the pigment. However, commercial cleaners and solvents tend to work better for removing all traces.
What is the best Sharpie remover for quartz?
Look for commercial quartz countertop cleaners and stain removers specifically formulated to remove permanent marker without damaging the surface. Many contain strong solvents that dissolve Sharpie ink.
Can you use Clorox wipes on quartz countertops?
Avoid using harsh bleach cleaners like Clorox wipes on quartz, as these can damage and discolor the material over time. Mild soap and water is the best regular cleaner for quartz.
Will Mr Clean Magic Erasers remove Sharpie from quartz?
Yes, Magic Erasers can help lift some Sharpie stains from quartz since the melamine foam is mildly abrasive. Be gentle when scrubbing to avoid dulling the surface. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
How do you seal a quartz countertop after removing stains?
After intensive cleaning, reseal the counters with a penetrating quartz sealer to add protection against future stains. Apply a thin layer, allow to dry, then buff off any residue for a streak-free finish.
How can you prevent Sharpie stains on a quartz countertop?
Avoid placing pens, markers or other staining items directly on the surface. Seal counters regularly, wipe up spills immediately, and use trivets and coasters to protect from hot items or spills.
Can you use acetone on quartz countertops to remove Sharpie?
No, avoid acetone-based nail polish remover on quartz. The harsh solvents in acetone can damage the solid surface and cause discoloration or etching. Use rubbing alcohol instead.
The durable and attractive finish of quartz countertops can suffer unsightly permanent marker stains if not dealt with promptly. By acting fast with rubbing alcohol, dry erase markers or a bit of elbow grease and a specialist cleaner, you can successfully remove dried Sharpie marks from the surface. Consistent care and maintenance will help your quartz counters stay looking like new for years.