Quartz countertops are popular choices for kitchens and bathrooms because of their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any countertop material, quartz can get stained from spills and everyday use. The good news is that quartz is non-porous, so stains tend to sit on the surface rather than soak in. With the right cleaning methods, you can often remove stains from quartz.
What Causes Stains on Quartz?
Common culprits of quartz countertop stains include:
- Oils and grease from cooking
- Coffee and tea
- Wine and fruit juices
- Tomato-based products like pasta sauce
- Dyes from colored liquids and foods
- Hard water deposits and soap scum
Stains can also occur from harsh cleaners and chemicals that etch or discolor the surface over time. Heat and direct sunlight can also cause quartz to yellow.
Cleaning Tips and Tricks for Removing Stains
1. Blot up spills immediately.
It’s always best to wipe up spills as soon as they happen before they have a chance to set in. Absorb wet spills with a paper towel or clean cloth. Try not to scrub aggressively at this stage.
2. Mix a gentle cleaner solution.
For basic cleaning, mix a few drops of dish soap or a small amount of all-purpose cleaner into some warm water. Avoid harsh cleaners like bleach and ammonia-based products that can damage the quartz surface.
3. Clean with a non-abrasive sponge or soft cloth.
Use a soft cleaning cloth, sponge or paper towel to clean the stained area. Apply the cleaning solution directly to the stain and allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping.
4. Use baking soda for stubborn stains.
For more stubborn stains, make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stain, allowing it to sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. Baking soda helps lift stains without scratching.
5. Try hydrogen peroxide for discoloration.
Hydrogen peroxide can help lift surface stains that cause discoloration. Dip a soft cloth in hydrogen peroxide and place it directly on the stain for up to an hour before rinsing.
6. Use a plastic scraper for dried spills.
If a spill dried on the countertop, you may need to gently scrape off any hardened material with a plastic scraper before cleaning. This helps lift off the bulk of the stain.
7. Consider a poultice for deep-set stains.
For a really stubborn stain that won’t budge, you can make a poultice using baking soda or powdered dishwasher detergent and hydrogen peroxide. Apply to the stain and cover in plastic wrap before letting it work for 24 hours. This draws out deep stains.
8. Sand extremely stubborn stains.
As a last resort for a set-in stain, use 400 grit sandpaper lightly on the affected area, followed by a fine polish to blend any roughness. This method is certainly not ideal and risks damaging the finish.
Prevention Is Key
While quartz stands up well to daily use, the best way to keep it looking like new is prevention:
- Wipe up spills immediately
- Use cutting boards and trivets to protect the surface
- Clean with a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner and soft cloth
- Avoid exposing the countertop to harsh chemicals
- Re-seal quartz every 1-2 years with a stone sealer
With proper care and prompt cleaning when stains occur, you can keep your quartz counters looking fresh. But even if a stain sets in, rest assured you can likely remove stains from quartz with some persistence and the right gentle cleaning methods.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to remove stains from quartz?
Most typical stains can be removed immediately or within a few minutes if you promptly apply a mild cleaner and wipe away. For tougher stains, it may take repeated cleaning over a period of hours or days to fully remove the stained area.
Can all stains be removed from quartz?
Most stains can be removed from quartz if treated promptly and properly. However, deep-set stains that permanently etch or discolor the material can occur if harsh chemicals or cleaners damage the surface. Avoid abrasive scrubbing that can dull the finish.
What is the best quartz countertop cleaner?
For routine cleaning, use a mild dish soap and warm water solution. You can also use a specially formulated stone cleaner. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners that could scratch or damage the quartz.
Does quartz stain worse than granite?
Quartz is less prone to staining than natural stone like granite because it is non-porous. Liquids and spills tend to sit on the surface rather than soak in. However, no countertop material is completely stain-proof. Both require prompt cleaning of spills to avoid discoloration.
Should quartz counters be sealed to prevent stains?
Sealing isn’t necessary for quartz’ stain resistance, but can provide an added layer of protection. Use a stone sealer approved for quartz every 1-2 years. Make sure any stains are removed prior to sealing so they don’t get locked in under the sealant.
Quartz countertops are an excellent choice that provide the look of natural stone with increased stain resistance. However, stains can still occur if spills are left to set. By addressing stains quickly with gentle cleaning solutions and non-abrasive scrubbing, you can keep your quartz counters looking like new for years. With some persistence, even stubborn stains can usually be removed. Just be sure to take preventative steps like using trivets and wiping spills immediately to minimize permanent damage.