How to Get Water Stains Off of Quartz Countertops


Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for modern kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can develop stains over time, especially water stains from glasses, spills, and cleaning products. Removing these unsightly marks can seem daunting, but with the right techniques and cleaning solutions, you can get your quartz counters looking like new again.

What Causes Water Stains on Quartz?

Quartz is non-porous, so liquids don’t penetrate the surface, but they can still leave behind mineral deposits and stains. The main culprits are:

  • Hard water – Mineral deposits like calcium and magnesium in tap water can leave behind white stains as the water evaporates.
  • Alkaline cleaning products – Many conventional cleaners have a high pH which can etch and discolor quartz.
  • Pure water – Interestingly, even pure water like distilled or purified can leave behind spotting. Since it lacks minerals, the water evaporates rapidly and condenses on the quartz.
  • Spills – Beverages like coffee, tea, juice and wine contain staining compounds like tannins. Grease and oil can also leave residue.

How to Remove Light Water Stains from Quartz

For light water spots and mineral deposits, a gentle cleaning solution is often all you need:

Step 1 – Mix a Mild Cleaner

Combine a few drops of dish soap with warm water in a spray bottle. Avoid harsh detergents or alkaline cleaners.

Step 2 – Spray and Wipe

Liberally spray the cleaning solution onto the stained area and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Wipe away with a soft microfiber cloth.

Step 3 – Rinse and Dry

Rinse the quartz thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue. Blot dry with a towel.

This simple daily maintenance is suitable for removing most water spots and light stains from quartz over time.

Eliminating Stubborn Water Stains and Etching

If you have significant mineral buildup or etching that won’t budge, you’ll need to take more aggressive action:

Step 1 – Make a Baking Soda Paste

Mix a thick paste of baking soda and water. The texture should be spreadable but not runny.

Step 2 – Apply the Paste

Cover the stained areas entirely with the paste, about 1⁄4 inch thick. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

Step 3 – Scrub and Rinse

Use a soft bristle cleaning brush to gently scrub the paste over the stains. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

The abrasive but non-damaging baking soda will help break down mineral deposits and lift stains without damaging the quartz surface.

Step 4 – Repeat as Needed

For stubborn stains, repeat the process, letting the paste sit longer. Rinse and dry completely.

Removing Dried Liquid Stains

For dried-on spills like wine, coffee or juice that have left a stain, use this approach:

Step 1 – Apply Hydrogen Peroxide

Pour some hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain. Let bubble for 2-3 minutes.

Step 2 – Sprinkle with Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda generously over the hydrogen peroxide. Allow it to foam and lift the stain.

Step 3 – Wipe Away

Wipe away the baking soda mixture with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly.

The oxygenating action of hydrogen peroxide helps oxidize and lift staining compounds. For tough stains, let it sit longer before wiping.

Preventing Water Stains on Quartz

Once you’ve cleaned up existing stains, be proactive to avoid new ones:

  • Use coasters under glasses and cups.
  • Immediately wipe up spills and splatters.
  • Rinse and squeegee the counter after washing dishes.
  • Avoid alkaline cleaners and go for pH-neutral options.
  • Regularly wipe with a soft damp cloth to prevent mineral buildup.
  • Re-seal quartz every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer.

With a gentle routine cleaning approach and the occasional deep cleaning as needed, you can keep your quartz counters spotless and stunning for years. Don’t hesitate to call in a professional if stains persist. Consistent maintenance is key for this low-maintenance material.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if my countertop is quartz versus another material?

Quartz countertops are non-porous, very hard and resistant to scratches, heat, and stains. They often have a sparkly or speckled appearance throughout. Other materials like granite, marble or laminate have different physical properties. Consult your installer.

Is it okay to use vinegar or lemon juice to clean quartz?

No, acids like vinegar or citrus juices can damage and etch quartz over time. Stick to gentle pH-neutral cleaners. Baking soda is a good natural option.

How can I get rid of hard water stains on my bathroom quartz vanity?

Hard water mineral deposits can be lifted using a baking soda paste. Make a thick paste, apply to the stains, let sit 5-10 minutes, scrub gently with a soft brush, and rinse. Repeat as needed for tough buildup.

Why does pure water leave spots on quartz?

High purity water like distilled or purified lacks minerals, so it dries rapidly on surfaces. This leaves behind the concentrated mineral content. Tap water dries slower, making the minerals less noticeable. Wipe up pure water right away.

Are magic erasers okay for cleaning quartz stains?

Magic erasers are too abrasive for quartz and can damage the surface over time. Stick to soft cloths, sponges, and brushes. Baking soda provides just enough gentle scrubbing power.


Quartz countertops are prone to water stains if not cared for properly, but these unsightly marks don’t have to be permanent. With the right techniques and cleaning solutions tailored to quartz, even set-in stains can be removed to restore the surface’s beauty. Be sure to seal and regularly maintain your quartz counters to prevent stains in the first place. With some elbow grease and the methods outlined here, you can get your quartz counters looking like new again.