How to Get Water Stains Off Quartz Countertops

Removing water stains from quartz countertops can seem daunting, but with the right techniques and products, it is very achievable. Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural quartz crystals and resin that creates a durable, low-maintenance surface. While it resists stains better than natural stone, it is still porous and can absorb liquids, leading to unsightly marks over time. With some elbow grease and the proper process, you can get your quartz counters looking like new again.

What Causes Water Stains on Quartz?

Water stains on quartz are usually caused by:

  • Standing water – Leaving puddles of water on the counter after cleaning, spills, or around the sink can cause marks as the moisture seeps in.
  • Minerals in water – Minerals like calcium and magnesium in tap water can leave behind a residue when the water evaporates. This is often seen as a white, chalky deposit.
  • Heat – Hot pans, kettles, or other heated items from the stove can create water vapor that condenses on the countertop and leaves a stain.
  • Acids – Things like lemon juice, vinegar, wine, and soda contain acids that can etch or discolor the quartz surface over time with repeated exposure.
  • Salt – Salt crystals from food or water softeners can also leave behind stubborn stains.

How to Remove Water Stains from Quartz Counters

Here are the best methods for tackling various types of water stains on quartz:

Supplies Needed

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Soft scrub sponge or brush
  • pH-neutral cleaner or stone soap
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Poultice clay
  • Polishing paste or soft buffing pad

Method 1: Baking Soda Paste

For light water staining:

  1. Make a paste with baking soda and water. Spread onto stained area and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Scrub with soft sponge or cloth using circular motions. Rinse well and dry.
  3. If needed, repeat process using vinegar instead of water for paste.

The baking soda is a gentle abrasive and the vinegar helps dissolve mineral deposits.

Method 2: pH-Neutral Cleaner

For recent, mild stains:

  1. Mix pH-neutral cleaner with water per instructions. Apply to stain.
  2. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Use soft brush or sponge to scrub.
  3. Rinse thoroughly and dry. Repeat if needed.

pH-neutral cleaners help lift stains without damaging the quartz seal.

Method 3: Hydrogen Peroxide

For stubborn, set-in stains:

  1. Apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain.
  2. Let bubble for 2-3 minutes. Scrub with soft brush.
  3. Rinse and dry. Repeat if stain persists.

Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleach that helps lift discoloration.

Method 4: Poultice

For very stubborn stains:

  1. Make a spreadable paste with poultice clay and hydrogen peroxide or pH-neutral cleaner.
  2. Apply paste directly to stain, covering 1/4 inch beyond edges.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 24 hours.
  4. Remove plastic and scrape off poultice. Rinse and dry.

The poultice draws out deep stains over time without damaging the surface.

Method 5: Re-polishing

For etched or stubborn stains:

  1. Use a granite polishing powder or pad to gently buff stained area.
  2. Clean residue and re-seal quartz with stone sealer if needed.

This abrades a very thin top layer to remove discoloration. Use as last resort.

Tips for Prevention

  • Wipe up spills immediately, don’t let water pool on surface
  • Use coasters under glasses and trivets for hot items
  • Rinse food prep items that may leave acids, like lemons
  • Regularly clean with pH-neutral quartz cleaner
  • Re-seal quartz every 1-2 years with a stone sealer
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners or pads that could scratch

With proper care and by addressing stains promptly, you can keep your quartz countertops looking like new for years to come. Be patient, try a combination of approaches, and you can erase those stubborn water marks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if my countertop is quartz or natural stone?

Quartz has a consistent speckled appearance while natural stone has more variation. Quartz also resists scratching, acid, and heat better than natural stone.

Can I use vinegar and water to clean quartz?

Yes, you can mix a solution of vinegar and water to clean quartz periodically. Avoid prolongued exposure to concentrated vinegar as it can damage the sealant.

What is the best homemade cleaner for quartz?

Make a DIY quartz cleaner by mixing together 1/4 cup clear ammonia, 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap and 1 gallon of warm water.

Does a granite cleaner work on quartz?

Yes, you can safely use a high quality granite cleaner on quartz since they are both stone surfaces. Make sure it is a mild, pH-neutral formula.

Can quartz stain permanently?

Quartz is very stain resistant, but it is possible for some stubborn stains to become permanent if not treated promptly and properly. Acidic, dye-based stains are the most likely culprit.


While quartz countertops are pretty impervious to damage, water stains can happen over time without proper care. With the right cleaning techniques and supplies, even set-in stains can be removed to restore the surface. Be sure to promptly wipe up spills, avoid abrasives, and re-seal periodically. Implementing a maintenance routine using the methods suggested will keep quartz counters looking like new for many years.