How to Get Yellow Stains Out of Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can develop stubborn yellow stains over time that can be tricky to remove. Here are some tips for getting yellow stains out of quartz countertops.

What Causes Yellow Stains on Quartz?

There are a few common culprits when it comes to yellow stains on quartz:

  • Spices and condiments – Turmeric, mustard, and curry powder are notorious for leaving behind yellow stains. Even a small spill that is wiped up quickly can leave a lingering stain.
  • Citrus fruits and juices – The acidity in citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit can etch the quartz surface causing yellow discoloration.
  • Cleaning products – Some harsh cleaners with acidic or alkaline ingredients can discolor quartz over time with repeated use. Bleach and ammonia are especially problematic.
  • Heat – Exposing quartz countertops to excessive heat from pots, pans, or other heated appliances can slowly turn the surface yellowish.

Cleaning Tips for Removing Yellow Stains

Removing set-in yellow stains from quartz requires a bit of patience and using the right cleaning methods. Here are some tips:

Use a mild cleaner or degreaser – For superficial stains, an all-purpose cleaner, degreaser, or dish soap diluted with warm water may do the trick. Spray on, let sit briefly, and scrub with a soft bristle brush. Rinse thoroughly.

Make a baking soda paste – For more stubborn stains, make a paste with baking soda and water. Spread onto the stain, allow to sit for several hours or overnight, and scrub away. The abrasiveness of baking soda can help lift stains without damaging the finish.

Try a poultice – Mix baking soda or powdered oxygen bleach with hydrogen peroxide to make a poultice. Apply to the stain thickly and cover with plastic wrap. After 24 hours, scrape away the poultice and rinse. Repeat as needed.

Use acidic cleaners carefully – For hard water stains and mineral deposits, a cleaner with acids like vinegar, lemon juice, or Bar Keeper’s Friend may help. Spot test first and rinse promptly to avoid damaging the quartz.

Consider polishing – For stains that cleaning methods cannot remove, professional polishing and buffing may eliminate or reduce the discoloration. This may be best left to countertop installation pros.

Prevent future stains – For ongoing prevention, seal quartz countertops yearly with a penetrating sealer which can make cleaning easier. Also, use trivets and wipe spills quickly to minimize staining over time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Yellow Stains from Quartz

How can I tell if a stain will come out of my quartz countertop?

If a stain has not etched or damaged the quartz surface itself, there is a good chance it can be removed with the right cleaning methods. Superficial stains usually lift after some scrubbing. Deeper stains may take alternate techniques like poultices or polishing but often come out with persistence.

What is the best daily cleaner to use on quartz?

For routine daily cleaning, use a mild pH-neutral cleaner or soap and water. Avoid acidic, alkaline, or abrasive cleaners that could wear down the protective sealant over time. Simple dish soap or an all-purpose cleaner labeled as safe for stone surfaces are good options.

Can I use bleach or ammonia to remove yellow stains from quartz?

No, avoid using bleach, ammonia, or alkaline cleaners on quartz countertops. The harsh chemicals can actually cause discoloration and etching on the surface over time. They can also degrade the quartz and remove the protective sealant.

Will pressure washing or steam cleaning remove stains from quartz?

No, avoid using pressure washers or steam cleaners on quartz countertops. The intense pressure and heat can damage the surface and joints. For best results, always use mild manual scrubbing to clean quartz countertops.

How can I prevent future yellow stains on my quartz?

  • Use trivets and cutting boards when placing hot pans on the surface
  • Wipe up spills immediately, especially oils, citrus and spices
  • Avoid harsh cleaners and abrasive scrubs
  • Reseal quartz countertops every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer
  • Use the gentlest cleaning methods possible


Removing yellow stains from quartz countertops takes a little bit of work, but the right techniques can usually get the quartz looking like new again. Test milder cleaning solutions first, then move to alternate methods like baking soda poultices or polishing if needed. With ongoing preventative care, you can keep your quartz counters pristine and minimize stubborn stains. Be patient, take care not to damage the surface, and you can get those yellow stains off your quartz.