How to Keep Quartz Countertops from Staining

Quartz countertops are popular in modern kitchens and bathrooms because of their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. However, like any countertop material, quartz can be prone to stains if not properly cared for. The good news is that with some simple preventative steps and cleaning methods, you can keep your quartz countertops looking like new for years to come.

Why Quartz Stains and How to Prevent It

Quartz is made from ground quartz crystals held together with polymer resins and pigments. This makes quartz non-porous, so spills and stains don’t easily soak in like they would with natural stone. However, the resin used in quartz is still stainable if given prolonged exposure. Acidic substances like wine, citrus, vinegar, and tomatoes can etch into the resin if left for too long. Oils, grease, and pigmented foods can also stain if allowed to sit.

Here are some tips to prevent stains on quartz countertops:

  • Wipe up spills immediately. Don’t let anything sit on the counters. Even if it seems quartz is stain resistant, prompt clean up is key.
  • Use cutting boards and trivets. Never cut directly on the counter or place hot pots and pans on the surface. The impact or heat can damage the resin.
  • Clean regularly with a gentle quartz cleaner. Regular light cleaning helps prevent buildup that could lead to stains.
  • Reseal quartz countertops every 1-2 years. Resealing fills in microscopic scratches and creates a protective barrier.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to alkaline cleaners. The alkalinity can erode the resin over time.
  • Don’t use abrasive scrubbing pads. They could scour off the protective coating.

How to Remove Stains from Quartz Countertops

If stains occur despite your best prevention efforts, there are several effective cleaning methods to try:

For Oils, Grease, and Food Stains:

  • Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the stain. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing clean. The baking soda has a gentle abrasiveness that can lift stains without damaging the quartz.
  • Mix together warm water and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. Spritz the stain and scrub with a soft cloth or sponge. The soap helps cut through grease.
  • Use an all-purpose cleaner specifically formulated for quartz. Check the label to ensure it is non-abrasive and safe for quartz.
  • Try undiluted white vinegar. The acid can help dissolve some organic stains. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. Do not use vinegar for marble or limestone-based quartz.

For Dried Liquids Like Wine, Tea, Ketchup:

  • Make a baking soda paste again, but use less water so the paste is thicker. Apply to the stain and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit overnight before scrubbing and rinsing clean. The baking soda paste helps draw out deep stains.
  • Mix equal parts warm water and hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Mist the stain, let bubble for 2-3 minutes, then scrub and rinse. The peroxide can help lift pigmented stains.
  • Try a mild oxygen bleach cleaner. Check that it is specifically formulated for quartz. The oxygen bleach can break down organic stains without damaging quartz.

For Hard Water Marks and Mineral Deposits:

  • Use pure white vinegar. Spray or wipe it on full strength and let sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing away. The acid in vinegar dissolves mineral deposits.
  • Make a paste with cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide. Apply to the stain for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing away. The combination of acid and peroxide can effectively remove hard water stains on quartz.
  • Try a quartz-specific scale remover. Look for a formula containing sulfamic or glycolic acid which are specially designed to remove minerals.
  • Use a razor blade scraper carefully. Gently scrape off any especially stubborn mineral deposits. Take care not to scratch the quartz.

For Etch Marks from Acids:

  • Buff the etch marks gently with a plastic scouring pad, baking soda, and a small amount of water. The baking soda abrasive can remove light etching without damaging quartz.
  • Make a poultice with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Thicken to a peanut butter consistency and apply to etch marks. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 4-6 hours before scrubbing clean.
  • Use a specialty quartz etching repair kit. These contain polishing compounds that can smooth over acid damage.
  • Call a professional countertop refinishing company. They have commercial grade equipment to re-polish etched areas on quartz.

How to Care for Quartz Daily to Prevent Staining

With regular light cleaning and care, you can prevent most stains on quartz to keep your counters looking their best:

  • Clean up all spills as soon as they happen. This is one of the best stain prevention measures you can take. Even if quartz is non-porous, liquids can still cause stains if left too long.
  • Use a gentle quartz cleaner daily. Look for a cleaner made specifically for quartz. Spray down your counters after use and wipe away any messes with a soft cloth. Warm water with a few drops of mild dish soap also works well for daily cleaning.
  • Don’t use abrasive pads or scrubbers. They could damage the protective quartz finish. Opt for soft sponges, microfiber cloths, or paper towels when cleaning.
  • Rinse your counters after cleaning. Make sure to rinse off any soapy residue with clean water and wipe completely dry. Left behind cleaner residue can lead to buildup and eventual stains.
  • Reseal your counters every 1-2 years. Resealing quartz fills in microscopic scratches and keeps the surface stain resistant. Use a stone sealer specifically made for quartz.
  • Use cutting boards, trivets and hot pads. Cutting, chopping, or setting hot pots directly on quartz can damage the surface making it more prone to stains.
  • Disinfect correctly. Only use disinfectants labeled safe for quartz. Avoid excessive scrubbing. And don’t use bleach – chlorine can damage quartz.
  • Address stains quickly. If a stain occurs, start trying to remove it right away according to methods recommended for that type. This prevents it from setting in permanently.

By incorporating these easy daily habits and being vigilant about cleaning, you can enjoy stain-free, brilliant looking quartz countertops for many years. Keeping quartz clean may take a bit more care than other materials like granite. But the results are well worth the small amount of extra effort.

Frequently Asked Questions About Preventing Stains on Quartz Countertops

Is it possible to fully prevent stains on quartz countertops?

While it’s difficult to keep quartz countertops 100% stain free at all times, you can prevent most stains by cleaning up spills immediately, using trivets, cleaning regularly, and resealing. However, etching from prolonged acid exposure may still occur.

How long can spills sit on quartz before staining?

It’s best to wipe up all spills immediately. Acidic liquids like wine or juice can begin etching quartz resin in as little as 15 minutes. Grease can also stain if left more than an hour or two. Don’t let anything sit on quartz despite its stain resistance.

Should quartz countertops be sealed to prevent stains?

Sealing isn’t mandatory, but it does add extra stain protection. Quartz can be sealed just like natural stone, usually once a year. Look for a sealer specifically formulated for quartz. Resealing fills in microscopic scratches that could harbor stains over time.

Does routine cleaning help prevent quartz stains?

Yes. Light daily cleaning removes microscopic buildup and food residue that could eventually stain if allowed to accumulate. Use a specially formulated quartz cleaner and soft cloth to wipe down your counters after each use.

What temperature can quartz withstand without staining?

Quartz can tolerate brief exposure to temperatures up to 300°F without damage. However, prolonged direct heat above 150°F can cause the resin to break down, making it more vulnerable to stains. Always use trivets and hot pads to protect quartz.

Are there any truly stain proof quartz countertops?

There is no quartz countertop that is 100% impervious to stains, especially from prolonged exposure. However, darker quartz colors like blacks and grays do a good job hiding most stains and marks compared to light colors. Just be sure to care for them properly.


Quartz offers a gorgeous, low maintenance surface for kitchens and bathrooms. By practicing diligent daily care and regular deep cleaning routines, most stains can be prevented. But if stains do occur, know there are also effective ways to remove them without harming quartz. Paying close attention to your counters and addressing any messes promptly will help keep them looking pristine for many years before a professional restoration is needed. With just a little effort, you can enjoy durable, easy to clean quartz countertops that stay stain free.