How to Keep White Quartz Countertops from Staining

White quartz countertops can add a clean, crisp look to any kitchen. However, the light color also means they are prone to staining. With proper care and maintenance though, you can keep your white quartz looking like new for years. Here are the best tips for preventing stains on white quartz countertops.

Clean Spills Quickly

The number one rule for preventing stains on white quartz is to clean up spills immediately. Don’t give stains a chance to set in. At a minimum, blot liquid spills as soon as they happen. For best results though, grab a paper towel or clean cloth and wipe the area completely. Pay extra attention to porous areas around the sink and grout lines where liquids can seep in. Getting to spills quickly will make cleanup much easier.

Use Coasters and Trivets

Get in the habit of using coasters for drinking glasses and trivets for hot pots and pans. Water rings and heat damage are common on white quartz countertops. But they are also preventable. Choose quality coasters made of cork or felt that absorb condensation rather than letting it pool on the counter. And opt for trivets with rubber feet to prevent scratches. This simple step will save your counters from many frustrating stains.

Rinse After Food Prep

It’s easy to leave traces of food, oils and juices behind after chopping and prepping meals on your counters. While these may seem harmless at first, over time they can stain. Make it part of your cleanup routine to give counters a quick rinse after food prep. Use a clean sponge or cloth with warm water and mild soap. This will remove any residues that could lead to stains down the road.

Use Cutting Boards

Cutting and chopping directly on quartz can dull the surface over time leading to stained or dingy looking areas. Protect your counters by always using a cutting board. Choose one that is large enough to hold whatever you are prepping. Wood, plastic or bamboo boards are suitable options. You can even find boards designed to fit over your sink opening for easy cleanup. Just be sure to give them a periodic wash in hot soapy water.

Clean with Non-Acidic Products

While quartz is resistant to acid, acidic cleaners can still etch and dull the surface leading to a stained look over time. When cleaning, stick to gentle pH neutral products. Look for ones specifically formulated for stone and quartz. Stay away from vinegar, lemon, bleach or abrasive scrubbing powders. A soft sponge or microfiber cloth is ideal for gently removing dirt without damaging the finish.

Avoid Prolonged Exposure to Cleaners

It is important to wipe counters clean after using any type of cleaner. Don’t allow soapy residues or cleaning products to puddle or sit for extended periods. Even mild cleaners can start to break down the sealant used on quartz leaving it vulnerable to stains. Just use a small amount of cleaner at a time and wipe immediately after application.

Blot Up Spills Immediately

We can’t say it enough – act fast when spills happen! Taking just a few seconds to blot liquids right after a spill can prevent permanent damage. Have some paper towels handy near the kitchen so you can act fast. Gently dab and lift the spill away rather than wiping across the counter which can spread the mess and push it into pores.

Deal with Stains ASAP

If you don’t catch a spill in time, don’t wait to deal with it. Waiting allows the stain time to set in and get harder to remove. Mix up a mild cleaner solution and gently scrub the area immediately using a soft brush or sponge. Avoid harsh scrubbing which could damage the finish. Work from the outside of the stain inward to prevent spreading.

Avoid Certain Materials

Some materials can be problematic and even stain white quartz counters. Avoid prolonged contact with products containing oils, dyes, acetone or high acid content. Watch for staining from hair dyes and products, wine, fruit juices, oils left from cooking, nails polish remover and cleaning agents with orange, lemon or vinegar. Also refrain from using pens, markers or paint on your counters.

Use Sealers and Impregnators

Special quartz sealers and impregnators provide an added layer of protection against stains. These can make cleanup easier by creating a repellent surface that liquids can’t penetrate. Reapply them periodically per product instructions, usually every 1-2 years. This provides a renewing boost of protection against staining.

Don’t Use Abrasive Pads

It might be tempting to break out some elbow grease and an abrasive pad on stubborn stains. But this aggressive scrubbing can permanently damage and dull the surface. Quartz is durable but still prone to scratching. Use only soft sponges, cloths and brushes. If needed, try a non-abrasive cleaning pad designated for use on quartz or stone surfaces. Avoid using old abrasive pads even if they seem very worn down.

Mix Baking Soda and Water Paste

For cleaning up minor stains, try making a paste with baking soda and water. The gentle abrasiveness helps lift stains without damaging the surface. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable paste. Rub it over the stain using a soft cloth. Let it sit for 5 minutes then rinse clean. Repeat if needed for stubborn stains. Just avoid excessive scrubbing force.

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another mild option for lifting new stains before they have a chance to set in. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with one part water and apply it to the stain. Allow it to fizz on the surface for a few minutes to help break down the stain then wipe clean with a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly afterward.

Try a Poultice

For really stubborn stains that resist normal cleaning methods, you can try making a poultice. This draws out ingrained stains even below the surface. Mix a paste with an absorbent material like flour, talc or whiting and an activating solution like hydrogen peroxide or household cleaner. Carefully apply it to the stain about 1/4 inch thick. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to dry completely. Rinse away thoroughly.

Know Your Limits

Some stains can permanently damage the look of white quartz no matter what you do. In these cases, professional help may be needed. For example, dyes from clothing, ink, permanent marker and hair color can actually stain the entire thickness of the slab. Other problematic stains include ones from longer term exposure to oil and grease. If you’ve tried the usual cleaning methods without success, don’t delay in calling a pro.

Schedule Professional Cleaning

To keep your white quartz counters looking their absolute best, consider scheduling periodic professional cleanings. About once a year is ideal. Professionals have access to more powerful cleaners and tools that can refresh the look of your counters and remove any stains that daily cleaning can’t tackle. This will ensure your white quartz maintains its beautiful, stain-free appearance for many years.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause some quartz varieties to change color or yellow over time. When possible, install white quartz counters out of direct sunlight paths. For existing counters, use window treatments to block intense sunlight during parts of the day to prevent discoloration. Just take care not to block too much light and impact the look and ambiance of the kitchen.

Reseal Periodically

The factory sealant applied to quartz will gradually break down from regular use. Resealing your counters every 1-2 years will renew the protective barrier that prevents stains from penetrating. Use a product specifically designed for quartz rather than a generic stone sealer. Carefully follow product directions to ensure you apply the right amount. Too much can leave a sticky residue.

Don’t Cut Food on Counters

It might seem convenient to cut fruits, veggies and other foods right on your quartz counters. However, this can lead to scratching and permanent staining over time as residue works its way into tiny crevices in the surface. Always use a cutting board for food prep. Choose boards with rubber feet to prevent slipping and scratching.

Clean Up Spills Under Lipped Edges

The areas under curved or lipped edges on quartz islands and peninsulas are prone to spills that can seep in and stain if left for any length of time. Be diligent about wiping these areas after prepping meals or serving food. It can be easy to miss spills under the lip. Getting in the habit of checking ensures you don’t miss any hidden stains.

Use a Hot Pad or Trivet for Hot Items

Setting hot pots, pans or baking sheets directly on quartz can damage the surface leading to discoloration and staining over time. Always set hot cookware on a hot pad, trivet or cooling rack. Choose options with rubber feet to prevent slipping and ensure heat is dissipated. Get in the habit of using them so your counters are protected.

Clean Grout Lines Frequently

Grout lines near sinks and backsplashes need frequent cleaning. Water, spills and grime easily work their way into grout, causing staining you may not notice right away. Use a soft bristled grout brush and mild cleaner to gently scrub grout lines on at least a weekly basis, more often near the sink. This will prevent stains from building up.

Use a Splash Guard

Splash guards placed behind sinks can catch water and drips during cleaning to prevent staining of quartz and grout. Choose guards sized to fit your sink and counter area. Clear acrylic guards afford visibility while still catching water. Or opt for sleek stainless steel to coordinate with contemporary kitchens. Change out dish towels frequently to prevent transfer of grime.

Keep Floors Clean Near Counters

Dirt tracked in from floors can quickly lead to grimy quartz counters. Pay extra attention to keeping floors clean near where you transition from floors to counters. Sweep and mop tile, wood and vinyl regularly. Consider leave-on floor cleaner that offers ongoing protection against tracked in dirt and spills. This prevents soils from reaching countertops.

Dust Regularly

Dusting is overlooked but helps maintain a clean, like-new look between deeper cleanings. Dust can get lodged in small crevices in quartz leading to a dirty appearance. Use a microfiber cloth to gently dust counters at least once a week. Or try an electrostatic duster which helps attract and trap dust so it doesn’t resettle. Pay extra attention to areas near windows, which attract more dust.

Use Coasterts for Appliances Too

Don’t forget that small kitchen appliances can also stain your counters. Oils, grease and food debris can leak from mixers, air fryers, instant pots and more. Make it a habit to place these appliances on coaster to protect quartz surfaces. Choose silicone coasters that provide grip and prevent sliding. Or opt for a wire cooling rack that allows air circulation underneath. Either will preserve your counters.

Clean Up Pet Messes Quickly

Pets can inadvertently stain counters with muddy paws or sloppy eating and drinking habits. Dog and cat food, water spills and accidents should be wiped up immediately to avoid issues. Be extra vigilant if you feed pets directly on quartz counters. Use a disinfecting cleaner formulated pet messes to fully sanitize the area. Prevent damage by training pets not to jump on counters.

Avoid DIY Stone Restoration

You may come across DIY quartz restoration kits in stores or online. But the harsh chemicals in these can damage rather than repair your counters. They quickly dull and etch quartz, leaving permanent damage unless you re-polish perfectly evenly across the whole slab. Save yourself the hassle and call a pro instead. DIY kits often do more harm than good on high-end surfaces like quartz.

Handle Spills Near Seams Carefully

Quartz is installed in sections adhered together at seams. Liquid spills near a seam can potentially seep underneath and lead to staining and separation. Blot the area gently to remove spills, taking care not to push liquid toward seams. Avoid excessive scrubbing. If stains develop near seams or you notice gaps forming, call a pro for repair to prevent permanent damage.

Consider Adding Backsplash

Backsplashes made of the same quartz provide an extra barrier against staining and damage. Splashes, drips and spills landing on the backplash are less likely to run down onto counter surfaces. Full backsplashes extending to upper cabinets offer the most protection. Accent strips still help but may allow more spills through. Adding backsplash during new installs prevents stains over time.

Use a Water Filtration System

Hard water can leave behind mineral deposits that turn into stains over time. A whole house or sink-mounted water filtration system will remove these minerals and impurities. Look for systems that use filtration methods suitable for quartz. Avoid salt-based softeners which can leave behind salt residue. Proper water filtration reduces staining from tap water over the long run.

Don’t Let Spills Dry

It might seem like letting a spill completely dry would be better since you don’t have to deal with any dampness or wiping. However, letting a spill dry causes more stubborn staining. Once dried, sugars, oils and other stain-causing substances crystallize and bond to the surface. Always wipe spills quickly while still wet. Use a wet/dry vacuum for spills you can’t wipe up immediately.

Avoid DIY Acid Cleaning

As a short-cut, some people advocate using lemon juice, vinegar or other acids to clean quartz counters and remove stains. However, this is a bad idea that can permanently etch natural patterns into the surface. Only use cleaners specifically designed for use on quartz. Acids will damage the finish leading to a prematurely worn, stained look.

Watch for Hard Water Spots

Hard tap water can leave behind calcium and mineral deposits that appear like stains. These hard water spots are pronounced on white quartz. Try cleaning right after drying with a squeegee to prevent them. For hard water stains that have already formed, use a cleaner made for removing mineral deposits. Avoid abrasive scrubbing which worsens scratches that then capture hard water.

Clean Up Spills Near Edges

Pay extra attention to quick cleanup when spills occur near the front edges of your counters. Liquids that run down the edge rather than sitting on top are more likely to seep around the side and underneath, leading to stains. Have paper towels ready to catch spills before they run over the edge for the best chance of preventing stains.

Consider Honed Finish

Polished white quartz highlights stains and marks more noticeably due to its shiny finish. A honed matte finish helps conceal minor scratches and spills better. However, it requires more frequent sealing. If you don’t want to deal with constant vigilance against stains, ask your installer about opting for a subtle honed finish rather than gloss polished.

Avoid Overloading Sinks

Avoid letting dirty dishes pile up in sinks atop white quartz counters. Food debris, oils and cleaning products can seep into the surface around sinks. Plus large piles of dishes put added weight in one spot. Stick to small loads of dishes soaked in minimal amounts of gentle, non-abrasive cleaner. Empty the sink fully after washing to prevent prolonged contact and seepage.

Use Wine Glasses with Stems

moisture rings or drips from glasses without stems that sit flush against the counter. Opt for tall wine glasses with long stems to minimize contact. Or place glasses on coasters after each sip to prevent transferring condensation and liquid directly back to counters. Just be sure condensation on the outside of glasses doesn’t drip onto counters.

Clean Kids’ Mess Quickly

Kids tend to make messes that can stain if left unattended. Clean up spills from sippy cups, bottles and glasses right away. Wipe away paints, markers or ink. Don’t let food debris or sticky fingers linger. Make a point to sanitize counters after messy kid activities. Establish rules against climbing or playing roughly around quartz to prevent damage. Stay vigilant!

Avoid Rubbing Stains Excessively

It’s natural to want to scrub away at a stubborn stain, but excessive rubbing can damage quartz. Rubbing too vigorously or for too long Physical damage then leads to more staining and dullness over time. Let cleaners sit on stains briefly to do the work, then gently wipe. If needed, gently agitate with a soft brush or sponge. But avoid scouring or rubbing aggressively at stains.

Use a Damp Paper Towel Under Appliances

Small kitchen appliances often leave behind moisture and food debris on counters that leads to stains. Placing a damp paper towel under these appliances helps prevent stains. The paper towel absorbs drips and splatters rather than letting them seep into quartz pores. Change it out periodically for fresh paper towels to keep protecting your counters.

Clean Under Removable Backsplash Pieces

Removable or cut-to-fit backsplash pieces allow spilled liquids and grime to sneak in behind. Make it part of your cleaning routine to remove these pieces and clean along the wall-counter junction. Use a small brush and gentle cleaner to remove built up debris preventing stains inside this gap that are hard to address once installed.

Avoid DIY Quartz Repair

You may be tempted to repair damaged areas on quartz yourself using homemade mixes to fill chips and scratches. However, improper repair techniques and materials can lead to further staining and damage. Leave repairs to qualified professionals who have proper materials and methods. Improper repairs result in clearly visible flaws with poorly matched coloring and texture.

Consider a No- Polish Option

Some modern quartz styles are designed with a matte, no-shine finish. Without the clear polish layer, these don’t show dust, marks and stains as obviously. No-polish options like Caesarstone’s Motivo collection hide minor stains better. However, they still require prompt cleaning of spills using the proper methods outlined here to prevent permanent staining.

Don’t Place Hot Pans Directly on Counters

It’s easy to set a hot pan straight out of the oven or off the stove right on