Quartz countertops are popular in kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, low maintenance, and variety of colors and patterns. However, quartz is not impervious to scratches, stains, and losing its luster over time with regular use. The good news is that with the proper cleaning methods, you can keep your quartz counters looking like new for years to come. This comprehensive guide will provide tips and techniques to restore the brilliant shine to your quartz countertop.
Why Proper Cleaning is Essential
Quartz contains ground natural stone along with polymer resins that are molded into slabs. While it’s an extremely strong material, it still requires routine cleaning to prevent buildup of dirt, grime, soap scum, hard water deposits, and other contaminants that can dull the surface. Neglecting proper cleaning makes the material more susceptible to staining and etching over time. The key is using the right cleaning solutions and techniques specific to quartz to keep it sparkling.
Supplies You’ll Need
Having the right supplies on hand will make the cleaning process much easier. Here are the recommended items to have for cleaning your quartz counters:
- Mild liquid dish soap or stone soap
- Soft sponges and microfiber cloths
- Baby shampoo or hair conditioner
- White distilled vinegar
- Baking soda
- Small bucket or spray bottle for solutions
- Rubbing alcohol
- Commercial quartz cleaner (optional)
- Paper towels
- Soft bristle cleaning brush
- Razor blade/scraper (for very stubborn spots)
General Cleaning Tips
Here are some useful tips to follow when cleaning quartz regularly:
- Wipe up spills immediately before they have a chance to set in and stain.
- Perform a general cleaning with soap and water 1-2 times per week.
- Use circular scrubbing motions to remove stuck on dirt.
- Rinse soap off thoroughly after cleaning.
- Buff dry with a microfiber cloth to prevent water spots.
- Avoid abrasive cleansers and scrub pads that may scratch.
- Reseal with a commercial quartz sealer every 1-2 years.
Dish Soap & Water Method
For routine maintenance cleaning, use a small amount of mild liquid dish soap diluted in warm water. Apply the solution to the quartz and scrub gently with a soft sponge, then rinse clean and dry. This removes most dirt, grease, and grime that accumulates on the surface.
Vinegar & Water Method
White vinegar mixed with water works as a great natural cleaner for dissolving stains, hard water buildup, soap scum and other deposits on quartz. Mix a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to warm water and wipe down the surface with a soft cloth soaked in the solution.
Baking Soda Method
For a deeper cleaning treatment, make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply the paste to stained or dull areas using a soft bristle brush. Let sit for several minutes before scrubbing and rinsing clean. Baking soda works to power away stuck-on grime.
As an alternative, you can also create a cleaning paste by mixing hydrogen peroxide with baking soda. Allow to set for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing away grime. Hydrogen peroxide helps lift stains.
For clearing away waxy residue or oily film, use a microfiber cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. Avoid excessive rubbing, as this can dull the finish. The alcohol will cut through and dissolve greasy buildup.
Believe or not, rubbing a small amount of hair conditioner on quartz can make it shine. Massage the conditioner into the surface using a soft cloth and let sit briefly before wiping clean. The oils in the conditioner help moisturize and illuminate the quartz.
There are specially formulated quartz cleaners available from hardware stores. Look for a product designed for non-porous stone surfaces. Always spot test in an inconspicuous area first before applying to the entire counter. Use according to package directions.
For a deep, restorative cleansing, use a handheld steam cleaner on your counters. The pressurized steam helps dissolve stuck-on spills, kills germs, and leaves a streak-free shine. Be careful not to allow the steamer to sit in one spot too long as it can damage quartz.
Mistakes to Avoid
There are some common mistakes that should be avoided when cleaning quartz:
- No bleach or harsh chemicals – these can etch and discolor the surface.
- Avoid abrasive pads and powders, such as Comet or Soft Scrub.
- Do not use oven cleaners on counters.
- Citrus or acidic cleaners like lemon/orange oils may strip sealant.
- Avoid excessive pressure when scrubbing.
- Don’t drag objects across the surface. Always lift.
Removing Stains & Blemishes
Quartz is prone to stain if spills are left untreated. Certain materials like wine, coffee, and oils can penetrate and discolor the surface. Here are some tips for removing common stains:
Food Stains/Grease Spots
Apply baking soda paste and let sit briefly before scrubbing. Rinse and wipe dry. For stubborn spots, use an alkaline cleaner like ammonia.
Wipe with a cloth soaked in vinegar. For mineral deposits, apply a poultice of vinegar and talc powder.
Spray with vinegar and scrub with a soft brush. Gotu Kola is also effective at dissolving soap residue.
Rub with toothpaste using a circular motion. Wipe clean and repeat as needed. Mineral spirits also works on tough stains.
Immediately use rubbing alcohol on fresh stains before they set. For dried stains, apply hairspray and let sit before scrubbing.
Hard Water Stains
Make a thick paste of baking soda and vinegar. Apply to the stain and cover with a plastic wrap overnight before scrubbing clean.
Micro-abrasions from chemicals or scrubbing can appear dull and frosted. Use an automotive rubbing compound to gently polish the damaged area.
Tip: For any stain, start with the least harsh removal method first, then work up to stronger solutions as needed.
You can minimize damage to your quartz countertops by:
- Using cutting boards instead of chopping/slicing directly on the surface.
- Placing hot pans on trivets to prevent burning.
- Sealing surfaces every 1-2 years with a commercial product.
- Rinsing fruits/veggies that may drip juices prior to setting on counters.
- Lifting objects instead of sliding them across the quartz.
- Being careful with bleach, drain cleaner, and other corrosive chemicals.
Restoring a High Shine
Over time, your counters may develop a mundane, lackluster appearance even after routine cleaning. Here are some tips for renewing that factory fresh shine:
Polish with Olive Oil
Rub a small amount of olive oil on the quartz and buff to a shine using a soft cloth. The natural oils will brighten up the surface.
Flour & Vinegar Paste
Mix 2 parts flour with 1 part vinegar to form a paste. Apply to the quartz and let sit 30 minutes before buffing with a dry cloth.
Lemon Juice & Baking Soda
Create a paste using fresh lemon juice and baking soda. Spread onto discolored areas, let sit 5 minutes and scrub clean.
Reseal your counters every 1-2 years using a penetrating sealer made for quartz. This adds a protective layer that keeps the surface shiny and new looking.
Quartz Maintenance FAQs
Still have some questions about caring for your quartz counters? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
How often should quartz counters be cleaned?
- For heavy usage kitchens, clean once daily. For light use, clean once or twice per week.
Can you use bleach to clean quartz?
- No, avoid bleach and harsh chemicals. Mild dish soap or stone cleaners are recommended.
What removes hard water stains from quartz?
- Make a paste of baking soda and vinegar. Apply and let sit before scrubbing.
How do you fix etching on quartz?
- Use an automotive rubbing compound to gently buff out shallow etch marks. Deeper damage may require a pro.
How can you make dull quartz shine again?
- Restore shine by polishing with olive oil, sealing, or using a flour/vinegar paste treatment.
Is Windex safe for cleaning quartz?
- Yes, Windex and other glass cleaners are fine for occasional use on quartz surfaces.
How do you get dried food off quartz?
- Use a plastic scraper or putty knife to gently lift off dried food debris before scrubbing clean.
Can lime remove stains from quartz?
- Yes, scrubbing with a lime slice can help remove some stains from quartz counters.
How do you remove oily stains from quartz?
- Use baking soda or alkaline cleaner such as ammonia to dissolve and remove greasy spots.
With its durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance, quartz makes an excellent choice for kitchen and bath counters. Maintaining its radiant shine simply requires regular cleaning with mild soap and water, prompt treatment of spills, and occasional resealing. Avoid abrasive cleaners or pads that could damage the surface. Renew dull quartz to its original brilliance by using natural remedies like olive oil, vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice. Follow these tips, and your beautiful quartz counters will stay shining like new for many years.