How to Refresh Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, stylish appearance, and low maintenance. However, over time quartz counters can lose their luster and start to look worn. Refreshing quartz countertops helps restore their beauty and protect the surface. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to refresh quartz countertops.

Clean the Surface Thoroughly

The first step is to clean the quartz countertop surface thoroughly to remove any dirt, debris, or built-up grime. Use a mild non-abrasive cleaner or soap and warm water. Avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners that could etch or dull the surface. Scrub the entire surface with a soft cloth, sponge, or non-abrasive scrub pad. Rinse well and dry completely.

Inspect for Stains or Etching

Inspect the quartz surface closely under good lighting to check for any stains or etched areas. Quartz is resistant to stains, but highly acidic substances like lemon juice or wine can cause etching if left for prolonged contact. For light stains, try cleaning with a paste of baking soda and water. For etched spots, use a specialty quartz polish/cleaner. If stains persist, continue to the next steps.

Polish the Surface

Use a high quality quartz polish or cleaner specifically designed for quartz and apply it over the entire surface. Follow product instructions carefully. Rub the polish over the quartz in circular motions using a soft cloth. Ensure you spread the product evenly. Pay close attention to any stained or dull areas to refresh the shine. Avoid applying too much pressure.

Buff to a Sparkling Finish

Once you’ve polished the entire surface, take a fresh dry microfiber cloth and buff the countertop. Buffing will remove any leftover polish residue and create an ultra shiny, light-reflective finish. Check angles and lighting to ensure an even uniform luster. Re-apply polish to any spots that need more refreshing.

Sealing (Optional)

For added protection, consider applying a penetrating quartz sealer. Sealers fill in microscopic pores to prevent spills and liquids from staining. They also enhance luster and make cleaning easier. Re-apply sealer every 1-2 years. Choose a brand formulated for quartz.

Deep Cleaning (As Needed)

For a periodic deep cleaning, use a degreasing granite/quartz cleaner to remove grime from the surface and pores. Cleaners with potassium hydroxide or alkaline salts work well to dissolve grease and lift soil. Follow with a granite polish. Avoid over-using degreasers which can strip away protective sealers over time.

Tips for Maintaining Quartz Countertops

  • Use trivets, hot pads and cutting boards to protect quartz from excessive heat or cutting damage.
  • Clean up spills immediately to prevent staining, especially oil, wine or fruit juices.
  • Use non-abrasive cleaners – vinegar, dish soap, ammonia and water or stone cleaners.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners, etc.
  • Re-seal every 1-2 years for optimal protection.
  • Consider a professional deep cleaning every 3-5 years.

Can You Use Bleach or Other Chemicals on Quartz?

It’s best to avoid harsh chemicals like bleach, paint strippers, tarnish removers, etc. on quartz counters. While quartz is highly durable, prolonged exposure to aggressive chemicals can damage or dull the surface over time.

  • Bleach – Avoid bleach. The chlorine in bleach can react with pigments in quartz and cause discoloration.
  • Acids – Avoid exposure to strong acids like hydrofluoric acid which can etch quartz. Mild acids like vinegar or lemon can also etch if left for long.
  • Solvents – Avoid solvents like paint removers, nail polish remover, etc. which can strip the resin coatings.
  • Alkalis – Avoid prolonged exposure to strong alkaline cleaners which can damage sealers and binders.
  • Abrasives – Avoid abrasive pads, powders or steel wool which can scratch the surface.

For routine cleaning, stick to gentle pH neutral stone cleaners or dishwashing liquid. For stubborn stains, use a specialized quartz cleaner. Test any new cleaners on a small inconspicuous area first.

How to Remove Different Types of Stains from Quartz

Quartz is less prone to staining than natural stone. But spills should still be cleaned quickly to avoid permanent damage. Here are some tips to remove common stains:

Greasy stains – Use a degreaser like Formula 409 or a small amount of dishwashing liquid. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.

Wine, coffee, juice stains – Mix baking soda and water into a paste and scrub. Or use a quartz polish.

Dried spills – Softened with hot water before cleaning. Scrape gently with a plastic putty knife.

Calcium spots – Clean with white vinegar or lime-scale remover.

Rust stains – Use oxalic or citric acid powder. Apply and let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing.

Paint or dye stains – Carefully scrape off fresh stains. Use acetone or mineral spirits on dried stains.

Ink, marker stains – Spray hairspray and let sit for 30 minutes. Scrub with baking soda paste.

Hard water marks – Remove with lemon juice and water paste.

Candle wax – Allow to harden then gently scrape off with a plastic scraper.

Nail polish stains – Rub gently with a cotton pad soaked in nail polish remover or alcohol.

If stains persist after multiple cleaning attempts, consider contacting a professional stone restoration company. Harsh scrubbing or chemicals can worsen stains.

How Often Should You Seal Quartz Countertops?

Sealing is an optional maintenance step for quartz countertops. Here are some recommendations on sealing frequency:

  • New counters – Apply an initial sealant during installation for added protection.
  • Yearly – Reapply sealer every 12 months for high traffic kitchens.
  • Every 1-2 years – Reseal lower traffic quartz surfaces every 1-2 years.
  • After deep cleaning – Renew sealer if you deep clean quartz to remove all prior layers.
  • Before winter – Seal before winter if quartz is exposed to snow and salt to prevent pitting.
  • High traffic areas – Reseal high traffic zones like sinks and stovetops more frequently than low use areas.
  • If water beads – Test by splashing a few drops of water. If it beads up, existing sealer is working. If not, reseal.
  • For extra protection – Use sealer more frequently in bathrooms or kitchens prone to heavy use.

Always read sealer product instructions carefully and ventilate the area during application. Avoid low quality sealers which can discolor quartz. Check that the sealer is designed for use on quartz surfaces.

Does Quartz Stain Easily or Need Special Cleaning Products?

Quartz countertops are made from around 90% ground natural stone and 10% polymer resins. The resins make quartz very stain resistant compared to materials like marble. However, spills should still be cleaned up quickly to avoid permanent damage. Here are some tips:

  • Quartz has low porosity and does not require special cleaners designed for porous natural stone.
  • Simple mild dish soap or stone soap, water and soft sponges are usually sufficient for routine cleaning.
  • Blot spills like wine immediately to prevent possible staining. Don’t let spills sit.
  • For tough grease stains, use a basic household degreasing cleaner.
  • Avoid abrasive scrub pads and powders which can dull the finish.
  • Harsh chemicals like oven cleaners, paint strippers, etc. should never be used on quartz.
  • Acidic substances like lemon juice can etch quartz if left for prolonged contact. Wipe up quickly.
  • Regular sealing can provide added protection against stains, but is not mandatory.

So in summary, quartz does not stain as readily as natural stone. But all spills should be cleaned up promptly with mild non-abrasive cleaners to maintain its beautiful appearance. Avoid harsh chemicals. With routine care, quartz countertops will stay looking like new for many years.

How to Refresh Quartz Countertops FAQ

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about refreshing quartz countertops:

Can you use bleach to clean quartz counters?

It’s best to avoid bleach. The chlorine in bleach can react with quartz pigments and cause discoloration over time. Use a mild stone cleaner instead.

What is the best daily cleaner for quartz?

For routine daily cleaning, mild dish soap and water or a pH neutral stone cleaner are recommended. Avoid abrasive scrub pads.

How do you get dried spills or stuck-on gunk off quartz?
Soften dried spills with hot water to loosen residue. Gently scrape with a plastic putty knife. Use a degreaser for stuck-on food or grime.

My quartz counters look dull – how do I restore the shine?
Use a quartz polish or cleansing cream. Rub in circular motions with a soft cloth until glossy. Buff dry. Repeat polishing periodically.

Are there any homemade mix I can use to clean my quartz?
Mix baking soda and water into a paste for gentle scrubbing. For many stains, a 50/50 vinegar and water solution also works. Rinse well.

How often should I seal my quartz counters?
Sealing is optional. Every 1-2 years for regular use. More frequently for heavy-use kitchens. Reseal after deep cleaning that strips old sealant.

What’s better for cleaning quartz – lemon juice or vinegar?
Both can effectively clean and remove stains. However, vinegar is gentler. Lemon juice is more acidic and can etch quartz if left too long.

Can quartz counters be damaged or scratched easily?
Quartz is very hard and durable. But cutting directly on the surface or excessive impact can damage the finish. Use cutting boards and trivets.


Refreshing and maintaining quartz countertops does not require specialized expertise. With proper routine cleaning using mild non-abrasive detergents and prompt attention to spills, quartz surfaces will retain their sparkling appearance and minimally absorb stains. An occasional application of a quartz polish and sealer will enhance luster and provide added protection. Avoid exposing quartz to strong chemicals. With regular care, quartz countertops can stay looking like new for 15-20 years or longer. Following these best practices will help refresh your quartz countertops to maintain their shine and durability.