Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, they can get stained from spills. While quartz is resistant to stains, some coloring agents like wine, coffee, and oil can leave a stubborn mark if not cleaned up quickly. The good news is, with the right techniques and cleaning solutions, you can remove stains from your quartz countertops.
What Causes Stains on Quartz?
Quartz contains ground natural stone and resins that create a hard, nonporous surface. While this makes it very stain-resistant, quartz is not completely stain-proof. Here are some common staining culprits for quartz:
- Wine and Juice: Dark liquids like red wine, grape juice, or berry juices contain pigments that can temporarily discolor the surface.
- Coffee and Tea: These contain oily stains that can seep into the pores of natural stone in the quartz blend.
- Oils and Grease: Food prep involving oil, grease, and seasonings may leave residue that causes stains over time.
- Harsh Chemicals: Cleaners with bleach, ammonia, or alkalis can damage and discolor the quartz.
- Metal Marks: Pots, pans, and metal implements can mark the surface through impact or oxidation.
- Dyes and Pigments: Hair dyes, makeup, food coloring, and fabric dyes contain staining agents.
How to Remove Common Stains from Quartz
Removing stains requires using the right cleaning agents and techniques for the type of mark. Here are tips to remove the most common quartz countertop stains:
Cleaning Wine, Juice, and Beverage Stains
For pigmented spills like red wine, fruit punch, or berry juice:
- Blot up the liquid immediately with a paper towel. Avoid rubbing it in.
- Mix a paste of baking soda and water and gently rub it onto the stain using a soft cloth or sponge.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing clean with water. The baking soda will draw out the pigment.
- Use a pH-neutral cleaner and scrub with a soft bristle brush to remove any residual marks.
- Rinse and dry the surface thoroughly.
Removing Coffee and Tea Stains
To remove stubborn coffee and tea stains:
- Wipe up the spill right away before it dries.
- Make a baking soda paste as described above and apply to the stain.
- For older stains, use a cleaning powder containing oxalic or citric acid and rub it in with a damp sponge.
- Mix hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia and apply it to lift the stain.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry the area. Use a neutral cleaner if any stain remains.
Cleaning Oil, Grease, and Seasoning Stains
To clean oily kitchen stains:
- Scrape off any solid bits gently with a plastic scraper. Avoid abrasive scrubbers.
- Mix mild dish soap with warm water and scrub the stain with a soft bristle brush.
- For tough grease stains, apply some baking soda paste. Let it sit briefly before scrubbing and rinsing.
- Use an all-purpose stone cleaner and scrub vigorously with a soft brush.
- Go over the area with isopropyl alcohol using a cloth if soap doesn’t cut through the grease.
Removing Dye, Makeup, and Pigment Stains
For removing stains from dye, cosmetics, paints, and so on:
- Try using an oil-based makeup remover and rub gently to lift the stain. Test on an inconspicuous spot first.
- Dampen a magic eraser and gently rub the stain. Be careful not to scrub too hard.
- Make a baking soda and water solution. Apply it to the stain and let sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
- Use a small amount of acetone on stubborn stains and rub with a cloth. Rinse thoroughly.
Cleaning Metal Marks on Quartz
To remove metal stains from iron, copper, silver, etc.:
- Buff the stain gently with a stainless steel cleaner and a soft cloth.
- Make a paste with cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide. Rub it onto the stain and let it sit briefly before rinsing.
- Use a powdered cleanser made specifically for stone and metal marks. Make a paste and scrub.
- Try rubbing the stain with a cloth dipped in lemon oil or apple cider vinegar.
- If the mark remains, use a razor blade scraper held at a 30° angle and scrape off the stain gently.
Tips to Prevent Staining on Quartz Countertops
Regular cleaning plus prompt treatment when spills happen will keep your quartz counters looking like new. Follow these care tips to avoid permanent staining:
- Wipe up spills immediately before they have a chance to seep in.
- Use coasters under glasses and wipe up drips after use to prevent etching.
- Clean counters daily using a soft sponge or cloth with warm water and mild soap.
- Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach, ammonia, vinegar, etc. Read product labels.
- Do not use abrasive powders or scouring pads which can dull the surface.
- Cut foods on a separate surface to prevent deep scratches that can retain stains.
- Re-seal quartz every 1-2 years with a penetrating stone sealer for added stain protection.
- For problem areas like near the sink, apply a grout sealer occasionally for extra repellency.
With the proper cleaning techniques, most stains can be removed from quartz countertops. Be sure to act fast when spills happen and use the right solutions for the type of stain for best results. Consistent care will keep your quartz looking pristine for years.
Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Stains from Quartz Countertops
How do you get dye stains out of quartz?
To remove dye stains from hair color, fabric dye, markers etc., try dabbing the stain with rubbing alcohol or acetone. For tough stains, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the stain for 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
What removes yellow stains from quartz?
For yellow stains or discoloration, make a paste using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Apply it to the stain and allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes before rinsing. The peroxide will help lift and whiten the stain. You can also use an oxalic acid-based cleaner.
How do you get rust stains off quartz?
To remove rust stains, first try using a stainless steel cleaner and rubbing the stain gently with a cloth. For tougher stains, make a paste using cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide and let it sit on the rust stain briefly before rinsing. Citric acid cleaners also help remove rust marks.
What removes red wine stain from quartz?
Blot up the wine right away when spilled. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the stain, allowing it to sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. The baking soda will draw out the wine’s pigment. For older stains, use an oxalic acid-based cleaner.
How do you clean oil stains from quartz countertops?
Use a mild detergent and warm water to clean oily quartz stains. For tough grease stains, let baking soda paste sit on the stain briefly before scrubbing and rinsing. You can also use a small amount of acetone, alcohol or citrus-based degreaser on a cloth to help cut through grease.
How do you get permanent marker off quartz?
Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer often removes permanent marker. For stubborn stains, make a baking soda paste and apply to the stain for 15-20 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing clean. You can also use a commercial marker stain remover designed for stone. Test in an inconspicuous spot first.
Why does my quartz countertop stain so easily?
If your quartz stains easily, the surface may not have been properly sealed during installation. Resealing it with a penetrating sealer formulated for stone will help strengthen stain resistance. Be sure to wipe spills quickly, avoid harsh cleaners, and clean regularly to prevent stains.
What are the worst stains for quartz?
Oils, dyes, and pigmented liquids like wine, coffee, juice and soap can cause stubborn stains on quartz. Metals can also oxidize and leave marks. Avoid spilling harsh chemicals like paint strippers, oven cleaners or drain openers which can damage and discolor quartz.
Does lemon remove stains from quartz?
Yes, lemon can help remove some stains from quartz. Try rubbing a lemon wedge or dipping a cloth in lemon essential oil to gently lift stains from coffee, tea, fruit juice, oil, or rust marks. The citric acid in lemon works as a mild cleaning agent. Rinse thoroughly after.
Quartz countertops are prone to stains from time to time, but with the right cleaning solutions and techniques, these stains can be removed. Be sure to blot spills quickly and use agents like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, citric acid cleaners, or acetone to lift specific stains. Avoid abrasive scrubbers and harsh chemicals. With prompt treatment and good maintenance habits, you can keep your quartz counters looking like new.