Quartz countertops are an extremely popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, even high-quality quartz can develop stains and discoloration over time with daily use. Removing these blemishes takes a bit of effort, but it is possible to restore your quartz countertops to their original beauty. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to remove discoloration from quartz countertops.
What Causes Discoloration on Quartz Countertops?
There are a few common culprits that lead to stains and discoloration on quartz:
- Spills – Foods and liquids like wine, coffee, tomato sauce, and oil that are not wiped up quickly can seep into the pores of the quartz.
- Heat – Hot pans and bakeware taken directly from the oven or stove and placed on the quartz can scorch and discolor the surface.
- Sun exposure – Quartz is sensitive to UV rays, which can cause visible lightening or yellowing over time.
- Chemicals – Cleaners and solvents like bleach, oven cleaners, and nail polish remover can damage and discolor quartz.
- Hard water – Mineral deposits in tap water can etch quartz and leave behind dull, whitish spots.
Cleaning vs. Removing Discoloration from Quartz
It’s important to understand the difference between routine cleaning and removing stubborn discoloration on quartz:
- Cleaning involves quick wiping and mild soap and water to remove surface-level messes on a regular basis. This prevents buildup but does not treat existing stains.
- Removing discoloration requires more intensive methods and specialty products to penetrate below the surface and lift out deeply set stains. This should be done as needed to restore the quartz’s original appearance.
Step-by-Step Guide to Remove Stains from Quartz Countertops
Follow these steps to effectively remove various types of discoloration from your quartz countertops:
1. Prepare the Quartz Surface
First, clear all items off the countertop you’ll be treating. Remove any stuck-on debris or residue with a plastic scraper. The quartz needs to be fully clear and accessible before discoloration removal.
2. Try a Gentle Cleaning Solution First
For minor staining, create a mild soap and water solution with a couple drops of dish detergent and warm water. Use a soft microfiber cloth to gently scrub stained areas for 30-60 seconds. This may lift some superficial discoloration. Rinse well and dry.
3. Use a Specialty Quartz Cleaner
For stubborn stains that remain, reach for a stone and quartz-specific cleaning product. Look for brands that specify use on quartz/engineered stone. Spray or wipe the cleaner directly on discolored spots. Let it sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing with a soft brush or sponge. Repeat as needed until stains dissipate.
4. Make a Baking Soda Paste
For more intensive cleaning power, mix a spreadable paste with baking soda and just enough water. Apply the paste to stained areas and let sit for several hours or overnight if possible. The baking soda will work to draw out deeply set stains. Wipe away the paste and rinse thoroughly.
5. Try a Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
As an alternative cleaning solution, mix together 1 part hydrogen peroxide (35% food-grade) with 4 parts water. Apply it directly to discolored areas and let bubble for 5-10 minutes. Gently scrub with a soft bristle brush before rinsing. This can help lift stubborn spots.
6. Reseal and Polish Treated Areas
Once stains have been removed, use a PH-neutral quartz sealer to fill in micro abrasions in the surface and prevent future discoloration. Apply a small amount of quartz polish to treated areas and buff to blend sheen. This unifies the look of the countertop.
Tips for Preventing Discoloration on Quartz
Removing stains from quartz takes effort, so prevention is key. Keep these tips in mind:
- Wipe up spills immediately before they have a chance to set
- Use cutting boards and trivets for food prep and hot items
- Clean with mild PH-neutral cleaners, avoid harsh chemicals
- Apply a sealer 1-2 times per year for added protection
- Limit direct sunlight exposure whenever possible
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most common stains on quartz countertops?
Coffee, wine, grease, food spills, metal marks from pans, and water spots are among the most prevalent quartz stains homeowners deal with.
What should you not use to clean quartz countertops?
Avoid abrasive cleansers, alkaline chemicals, bleach, oven cleaners, and acidic solutions which can etch and damage quartz.
Can you use Magic Eraser on quartz?
Yes, Magic Eraser sponges can safely be used as long as a limited amount of pressure is applied. Do not scrub aggressively which can dull the surface over time.
Does white vinegar remove stains from quartz?
White vinegar is too acidic for quartz and can damage the finish. Avoid vinegar and instead use a PH-balanced quartz cleaner.
How do you polish a stained quartz countertop?
Use a specially formulated quartz polish and microfiber cloth. Rub in small circular motions to gently buff out etched or dull areas and restore shine. Avoid drips and over-polishing.
Quartz countertops are prone to stains and discoloration over time, especially in busy kitchens. With the proper supplies and techniques, these marks can be removed to restore your counters to their original beauty. Be sure to take preventative steps like wiping spills quickly and avoiding harsh chemicals. With some periodic maintenance and TLC, your quartz countertops will maintain their like-new appearance for years before needing a true deep cleaning.