How to Remove Hard Water Marks from Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, appearance, and low maintenance. However, they are still susceptible to damage from hard water stains over time. Hard water contains a high concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium that can leave unsightly spots and stains on surfaces when the water evaporates. Fortunately, there are ways to remove these stubborn stains and restore the look of your quartz countertops.

What Causes Hard Water Stains on Quartz?

Hard water stains on quartz countertops occur when mineral-rich water evaporates and leaves behind a mineral residue. As water evaporates from the surface of the quartz, it leaves behind any dissolved solids that were present in the water.

The main culprits that cause stains are calcium and magnesium. These minerals bind to the surface, leaving behind white marks and films that build up over time with repeated exposure. Other metals like iron can also cause discoloration and stains.

The stains are generally worse in areas where water evaporates slowly and has time to deposit more minerals. For example, you may notice more pronounced stains around the faucet and sink area where water drips and splashes frequently.

How to Remove Light Hard Water Stains from Quartz

For light mineral stains that have not had time to fully set into the quartz, you may be able to remove them using household cleaners and some scrubbing. Here are some methods to try:


White vinegar is acidic enough to help dissolve mineral deposits and stains.

  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Liberally spray the stained areas of the countertop and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub at the stains. The vinegar should help break down the mineral residue.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft cloth. Repeat as needed for stubborn spots.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help scrub away light stains without damaging the quartz surface.

  • Make a paste by mixing 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water. Apply the paste to stained areas.
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse and dry thoroughly afterwards.
  • For tougher stains, sprinkle baking soda directly on the stain and rub with a damp sponge or cloth. Rinse when done scrubbing.

Dish Soap

Basic dish soap helps break up grease and grime. When combined with baking soda, it can be effective at cleaning hard water stains.

  • Mix a few drops of dish soap into a baking soda paste. Spread onto stained areas and let sit briefly.
  • Scrub gently with a soft sponge or cloth. The soap will help lift the stain from the textured quartz surface.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry the countertop. Repeat if needed for stubborn spots.
  • You can also try scrubbing stains with just dish soap and a damp cloth or sponge.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can help bleach and dissolve some mineral stain deposits.

  • Combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle. Mist stained areas liberally.
  • Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing with a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Rinse thoroughly afterwards. Hydrogen peroxide may lighten or discolor some quartz, so test in an inconspicuous area first.

How to Remove Tough, Set-In Hard Water Stains

If you have allowed stubborn hard water stains to build up over time, you may need to use more intensive cleaning methods to remove them from quartz countertops. Take care not to damage the surface.

Cleaning Poultice

A poultice is a thick paste that is spread over the stain and covered to draw out deep-set stains.

  • Mix a poultice using a cleaner formulated for natural stone and quartz. Or make your own by mixing baking soda or powdered laundry detergent with hydrogen peroxide to form a spreadable paste.
  • Apply a 1/4 inch thick layer of the poultice paste over the stained area, extending just beyond the edges of the stain.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow the poultice to work for 24 hours.
  • Remove the plastic and rinse away all traces of the poultice. Scrub with a soft cloth or sponge.
  • For stubborn stains, repeat the poultice process until the stain is gone.

Polishing Powder

Polishing powders contain mild abrasives that can help remove set-in stains without damaging the quartz surface.

  • Choose a high quality powder made for quartz and natural stone. Sprinkle the powder onto the stained area.
  • Rub the powder over the stain with a damp cloth or buffing pad, applying light pressure.
  • Rinse thoroughly to remove all powder residue. Avoid using excessive pressure, which can dull the finish.

Steam Cleaner

A steam cleaner heats water to high temperatures to help loosen and dissolve mineral deposits and stains.

  • Use a portable steam cleaner designed for countertops and stone surfaces. Apply the steam to stained areas, keeping 6-8 inches away.
  • Wipe with a clean cloth. The heat and steam should help lift much of the stain.
  • For stubborn spots, scrub gently with a soft brush attachment while steaming.
  • Avoid prolonged heat exposure in one spot, which can damage the quartz.

Tips for Preventing Hard Water Stains on Quartz

Once you have succeeded in removing hard water stains from your quartz countertops, you will want to take steps to prevent new stains from forming.

  • Seal the quartz annually with a penetrating sealer made for natural stone. This helps make the surface more stain resistant.
  • Immediately wipe up spills and splashes. Don’t allow water to slowly evaporate on the surface.
  • Blot standing water with a towel. Avoid letting water pool around the faucet and sinks.
  • Consider installing a water softener system if you have very hard water. This will reduce the mineral content.
  • Use a squeegee to wipe standing water into the sink after washing dishes.
  • Rinse the countertop with clean water after cleaning with soap or chemicals. Thoroughly dry the surface each time.
  • Use coasters under glasses and bottles to prevent leaving wet rings.

With proper care and prompt stain removal, your quartz countertops can stay looking beautiful for years before needing professional restoration services. Be gentle when attempting to remove stains yourself and test products on small hidden areas first.

FAQs About Removing Hard Water Stains from Quartz

Can I use bleach to remove hard water stains from quartz?

No, avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals like lime removers on quartz countertops. The chemicals can damage, discolor or etch the quartz surface. Mild cleaners like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and dish soap work well instead.

What is the best homemade cleaner for hard water stains on quartz?

Mix equal parts vinegar and water for a safe, effective homemade cleaner. The acidic vinegar dissolves mineral deposits. For tougher stains, make a paste with baking soda and water.

How can I get rid of hard water marks around faucets on a quartz countertop?

Focus on keeping the areas around faucets and sinks as dry as possible. Wipe up water frequently. Remove light stains with a vinegar solution. For heavy buildup, apply a cleaning poultice paste and let it work overnight, then scrub.

Why do my quartz countertops stain so easily from water?

Quartz is porous so repeated water exposure allows mineral deposits to build up and leave stains over time. Blotting excess water and using a granite sealer annually can help. If you have very hard water, a softener system is recommended.

I accidentally let bleach sit on my quartz counter. How do I remove the stain?

Rinse immediately with water. To help remove discoloration, make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and gently scrub. Avoid using bleach again, as it can damage the quartz. In future, test cleaners in a hidden spot first.

Can lemon juice remove hard water stains from quartz countertops?

Yes, lemon juice contains citric acid that can help dissolve some mineral deposits. Combine equal parts lemon juice and water and scrub the stain, then rinse. Don’t let the citrus juice sit too long, as the acidity could etch the surface.


Hard water stains can be frustrating, but they don’t have to permanently damage your beautiful quartz countertops. With the right techniques and cleaning solutions, you can safely remove mineral deposits and water spots to restore the surface.

For light stains, vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and mild dish soap can often do the trick. For stubborn set-in stains, try a concentrated poultice treatment or polishing powders. Implementing prevention habits like wiping spills quickly and using coasters will also help minimize new stains.

With some periodic maintenance cleaning and TLC, your quartz countertops will continue looking like new for many years before needing professional restoration services. Be cautious not to use harsh chemicals or excessive pressure that could scratch or dull the surface. Patience and persistent stain removal efforts will help safeguard your investment in durable and stylish quartz countertops.