How to Remove Hard Water Spots on Quartz Countertops

Hard water spots on quartz countertops can be annoying, but with the right techniques and products, they can be removed. Here is an in-depth guide on how to get rid of hard water stains on quartz.

What Causes Hard Water Spots on Quartz?

Hard water contains a high concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium. When hard water evaporates, it leaves behind mineral deposits that show up as spots and stains. Quartz is non-porous, so the minerals sit on the surface rather than absorbing into the material.

Factors that contribute to hard water spotting on quartz include:

  • High mineral content in tap water
  • Allowing water to air dry after spilling
  • Using hard water for cleaning
  • Steamy environments like kitchens and bathrooms

Removing Light Hard Water Stains on Quartz

If the hard water spots on your quartz countertops are light or just starting to form, you may be able to remove them with simple everyday household products.


White distilled vinegar is mildly acidic, which helps dissolve mineral deposits. Follow these steps:

  1. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  2. Liberally spray the solution directly onto the spots.
  3. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Wipe away with a soft cloth or paper towel.
  5. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.

Vinegar may need to be reapplied for stubborn stains.

Baking Soda

The abrasive texture of baking soda can help scrub away light hard water spots on quartz.

  1. Make a paste by mixing 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water.
  2. Apply the paste directly to the stained area using a soft cloth or sponge.
  3. Gently rub in a circular motion. Avoid excessive scrubbing.
  4. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry with a soft towel.

Dish Soap

Basic dish soap like Dawn can lift up some hard water stains. Use a small amount of concentrated dish soap on a damp soft cloth. Gently rub the stained area and rinse. Repeat as needed. Avoid using excessive force.

Removing Stubborn Hard Water Stains on Quartz

If DIY methods don’t remove the hard water spots, then you’ll need to use a specially formulated quartz countertop cleaner. Look for products that contain ingredients like citric acid that target mineral deposits.

Store-bought Quartz Cleaners

Specialized quartz cleaning products are available at hardware stores, home improvement centers, and online. Some popular options include:

  • Zep Commercial Hard Water Stain Remover – contains sulfamic and citric acid to dissolve mineral deposits.
  • Hope’s Perfect Countertop – uses citric acid to remove stains without stripping sealers.
  • Method Daily Granite & Stone Cleaner – contains citric acid and plant-based surfactants.
  • Stone Care International Revitalizer Pro – formulated with phosphoric acid and wetting agents.

Be sure to carefully read the product label and test on an inconspicuous area first. Apply the cleaner with a soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping away. Thoroughly rinse with clean water.

Baking Soda and Vinegar Paste

For a non-toxic option, make a paste of baking soda and vinegar. The combination of the two ingredients provides extra cleaning power that can tackle difficult hard water stains:

  1. Add 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts baking soda until it forms a spreadable paste.
  2. Use a soft cloth or sponge to work the paste into stained areas, applying gentle circular scrubbing motions.
  3. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Rinse and dry thoroughly with soft cotton cloths.

Preventing Hard Water Stains on Quartz

Prevention is key to keeping quartz free of hard water spots. Here are some tips:

  • Wipe up spills as soon as they happen, don’t let water air dry.
  • Use a squeegee on the countertop after washing dishes.
  • Invest in a water softening system if you have exceptionally hard water.
  • Avoid using harsh cleaners like bleach that can damage the finish.
  • Reseal quartz yearly with a specialty stone sealer made for quartz.
  • Use a mild pH-neutral quartz cleaner for daily maintenance cleaning.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

CLR (Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover) is formulated to dissolve mineral deposits, so it can be used to treat hard water stains on quartz counters. Spot test first. Apply sparingly with a non-abrasive sponge and rinse thoroughly. Don’t let it sit too long, as prolonged exposure could etch the surface.

What about using Bar Keepers Friend to clean quartz?

Bar Keepers Friend is an abrasive powder cleaner that can be used to remove some hard water stains from quartz. However, don’t use it excessively as the abrasives may dull the surface over time. Make a paste, gently rub into stained areas, and rinse well.

Can I use lemon juice instead of vinegar?

Yes, lemon juice contains citric acid that can help break down mineral deposits like vinegar. The juice won’t be as potent, so you may need to repeat the process a few times. Mix equal parts lemon juice and water and follow the same steps. Rinse thoroughly.

How can I avoid water spots when sealing quartz?

When applying a quartz sealer, buff off any excess sealer with a dry microfiber cloth right away to prevent moisture from getting trapped underneath and leaving a haze. Wipe in a circular motion. Avoid over-application of the sealer. Read the product instructions carefully.

Is there a homemade quartz polish I can make?

There are a few DIY quartz polishing options, but they are less effective than commercial products made specifically for quartz. For light cleaning, mix a paste of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and lemon essential oil. Rub gently and rinse. Or try a mix of olive oil and lemon juice.


Hard water stains can be tricky to remove from quartz, but with a little time and effort, your counters can look as good as new again. Daily maintenance cleaning and prompt attention when spills occur is key to keeping quartz stain-free. When stains develop, try natural cleaning solutions first before moving to commercial cleaners made for quartz and other stone surfaces. With the right techniques, you can keep your quartz counters spotless and shining.