How to Remove Marker from Quartz Countertop

Removing marker stains from quartz countertops can seem daunting, but with the right techniques and products, it is possible. Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural quartz crystals blended with resins and pigments, making it very durable and stain-resistant. However, permanent markers contain stubborn dyes that can sometimes penetrate the surface. The key is to act quickly and use the appropriate cleaning methods to lift the marker without damaging the countertop.

What You Need to Remove Marker from Quartz

Before attempting to remove marker stains, gather the following recommended products and materials:

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • Non-abrasive cleaning pad or soft cloth
  • Paint thinner or mineral spirits
  • Eye dropper
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Magic eraser sponge
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Razor blade or plastic scraper

Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach or any cleaners containing acids, as these can damage and discolor the quartz. Test any product on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these steps to safely lift marker stains from your quartz countertops:

1. Wipe with Isopropyl Alcohol

  • Pour some isopropyl alcohol onto a soft cloth or paper towel.
  • Gently rub the marked area using circular motions. Apply light pressure.
  • The alcohol will help dissolve and break down the ink stain.
  • Scrub for 1-2 minutes then rinse with warm water and pat dry.
  • This may need to be repeated several times for stubborn permanent marker. The key is patience.

2. Use Acetone Nail Polish Remover

  • If the isopropyl alcohol does not fully remove the stain, try using a small amount of acetone nail polish remover on a cotton ball.
  • Carefully rub over the stain, being cautious not to damage the finish.
  • Acetone is a powerful solvent and may be more effective at dissolving stubborn permanent marker stains.
  • Wipe the area with water and dry thoroughly after testing acetone.

3. Try Paint Thinner or Mineral Spirits

  • If the stain persists, you can attempt using a very small amount of paint thinner or mineral spirits applied with an eye dropper.
  • Test on an inconspicuous spot first, as these solvents can potentially damage quartz.
  • Gently rub over the marker stain with a soft cloth dampened with the solvent. Apply sparingly.
  • Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Monitor for any damage to the finish.

4. Use Rubbing Alcohol

  • For another option, try applying a small amount of 70% rubbing alcohol directly onto the stain.
  • Let it sit for 1-2 minutes to penetrate and break down the ink.
  • Wipe away with a clean soft cloth, rinsing afterwards with warm water.

5. Magic Eraser Sponge

  • Dampen a Magic Eraser sponge with water and gently rub over the marker spot using light pressure.
  • The melamine foam works well at lifting many stubborn stains.
  • Rinse the area afterwards and pat dry with a soft towel.

6. Make a Baking Soda Paste

  • Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable paste.
  • Use a soft cloth to gently rub the paste onto the stained area using circular motions.
  • Let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing clean. The baking soda will help draw out and absorb the ink.

7. Use Dish Soap and Water

  • Make a solution of warm water and a few small drops of mild dish soap.
  • Using a soft sponge or cloth, gently scrub the stain for a few minutes. The soap helps break down grease and oil.
  • Be sure to rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.

8. Apply White Vinegar

  • White vinegar naturally helps cut through grease and dye stains.
  • Pour undiluted white vinegar directly onto the stain. Let sit 2-3 minutes.
  • Wipe away the vinegar and rinse the area well with water.
  • Dry thoroughly with a soft, clean cloth.

9. Use Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Hydrogen peroxide is another mild acid that can help bleach and lift stains.
  • Apply a small amount directly to the marker spot, letting it bubble for 2-3 minutes.
  • Wipe away with a damp cloth and rinse.
  • Be sure to rinse and dry thoroughly. Monitor for any lightening of the countertop.

10. Gently Scrape With Plastic Scraper or Razor Blade

  • If the stain persists through other cleaning attempts, you can use a single-edge razor blade or plastic scraper to gently lift off the remaining ink.
  • Hold the blade nearly flat and cautiously scrape the top layer with light pressure. Be very careful not to cut into the quartz finish.
  • Wipe away any loosened ink with isopropyl alcohol using a circular rubbing motion followed by warm soapy water.
  • Avoid aggressive scrubbing and test scraping on an inconspicuous spot first.

Tips for Preventing Marker Stains

Preventing stains in the first place will save time and hassle. Try these pro tips:

  • Use washable markers instead of permanent markers around the house.
  • Keep markers and writing instruments in designated drawers or bins instead of leaving them out on countertops.
  • Immediately wipe up any marks from dry erase markers or washable markers.
  • Avoid placing potted plants directly on quartz surfaces which can leak tannins or moisture leading to stains. Use plant saucers.
  • Place hot pans or oven-safe dishes on trivets or potholders rather than directly on the countertop.
  • Clean up food, oil or grease spills as soon they happen before staining occurs.
  • Consider using a stone sealer to add an extra layer of protection from stains. Re-apply every 1-2 years.
  • Routinely clean quartz with a pH-neutral stone cleaner to prevent buildup of grime.

When to Call a Professional

If you have tried the above cleaning methods without success removing the stubborn marker stain, contact a professional stone restoration company. They have access to more powerful solvents and polishing equipment. Be aware that aggressive cleaning may permanently etch or damage the finish. A repair or resurfacing may be required in severe cases. Professional restoration is available but can be expensive.

Questions and Answers about Removing Marker from Quartz

Can I use bleach or acid cleaners on quartz countertops?

No, avoid using bleach, alkaline, or acidic cleaners which can damage, etch, and discolor quartz surfaces. Always test a cleaner on a small inconspicuous spot first. Stick to gentle, non-abrasive cleaners specifically formulated for stone.

How can I get rid of permanent marker or Sharpie on my quartz?

For permanent marker, try isopropyl alcohol, acetone, or mineral spirits applied with light rubbing on the stain. Aggressive scrubbing can scratch the finish. Let the solvent sit for 1-2 minutes before wiping to allow it to penetrate and break down the ink.

Why won’t alcohol or acetone remove the marker stain?

If alcohol or acetone does not remove a stubborn permanent marker stain, try gently scraping with a plastic scraper or razor blade. Test first on an inconspicuous spot and take care not to scratch the quartz. Wipe up debris with alcohol and rinse. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.

What natural methods can I use to remove marker stains?

Some options are baking soda paste, hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, or lemon juice. Rub gently and let sit several minutes before wiping clean and rinsing. Magic Eraser sponges also utilize natural melamine foam to lift stains. Avoid harsh chemicals.

Can I use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on quartz countertops?

Yes, Magic Erasers are safe for use on quartz. Dampen the melamine foam sponge and gently rub stained areas using light pressure. The texture helps lift ink stains without damaging the finish. Thoroughly rinse and dry the area afterwards.

I accidentally scratched my quartz countertop while cleaning marker stains. What should I do?

Minor scratches can often be buffed and polished out of quartz countertops by a professional stone restoration company. They have the proper tools and expertise without causing further damage. For deep scratches or etching, a full resurfacing may be required.

How can I avoid getting marker or ink stains on my quartz countertops in the future?

Use washable markers instead of permanent, keep markers off countertops in drawers, use trivets and coasters under hot dishes, and immediately wipe up any spills or stains as they occur. Avoid placing potted plants directly on quartz. Consider sealing your quartz every 1-2 years.

Will magic marker permanently stain my quartz countertop?

Not usually, if treated quickly and properly. The key is to immediately wipe with isopropyl alcohol or acetone before the ink penetrates. Permanent marker contains dyes that can bond if left too long. For dried stains, use a plastic scraper and solvent to lift ink. Harsh scrubbing or chemicals can damage finish.


Though marker stains on quartz countertops present a challenge, the right cleaning techniques and prompt action can successfully remove ink without permanent damage. Test products first on small spots and rub gently in circular motions after applying the solvent. Avoid abrasive scrubbing. Call a professional if stains persist. With some patience and elbow grease, you can restore the flawless look of your quartz.