How to Remove Marks on Quartz Countertop

Quartz countertops are durable and low-maintenance, but like any surface, they can get marked up over time. Removing marks from quartz requires using the right cleaning methods and products to avoid damaging the material. With some care and effort, you can restore the beautiful, flawless look of your quartz countertops.

What Causes Marks on Quartz?

There are several culprits that commonly leave marks on quartz countertops:

Food Stains

Foods and beverages like wine, coffee, and tomato sauce can stain quartz surfaces. Acidic foods in particular can etch marks into the material that look like dull spots.

Water Marks

Water spots and rings often appear on quartz, especially around the sink area. They are caused by mineral deposits in water that are left behind as the water evaporates.

Heat Damage

Excessive heat from hot pans, candles, or other sources can scorch or discolor quartz countertops. This type of marking appears as whitish, yellowed, or darkened areas.


Quartz is very durable, but not fully scratch-proof. Utensils, appliances, accidently dragging items across the surface can all create faint or noticeable scratches.

Hard Water Stains

The minerals in hard water can leave behind stubborn stains on quartz. These appear as spots, streaks or a cloudy haze.

Soap Scum

Soap and shampoos can react with minerals in water and create a film on quartz, especially in the bathroom. This leaves a dull, whitish layer on the surface.

Cleaning Solutions for Marks on Quartz

To remove various marks from quartz countertops, you’ll need the right cleaning solutions. Here are the most effective options:

Warm Water

For mild stains, warm water is often all you need. The heat helps dissolve and lift many types of marks.

Mild Dish Soap

A few drops of mild dish detergent like Dawn mixed with warm water can help clean food stains and lift up soap scum.


White vinegar is mildly acidic, so it can dissolve mineral deposits, hard water stains, and soap scum. Mix a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water.

Baking Soda

Form a paste with baking soda and water to gently scrub away stains. Baking soda also neutralizes acids, which helps remove faded food etchings.

Hydrogen Peroxide

As a bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide can whiten discolored areas and stains on quartz surfaces. Use a 3% solution.

Cleaning Sprays

Look for commercial cleaners made specifically for quartz and stone. Many contain ingredients like hydrogen peroxide to remove stains without damaging the finish.

Polishing Powder

After cleaning marks, use an abrasive powder like Bar Keeper’s Friend to polish away any leftover dullness or etching on the surface.

Window Cleaner

The ammonia in window cleaners cuts through soap scum and water spots nicely.

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Marks

With the right supplies and techniques, you can make your quartz counters look brand new again. Follow this step-by-step methodology:

1. Prepare the Surface

Clear everything off the countertop. Remove any stuck-on crumbs or debris. Make sure the surface is completely dry before cleaning.

2. Try a Mild Cleaning Solution First

Start by mixing a gentle cleaning solution like warm water, dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, or vinegar. Use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe the marked area with the solution. This may be enough to remove many common stains and marks.

3. Use a Stain Remover for Tougher Marks

If warm, soapy water doesn’t do the trick, try a stain-fighting cleaner made for quartz and stone. Spray it directly on the marked area and let it sit for 5 minutes before wiping. Scour stubborn marks gently with a soft-bristled brush.

4. Make a Baking Soda Paste for Etching

To remove etching or whitish, dull areas, make a paste of baking soda and water. Rub it into the affected spot using a clean cloth or sponge. Let it sit for several minutes before rinsing well. The baking soda helps deactivate the acids that cause etching.

5. Try Bar Keeper’s Friend for Polishing

After cleaning, a whitish film or rough texture may remain. Use a small amount of Bar Keeper’s Friend powder to buff out any remaining dullness. Rub it into the area with a damp sponge. Rinse thoroughly afterwards. The oxalic acid in it will help restore the quartz’s shine.

6. Use a Plastic Scraper for Stubborn Gunk

If any sticky, built-up gunk remains after cleaning, carefully scrape it away with a plastic scraper or the edge of a credit card. This avoids scratching the surface.

7. Give a Final Wipe-Down

Once the spot looks clean, wipe down the entire surface with a lint-free cloth and warm, clean water to remove any cleaning product residue. Buff dry with a microfiber towel.

Tips for Preventing Marks on Quartz

Preventing marks and damage in the first place will save you from having to remove them later. Here are handy tips for keeping quartz counters flawless:

  • Use cutting boards and trivets when prepping food to avoid direct contact with the quartz surface.
  • Clean up spills immediately before they have a chance to soak in and stain.
  • Avoid exposing quartz to very hot items that could scorch the surface.
  • Use the gentlest cleaners possible. Harsh chemicals can damage the finish.
  • Wipe up water spills and splashes right away to prevent water spots.
  • Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a stone sealer to protect the finish.
  • Don’t press down too hard when scrubbing. Aggressive scouring can create faint scratches.

Home Remedies to Remove Specific Marks

For certain types of stains, there are homemade mixes you can try that utilize ingredients you likely already have on hand:

Oil Stains

  • Make a paste with 2 parts baking soda to 1 part hydrogen peroxide. Spread on the stain and allow to bubble for 5 minutes before rinsing.

Rust Stains

  • Rub a cut lemon over the rust mark. Let the acid soak in for 5 minutes before rinsing.

Hard Water Marks

  • Dab white vinegar onto the stain. Let sit for 3 minutes, then scrub with a cloth.

Dried Glue

  • Soak the glue residue with olive oil, let sit briefly, then scrape away with a plastic card.

Permanent Marker

  • Dab toothpaste on the marker stain. Gently rub it with a damp sponge. The abrasives will lift the pigment.

Red Wine Stains

  • Remove excess wine, then pour salt on the stain. Scrub it in with half a lemon to absorb and lift the discoloration.

When to Call for Professional Help

Minor cleaning and polishing you can do yourself at home should resolve most marks. But if you are dealing with extensive etching, deep scratches, or other major damage, it’s best to hire a professional quartz restoration company for best results. They have specialized tools and expertise.

Signs it’s time to call a pro:

  • Deep depressions, pits, or holes in the surface.
  • Numerous wide, pronounced scratches.
  • Stains that persist despite all cleaning attempts.
  • Visible damage like chips, cracks, or seams coming apart.
  • Overall dull or rough texture that feels uneven.

With the right maintenance and care, most marks on quartz can be removed without professional help. But for major damage, hiring a specialist ensures your countertops will be restored to like-new condition. Be sure to research and hire a reputable company experienced specifically with quartz.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Marks from Quartz Countertops

Here are answers to some common questions about eliminating stains, water spots, and other marks from quartz surfaces:

What is the best cleaner for removing marks from quartz?

For most marks, a mix of warm water and mild dish soap, vinegar, or a specially formulated quartz cleaner work well to lift stains and buildup. For polish, Bar Keeper’s Friend restores the shine.

What should you not use to clean quartz countertops?

Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach, acidic toilet bowl cleaners, or tub & tile cleaners which can damage the finish. Also avoid abrasive pads and scrubbing tools which can scratch.

How can I get dried-on food stains off my quartz countertop?

Try making a paste of baking soda and water and gently rubbing it into dried-on stains. Let it sit briefly before rinsing. The baking soda will break down the bonded-on food so it can be cleaned.

How do you remove etched spots from quartz?

Mix baking soda and water into a spreadable paste. Apply to the dulled, marked area and let sit for 5 minutes. The baking soda will work to neutralize the acid that caused the etching. Rinse thoroughly after scrubbing.

How can I get white marks off my quartz from hard water?

Spray white vinegar directly onto the hard water stain. Let sit briefly, then wipe with a damp microfiber cloth. Repeat as needed for stubborn buildup. The vinegar will react with the mineral deposits to dissolve them.

What is the best way to polish quartz countertops after cleaning?

Use a powder cleanser like Bar Keeper’s Friend to gently buff out any remaining dullness or roughness after cleaning marks. It contains oxalic acid to dissolve residue and restore the smooth shine.


Quartz countertops are prone to a variety of marks over time, from food stains to hard water buildup. With the proper cleaning solutions and techniques, these marks can be removed to restore the counters to like-new condition again. Using a gentle approach is key to avoid causing more damage to the quartz surface. Mild dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and polishing powders are go-to products for most stains. With some elbow grease and the right mixture of cleaning methods, you can keep your quartz counters spotless and dazzling.