How to Remove Pencil Marks from Quartz Countertops


Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and ease of maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can get scratched, stained, or marked up over time. Pencil marks, in particular, can be annoying blemishes on an otherwise pristine countertop. The good news is that removing pencil marks from quartz is possible with the right techniques and tools.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss proven methods for erasing pesky pencil marks from quartz countertops. We will cover both mild marks that only affect the surface, as well as stubborn stains that seem saturated into the material. With the proper supplies and a little elbow grease, you can restore the flawless look of your quartz.

How to Remove Surface Level Pencil Marks on Quartz

Surface level pencil marks refer to those that have not penetrated deep into the quartz material. They sit on top of the surface and appear like light scratches. For these types of marks, you likely can remove them without too much effort. Here are the best techniques:

Clean with Dish Soap and Warm Water

One of the easiest first steps is to try removing the marks with dish soap and warm water. Apply a few drops of liquid dish soap to the marks and use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the area for 30-60 seconds. The pencil may lift as the soap breaks down oils and grease.

Be sure to wipe the countertop dry with a clean cloth after washing. Check if the marks have lightened or disappeared completely.

Use a Magic Eraser

Magic erasers work wonderfully for erasing pencil streaks on quartz. The melamine foam in these cleaning wipes can easily buff out soft surface marks.

To use, dampen the magic eraser then rub it over the pencil marks in a circular motion applying light pressure. See if the stains begin fading after about 30 seconds of scrubbing. Re-dampen and scrub persistently until the marks are no longer visible.

Magic erasers can wear down quartz over time with excessive use. Be gentle and use sparingly on a limited area.

Try a Simple Baking Soda Paste

For marks that don’t budge with soap and water, try making a paste with baking soda. The gentle abrasiveness of baking soda can lift residue without damaging the quartz.

Make a paste by sprinkling baking soda onto the marks and adding a few drops of water. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or cloth to lightly scrub the paste over the stains. Let it sit for 5 minutes before wiping clean with a damp cloth. The baking soda will help break down pigment and oils.

Use a Quartz Cleaning Spray

Specialized quartz cleaning sprays are formulated to remove stains without harming the material. Look for ones that contain ingredients like hydrogen peroxide or plant-derived solvents.

Spray the cleaner directly onto the marks and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently wipe in circular motions until the marks disappear. No need to rinse, these sprays evaporate on their own.

Removing Stubborn, Saturated Pencil Marks from Quartz

If light scrubbing fails to remove pencil marks, it’s possible the stains have penetrated into the pores of the quartz. These deep-set marks require a little extra work. Here are the most effective approaches:

Try a Poultice

A poultice is a paste made with an absorbent powder like talc or baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide. This paste will literally “pull” staining out of the quartz when left to dry on the marks for 24 hours.

To make a simple poultice:

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of talc or baking soda with just enough hydrogen peroxide to form a spreadable paste.
  • Apply the paste carefully over the stains using a plastic spreader or paper towel. Make the layer 1/8 to 1⁄4 inch thick.
  • Allow the poultice to dry completely, ideally overnight. It may darken as it absorbs the stain.
  • Once totally dry, scrape away the poultice with a plastic scraper. Rinse the area to remove any powder residue.
  • Check if the stains have lightened or lifted out. Repeat the process if needed.

The prolonged drying time gives the hydrogen peroxide time to penetrate and lift out staining from within the quartz. This is one of the most effective ways to remove stubborn pencil marks.

Utilize a Polishing Powder

For deep set stains, a gently abrasive polishing powder may do the trick when other cleaners fail. Use a powder formulated for quartz, such as Soft Scrub Liquid Gel with Bleach or ZEP Commercial Countertop Polish.

Apply a small amount of the powder to a damp cloth or sponge. Gently rub in a circular motion concentrating on the stained areas. Some light scrubbing is okay, but avoid excessive pressure.

Rinse the powder residue and dry the surface. Check if the stains have lifted after polishing. Repeat if needed, but limit polishing sessions to avoid wearing down the countertop over time.

Sand Lightly with Micro-Mesh or Steel Wool

If all else fails, some light sanding with micro-mesh cloths or fine 0000 steel wool may remove stubborn marks. This is a more abrasive approach that should only be used as a last resort if the stains are very deep-set.

Wet the area first to prevent scratching. Gently rub the micro-mesh pad or steel wool over stains in a circular motion for 30-60 seconds at a time. Make sure to follow the direction of the quartz finish pattern.

Rinse well and dry the countertop. The sanding action will slowly “grind” away the stained top layer while smoothing the surface. Reapply a quartz sealer once finished.

Take precautions not to over-sand, as this could damage the surface and make it appear dull. Work slowly checking often, and limit sanding to affected areas only.

Tips for Preventing Pencil Marks on Quartz

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when caring for quartz countertops. Keep these tips in mind to avoid pencil marks in the first place:

  • Use pencil sharpeners over the sink or trash can, not on the countertop. The shavings can leave graphite marks.
  • Write on notepads instead of directly on the quartz surface. The repeated pencil motion causes transfer.
  • Clean up graphite smudges immediately before they set into the stone.
  • Avoid colored pencils which contain pigments that can more easily stain.
  • Use pencil grips caps to minimize direct contact of the lead on quartz.
  • Keep pencils/pens in a cup rather than laying them on the counter.
  • Seal quartz annually with a penetrating sealer which protects from stains.
  • Place an inexpensive cutting board, mat, or placemat where you work at the countertop.

With extra care taken when using pencils, you can keep quartz spotless and avoid the need to remove stains. But if marks do occur, use the techniques in this guide to restore the smooth surface. With the right supplies and methods, even stubborn pencil streaks don’t stand a chance against quartz!

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Pencil Marks from Quartz Countertops

What is the easiest way to remove pencil marks from quartz?

For surface level marks, using a magic eraser is often the easiest and most effective approach. The melamine foam can buff out soft pencil marks with minimal effort. Be sure to use a damp magic eraser and rub gently in a circular motion on the stains.

What household items can remove pencil marks from quartz?

A few handy household products can lift pencil stains from quartz. Baking soda mixed with water into a paste can provide gentle abrasion to break down oils and pigment. Hydrogen peroxide, diluted or mixed into a poultice, can help draw out staining from below the surface. Dish soap and warm water can dissolve greasy pencil buildup when used regularly.

How do you get colored pencil off quartz?

Colored pencil has more pigment, so the stains penetrate deeper. Make a poultice with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and leave it on the marks overnight, allowing it to draw out the color. A polishing powder rubs away the stained top layer of quartz. For really stubborn stains, gently wet sand with micro mesh in a circular motion. Be careful not to overdo it and damage the finish.

Will a pencil mark stain quartz?

It is possible for pencil marks to stain quartz countertops, especially if left for a long time. Graphite and colored pencil contain oils and pigment that can seep into the microscopic pores of natural stone. The longer the marks sit, the deeper they saturate. Stains become harder to remove the longer they set. Address any pencil marks right away before they have a chance to set in.

Can you write on quartz countertops?

It’s not recommended to use quartz as a writing surface. The graphite and pigment in pencils and pens can embed into the stone over time with repeated contact in the same spot. Not to mention ink and graphite will ruin the beautiful look of your countertop! Write on notepads instead of directly on the quartz. Use trivets, cutting boards or placemats when needed.


Pencil marks on quartz countertops can be vexing, but they don’t have to ruin the appearance of your counters. With the proper techniques and cleaning products, you can erase frustrating graphite lines and restore your quartz to a pristine condition again. Always try the gentlest approach first, like a magic eraser or baking soda scrub. For stubborn stains, break out the big guns, like polishing powders or poultices. With some perseverance and the methods in this guide, you can banish pencil marks for good.