How to Remove Quartz Countertop Stain

Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, appearance, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz countertops can become stained over time from spills, cleaning products, and everyday use. Removing stains from quartz requires using the proper techniques and products to avoid damaging the surface. With some effort, care, and the right approach, you can effectively remove stains from your quartz countertops.

What Causes Stains on Quartz Countertops?

There are various sources of stains that can affect the appearance of quartz countertops:

  • Food and Beverages: Ingredients like coffee, tea, wine, fruit juices, vinegar, and oils can stain quartz surfaces.
  • Toiletries: Products like makeup, lotion, mouthwash, shampoo and soap scum buildup can leave residue.
  • Household Cleaners: Chemicals in cleaners like bleach, oven cleaners, and drain uncloggers can etch or discolor quartz.
  • Metal Marks: Pans, pots, and metal utensils can leave grey/black marks on the surface.
  • Hard Water: Mineral deposits from hard water can leave etching and spots.
  • Sun Exposure: UV rays can cause quartz to yellow over time.
  • Cuts and Scratches: Improper cleaning tools like abrasive pads can damage and stain quartz.

Do Quartz Countertops Stain Easily?

Compared to other countertop materials like marble or granite, quartz is less prone to staining. The resin binders that make up 93% of quartz make it very stain-resistant. However, it is not completely stain-proof. Highly pigmented spills like wine, coffee and tea can stain quartz if left untreated. Acidic substances like lemon juice and vinegar can also etch into the surface given time. But with prompt cleaning, most stains can be prevented or removed.

How to Remove Common Stains from Quartz Countertops

Here are tips to remove the most common quartz countertop stains:

Food and Beverage Stains

  • For stains from coffee, tea, wine, juice, grease, etc. immediately wipe away any excess.
  • Mix warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap in a bowl. Dip a soft cloth into it and gently rub the stain in circular motions.
  • If needed, make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply it to the stain and allow to sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing.
  • For stubborn dried-on stains, use a plastic scraper to gently lift off any residue before cleaning.
  • Rinse well and dry with a soft cloth.

Hard Water Stains

  • Mix equal parts water and white vinegar and spray onto the stain.
  • Allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes before scrubbing with a soft cloth or sponge.
  • For tougher hard water marks, make a paste with baking soda and water. Spread onto the stain and let sit overnight if needed.
  • In the morning, scrub off the paste with a soft cloth or sponge. Wipe clean with water and dry.

Toiletry Stains

  • For soap scum stains, apply a few sprays of undiluted white vinegar and let sit for 3 minutes. Scrub and rinse clean.
  • For makeup or lipstick stains, use rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth to gently rub the stain away.
  • For tougher makeup stains, try using an oil-based makeup remover before scrubbing with dish soap and water.

Metal Marks

  • Rub a paste of baking soda and water on the grey/black marks. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing clean.
  • For stubborn metal marks, use a plastic putty knife to gently scrape off any residue before scrubbing with the baking soda paste.
  • Pour some club soda on a soft cloth and wipe the area to remove any remaining marks.

Bleach and Chemical Stains

  • Wet the stained area with water and scrub with extra fine steel wool or a plastic scraping pad.
  • Rub a paste of baking soda and water onto the stain and let sit overnight covered with a damp paper towel.
  • If any stain remains, wipe with hydrogen peroxide and rinse thoroughly with water.

Dried-on Food Stains

  • For dried food spills like egg, grease, or sauces, allow hot soapy water to sit on the stain for 5 minutes to loosen residue.
  • Gently scrape any chunks off with a plastic putty knife or the edge of a credit card.
  • Create a baking soda paste and apply to the stain, allowing it to sit for up to an hour.
  • Scrub using a soft cloth, sponge or nylon scrubbing pad.
  • Use undiluted white vinegar for extra cleaning power if needed.

Do’s and Don’ts for Removing Stains from Quartz

Follow these do’s and don’ts when trying to remove stains from quartz countertops:


  • Wipe spills immediately before they have a chance to set and stain.
  • Use a plastic putty knife or scraper to gently lift dried-on messes. Never use a metal knife or razor.
  • Always scrub gently in circular motions to remove stains. Avoid aggressive scrubbing.
  • Use a soft sponge, cloth or nylon scrub pad. Hard scrub brushes can damage the surface.
  • After cleaning, rinse thoroughly with water and wipe dry to prevent water spots.


  • Don’t use abrasive cleansers or powders which can scratch quartz.
  • Avoid bleach, oven cleaners, and other harsh chemicals. They can discolor and eat away the surface.
  • Don’t let citrus juices, vinegar, wine or coffee sit for longer than 5 minutes before wiping to prevent etching.
  • Don’t use steel wool pads or abrasive scrubbers which can mark and dull quartz.
  • Never use sealants or waxes on quartz countertops which can cause buildup and yellowing.

How to Remove Specific Stubborn Stains from Quartz

For more stubborn stains that resist normal cleaning methods, try these approaches:

Red Wine Stains

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide into a spreadable paste.
  • Apply paste to the stain, allow to sit for 5 minutes, then scrub using a soft cloth.
  • Alternatively, use an alkali-based stain remover like Bar Keeper’s Friend.
  • For dried wine stains, moisten a cloth with water and lay it over the stain for 30 minutes to hydrate it. Then scrub gently.

Dried Tomato Sauce Stains

  • Use a plastic scraper to lift any crusted bits, then apply baking soda paste.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes then scrub with a soft nylon brush in circular motions.
  • If any stain remains, wipe it with undiluted white vinegar using a soft cloth.

Coffee and Tea Stains

  • Rub olive oil onto the stain to break down the caffeine and oils.
  • Let sit for 3 minutes then scrub away using a soft sponge and dish soap.
  • For lighter staining, try using hydrogen peroxide instead of olive oil.

Ink, Marker or Pen Stains

  • Apply hairspray or rubbing alcohol to the stain and let sit for 1-2 minutes.
  • Gently scrub the area using a microfiber cloth and rinse clean with water.
  • For stubborn ink stains, spray with WD-40 and let sit for 3 minutes before scrubbing away.

Dark Stains from Spices and Seasonings

  • Make a paste with cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide. Apply to the stain for 5 minutes.
  • Scrub using a soft cloth, then rinse clean with warm water.
  • For turmeric stains, try using an oxygen bleach cleanser after hydrogen peroxide.

Homemade Cleaners for Quartz Stains

Try these effective homemade cleaners for removing most quartz countertop stains:

Dish Soap and Warm Water: Mix a couple drops of mild dish soap like Dawn into warm water. Use a soft sponge to gently clean stains soon after they occur. Rinse well.

Baking Soda Paste: Make a paste with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Spread onto stains, allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, then scrub clean with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly.

White Vinegar: Use undiluted white vinegar to wipe away hard water stains, soap scum, and for extra cleaning power.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Cleans and whitens quartz by breaking down stains at a molecular level. Use it undiluted.

Olive Oil: Helps lift oil-based stains like grease or coffee stains. Let it sit before scrubbing.

Bar Keeper’s Friend: This oxalic acid cleaner effectively removes rust, mineral deposits, and tougher stains.

Rubbing Alcohol: Helps dissolve and lift residues from makeup, markers, and pen stains.

How to Prevent Stains on Quartz Countertops

Preventing stains on quartz counters in the first place will save the hassle of frequent stain removal. Try these prevention tips:

  • Immediately wipe up spills, splatters, and drips before they have a chance to soak in.
  • Always use cutting boards, trivets and hot pads. Never place hot pans directly on quartz.
  • Clean quartz regularly using a soft sponge or cloth with mild dish soap and water.
  • Avoid using cleaners that can stain like bleach, ammonia, oven cleaners, etc.
  • Rinse the counters after using cleaning products to prevent chemical residue buildup.
  • Re-seal quartz counters every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer to enhance stain protection.
  • Don’t let oils, vinegars, citrus juices or wine sit on the surface for more than 5 minutes.
  • Use placemats under dishes and place settings.
  • Clean up food prep messes as you go to prevent staining.

When to Call for Professional Quartz Countertop Cleaning

For routine cleaning, DIY methods using gentle cleaners is often effective. But if you are dealing with extensive staining or damage that resists at-home remedies, call in a professional quartz countertop cleaning service. Pros have specialized tools and industrial cleaners to rejuvenate heavily stained quartz. They can restore the look while avoiding damage from harsh DIY chemical cleaning.

Signs it’s time to contact the pros:

  • You see etching or pitting that scrubs won’t remove. This may require polishing.
  • There are difficult stains across large surface areas like tobacco stains or mold.
  • The quartz has extensive hard water scale accumulation.
  • Rust stains from metal pans have penetrated the surface.
  • There are white hazy splotches and residue that cleaning can’t remove.
  • The stains have been there for years and all your attempts haven’t worked.

How Professionals Deep Clean Quartz Countertops

Quartz cleaning professionals use methods like:

  • Steam cleaning – High-pressure vapor steam is used to loosen and remove all kinds of stains.
  • Heat application – Heat guns carefully apply heat to break down stubborn residues.
  • Targeted deep cleaning – Industrial cleaners and disinfectants are used to treat specific stains.
  • Degreasing agents – Grease-cutting chemicals like citrus solvents remove oily gunk and grime.
  • Soft pad buffing – For superficial stains, soft buffing pads gently remove topical residues.
  • Polishing powders – Fine powders are used to polish out etching and light scratches.
  • Sealing services – New sealant is applied to help repel future stains.

Professional restoration can make badly stained quartz counters look brand new again. The specialized techniques, tools, and chemicals deep clean the quartz surface on a level that regular household cleaning can’t match.

FAQs About Removing Stains from Quartz Countertops

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about removing different types of stains from quartz countertops:

How do you remove dried food stains from quartz?

For dried-on food spills, soften the stain by laying a wet cloth over it for 30 minutes. Gently loosen any chunks with a plastic scraper then apply a baking soda paste. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing clean with a soft cloth or sponge.

What removes grease stains from quartz?

Mix a couple tablespoons of dish soap with warm water and scrub into grease stains with a soft sponge. For tough grease, apply baking soda paste or sprinkle some cornstarch onto the grease before scrubbing. Use a degreasing citrus solvent and rinse well.

How do you get rid of tomato/pasta sauce stains on quartz?

Gently scrape any dried bits with a plastic scraper. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the stained area for 10 minutes before scrubbing clean. For extra cleaning power, wipe the stain with some undiluted white vinegar after scrubbing.

How can I remove a red wine stain from my quartz countertop?

Immediately soak up excess wine then wipe the area with dish soap and water. For set-in stains, apply baking soda paste or use an alkali-based cleaner like Bar Keeper’s Friend. Scrub gently with a soft cloth using circular motions.

What’s the best way to remove an oil stain from quartz?

Sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda directly onto the greasy stain to absorb the oil, then sweep it away. Clean with dish soap on a sponge, then wipe down with rubbing alcohol to dissolve any residue. For cooked-on oil stains, apply a dab of peanut butter and let sit briefly before scrubbing away.

How can I get rid of hard water stains on my quartz countertop?

Spray white vinegar directly onto the marks and let sit for a few minutes to dissolve mineral deposits. Scrub with a soft sponge then rinse clean. For heavier hard water staining, use a baking soda paste, allow it to sit overnight, then scrub off in the morning.


Although quartz countertops are fairly stain-resistant, stains do occur from daily use. By addressing them promptly and using the proper gentle cleaning methods, most stains can be removed. For light stains, dish soap, baking soda, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide work well. Heavier stains may require stone-safe cleaners or professional intervention. But with some persistence and the right stain-fighting techniques, you can keep your quartz counters looking like new.