Rust stains on quartz countertops can be unsightly and difficult to remove. However, with a little effort and the right products, you can get your countertops looking like new again. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to remove rust from quartz countertops.
What Causes Rust on Quartz?
Quartz countertops contain ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. While very durable, they can still be susceptible to stains from rust over time. Rust stains usually occur from:
- Iron or steel wool cleaning pads rubbing against the surface
- Cast iron cookware
- Iron or steel utensils sitting on the countertop
- Metal cans, screws or bolts resting on the surface
- Exposure to humidity and moisture, causing iron to oxidize
How to Remove Rust Stains from Quartz
Step 1: Blot the Stain
If the rust stain is still wet, blot it gently with a paper towel or clean cloth. Don’t scrub or wipe the stain, as this can spread it further. Blotting will soak up excess moisture.
Step 2: Make a Baking Soda Paste
In a small bowl, mix together baking soda and water to form a spreadable paste. The consistency should be thick but still able to be spread over the stain.
Step 3: Apply the Paste to the Rust Stain
Use a soft cloth, sponge or plastic scraper to spread the baking soda paste generously over the rust stain. Cover the stained area completely.
Step 4: Allow it to Sit
Let the baking soda paste sit on the rust stain undisturbed for at least 4-6 hours, or ideally overnight. This gives the baking soda time to work at lifting and drawing out the rust.
Step 5: Scrub and Rinse
After letting it sit, scrub the baking soda paste with a soft brush or plastic scraper. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Use a cloth to blot up any moisture.
Step 6: Dry Completely
It’s important there is no moisture left on the countertop. Use a cloth or paper towels to thoroughly dry the area. Any remaining dampness can re-oxidize iron and cause rust stains again.
Step 7: Repeat if Needed
Check if the rust stain has lightened or been removed. If it’s still visible, repeat this entire process again. The baking soda needs more time to work at lifting the stain.
Other Methods and Products to Remove Rust
If baking soda alone doesn’t remove the rust stain, try these other effective options:
The acidity in vinegar can help dissolve and lift rust. Make a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Apply it to the stain, let sit for 5-10 minutes, then scrub and rinse. White vinegar works best.
Hydrogen peroxide can bubble away rust stains. Apply it directly to the stain undiluted. Let it sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. Be careful, as it can lighten stone surfaces.
Bar Keeper’s Friend
This abrasive powder cleanser is excellent for removing stubborn rust stains from quartz. Make a paste, apply to the stain and let it sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing. Rinse thoroughly.
The abrasive pads can rub away rust stains. Dampen a Magic Eraser, then gently rub the stained area using light pressure. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
Tips for Preventing Rust Stains on Quartz
Preventing these stains in the first place will save you from having to remove them later:
- Wipe up spills immediately, don’t let moisture sit
- Use coasters under bottles, pots or iron cookware
- Clean with non-abrasive quartz cleaners, not harsh chemicals
- Avoid using steel wool or iron pads when cleaning
- Seal quartz yearly with a stone sealer to protect from stains
- Keep kitchen well ventilated to minimize moisture building up
Can You Remove Rust Stains from Quartz Yourself?
Yes, rust stains can absolutely be removed from quartz countertops without professional help. The methods outlined above using common household items are very effective for lifting and removing rust.
With some time and elbow grease, you can rid your quartz countertops of those pesky rust stains. The key is being patient and allowing the cleaning products time to work at dissolving the rust before scrubbing and rinsing.
When to Call for Professional Help
If you have attempted to remove the rust stain several times without success, you may need to call in a professional. Difficult rust stains deep in the surface may require:
- An industrial rust remover specifically formulated for stone
- Professional-grade polishers and buffers
- Possible sanding if the stain has etched the quartz surface
Extreme rust stains penetrating porous areas of quartz can be nearly impossible to remove fully without damaging the countertop. Though this is rare with quartz since it’s non-porous.
FAQs About Removing Rust from Quartz
What is the fastest way to remove rust stains from quartz?
The fastest method is using a rust stain remover specifically made for stone countertops. Products like KB Rust Bomb work quickly at dissolving and lifting rust stains on quartz and won’t damage the finish.
What removes old, set-in rust stains?
For really stubborn, older rusts stains, a penetrating rust removal chemical is best. Products like RSR-X contain Tannic acid that can cut through and remove embedded rust stains.
Can I use Clorox to remove rust stains from quartz?
It’s not recommended. While the bleach may lighten the look of the rust stain, it likely won’t completely remove it. The harsh chemicals in bleach can also damage and etch quartz countertops.
Will putting lemon juice on a rust stain remove it from quartz?
Lemon juice is an effective DIY method for treating rust on quartz. The acidity breaks down the rust bond. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. Be cautious using acids on quartz.
Can rust stains come back after removing them from quartz?
It’s possible for rust stains to return if the source of the iron isn’t eliminated. Ensure metal items are no longer contacting the quartz. Sealing the surface can help prevent future stains.
Rust stains can happen over time on quartz countertops but don’t have to be permanent. With some baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or another rust removal product and some scrubbing, you can erase those pesky rust spots leaving your quartz countertop looking clean again.
Be sure to always rinse thoroughly, dry completely and follow up by sealing the quartz to prevent future stains. With a little time and elbow grease, you can have rust-free, beautiful quartz countertops again.