How to Remove Rust Stains from Quartz Countertops

Rust stains on quartz countertops can be unsightly and difficult to remove. However, with a little bit of effort, you can get your countertops looking like new again. Here are some tips for removing rust stains from quartz.

What Causes Rust Stains on Quartz?

Quartz countertops contain natural quartz crystals blended with resins and pigments. While very durable, they can still be susceptible to staining from rust. Common causes of rust stains on quartz include:

  • Leaving cast iron pans/pots on the countertop
  • Spills of liquids containing iron that oxidize
  • Using cookware with exposed iron rivets
  • Iron-rich water dripping from pots or sinks
  • Metal objects like nails, screws or tools resting on the surface

The iron oxide in the rust bonds with the resin in the quartz, resulting in stubborn brownish-orange stains. The sooner you can treat them, the better chance you have of removing rust from quartz counters.

Removing Light Rust Stains from Quartz

For light surface stains that have not set in, try these simple removal methods first:

Baking Soda and Water Paste

Make a paste with 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. Apply it to the stain and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Scrub with a soft cloth or sponge rinse. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help lift rust from the quartz.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Dip a clean cloth in undiluted hydrogen peroxide and blot the stain. Let it fizz on the rust for 2-3 minutes before scrubbing with a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly. The peroxide will help oxidize and lift the rust.

Citrus Juice

Lemon, lime or orange juice contain citric acid that can dissolve rust stains. Squeeze fresh juice onto the stain, let sit briefly and scrub with a soft brush. Rinse with water afterwards.


Apply concentrated household ammonia with a clean cloth, allowing it to sit for 1-2 minutes. Use a soft brush to lightly scrub before rinsing. Ammonia is alkaline and helps dissolve rust.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is another acidic option. Spray vinegar directly on the stain and let fizz for 2-3 minutes. Gently scrub and rinse thoroughly. The acetic acid tackles the rust.

If the stains persist, move onto stronger removal methods. Always spot test products on an inconspicuous area first to check for any damage to the quartz.

Removing Set-In Rust Stains from Quartz

For more stubborn rust stains that are set-in, these heavy duty treatments can help banish them:

Bar Keeper’s Friend

This cleaning powder contains oxalic acid and abrasives that can effectively eliminate rust stains without harming quartz. Make a paste, apply to the stain and let sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing. Rinse thoroughly after.

Rust Remover Gels

Look for rust remover gels that contain oxalic or phosphoric acid. Apply a thick layer onto the rust stain, allowing it to penetrate for 15-20 minutes. Scrub with a soft brush, then rinse. Repeat if needed.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

The cleaning pads contain light abrasives that can lift rust stains with some elbow grease applied. Dampen the eraser and rub over the stain in a circular motion before rinsing. Be cautious not to scrub too aggressively.

Fine Steel Wool

Very gently rub a piece of 0000 super fine steel wool over the stain. Apply light pressure and work in the direction of the countertop polish lines. The light abrasion can help dislodge rust particles.

Automotive Rust Removers

Products made to remove rust from cars and tools, like naval jelly, can work on countertops too. Check that they are safe for quartz. Apply, let penetrate, scrub and rinse thoroughly.

Professional Removal Services

For very stubborn rust stains, or if you want to ensure no damage, hire a professional countertop cleaning service. They have commercial-grade rust removal products and specialized tools. This is often the most effective rust stain removal method.

Tips to Prevent Rust Stains on Quartz

Preventing the stains in the first place will save you the effort of having to scrub them away. Here are some handy tips:

  • Always use cutting boards, trivets and hot pads under cookware.
  • Immediately wipe up spills of liquids that could cause rust.
  • Clean up any metal objects like nails or tools sitting on the quartz.
  • Wipe standing water and food debris which can cause oxidation.
  • Seal and maintain the countertop regularly with a penetrating sealer.
  • Avoid using cleaners that contain chlorine bleach or alkaline.
  • Don’t let soaps, oils or acids dwell too long on the surface.

With proper care and prompt treatment, you can keep those exasperating rust stains from tarnishing the beauty of your quartz countertops. Roll up your sleeves and try these removal methods to restore their original pristine shine.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if a rust remover is safe to use on my quartz countertop?

  • Check the product label to confirm it is approved for use on engineered stone/quartz surfaces. Do a spot test on an inconspicuous area first before applying to visible areas. Avoid products with chlorine bleach or alkaline which can damage quartz.

Can I use a rust remover gel and bar keeper’s friend together?

  • It’s not recommended. Combining acidic rust removers with abrasives like bar keeper’s friend can be too harsh and scratch or etch the quartz surface. Try the products separately first, starting with the least aggressive option.

How can I prevent rust ring stains under pots and pans?

  • Always place hot pots, pans or baking sheets on trivets or hot pads to prevent direct contact with the quartz. Wipe any moisture or food debris from under cookware after use to avoid oxidation.

Why does my quartz stain from rust so easily compared to other materials?

  • The resin binders in quartz can allow rust stains to more readily penetrate and bond with the surface compared to materials like granite or stainless steel which resist rust better. Sealing helps protect the pores from absorbing stains.

Can I use a bleach-based cleaner to remove rust stains from quartz?

  • No, avoid any cleaners containing chlorine bleach or alkalis as they can damage or etch quartz surfaces. Use an acid-based rust stain remover specifically formulated to be safe for quartz. Test first.


Rust stains don’t stand a chance against quartz with the proper removal techniques. Whether fresh spots or stubborn set-in stains, the solutions above can restore your countertop’s pristine appearance. Act promptly when you notice rust marks, and take steps to prevent future stains. With some perseverance and the right products, you can erase those pesky rust stains from your beautiful quartz countertops.