How to Remove Rust Stains from White Quartz Countertops

Rust stains on white quartz countertops can be frustrating, but with a little effort, you can get your countertops looking like new again. Here are some tips for removing those pesky rust stains.

What Causes Rust Stains on Quartz?

Quartz countertops contain small amounts of iron oxide, which can react with moisture to form rust. Common culprits include:

  • Leaving wet cast iron or steel pans on the countertop
  • Using rusty kitchen utensils
  • Having iron-rich water touch the counter
  • Exposing the countertop to moisture from spills or leaks

The iron oxide molecules bond to the quartz, leaving behind stubborn brown, red or orange stains.

Removing Light Rust Stains from Quartz Countertops

If you notice light rust stains on your white quartz, act quickly to remove them before they have a chance to set in. Here are some effective options:

Use a Countertop Cleaner or All-Purpose Cleaner

  • Spray the stain generously with a store-bought quartz countertop cleaner or a mild all-purpose cleaner like Simple Green.
  • Let it sit for several minutes before scrubbing with a soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge.
  • Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.

Try a Baking Soda Paste

  • Make a paste by mixing a few tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable consistency.
  • Apply the paste to the stain, spreading it evenly over the affected area.
  • Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before rinsing clean with water.
  • Dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Pour some hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain.
  • Let it bubble and fizz on the stain for 2-3 minutes.
  • Scrub with a soft cloth or sponge before rinsing.

Removing Set-In Rust Stains from Quartz

If you have let rust stains sit for awhile, they can become more difficult to remove. But don’t worry – more aggressive cleaning methods can help erase even stubborn, set-in stains.

Make a Baking Soda and Vinegar Paste

The combination of baking soda and vinegar creates a fizzing chemical reaction that can help break down rust stains.

  • Mix 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda with just enough vinegar to form a thick paste.
  • Spread the paste onto the stain, covering the affected area.
  • Allow it to sit for at least an hour before scrubbing and rinsing clean.

Use Rust Remover Sprays or Gels

Look for commercial rust remover products made specifically for use on natural stone and quartz. Sprays or gels that contain oxalic or phosphoric acid can help dissolve and lift rust stains.

  • Apply the product as directed, letting it sit long enough to penetrate the stain.
  • Scrub with a soft cloth or brush, reapplying product if needed.
  • Rinse thoroughly.

Try Bar Keepers Friend

This abrasive powder cleanser is excellent at removing all sorts of tough stains.

  • Make it into a paste with water before applying to the stained area.
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing.
  • Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Be cautious using abrasive cleansers on polished quartz, as it could damage the finish over time.

Preventing Future Rust Stains on Quartz

Once you get those stains removed, make sure to take steps to prevent new ones from forming:

  • Wipe up spills and water quickly.
  • Avoid leaving wet dishes directly on the countertop.
  • Use coasters under flower pots or other containers that can sweat.
  • Seal any cracks or flaws in the countertop.
  • Consider re-sealing your quartz countertop every 1-2 years.
  • Clean quartz regularly with a pH-neutral stone cleaner.

With proper care and cleaning, you can keep your white quartz counters looking bright and stain-free for years to come! Let us know if you have any other tricks for removing stubborn rust stains.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I let baking soda or vinegar pastes sit before scrubbing?

For light stains, 30 minutes should suffice. For heavier stains, allow pastes to sit for at least 1 hour before scrubbing and rinsing.

What type of cloth should I use?

Always use a soft, non-abrasive cloth or sponge when cleaning quartz. Avoid stiff-bristled brushes or anything that could scratch the surface.

Is it okay to use bleach on quartz countertops?

No, avoid using bleach or other harsh chemicals like oven cleaners on quartz, as they can damage the finish or discolor the surface. Stick to gentle cleaners labeled for use on stone/quartz.

Can I use a magic eraser to remove rust from quartz?

Magic erasers are too abrasive for polished stone surfaces like quartz. Try a baking soda paste or commercial rust remover gel instead.

How can I prevent rust from my cast iron skillet staining my quartz?

Always fully dry your cast iron cookware before setting it on quartz. You can place a hot skillet on a trivet or towel to absorb any residual moisture. Avoid leaving it sitting wet overnight.

Will re-sealing prevent rust stains from forming?

Re-sealing helps repel moisture and prevent stains. But rust can still form over time even with a sealant, so regular cleaning is also important. Reapply sealer every 1-2 years.


Rust stains can be aggravating, but with a bit of elbow grease and the right cleaning solutions, you can get your white quartz countertops spotless again. Act quickly when you notice new stains, and take steps to limit future rust spots. With proper care, your beautiful quartz counters will stay looking their best for many years of cooking and entertaining!