How to Remove Sharpie from Quartz Countertops

Removing Sharpie stains from quartz countertops can seem daunting, but it is possible with the right techniques and products. Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural quartz crystals bonded with resins and pigments, making it nonporous and stain-resistant. However, Sharpie contains alcohol-based dyes that can penetrate the quartz surface. With some elbow grease and cleaning agents designed for stone surfaces, you can get rid of Sharpie stains from your quartz countertop.

Why Remove Sharpie Stains from Quartz Countertops

Leaving Sharpie stains on quartz counters can make your kitchen look unclean and dingy. Here are some top reasons to remove Sharpie stains from quartz:

  • Improves aesthetic appeal – Sharpie stains are unsightly and ruin the look of your pristine white or colored quartz countertop. Removing stains restores its visual beauty.
  • Maintains value – Countertops with permanent stains will reduce your home’s resale value. Removing stains keeps your investment sound.
  • Prevents buildup – Leaving stains can lead to a gradual buildup of grime in the damaged area, requiring deep cleaning. It’s best to promptly remove stains.
  • Improves hygiene – Stained areas on a countertop harbor more dirt and bacteria. Cleaning removes these germs, improving kitchen hygiene.
  • Easy maintenance – Regular stain removal keeps quartz looking like new with minimum effort. It’s much easier than deep cleaning down the road.

Can You Remove Sharpie from Quartz Countertops?

Sharpie markers contain liquid dyes that can penetrate into the microscopic pores and etchings in quartz. With the right cleaning solutions and techniques, you can break down these dyes and lift stains from the quartz. Here are some key pointers:

  • Act quickly – Fresh Sharpie stains are easier to remove. The longer you wait, the deeper they can set into the stone.
  • Use commercial cleaners – Cleaners specifically designed for stone surfaces work best to dissolve Sharpie stains on quartz.
  • Try abrasive pads – Soft abrasive scouring pads help scrub off staining from the quartz pores.
  • Avoid bleach – While it lifts stains, bleach can discolor or damage the quartz surface over time.
  • Work patiently – It takes repeated cleaning sessions to fully lift stubborn Sharpie stains from quartz.

With some time and effort, you can successfully remove Sharpie stains from quartz counters and restore their original beauty.

Cleaning Products to Remove Sharpie from Quartz Countertops

Using the right stain-fighting cleaning products is key to removing Sharpie marks from quartz. Here are some effective cleaners to try:

Specialty Stone Cleaners

Cleaners made specifically for natural stone and engineered quartz contain active ingredients tailored to lift stains without harming the surface. Popular options include:

  • Bar Keeper’s Friend – Contains oxalic acid to dissolve staining. Can be used in powder or liquid form.
  • Weiman Stone Cleaner – Designed to remove markers, inks and dyes from stone. Also polishes the surface.
  • Method Granite Cleaner – Uses plant-based formula safe for stone. Effective on Sharpie stains.
  • Zep Commercial Stone Cleaner – Industrial strength pumice-based cleaner that scrubs off Sharpie marks.

Disinfecting Cleaners

Disinfecting cleaners kill germs and also work to remove stains. Good options are:

  • Lysol Bathroom Cleaner – Strong formula with hydrogen peroxide lifts stains and disinfects.
  • Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner – Cleans and deodorizes as it removes Sharpie stains from quartz.
  • Mr. Clean Multi-Surface Cleaner – Cuts through stains with mild abrasives and removes grime.

Alcohol-Based Cleaners

Since Sharpie contains alcohol-based dyes, alcohol is effective at breaking down the stains.

  • Isopropyl alcohol – Excellent for fresh Sharpie stains on quartz countertops. Use 91% solution.
  • Rubbing alcohol – The 70% solution works to lift Sharpie stains with some scrubbing.
  • Hairspray – The alcohol in most hairsprays can dissolve fresh Sharpie stains on contact.

Bleach Cleaners

While not ideal for frequent use, bleach-containing cleaners can help remove stubborn Sharpie stains from quartz.

  • Comet Bathroom Cleaner – Contains low concentration of bleach to lift stains and whiten.
  • Clorox Cleanup Cleaner + Bleach – Use occasionally to remove difficult stains from quartz.
  • Soft Scrub with Bleach – Lightly bleaches as it scrubs away grime and stains.

Step-by-Step Guide to Remove Sharpie from Quartz Countertops

Follow these simple steps using the cleaning products mentioned above to effectively remove Sharpie stains from your quartz countertop:

Step 1: Act Quickly for Fresh Stains

Address fresh Sharpie stains immediately before they have time to set into the quartz.

  • Blot fresh stains with a paper towel to absorb as much as possible.
  • Use a Mr. Clean magic eraser to lift off fresh Sharpie marks.
  • Spray hairspray on a soft cloth and dab fresh stains until they are gone. The alcohol in hairspray dissolves fresh Sharpie.
  • For liquid Sharpie, hold paper towels under and around the stain to absorb drips and spread.

Step 2: Create a Cleaning Paste with Baking Soda or Powdered Cleanser

Make a paste to gently scrub and lift embedded Sharpie stains:

  • In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable paste.
  • Alternatively, mix Bar Keeper’s Friend or Comet powder with water to make a thick paste.

Step 3: Apply the Paste to the Stain

Use the cleaning paste as follows:

  • Spread a thick layer of the paste directly over the Sharpie stained area using a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the active ingredients like oxalic acid time to work at dissolving the stain.
  • Do not let the paste dry out. Add a few drops of water if needed to keep it moist.

Step 4: Gently Scrub the Stain

Scrub gently but firmly after letting the paste sit:

  • Use a soft bristle toothbrush, microfiber cloth or nylon-coated sponge pad to scrub the paste over the stain.
  • Apply light pressure as you scrub in a circular motion to lift the staining material from the microscopic pits in the quartz.
  • Take care not to scrub too aggressively, or you may dull the quartz surface over time.

Step 5: Rinse and Dry Completely

Wash away all paste residue:

  • Once you have scrubbed for a few minutes, rinse the paste off the quartz using clean water.
  • Wipe the area with a dry microfiber cloth or paper towels to absorb all moisture.
  • Quartz can develop water spots if not dried thoroughly after cleaning.

Step 6: Repeat as Needed for Stubborn Stains

It often takes more than one cleaning session to completely lift stubborn Sharpie stains from quartz:

  • Check if the stained area looks lighter after the first round of cleaning.
  • Reapply the baking soda paste and scrub again using a circular polishing motion.
  • You may need to repeat every couple of hours until the stain has disappeared.
  • For really stubborn stains, try using a stone cleaner after scrubbing with baking soda.

Step 7: Reseal and Polish Quartz Periodically

Regular sealing and polishing helps prevent staining over time:

  • Use a quartz countertop sealer every 1-2 years to fill microscopic pits and crevices.
  • Occasionally polish your quartz countertop with a stone polish formulated for engineered quartz to keep the surface smooth.
  • Avoid wax-based polishes which can lead to a waxy buildup on quartz over time.

Tips for Preventing Sharpie Stains on Quartz

Here are some useful tips to keep your quartz looking pristine and avoid Sharpie stains in the first place:

  • Use cutting boards and trivets when working on quartz countertops to prevent accidental nicks and staining.
  • Immediately wipe up spills, juices, oils etc. to avoid permanent staining.
  • Avoid using cleaners containing acids, alkalis or ammonia-based ingredients which can etch quartz surfaces making them stain prone.
  • For craft projects with kids, use a washable marker like dry-erase instead of permanent Sharpie markers at the countertop.
  • Keep Sharpies and other permanent markers stored safely away from little hands to prevent accidental marks.
  • Have any chips or scratched areas on quartz counters professionally repaired to prevent permanent staining in damaged spots.

Can You Use Other Abrasive Methods to Remove Sharpie from Quartz?

While specialty stone cleaners and baking soda paste are highly effective, some other abrasive DIY methods may also help remove stubborn Sharpie stains from quartz. Here is a look at what works, and what to avoid:

Yes: Soft Abrasive Pads

  • Soft scrub pads like those made by 3M can be used to gently lift stains as you rub the quartz surface.
  • Opt for nylon-coated pads or ones specifically designed for delicate surfaces to prevent scratching.

Yes: Magic Eraser Sponges

  • Mr Clean Magic Eraser Extra Power sponges use melamine foam to safely lift stains from quartz.
  • Be cautious not to rub too hard, as this can dull the surface over time.

No: Hard Abrasive Pads

  • Avoid using steel wool or very hard synthetic scouring pads. They can scratch and damage quartz surfaces.

No: Sandpaper

  • While it may lift stains, sanding quartz will permanently damage the surface and cause pits and rough patches.

No: Acetone Nail Polish Remover

  • Pure acetone can dissolve some types of quartz resins and cause etching or other damage. Don’t attempt this DIY method.

How to Remove Other Types of Stains from Quartz Countertops

The cleaning methods described here also work well to remove many other types of stubborn stains from quartz:

Food Stains

  • Mix baking soda paste and scrub gently to remove coffee, tea, juice, wine, olive oil or grease stains.
  • For stubborn organic stains, apply Weiman Stone Cleaner after scrubbing.

Ink Stains

  • Hairspray or alcohol effectively removes fresh ballpoint pen and marker ink stains on quartz.
  • For dried ink, make a baking soda paste and scrub repeatedly to lift stains.

Hard Water Stains

  • Use Method Granite Cleaner or Bar Keeper’s Friend Soft Cleanser to remove mineral deposits and soap scum.
  • For light colored quartz, try a baking soda paste. For darker quartz, scrub with Zep Commercial Lime Scale Remover.

Rust Stains

  • Oxalic or citric acid in cleaners like Bar Keeper’s Friend dissolve rust stains on quartz.
  • Mix baking soda and water into a paste and scrub to lift orange rust discoloration.

With the right cleaning techniques, you can successfully remove Sharpie stains along with other tough stains from your quartz countertops. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s care instructions for your specific quartz brand and finish. With regular cleaning and prompt stain removal, you can keep your quartz counters looking like new for years.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Sharpie from Quartz Countertops

Can I remove Sharpie stains from quartz using bleach?

You can use bleach-containing cleaners very sparingly to remove stubborn Sharpie stains from quartz. However, frequent use of concentrated bleach can discolor, pit or etching the quartz over time. It’s best to try safer methods like baking soda scrubbing first, and only occasionally use a mild bleach cleaner for difficult stains.

How do I remove dried Sharpie stains from a quartz countertop?

For dried Sharpie stains, create a thick paste of baking soda and water and apply it directly over the stain. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes to penetrate the stain. Use a soft nylon scrub pad and rub in a circular motion to lift the stain, rinsing and drying completely afterwards. You may need to repeat this process multiple times for stubborn dried marker stains.

Is there a homemade Sharpie stain remover recipe for quartz?

Yes, you can make an effective DIY Sharpie stain remover for quartz countertops at home. Simply mix equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to form a runny paste. Apply it to the stain, allowing to bubble for 2-3 minutes. Scrub with a soft cloth or brush, then rinse. The chemical reaction helps lift stubborn Sharpie stains.

Can Mr Clean Magic Eraser remove Sharpie stains from quartz?

Yes, the melamine foam in Mr Clean Magic Eraser can effectively scrub off fresh Sharpie marks from a quartz counter. Be very gentle in your scrubbing motion, and avoid excessive rubbing that can potentially dull the quartz surface. Magic Erasers work best on fresh stains before they set in.

How do I get Sharpie marks out of lighter colored quartz countertops?

For lighter quartz surfaces prone to staining, use a dilute hydrogen peroxide solution – 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts water. Dip a soft cloth in the solution and gently rub the Sharpie stained area. The peroxide will bubble and lift the stain. Avoid using any harsh cleaners that can discolor lighter quartz.


Sharpie stains can certainly be a nuisance, but with the right cleaning solutions and techniques, you can successfully remove Sharpie from quartz countertops without damage. The key is using cleaners specifically formulated for stone surfaces, combined with soft abrasive scrubbing using baking soda paste or magic eraser sponges. Remember to act quickly on fresh stains before they set into the quartz, and be patient when working on dried or stubborn marks. With some persistence, you can restore the flawless, polished look of your quartz countertops. Implementing stain prevention habits like using trivets and wiping spills immediately will also keep your quartz counters looking their very best.