Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, visual appeal, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can get stained from spills and daily wear and tear. Removing stains from quartz requires using the right cleaning solutions and techniques to avoid damaging the material. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to remove stains from quartz countertops.
What Causes Stains on Quartz Countertops?
Quartz is non-porous, so spills and stains remain on the surface rather than absorbing into the material. Common causes of stains on quartz include:
- Oil-based spills like cooking oils, grease, and salad dressings
- Pigmented spills like coffee, tea, wine, juice, ketchup, mustard, and soy sauce
- Hard water spots and mineral deposits
- Mold, mildew, and bacteria growth
- Dyes from colored paper, cloth, or makeup
Avoid abrasive pads and cleaners when cleaning quartz, as they can dull and scratch the surface over time. Acidic solutions like vinegar, lemon juice, and citrus cleaners should also be avoided.
How to Remove Stains from Quartz Countertops
Step 1: Try a Gentle Cleaning Solution
For most stains, start by cleaning the affected area with a gentle cleaner made specifically for stone surfaces. Look for a non-abrasive formula that is safe for everyday use on quartz.
Mix a small amount of the cleaner with warm water according to the product instructions. Use a soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge to gently rub the cleaner over the stain in circular motions. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
This helps lift general dirt and debris that may be contributing to the stained appearance of the quartz.
Step 2: Make a Baking Soda Paste
For tougher stains, make a thick paste using baking soda and water. The abrasive yet gentle texture of baking soda can help scrub away stubborn stains without scratching quartz.
Add a few spoonfuls of baking soda to just enough water to form a spreadable paste. Apply the paste directly to the stained area using a soft cloth or sponge. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing in gentle circles. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Baking soda paste works well for stains caused by coffee, tea, wine, grease, food, and hard water deposits. Just avoid excessive scrubbing.
Step 3: Try a Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
As a bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide can lift and discolor stubborn stains on quartz countertops. Create a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water.
Apply the solution to the stain with a soft cloth and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping clean. For tougher stains, cover the solution with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and extend the contact time to 30 minutes before rinsing.
Hydrogen peroxide works especially well on organic stains from food, plants, mold, mildew, and bacteria. Just ensure you properly dilute it before applying it to quartz.
Step 4: Make a Baking Soda and Vinegar Paste
For extremely stubborn stains that resist other methods, try a baking soda and vinegar paste. The acidic vinegar helps dissolve staining while the baking soda scrubs.
Start by applying undiluted white vinegar directly to the stain. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before sprinkling baking soda on top to form a thick paste. Allow the paste to sit for another 10-15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
The bubbles produced by the chemical reaction help lift stains caused by dried-on foods, oil, grease, and hard water deposits. Just be sure to limit vinegar exposure to avoid damaging the quartz.
Step 5: Use a Lime and Salt Paste
Mineral deposits from hard water can etch quartz and become difficult stains to remove. Make a paste using salt and lime juice to naturally dissolve and lift hard water stains without damaging quartz.
Mix a few tablespoons of salt with enough lime juice to form a grainy paste. Use a soft cloth to work the paste into the stained area, applying pressure as needed. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
The natural acidity in the lime helps dissolve mineral deposits while the salt provides a gentle abrasive scrubbing power. Just avoid over-scrubbing to prevent etching the surface.
Step 6: Try Bar Keeper’s Friend
For extremely stubborn stains that don’t budge with natural methods, Bar Keeper’s Friend is a mildly abrasive cleaner that can lift stains without damaging quartz.
Make a paste by mixing Bar Keeper’s Friend powder with a few drops of water. Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently rub the paste into the stained quartz. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing.
Bar Keeper’s Friend contains oxalic acid, which helps remove rust, mineral deposits, and built-up grime. Use sparingly and rinse thoroughly to avoid etching the quartz.
Tips for Preventing Stains on Quartz Countertops
Once your quartz countertop is restored to its former glory, keep it looking pristine by taking steps to prevent future stains:
- Clean up spills immediately to prevent staining and etching. Avoid letting liquids sit.
- Use coasters under glasses and containers to prevent etching.
- Clean quartz regularly with a gentle stone cleaner and soft cloth.
- Avoid excessive pressure and abrasive pads that could dull the surface.
- Reseal quartz countertops every 1-2 years using a stone sealer made for quartz.
- Don’t place hot pans or bakeware directly on quartz surfaces. Use trivets and hot pads.
- Work slowly when cleaning to allow solutions time to lift stains without over-scrubbing.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you remove dried-on food stains from quartz?
Make a paste with baking soda and water and gently rub it into dried-on food stains. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing in circles and rinsing thoroughly. The mild abrasiveness of baking soda helps lift stains without damaging quartz.
What is the best homemade stain remover for quartz?
A mix of hydrogen peroxide and warm water works well as a homemade cleaner to lift stains from quartz. Apply it to the stain and let it sit for 15-30 minutes before rinsing. The hydrogen peroxide naturally bleaches and discolors many organic stains.
How do you get oil stains off quartz countertops?
Dampen a soft cloth with rubbing alcohol and rub gently to help dissolve and lift oil-based stains from quartz. For tougher oil stains, make a baking soda paste and let it sit on the stain for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. The baking soda will help absorb and lift oily messes.
Does lemon remove stains from quartz?
Yes, lemon can be effective for removing some stains from quartz counters. Mix equal parts lemon juice and water and use a soft cloth to apply it to the stain. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing gently and rinsing. The natural acidity in lemon juice helps dissolve some types of stains.
What should you not use to clean quartz countertops?
Avoid abrasive cleaners and pads, acidic solutions like vinegar, bleaches, alkaline cleaners like ammonia, and harsh chemicals like paint removers and turpentine. These can all etch or damage quartz surfaces. Use only gentle, non-abrasive cleaners made specifically for stone.
Removing stains from quartz countertops is possible with the right techniques and cleaning solutions tailored specifically to stone surfaces. Start with a gentle stone cleaner and progress to baking soda pastes, hydrogen peroxide, or lime juice for tougher stains. Prevent future stains by cleaning spills quickly, using coasters, and resealing quartz every 1-2 years. With some care and effort, you can keep quartz counters looking like new.