How to Remove Stain Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are popular in many homes for their durability, easy maintenance, and resistance to stains. However, even quartz can develop stubborn stains over time that require some effort to remove. Fortunately, with the right techniques and products, you can get your quartz countertops looking like new again.

What Causes Stains on Quartz Countertops

There are a few common causes of staining on quartz countertops:

Food and Beverage Spills

Things like wine, coffee, juice, and tomato sauce can leave behind stubborn stains if left to sit too long. The pigments in these liquids can seep into the microscopic pores of the quartz.

Oil and Grease

Cooking oils and greasy foods can also lead to oily stains on quartz, especially if spills are not cleaned up promptly.

Hard Water Stains

Mineral deposits from tap water and cleaning products containing minerals can also etch your quartz and leave cloudy spots.

Mold and Mildew

Excess moisture can allow mold and mildew to take hold in corners, along edges, and in other hidden areas on your quartz. This can lead to dark stained spots.

How to Remove Light Stains from Quartz

For light stains that have not had time to set in fully, try these simple cleaning methods first:

Clean with Mild Soap and Water

For a basic clean, mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water. Apply to the stain with a soft sponge or cloth. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.

Use a Quartz Cleaner

Look for a cleaner specifically formulated for quartz surfaces. These contain chemicals like ammonia that help break down stains. Spray on and let sit briefly before wiping away.

Baking Soda Paste

Make a paste of baking soda and water. Spread onto the stain and let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing. The slight abrasiveness can help lift some staining.

Hydrogen Peroxide

An application of 3% hydrogen peroxide can help bubble away lighter staining. Avoid rubbing as this may mar the quartz. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes before wiping off.

MR Clean Magic Eraser

Gently rub a Magic Eraser sponge on light stains to lift discoloration without damaging the quartz. Be cautious not to over-scrub.

How to Remove Dried, Set-In Stains from Quartz

For more stubborn, set-in stains, try these proven stain removal techniques:

Make a Poultice

A poultice can draw out deep stains by pulling the discoloration up and into an absorbent material. To make one:

  • Mix a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Spread a thick layer over the stain and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let sit for 24 hours, then scrape away the poultice. Rinse clean.

Use Paper Towels and Acetone

For oil-based stains, make a blotting poultice by layering paper towels over the stain and applying acetone. Let sit for an hour before removing towels and rinsing.

Scrub with Baking Soda

Make a paste of baking soda and water. Use a soft brush or sponge to gently scrub the stain in circular motions. Rinse and dry thoroughly after scrubbing.

Use a Quartz Polishing Paste

Look for a polishing paste designed specifically for quartz. Apply a small amount to a soft cloth and rub gently onto stained areas using circular motions. Avoid scrubbing aggressively.

Sand Lightly with Fine-Grit Sandpaper

For superficial stains only, you can lightly sand the affected area. Use a 400-600 grit sandpaper and minimal pressure. This gently removes the top layer of stained quartz. Avoid over-sanding.

How to Remove Specific Types of Stains from Quartz

Certain stubborn stains may require more tailored techniques:

Food and Beverage Stains:

  • First try an ammonia-based cleaner, hydrogen peroxide, or baking soda scrub. For deeper stains, use an alkaline poultice made with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

Oil and Grease Stains:

  • Degreasing dish soap or mix of baking soda and dish soap often does the trick. For older grease stains, lay paper towels soaked in acetone over the stain to draw it out.

Hard Water Stains:

  • Use a poultice made of baking soda and vinegar to break down mineral deposits. A citric acid solution also helps dissolve hard water stains off quartz.

Mold and Mildew Stains:

  • Mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a spreadable paste. Apply to the stain and allow to bubble for 2 hours before rinsing. Vinegar is also effective for killing mold and mildew.

Marker or Pen Stains:

  • Hairspray will often remove fresh ink marks. For dried-in stains, try rubbing alcohol, acetone, or an oil-free nail polish remover. Avoid excessive rubbing.

Rust Stains:

  • A non-gel toilet bowl cleaner containing oxalic or phosphoric acid can dissolve rust stains. Apply and let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Scuffs and Scratches:

  • Very minor scuffs can be gently sanded out using 400 grit sandpaper and minimal pressure. Avoid over-sanding.

Tips for Preventing Stains on Quartz Countertops

While no surface is completely stain-proof, there are some preventative steps you can take to minimize staining on your quartz:

  • Clean up spills immediately to prevent setting in
  • Use cutting boards and trivets for hot items
  • Seal quartz annually with a specialty quartz sealer
  • Avoid exposing quartz to strong chemicals like paint removers
  • Be extra cautious with staining items like wine, coffee and tomato sauce
  • Check for manufacturer care recommendations

With some persistence and the right stain removal techniques, you can keep your quartz countertops looking like new for many years before needing professional restoration. Just be sure to test products on a small area first and take care not to damage the quartz surface when attempting to remove stubborn stains.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Stains from Quartz Countertops

Can I use bleach to remove stains from my quartz countertops?

No, you should avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals like oven cleaners on quartz countertops. These can damage and discolor the quartz over time. Opt for gentler cleaners like hydrogen peroxide and baking soda instead.

What is the best homemade stain remover for quartz?

Making a poultice with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide is one of the most effective homemade cleaners for removing stains from quartz. Simply mix the two into a paste, apply to the stain, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 24 hours before rinsing clean.

How do you get dried food stains out of quartz?

For dried food stains, make a paste of baking soda and water and gently scrub the stain in circular motions with a soft brush or sponge. You can also try spraying the stain with an ammonia-based cleaner meant for quartz and letting it sit briefly before wiping away.

Can you use magic eraser on quartz countertops?

Yes, Magic Erasers can be used gently on quartz countertops to remove some light staining. Avoid scrubbing too aggressively, as this can dull the surface over time. Only use Magic Erasers on quartz for light surface cleaning.

How do you get oil stains out of quartz?

Dish soap works well for cleaning up fresh oil spills on quartz. For older, set-in oil stains, place paper towels soaked in acetone over the stain to draw it out. Let sit for an hour before rinsing clean. Avoid using harsh abrasives.

How do you clean etched quartz countertops?

For light etching or clouding, buff the spots gently with a quartz polish meant for removing etching. For deeper etching, you may need to contact a professional refinisher to carefully hone and polish the quartz surface. Avoid any heavy-duty chemicals or scrubbing for etching.

What removes hard water stains from quartz?

To remove hard water stains from quartz, create a poultice with baking soda and vinegar. Apply the paste to the stains, allow to sit for a few hours, then rinse clean. You can also use a citric acid cleaner to dissolve the mineral deposits.

Can quartz counters be restored?

Yes, quartz countertops can be restored by a professional refinishing company. They have specialty tools and compounds to hone down stains and etching and restore the glossy finish. Refinishing is less costly than replacing your damaged quartz counters.

How often should you seal quartz countertops?

It is recommended to seal your quartz countertops every 1-2 years with a specialty quartz sealer. Annual sealing will waterproof the surface, prevent staining, and make cleaning easier. Make sure to use a non-toxic sealer designed specifically for quartz.


Quartz countertops are susceptible to staining over time if not properly cared for. However, with the right stain removal techniques, these countertops can be returned to their original beauty. Depending on the type and severity of staining, options range from mild cleaners like dish soap to more intensive poultices and polishing pastes. With some persistence and gentle effort, you can remove stains from your quartz counters without damaging the surface. Be sure to take preventative steps as well, like prompt cleaning and annual sealing. Your quartz countertops will stay gorgeous for many years to come with proper care and stain removal.