How to Remove Stains from Man Made Quartz Countertops

Man made quartz countertops are very popular in modern kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. However, like any countertop material, quartz can be susceptible to stains over time if not properly cared for. The good news is that most stains can be removed from quartz with the right cleaning methods and products. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to remove various types of stains from man made quartz countertops.

What is Quartz?

Before learning how to remove stains from quartz, it helps to understand what exactly quartz countertops are made of. Quartz countertops are engineered stone slabs created from quartz particles combined with resins and pigments. The quartz provides strength and durability, while the resins bind the material together.

The result is a very hard, non-porous surface that resists scratching, heat, and stains. However, quartz is not 100% impervious to stains since it contains some porosity from the resin content. With prompt cleaning, most stains can be removed.

How to Clean Quartz Countertops

General cleaning: For regular cleaning, wipe quartz down with a soft cloth and mild soap and water. Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads which can dull the surface. A pH-neutral stone cleaner can be used for more thorough cleaning.

Avoid bleaches and strong alkalis: Never use bleach, ammonia, oven cleaners, or alkaline cleaners (those with a high pH) on quartz. These can discolor and erode the resin binders.

Blot spills quickly: Immediately wipe up spills, especially oils, wines, and acidic substances. The quicker you act, the easier the stain removal.

Check cleaner labels: Only use cleaners specifically labeled as safe for quartz/engineered stone. Look for “non-acidic” on the label.

How to Remove Common Stains from Quartz Countertops

Removing Dried Food Stains

Foods like coffee, tea, wine, juice, and greasy spills can stain if left to dry on the countertop. To remove dried food stains:

  • Try scrubbing gently with a non-abrasive sponge or soft cloth and a mild non-alkaline stone cleaner or degreasing dish soap. Avoid using excessive force.
  • For stubborn stains, make a paste with baking soda and water and lightly scrub the area, then rinse.
  • Alternatively, use a poultice made with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Apply to the stain and cover with plastic wrap overnight, then rinse.

Eliminating Grease and Oil Stains

Greasy spills from cooking oils, butter, bacon grease etc. need a degreasing solution to break down the oil. To remove grease stains:

  • Wipe up excess oil immediately to prevent absorption.
  • Apply a degreasing stone cleaner and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Scrub with a soft cloth or sponge, then rinse thoroughly.
  • For tough oil stains, use baking soda paste or an alkaline-based cleaner specifically made for quartz.
  • If needed, lightly scrub with a white nylon kitchen scrub pad. Avoid abrasive green/blue scouring pads.

Cleaning up Beverage Stains

Many beverages like wine, coffee, juice, and soda can discolor quartz. To remove:

  • Immediately blot the spill, don’t wipe, as wiping spreads the stain.
  • Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water into a spreadable paste.
  • Apply the paste to the stain and allow to dry completely.
  • Once dry, rinse thoroughly. Repeat as needed for stubborn stains.
  • For coffee and tea stains, a mild acid like lemon juice often helps break down the stain.

Removing Ink, Marker, and Nail Polish Stains

Ink and nail polish can penetrate into the microscopic pores of quartz. To remove:

  • Apply nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol immediately to dissolve the polish/ink.
  • Rub gently with a soft cloth, being cautious not to spread the stain.
  • Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
  • If any lingering stain remains, make a baking soda paste and apply to the area overnight under plastic wrap.

Eliminating Hard Water Stains and Mineral Deposits

Hard water can leave behind calcium/mineral deposits that etch into quartz. To remove these stains:

  • Wipe the surface with undiluted white vinegar. Let the vinegar sit for 5 minutes before rinsing.
  • Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a spreadable paste. Apply to the stain and let sit covered overnight, then rinse.
  • Use a restoration cleaner made for etched stone if the above methods are ineffective.

Cleaning Up Dried Cement, Paint, and Plumber’s Putty

Adhesives and sealants can be tricky to remove once dried on quartz. To clean:

  • Use a plastic putty knife to scrape off as much of the dried material as possible. Avoid metal scrapers.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to help soften and dissolve the remaining gunk. Let it soak in for 5-10 minutes.
  • Use a non-abrasive scrub pad and rub gently to remove the softened residue. Take care not to scratch the surface.

Tips for Preventing Stains on Quartz Countertops

  • Use cutting boards, trivets, and drink coasters religiously to protect the surface.
  • Clean up spills as soon as they happen. Don’t let liquids sit.
  • Routinely wipe the counters down with a soft wet cloth.
  • Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a stone sealer made for engineered stone.
  • Avoid exposing quartz to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners etc.
  • Don’t place hot pots, pans, or baking sheets directly on the counter.

With proper care and prompt attention, almost any stain can be removed from quartz counters without damage. Be gentle, yet persistent, and you’ll keep your counters pristine.

FAQ About Removing Stains from Quartz Countertops

Can I use bleach or harsh chemicals to clean quartz counters?

No, avoid using any cleaners containing bleach, alkalis, or harsh acids on quartz. These can damage the resin binders. Always use a specially formulated quartz cleaner.

What is the best way to clean dried food spills from quartz?

For dried food spills, make a paste of baking soda and water and gently scrub the area in a circular motion. Rinse thoroughly afterwards. Avoid using excessive force.

How can I remove an oil stain that has soaked into my quartz countertop?

Use a degreasing cleaner formulated for stone to break down grease and oil stains. Apply and let sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. Use a baking soda paste for extra tough oil spots.

I accidentally left a pot of cooking oil on my quartz counter overnight. How do I remove the stain?

This type of grease stain will need a heavy duty degreaser. Try a alkaline-based cleaner specifically made for quartz and let it soak in for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing thoroughly. Repeat as needed.

What should I do if nail polish spills on my quartz countertop?

Immediately use a paper towel or cloth to blot up any excess polish. Apply nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol to dissolve the stain, rubbing gently in a circular motion. Rinse thoroughly. Repeat if needed.

Are there any homemade remedies that can remove stains from quartz?

Yes, baking soda mixed with water into a paste is highly effective at cleaning many stains on quartz. For hard water stains, try using undiluted white vinegar. Hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda also works.

How can I prevent stains on my quartz counters in the future?

Use cutting boards, trivets, coasters etc. to protect the surface. Immediately wipe up spills when they occur. Clean counters frequently with a damp microfiber cloth. Avoid exposing quartz to harsh chemicals.


Quartz countertops are prone to staining from spills like coffee, wine, grease, and juices if left unattended. However, with the proper cleaning methods, most stains can be removed without too much elbow grease or damage to the surface. Quick action is key – blot and wipe spills immediately before they have a chance to set and absorb. Baking soda mixed with water into a paste provides a gentle yet effective cleaning solution for many dried-on stains. For stubborn oil stains, reaching for a specially formulated quartz degreaser is recommended. With prompt attention and the right stain removal techniques, those pesky stains don’t stand a chance against your quartz countertops.