Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can still get stained from spills, oils, and residues. Thankfully, baking soda is an effective ingredient for removing many types of stains from quartz. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to use baking soda to remove stains from quartz countertops.
What Causes Stains on Quartz Countertops
Quartz is resistant to stains and etching compared to other countertop materials. However, it is still prone to staining from certain substances, including:
- Oils and grease – Cooking oils, butter, and greasy foods can leave behind oily residues that result in stains over time.
- Beverages – Coffee, tea, wine, juice, and other drinks, especially those containing pigments, can stain quartz.
- Foods – Tomatoes, mustard, curry, and other strongly pigmented foods may stain.
- Cosmetics and personal care products – Makeup, lotions, and hair products with pigments can leave stains.
- Rust – Any metal items left on the surface that rust can cause orange/brown stains.
- Hard water deposits – Mineral deposits from hard tap water can etch and stain quartz.
Why Use Baking Soda to Remove Stains
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a mild alkaline powder that works well to clean and remove stains from many surfaces. Here are some key reasons why it’s effective for quartz countertop stains:
- Abrasive action – The gritty texture of baking soda provides gentle abrasion to lift stains off the surface.
- Deodorizing properties – Baking soda absorbs odors and neutralizes smells left behind by spills.
- Stain-fighting alkalinity – Its alkaline pH helps break down and dissolve staining compounds.
- Safe for quartz – Baking soda is non-abrasive enough to avoid scratching or dulling quartz.
- Versatility – It tackles a wide variety of stains, from oils to pigments.
- Low cost – Baking soda is an inexpensive staple in most homes.
How to Use Baking Soda on Quartz Countertops
- Baking soda
- Soft cloth or sponge
- Optional – Hydrogen peroxide, borax, lemon juice
- Prepare the stained area – Clear off any debris, food, or grime from the stained quartz area with a sponge and warm water. Dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.
- Make a baking soda paste – In a small bowl, mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water to form a spreadable paste. For stubborn stains, you can also add hydrogen peroxide, borax, or lemon juice.
- Apply the paste – Use a soft cloth or sponge to spread the baking soda paste onto the stain. Cover an area slightly wider than the stain.
- Let it sit – Allow the paste to sit on the stain undisturbed for at least 30 minutes. For tougher stains, leave it overnight. The baking soda will work to lift the stain.
- Scrub gently – After letting it sit, gently scrub the paste over the stain in circular motions using a damp cloth or sponge. Avoid aggressive scrubbing.
- Rinse – Rinse the countertop thoroughly with warm water to remove all of the baking soda paste residue.
- Dry and inspect – Wipe the area dry with a soft towel. Check to see if the stain is gone. Repeat as needed for stubborn stains.
- Act quickly when stains occur to prevent setting in.
- Use a microfiber cloth to help lift stains.
- For oil-based stains, wash with dish soap first before using baking soda.
- Try combining baking soda with hydrogen peroxide for extra stain-fighting power.
- Avoid abrasive pads or scrubbers that could scratch the quartz.
- Always rinse baking soda off thoroughly after use.
Common Questions About Baking Soda on Quartz
How long should I let the baking soda paste sit?
Let the baking soda paste sit for a minimum of 30 minutes. For tougher stains, let it sit for 1-2 hours or overnight for best effect.
Should it be a thick or thin paste?
The paste should be thick enough to fully coat and stick to the stained area, similar to a thick toothpaste. Add more or less baking soda or water to get the right consistency.
Can I use baking soda on polished quartz?
Yes, baking soda is safe for use on polished, honed, and textured quartz finishes. Avoid aggressive scrubbing and test a small area first.
What ratio of baking soda to water should I use?
A good standard ratio is 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Adjust to get a spreadable yet thick paste. For extra cleaning power, substitute hydrogen peroxide for the water.
Can I mix in other ingredients?
For extra stain-fighting boost, you can mix in borax, hydrogen peroxide, or lemon juice with the baking soda paste. Don’t use vinegar or bleach, as these can damage quartz.
Baking soda is an inexpensive, effective option for removing many types of stains from quartz countertops. Make a paste with baking soda and water, apply to the stain, let sit, and scrub gently. The natural abrasiveness and alkalinity in baking soda will lift up stains without harming quartz. Act quickly when spills happen and thoroughly rinse after using baking soda. With some occasional elbow grease using this kitchen staple, you can keep quartz countertops looking like new.