How to Remove Sticky Residue from Quartz Countertops


Quartz countertops are popular in many modern kitchens due to their durability, elegant appearance, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can still get sticky residues from spills, tape, labels, and more. Removing these sticky messes takes some care to avoid damaging the quartz. With the right techniques and cleaning solutions, you can safely eliminate sticky residues without harming your countertops.

Causes of Sticky Residues on Quartz

Before removing sticky buildup, it’s helpful to understand what causes it in the first place. Here are some of the most common culprits:

  • Spilled sugars, syrups, juices, and sodas
  • Adhesives from tape, stickers, or price tags
  • Foods with oils or fats like nut butters and chocolate
  • Cosmetics and skincare products
  • Craft supplies like glue or glitter
  • Chewing gum or candy stuck on
  • Cooking splatters like grease or batter
  • Soap scum buildup over time

The sugars, fats, oils, and adhesives in these substances can leave behind sticky films that attract dirt and debris. Over time, layers of stickiness accumulate into stubborn residues. Thankfully, the nonporous nature of quartz makes it possible to remove these messes with the right cleaning solutions and techniques.

How to Remove Sticky Residues from Quartz

Removing stuck-on gunk takes a little more elbow grease than daily cleaning. Here are some safe, effective methods to eliminate sticky buildup:

Clean with Dish Soap and Water

For many sticky messes, a good first step is washing with dish soap and warm water:

  • Mix a few drops of dish soap like Dawn or Palmolive into warm water.
  • Using a soft sponge or cloth, scrub the sticky areas to help break up the residue. Apply moderate pressure, but not so much that you risk scratching the quartz.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth. Repeat if needed for stubborn buildup.

The surfactants in dish soap help dissolve sticky oils and sugars. Warm water also further dissolves the gunk. Just avoid abrasive scrub pads during this process.

Baking Soda Paste

For tougher adhesives or residues, make a paste with baking soda and water:

  • Stir 1-2 tbsp baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable paste.
  • Spread the paste onto sticky spots and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Scrub gently with a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry.

The mild abrasiveness of baking soda helps scrub off sticky gunk without damaging the quartz. Letting it sit also gives it time to dissolve buildup.

Vinegar Solution

White vinegar can also help eliminate many sticky residues due to its acidic properties.

  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water.
  • Apply the solution to sticky areas and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes.
  • Scrub with a soft cloth, rinse, and dry thoroughly.

The acetic acid in vinegar dissolves adhesives, oils, and mineral deposits. For tougher buildup, let it work longer before scrubbing.

Goo Gone

For residues like sticker adhesives or craft glue, Goo Gone is an excellent product. It’s designed to dissolve sticky substances.

  • Apply a small amount of Goo Gone gel to the sticky spots.
  • Let it soak for 2-3 minutes.
  • Wipe away the residue with a soft, damp cloth.
  • Rinse thoroughly since Goo Gone leaves an oily residue.

Avoid rubbing harshly, since Goo Gone can sometimes damage sealants between quartz pieces. Test on an inconspicuous spot first.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol (70% concentration or higher) works wonders at dissolving oils, cosmetics, glue, and other sticky residues.

  • Pour some isopropyl alcohol directly onto sticky spots.
  • Let it soak for 2-3 minutes.
  • Scrub gently with a soft cloth, rinse, and dry.

Repeat if needed for tough buildup. The alcohol breaks down oils, waxes, and adhesives. Take care, as rubbing too hard can scratch quartz.

Citrus Solvent Cleaners

Citrus-scented solvents like CitraSolv are ideal for eliminating adhesives, cosmetics, grease, and petrochemical residues. They contain d-limonene, a citrus extract that breaks down sticky films.

  • Apply a small amount of citrus solvent onto stuck-on gunk.
  • Allow 2-5 minutes for it to penetrate.
  • Gently scrub with a soft cloth.
  • Rinse thoroughly since solvents can leave an oily film if not removed completely.

Citrus solvents work well for many sticky messes thanks to d-limonene. Rinse thoroughly and avoid over-scrubbing.

Heat Gun

For gum, wax, or stickers, a heat gun can soften the residue so it’s easier to remove.

  • Set a heat gun to the low or medium setting. Carefully heat sticky areas for 30-60 seconds.
  • Once softened, use a plastic scraper to gently lift the residue off.
  • For any remaining stickiness, use isopropyl alcohol or Goo Gone gel.

Avoid holding the heat gun too close or heating one spot too long. This can damage quartz. Use plastic scrapers to avoid scratching.

Scrape Off Excess Gunk

Before using any of these cleaning methods, it helps to gently scrape off as much of the sticky buildup as possible first. This allows cleaners to penetrate better.

  • For gum, candy, or wax, freeze first to harden it, then gently pry it off.
  • Use an old credit card, spatula, or plastic scraper to lift off chunks of gunk.
  • Take care not to gouge or scratch the quartz.

Getting up surface residue allows cleaners to work more efficiently. Avoid metal scrapers or excessive force.

Tips for Safe Cleaning

To avoid damaging quartz while removing sticky spots, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always use a soft cloth, sponge, or brush. Avoid abrasive pads.
  • Apply minimal pressure when scrubbing to avoid scratching or etching.
  • Don’t use metal scrapers or sharp tools which can gouge quartz. Opt for plastic versions.
  • Check that cleaning solutions are quartz-safe before use.
  • Blot spills quickly to prevent sticking and staining.
  • For tough cleaning, do test spots on inconspicuous areas first.
  • Avoid acidic cleaners like vinegar or citrus longer than 5 minutes, which can damage sealants.
  • Always rinse thoroughly after using chemical cleaners.

With a little patience and elbow grease, you can safely restore sticky quartz countertops to their former shine. Start with mild dish soap and work your way up to solvents only if needed on stubborn spots. And be sure to blot spills quickly in the future to prevent a recurrence. With proper care, your quartz counters will stay gunk-free and beautiful for years.

Common Questions about Removing Sticky Residues from Quartz

What are the best methods for getting tree sap or gum off quartz?

For sticky tree sap or chewing gum, freezing them first makes removal easier. Place an ice pack wrapped in a paper towel onto the gum to harden it, then gently scrape it away with a plastic scraper. Another option is using a heat gun on low to soften the gum, followed by gentle scraping. Then use an alcohol-based cleaner to remove any remaining residue. Avoid picking aggressively, which can damage the quartz.

How do I get greasy food splatters or oils off quartz?

Greasy splatters often leave behind a sticky film. Dish soap and warm water can help break up oils. For heavier buildup, use isopropyl alcohol, citrus solvents, or baking soda paste. Let them soak for 2-5 minutes before gently scrubbing and rinsing. Avoid abrasive pads and heavy pressure.

What’s the trick to removing price tag or packing tape adhesive?

The adhesives on tapes and price tags often leave thick, sticky reside. Apply Goo Gone, alcohol, or citrus solvents directly to the adhesive and let soak before scrubbing. You can also try heating with a heat gun to soften the gunk before scraping. Take care not to overheat. Gentle scrubbing with baking soda paste also works on sticker residue. Just avoid excessive force.

How do I remove sticky kids’ art glue or craft slime?

For stubborn craft glues or slime, rubbing alcohol works very well to dissolve the adhesives. Apply a generous amount and let it soak for 2-4 minutes. Gently scrub and lift softened glue off with a plastic scraper or soft cloth. You can also try Goo Gone or baking soda paste. Those may require longer soaking time and gentle scrubbing with a soft sponge. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Will cleaning sticky spots damage my quartz countertops?

Using the proper techniques and quartz-safe solutions, you can safely remove sticky residues without damaging quartz. Avoid harsh scrubbing and products with acids, alkalis or bleach. Prevent scratches by using soft cloths and plastic scrapers. Limit vinegar or citrus contact to 3-5 minutes max. Test inconspicuous spots first when using new cleaners. With care and gentle scrubbing, you can thoroughly clean quartz without harming the durable surface.


While quartz countertops resist stains and etching better than other surfaces, sticky spills can still accumulate and leave unsightly residue behind. With the right cleaning methods and a gentle approach, these sticky spots can be safely eliminated. Dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, alcohol, citrus solvents, and heat guns all help dissolve and loosen stuck-on gunk so it can be scrubbed away without damaging the quartz. Just be sure to use soft cloths, warm water, and minimal pressure during scrubbing. With a little time and elbow grease devoted to cleaning, your quartz counters will continue looking shiny and gorgeous for many years before needing a deep conditioning again.