How to Remove Stubborn Stains from Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects thanks to their durability, style, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can be susceptible to stubborn stains over time. The good news is that with the right techniques and cleaning solutions, even set-in stains can be removed from quartz. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to remove stubborn stains from quartz countertops.

What Causes Stains on Quartz?

Quartz is a very non-porous material, which makes it resistant to stains. However, some spillages if left unattended can result in stubborn stains over time. Here are some common causes of stains on quartz countertops:

  • Oils, grease, and food residues – Cooking oils and greasy food spills like tomato sauce can leave behind oily residues that stain quartz.
  • Wines, juices, and colored liquids – Acidic drinks like wine, fruit juices, and coffee can etch and stain the surface.
  • Metal marks – Pans, pots, and metal utensils scraping against the surface leave behind metal marks.
  • Hard water deposits – Mineral residues from hard water can build up and leave unsightly spots.
  • Mold and mildew growth – Moisture accumulation promotes mold/mildew growth.
  • Hair dyes and cosmetics – Chemicals in hair coloring and makeup products can also stain quartz.

Cleaning and Care Tips to Prevent Stains

Taking proper care and cleaning precautions can minimize the chances of stains forming on your quartz countertops. Here are some useful tips:

  • Always wipe spills immediately before they have a chance to set in. A quick wipe makes removal much easier.
  • Use cutting boards and heat pads when preparing food to prevent scratching or heat damage.
  • Avoid harsh cleaners like bleach, ammonia, and abrasive pads as they can damage the surface.
  • Regularly clean surfaces with a mild soap and warm water. Rinse off any soapy residue.
  • For water spots and mineral deposits, use a 50/50 vinegar and water solution to clean.
  • Re-seal quartz every 1-2 years with a specialty countertop sealer for added stain protection.

How to Remove Dried/Stubborn Stains from Quartz

If stains have dried and hardened on your quartz counters, try these methods to remove them:

Cleaning Solutions

  • Baking Soda Paste – Make a paste of baking soda and water and rub it on the stain using a soft cloth. Let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing. The mild abrasive action lifts stains.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – Diluted hydrogen peroxide can bubble away stubborn stains. Dip a cloth in 3% hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice and rub on the stain. Rinse after 5 minutes.
  • Bar Keepers Friend – This powdered cleanser is effective on mineral deposits, rust stains, and soap scum. Make a paste, apply on the stain and rinse after 5 minutes.

Steps for Removing Oily/Greasy Stains

  • First try dilute dishwashing soap and warm water. Apply using a soft sponge, allow to sit for 10 minutes and scrub gently before rinsing. The surfactants in dish soap can break down oils.
  • For tougher oil stains, apply a degreasing cleaner like Formula 409 or ammonia. Let it penetrate for 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing off.
  • Rub a little bit of acetone nail polish remover on stubborn oil stains using a cotton ball. But test first, as acetone can dull the shine.

Removing Dried Juice, Coffee and Wine Stains

  • Try using a mild bleach cleaner or hydrogen peroxide solution. Apply it on the stain, leave for 15 minutes before scrubbing with a soft brush and rinsing thoroughly. This can lift pigmented stains.
  • Make a baking soda and water solution into a spreadable paste. Apply on the stain, allow to dry completely, and rinse off with water.
  • For very stubborn dried-on stains, use a razor blade scraper to gently lift off the top stain layer. Then clean with hydrogen peroxide.

Eliminating Hard Water Marks and Soap Scum

  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and water and wipe down all hard water stains/soap scum buildup.
  • For light deposits, rub the area with a damp cloth dipped in lemon juice or vinegar first.
  • Use a sponge with Bar Keeper’s Friend or Bon Ami powder for heavier hard water stains.
  • Try a hard water stain remover like CLR if above methods don’t work. Spot test first.

Preventing Future Stains on Quartz

  • Clean up spills ASAP before they have a chance to set in and stain.
  • Use a cutting board, trivets and coasters religiously to protect quartz.
  • Re-seal quartz every year with a penetrating sealer to repel stains.
  • Don’t let liquids sit or pool on quartz surfaces. Always wipe down with a microfiber cloth after use.
  • Use onlyquartz-safe cleaners. Avoid bleach, alkaline, acidic, and abrasive cleansers.

With some smart cleaning habits and techniques, even the most stubborn stains can be removed from quartz countertops. Be sure to use the gentlest method possible and properly care for your quartz to prevent stains from forming in the first place.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best homemade solution for removing stains from quartz?

A mix of baking soda and water into a paste is highly effective for lifting many stains including oils, juice, wine, coffee, and soap scum marks from quartz. The mild abrasive action of baking soda loosens stains without damaging quartz.

How can I get rid of hard water stains on my quartz countertop?

Make a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Dip a soft cloth into it and wipe down the quartz surface covered in hard water stains and mineral deposits. Let it sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing clean. The acetic acid in vinegar dissolves hard water stains.

What should I avoid using to clean quartz counters?

Avoid harsh cleaners like bleach, alkaline cleaners, acidic toilet bowl cleaners, abrasive powders, and scouring pads on quartz. They can etch or dull the finish. Ammonia and vinegar are fine for cleaning when diluted with water, but avoid undiluted application.

Can I use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on quartz?

Magic erasers have a very mild abrasive, so they are usually safe for gently cleaning quartz. But be cautious using it on stained or delicate areas as the abrasion can damage the finish. It’s best to spot test first. Don’t use a Magic Eraser to scrub aggressively.

How do I get grease stains off my quartz countertop?

For grease stains, apply some diluted dish soap on the stain and allow to penetrate for 15 minutes. Gently scrub with a soft sponge before rinsing. For tougher grease, use a degreasing cleaner like Formula 409 sprayed on the stain. You can also try rubbing in a bit of acetone. Just be careful not to overuse acetone as it can dull quartz.


Quartz countertops are prone to staining from oils, juices, dyes, hard water deposits and more if spills are left unattended. But using the right stain removal techniques, these stubborn stains can be eliminated to restore the pristine look of quartz. Gentle abrasive cleaners like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, Bar Keeper’s Friend and vinegar solutions work well to dissolve and lift stains without harming quartz. With prompt cleanup of spills and proper care, quartz countertops can look like new for years. Implement these stain removal techniques as soon as stains appear to get rid of them more easily.