How to Remove Tea Stains from Quartz Countertops

Tea stains on quartz countertops can be frustrating, but with the right techniques and products, they can be removed. Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments, making a very durable surface. However, the resin make-up can allow staining from spills, especially from dark liquids like coffee, wine, and tea. The good news is that quartz is non-porous, so stains remain on the surface and have not penetrated or etched the material. With some cleaning effort, tea stains can be eliminated from your quartz countertops.

Why Tea Stains Quartz Countertops

Tea contains tannins, which are naturally occurring compounds in many plants. Tannins give tea its signature brown color. When tea spills on a quartz countertop, the tannins can penetrate the microscopic pits and crevices in the surface, creating a stubborn stain. Tea stains can range from light brown to almost black, depending on the tea type and steep time. The longer the tea sits on the countertop, the darker and more set in the stain will become.

The resin coating on quartz makes it stain resistant, but not stain proof. Over time, sunlight can degrade and wear down the resin layer, making a countertop more prone to staining. Etching and pitting from spills can also break down the protective resin barrier and allow stains to set in. Dark liquids like tea can seriously stain quartz if left unattended.

Cleaning Tea Stains from Quartz Countertops

Removing tea stains from quartz requires using the right cleaning techniques and products. Here are the recommended steps for getting quartz countertops stain-free:

Blot up the Spill Right Away

When tea is freshly spilled on quartz, immediate action is required. Blot up the liquid right away with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel. Avoid abrasively scrubbing the spill, as this can drive the stain deeper into the surface. Gentle blotting lifts the tea away before stains have a chance to set in.

Flush with Water

After blotting up the bulk of the spill, flush the area with clean, warm water. The water will help rinse away any residue and prevent staining. Allow the quartz to fully air dry. Avoid wiping, as rubbing can rub the stain into the countertop.

Make a Baking Soda Paste

For light tea staining, try making a paste of baking soda and water. The gentle abrasiveness of baking soda can lift surface stains without damaging the quartz. Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable paste. Apply the paste to tea-stained areas of the countertop and let sit for 5-10 minutes. The baking soda paste will work to draw out the stain.

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

As an alternative cleaning agent, try hydrogen peroxide. The bubbling action of hydrogen peroxide can help loosen tea stains. Pour some hydrogen peroxide directly on stained areas of the quartz and allow to sit for several minutes. Then wipe away with a clean cloth. For stubborn stains, apply hydrogen peroxide and allow it to sit overnight before wiping away. The extended dwell time gives it more opportunity to work.

Scrub with an Acidic Cleaner

For moderate to heavy tea staining, use an acidic cleaner formulated for stone surfaces. Look for products containing citric or phosphoric acid. Acidic cleaners work to dissolve organic stains and lift tea staining from quartz. Spread the cleaner over the stained area, allowing it to sit for 5-10 minutes. Then scrub gently with a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid abrasive scrubbing, which could scratch the quartz. Thoroughly rinse the area after cleaning.

Use Bleach Gel

For extremely stubborn brown tea stains, try applying a bleach gel designed for stone countertops. Ensure you select a gel formula, avoiding runny liquid bleaches. Apply a thin coat of the bleach gel only on stained areas. Let it sit for up to 10 minutes before wiping away with a damp cloth. Bleach can be effective at removing the pigment left behind by tea tannins. But use sparingly and cautiously, as overuse of bleach could damage your countertop over time.

Steam Clean

Renting or purchasing a handheld steam cleaner can be useful for eliminating tea staining on quartz. The pressurized steam helps release stubborn stains. Use the steam cleaner directly on tea-stained areas, moving slowly and evenly across the surface. Avoid lingering in one spot, as this can damage the countertop. Wipe with a clean cloth after steaming.

Tips for Preventing Tea Stains on Quartz

The best defense is a good offense when it comes to keeping quartz stain-free. Here are helpful tips to prevent tea staining:

  • Use coasters under glasses and mugs to prevent spills and drips.
  • Immediately wipe up any splashes and spills.
  • Avoid letting tea bags sit directly on the counter, as they can drip staining liquid.
  • Seal your quartz countertops annually with a penetrating sealer made for stone surfaces. This helps protect the resin layer from staining.
  • For heavy tea drinkers, designate one area of the countertop as a tea preparation zone. Keep this area limited to reduce potential staining.
  • If staining occurs, address it right away rather than letting it set in over time.
  • Avoid using abrasive scouring pads or powders, as these can damage the quartz surface.
  • Be aware that sunlight can fade and weaken the protective quartz resin over time. Limit direct sunlight exposure.

Homemade Remedies to Remove Tea Stains from Quartz

In addition to store-bought cleaners, some homemade options can also effectively remove tea stains from quartz counters. Always test home remedies in an inconspicuous spot first to ensure they don’t damage the quartz.

Lemon Juice

The natural acidity in lemon juice can help break down tea staining. Squeeze fresh lemon juice directly onto the stained area and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Then wipe clean with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly.

White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is another acidic cleaner that can dissolve tea stains. Pour a small amount of vinegar directly on the stain. Allow to sit briefly before wiping with a damp cloth. Avoid leaving vinegar on too long, as this could damage the countertop surface.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

For a light foaming action, try mixing baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda onto the tea stain, then drizzle a small amount of white vinegar directly onto the baking soda. You’ll see a satisfying sizzle and foam. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean with a soft, damp cloth.

Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

The combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda makes an effective DIY cleaner for lifting stains. Make a paste with baking soda and just a small amount of water. Spread onto the stained area. Then sprinkle hydrogen peroxide over the paste. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping clean with a soft cloth.

Salt Scrub

For gentle abrasive scrubbing action, make a paste with salt and lemon juice. Sprinkle the stained quartz area generously with salt, then drizzle lemon juice over the salt. Use a soft cloth to gently scrub the paste over stains. Rinse thoroughly after scrubbing. Avoid aggressive scrubbing that could damage the surface.

When to Call for Professional Help

While many tea stains can be successfully removed with home techniques, some situations may require calling in a professional quartz restoration service:

  • Tea staining covers a very large area of the countertop.
  • Stains are extremely dark black or brown in color.
  • Tea has left a noticeably lightened or bleached spot.
  • Etching or pitting is present along with staining.
  • You’ve tried numerous removal methods without success.

A professional stone restoration company has access to the strongest cleaners, tools, and techniques to eliminate tough tea stains and restore the look of your quartz countertop. They have specialized knowledge and experience with quartz staining issues. Calling them in provides the best results for extensive or challenging tea stains.

How to Remove Tea Stains from Quartz Countertops: In Summary

Tea’s tannins can be tricky to remove from quartz, but with diligence and the right approach, your counters can look like new again. For fresh spills, blot immediately and flush with water. Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, acidic cleaners, and bleach gels applied and allowed to dwell can all help lift staining. Steaming is also very effective for deep stains. Prevent future stains by using coasters, wiping spills right away, and sealing annually. With some periodic cleaning effort, you can enjoy stunning, tea-stain free quartz countertops.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Tea Stains from Quartz Countertops

1. Why do tea stains seem to set in and get darker on my quartz over time?

Tea stains can appear to darken on quartz countertops over time. This is because the tannins penetrate deeper into the microscopic pits and crevices on the surface as the stain sets. The longer tea is allowed to linger, the darker it becomes. Addressing the stain immediately leads to the easiest removal.

2. Are there quartz cleaners made specifically for removing tea and coffee stains?

Yes, there are specialty cleaners formulated just for removing organic stains like tea, coffee, wine, and fruit juices from stone surfaces like quartz. Look for products containing citric or phosphoric acid designed for quartz and other engineered stones. “Stainless Steel Quartz Cleaner” is an example of a popular cleaner made for these stains.

3. Can I use a magic eraser to remove tea stains from my quartz counters?

It’s best to avoid using Magic Erasers or other abrasive pads on quartz countertops. The melamine foam material is too abrasive for the quartz surface, and can actually scratch and damage the finish. Use non-abrasive cleaning cloths instead, along with stain-fighting agents like baking soda or hydrogen peroxide applied to the cloth.

4. I have etching and pits along with tea staining in my quartz – can this still be repaired?

Yes, quartz that is both stained from tea and lightly etched/pitted can still be restored. Start by focusing on removing the staining using hydrogen peroxide, acidic cleaners, or professional help. Once stains are removed, a professional quartz polishing compound can be used to smooth over light etching and pits to renew the surface. Avoid DIY polishing, as improper technique can damage quartz.

5. Why is it important to blot a fresh tea spill instead of wiping it on quartz counters?

Blotting lifts the tea away without rubbing it in, while wiping a fresh spill can drive staining deeper into the microscopic pits in the quartz. Gentle blotting contains the spill while soaking up as much liquid as possible. After blotting, flush the area with water to rinse away remaining residue. Avoid any scrubbing or wiping until the stain removal process.

6. Can I use lemon juice directly on my quartz countertop to remove tea stains?

Yes, the citric acid in fresh lemon juice can help dissolve and lift away tea staining on quartz surfaces. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto the stain and allow to sit for about 10 minutes before wiping clean with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly after using lemon juice. Avoid leaving it on too long, as prolonged citric acid exposure could etch quartz.

7. I have brown areas where it looks like tea has permanently stained my quartz – can this still be fixed?

Brown ghosting or staining in quartz from tea can often be fixed with the right cleaning methods. First try hydrogen peroxide allowed to dwell overnight, full-strength vinegar left for an hour, or baking soda scrubbing. For very stubborn brown stains, professional restoration using potent acidic cleaners often yields great results.

8. Is there anything I can apply to my quartz counters to make them more stain resistant?

Yes, there are penetrating sealers made specifically for quartz and engineered stone countertops that can help boost stain resistance. Look for water-based sealers that contain silicone, designed to repel oil and water-based stains without altering the natural look of the quartz. Reapply sealers annually for best results.

9. Can I use Mr. Clean Magic Erasers on tea stain removal for my quartz countertops?

No, Magic Erasers and other melamine cleaning pads are too abrasive for quartz countertops. The eraser can actually micro-scratch the surface and cause dulling over time. For DIY stain removal, stick to soft cloths and non-abrasive materials like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, or vinegar instead.

10. If stains reappear shortly after removing them, does this mean the quartz is permanently stained?

Not necessarily. Stains returning shortly after cleaning often means the original stain penetrated pores deep in the quartz material. Thorough, repeated cleaning is needed to fully extract the staining from the depths of the pores. Try cleaning 2-3 times with hydrogen peroxide or acidic cleaner to get the quartz fully stain-free.


Tea stains can be difficult to remove from quartz countertops, especially when they are left to set in. But using the right cleaning techniques – like blotting immediately, using baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or acidic cleaners – allows you to safely restore the beauty of your quartz countertops. Removing tea stains as soon as possible works best, while frequent sealing helps prevent future stains. With the right products and procedures, you’ll be back to enjoying bright, stain-free quartz counters.