How to Remove Vinegar Stain from Quartz Countertop


Quartz countertops are popular options for kitchens and bathrooms because of their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can become stained over time with spills and cleaning agents. One common staining culprit is vinegar, which can leave a hazy, whitish mark if not cleaned up properly. The good news is that vinegar stains can be removed from quartz with the right techniques and products.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk through the steps for how to remove vinegar stains from quartz countertops. We will cover:

  • What causes vinegar stains on quartz
  • Preventing vinegar stains
  • Removing mild vinegar stains
  • Tackling stubborn vinegar stains
  • Polishing and sealing quartz after stain removal
  • FAQs about vinegar stains on quartz

Arm yourself with a little knowledge, and you can banish those pesky vinegar stains from your beautiful quartz countertops. Let’s get started!

What Causes Vinegar Stains on Quartz Countertops?

To understand how to remove vinegar stains from quartz, it helps to first understand what causes them in the first place.

Quartz countertops are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. While very durable, the resin in quartz is susceptible to acid etching from things like vinegar, wine, citrus juice, and acidic cleaners.

Vinegar is a mild acid with an pH around 2-3. When it comes into contact with the resin in quartz, it can break down the finish and leave behind a hazy, whitish stain as the stone’s natural color is revealed. Prolonged exposure to the acid causes more erosion, creating a more stubborn stain.

Vinegar stains appear cloudy and dull – different from the clear, glossy finish of unaffected areas of the quartz. The stains are usually more noticeable on darker quartz colors.

Preventing Vinegar Stains on Quartz

As with most stains, prevention is easier than removing vinegar stains after the fact. Here are some tips to avoid vinegar etching on your quartz countertops:

Clean up spills quickly – Don’t let vinegar sit on the quartz. Immediately wipe up any spills or splatters.

Dilute vinegar – If using vinegar as a cleaner, mix it with water to dilute it before applying to quartz. 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water is ideal.

Rinse surfaces – After cleaning with any vinegar solution, rinse the quartz thoroughly with clean water.

Use a protective sealer – Sealers create a protective barrier against etching. Reapply sealers periodically per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Avoid acidic foods and cleaners – In addition to vinegar, avoid exposing quartz to lemon juice, wine, bleach, bathroom cleaners, and abrasive pads. Stick to quartz-safe cleaners.

Removing Mild Vinegar Stains from Quartz

If you’ve caught a vinegar stain soon after it happened, there’s a good chance you can remove it with ingredients already in your pantry. Here’s how:

What You Need

  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • White cloth or sponge
  • Water
  • Soft-bristle toothbrush

Step 1 – Sprinkle Baking Soda

Sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda directly onto the vinegar stain. Baking soda is a mild alkali which will help neutralize the acidity of the vinegar.

Step 2 – Add Dish Soap

Add a few drops of dish soap onto the baking soda and use a damp cloth or sponge to mix it into a paste.

Step 3 – Scrub and Rinse

Use the soft-bristle toothbrush to gently scrub the paste over the stain in circular motions. Take care not to scrub too aggressively.

Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water to remove all the baking soda and soap residue.

Step 4 – Dry and Check

Wipe the area dry with a soft cloth. Check to see if the stain has lightened or disappeared completely.

For mild stains, this simple baking soda paste should be effective. Repeat as needed for any lingering stain.

Removing Stubborn Vinegar Stains from Quartz

For more stubborn vinegar stains that resist baking soda and dish soap, it’s time to bring in the big guns. Here are a few stronger methods to try:

Method 1 – Bleach Paste

What You Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Household bleach
  • Bowl and spoon
  • Toothbrush
  • White cloth
  • Water

Step 1 – Make a paste with 3 parts baking soda and 1 part dish soap in a bowl. Slowly stir in just enough bleach to form a thick paste – about 1 part bleach to 3 parts baking soda paste.

Step 2 – Use the toothbrush to apply the bleach paste directly to the stained area. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes.

Step 3 – Scrub with the toothbrush in circular motions to help lift the stain. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Step 4 – Dry the area and check if the stain is removed. Repeat as needed, but don’t let the bleach paste sit for longer than 3 minutes.

Method 2 – Hydrogen Peroxide & Baking Soda

What You Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • Bowl
  • Toothbrush
  • Soft cloth
  • Water

Step 1 – Make a paste with baking soda and just enough hydrogen peroxide to form a spreadable paste.

Step 2 – Spread the paste onto the stained area and let sit for 2-3 minutes.

Step 3 – Gently scrub with a toothbrush in circles and rinse clean with water.

Step 4 – Dry and check for stain removal. Repeat if needed, allowing the paste to sit for longer.

Method 3 – Polishing Powder

For really stubborn stains, use a quartz polishing powder specifically formulated to remove etching and stains. These contain mild abrasives that can buff out damaged areas of the countertop’s finish.

What You Need:

  • Quartz polishing powder
  • Soft cloth
  • Water

Step 1 – Dampen the stained quartz area lightly with water. Sprinkle some of the polishing powder directly onto the stain.

Step 2 – Rub the powder gently over the stain with a soft cloth, using small circular motions. Apply light pressure.

Step 3 – Once the stain appears removed, rinse the area well. Wipe dry.

Use the polishing powder sparingly and rub gently to avoid creating scratches or damaging the quartz.

Polishing and Sealing Quartz after Stain Removal

Once you’ve removed a vinegar stain from your quartz countertops, take a couple final steps to restore their appearance:

Polish – Use a quartz polish to enhance the sheen and smoothness of the surface after staining. Apply a small amount of polish to a soft cloth and rub over the formerly stained area in circles.

Rinse – Remove any polish residue by wiping with a damp cloth. Dry the quartz completely.

Re-seal – Apply a fresh coat of quartz sealer to help prevent future stains. Use a sealant made specifically for quartz and follow the product’s directions.

With a little polishing and sealing, you can return your quartz countertops to their former beauty after removing a vinegar stain.

FAQs about Removing Vinegar Stains from Quartz

Still have some questions about eliminating vinegar stains from your quartz countertops? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How long does it take to remove a vinegar stain from quartz?

  • Mild stains can usually be removed with 15-30 minutes of work using baking soda, dish soap, and some scrubbing. More stubborn stains take 1-2 hours of applying stronger methods like hydrogen peroxide, bleach paste, or polishing powders.

Does vinegar permanently stain quartz?

  • No, vinegar does not permanently stain quartz if removed promptly. However, if left for prolonged time, very stubborn stains can develop that partially damage the finish. But even severe stains can usually be removed with patience and the right methods.

Can I use lemon juice to remove vinegar stains?

  • Do not use lemon juice, since it is also acidic. Neutralizing with baking soda is better. Lemon can worsen etching.

How can I prevent future stains after removing a vinegar stain?

  • Be sure to seal the quartz with a penetrating sealer formulated for quartz. Avoid exposing quartz to vinegar and other acidic products. Promptly wipe up any spills. Use only quartz-safe cleaners.

Why does vinegar stain quartz but not granite?

  • The resin in quartz is more prone to acid etching than the natural minerals in granite. Granite is less impacted, but vinegar can still dull its polish over time.

Is there a vinegar stain remover product I can buy?

  • Yes, some products like Gel-Gloss and Granite Gold Stain Eliminator are specialty cleaners for removing stains from natural stone and quartz. Always check that a product is safe for quartz before using.


Vinegar stains on quartz countertops can be annoying, but with this complete guide you are armed with the knowledge to banish them quickly and restore your counters’ beautiful shine.

The key is to identify and treat vinegar stains early before they have time to set in. For mild stains, everyday ingredients like baking soda, peroxide, and dish soap can often do the trick with some light scrubbing. Tougher stains may require breaking out the big guns like a bleach paste or polishing powder specifically formulated for quartz and other natural stones.

With a bit of time and some careful scrubbing, even the most stubborn vinegar stains can usually be removed from quartz surfaces. Just be sure to properly polish and re-seal the area after cleaning.

Now you can tackle those pesky vinegar stains with confidence and keep your quartz countertops looking like new!