How to Remove Water Spots from Quartz Countertop


Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, stylish appearance, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can develop water spots over time. Water spots are mineral deposits that are left behind when water evaporates on the countertop surface. Though unsightly, water spots on quartz can often be removed with a little bit of effort. This article will provide tips and step-by-step instructions for removing water spots from quartz countertops.

What Causes Water Spots on Quartz?

Water spots on quartz countertops are caused by hard water. Hard water contains a high amount of dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium. As water evaporates from the quartz surface, it leaves behind a mineral residue that adheres to the countertop. Areas where water drips or accumulates are more prone to water spotting over time.

The minerals in hard water interact with the quartz surface to create those cloudy, white deposits. Quartz is porous, so some minerals can penetrate the micro-pores as well. The end result is stubborn water spots that can be difficult to remove.

Can Water Spots Damage Quartz?

Water spots are primarily a cosmetic issue for quartz countertops. The mineral deposits do not typically cause any damage or etching to the quartz surface. However, if allowed to build up over time, water spots can become more difficult to remove.

The cloudy appearance of water spots also detracts from the natural polish and luster of quartz. So while not necessarily damaging, water spots should still be promptly cleaned to keep quartz counters looking their best. Allowing water spots to linger can lead to a gradual decline in the appearance of the countertop over time.

How to Remove Water Spots from Quartz

Removing water spots from quartz countertops involves breaking down the mineral deposits so they can be wiped away. Several methods and cleaning products can accomplish this task.

Gather Supplies

Before getting started, gather the following recommended supplies:

  • Soft cloth or microfiber towel
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Mild liquid dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Magic eraser-type melamine cleaning sponge
  • Poultice made for countertop cleaning (optional)

Try a Vinegar and Water Solution

One of the easiest methods for removing water spots from quartz countertops is using a diluted vinegar solution:

Step 1: Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. For example, 1⁄2 cup vinegar and 1⁄2 cup water.

Step 2: Liberally spray the affected areas of the countertop with the vinegar and water solution.

Step 3: Allow it to sit on the surface for 5-10 minutes so the vinegar can begin dissolving the mineral deposits.

Step 4: Wipe away the solution thoroughly with a soft cloth, going with the direction of the countertop pattern.

Step 5: Rinse the area with plain water and dry with a clean cloth.

The acetic acid in vinegar helps break apart mineral residue so it can be wiped away. Repeat as needed for stubborn water spots.

Use Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol can also be effective for removing water spots on quartz. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Pour some rubbing alcohol directly onto a soft cloth.

Step 2: Wipe the affected areas of the countertop using a gentle, circular motion.

Step 3: Let the alcohol sit for 5 minutes to penetrate the mineral deposits.

Step 4: Wipe the countertop thoroughly with a clean damp cloth.

Step 5: Dry the surface completely with a towel.

The alcohol helps dissolve stubborn mineral deposits. It may take several applications to fully remove water spots using this method. Make sure to rinse thoroughly.

Try a Melamine Sponge

For light water spots, a melamine foam cleaning sponge can help scrub them away. Melamine sponges are very mildly abrasive, which allows them to remove topical stains without damaging the quartz.

Step 1: Wet the melamine sponge under warm running water and wring out excess moisture.

Step 2: Gently rub the sponge over the affected areas using small, circular motions. Apply light pressure.

Step 3: Wipe the countertop with a clean, damp cloth.

Step 4: Dry the surface thoroughly with a towel.

Repeat as needed, rinsing frequently. Avoid excessive scrubbing pressure, which can create scratches.

Use a Countertop Poultice

For the most stubborn water spots, a poultice specifically designed for countertop cleaning can be used. Poultice draws stains out from the quartz pores. Follow the product instructions closely.

Step 1: Apply an even 1/8 inch layer of the poultice paste to the affected area using a spatula or plastic applicator.

Step 2: Cover with plastic wrap and allow the poultice to set for the recommended time.

Step 3: Remove the plastic and scrape away the dried poultice using a plastic scraper.

Step 4: Wipe the countertop clean with water and dry thoroughly.

Countertop poultices are available from hardware stores and home improvement retailers. It may take several poultice applications to fully remove stubborn water spots.

Try a Countertop Cleaning Solution

Specialized countertop cleaners designed for stone and quartz can also help break down and dissolve mineral deposits. Look for products that specify use on quartz/engineered stone.

Step 1: Apply the cleaning solution directly to the water spots following label instructions.

Step 2: Let it sit for 5-10 minutes so it can penetrate the deposit.

Step 3: Wipe and rinse thoroughly with water.

Step 4: Dry the surface completely with a clean cloth.

Repeat as needed until water spots are removed. Countertop cleaners make it easier than mixing your own solutions.

Use a Soft Scrub Paste

For moderate water spots, a gentle scrub paste makes removal easier. Avoid harsh, gritty scouring powders.

Step 1: Apply a small amount of a soft scrub cleaner containing fine abrasives to a damp sponge or cloth.

Step 2: Gently scrub the affected areas using small circular motions.

Step 3: Rinse the quartz surface thoroughly then dry.

The mild abrasives help lift mineral deposits without damaging the quartz. Take care not to scrub too vigorously on a small area.

Steam Clean for Heavy Buildup

To tackle a heavy buildup of water spots all over the countertop, consider steam cleaning.

Step 1: Fill a steam cleaner with water and heat to the appropriate steam temperature per the appliance instructions.

Step 2: Working in small sections, hold the steam head directly over the water spotted areas of quartz.

Step 3: Wipe with a clean cloth and buff dry as you complete each section.

The combination of heat and moisture helps soften mineral deposits so they can be wiped away. Avoid prolonged direct steam contact with quartz to prevent potential damage.

Tips for Preventing Water Spots on Quartz

Prevention is the best way to deal with water spots on quartz countertops. Here are some useful tips for avoiding problems:

  • Immediately wipe up spills and drying water on the countertop. Don’t allow moisture to evaporate on the surface.
  • Use a squeegee to wipe water into the sink after washing dishes, cleaning, etc.
  • Buff the countertop dry with a microfiber cloth after cleaning.
  • Avoid letting water pool around the base of kitchen fixtures like the faucet. Seal any gaps with caulk.
  • Use a water softener if you have hard water. This will reduce mineral content.
  • Have countertops resealed every 1-2 years by a professional to protect from water penetration.
  • Avoid using acidic cleaners like vinegar for daily cleaning. Use a pH-neutral quartz cleaner instead.
  • Don’t let soaps or cleaners dry on the countertop surface. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.

With diligent care and prompt attention, water spots can be prevented from marring the beauty of quartz counters.

Common Questions

Does bleach remove water spots from quartz?

No, bleach is too harsh for quartz and will damage the surface. Avoid using bleach when cleaning quartz countertops.

What about using lemon to remove water spots?

Lemon juice is acidic like vinegar, so it can be used in a similar diluted solution to dissolve mineral deposits associated with water spots. Mix equal parts lemon juice and water and follow the same steps outlined for vinegar cleaning.

Will baking soda or toothpaste work?

Baking soda or toothpaste used with gentle scrubbing may help remove some water spots from quartz. However, they are generally not as effective as other recommended methods. Avoid using baking soda/toothpaste frequently, as they can erode the glossy quartz surface over time.

Can I use Windex or glass cleaner on water spots?

Avoid using Windex, glass cleaner, or any cleaners formulated for glass. Quartz can be permanently damaged by Windex and similar glass cleaning products. Use only cleaners made specifically for natural stone and engineered quartz.

Will water spots come back after removing them?

It’s possible for new water spots to form again over time if the conditions that caused them initially are not addressed. Using a water softener, sealing/resealing the countertop, and quickly drying water will all help minimize recurrence of water spots.


Water spots can be frustrating, but they don’t have to be permanent. With a little time and elbow grease, you can typically restore the clean, polished appearance of quartz counters. Combined with steps to prevent water spotting in the future, your quartz countertops can always look their best. Just be sure to use the proper methods and avoid harsh cleaners than can damage quartz.