How to Remove Water Stains from Quartz Countertop

Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, stain resistance, and stylish appearance. However, quartz is not completely stain-proof, and water stains can occur under certain circumstances. The good news is that with the right techniques and products, these stubborn stains can be removed from your quartz countertop.

What Causes Water Stains on Quartz?

Water stains on quartz are caused by minerals dissolved in water that are left behind when the water evaporates. The most common culprits are calcium, magnesium, and silica.

Here are some common ways water stains form on quartz:

  • Leaving water sitting on the countertop – Water rings from glasses/cups are a prime example. The water evaporates and deposits minerals.
  • Using hard water – Hard water contains a high concentration of minerals that precipitate out.
  • Spills – Liquids like coffee, juice, or wine that aren’t wiped up quickly can leave stains when the water content evaporates.
  • Cleaning chemicals – Some cleaners contain minerals that leave behind water spots.
  • Foods – Foods that are acidic or alkaline can etch or stain quartz.
  • Cracks/chips – Damaged areas of quartz are more prone to trapping minerals and developing stains.

So in nearly all cases, pure water itself does not stain quartz. It’s the contaminants and minerals in the water that cause the problem.

Can Quartz Countertops Be Permanently Stained?

The good news is that quartz countertops cannot be permanently stained or damaged by water mineral deposits. The resins and polymers that make up quartz prevent the minerals from penetrating deeply into the material.

With the proper cleaning process, even stubborn dried-on stains can be removed from the surface of quartz. The stains have not damaged the quartz material itself.

However, it’s important to promptly clean any mineral deposits, food, oils etc. from quartz to prevent long-term stubborn staining that requires more intensive cleaning.

Supplies Needed to Remove Water Stains from Quartz

Removing water stains from quartz countertops is a fairly straightforward process, but having the right supplies makes the job much easier.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Soft clean cloth or microfiber towel – For wiping the countertop without scratching.
  • Gentle non-abrasive liquid cleaner – Look for a cleaner specifically designed for quartz and stone. Popular options are Method Daily Granite Cleaner, StoneTech Revitalizer Cleaner, or Opti-Clean.
  • Non-abrasive scrub sponge/pad – Try white 3M Scotch-Brite scrub pads.
  • Razor blade – Helps gently scrape off really stubborn stains. Use carefully to avoid scratches.
  • Glass cleaner – For a final wipe down.

Avoid abrasive cleaners and scrub pads as they could scratch the quartz surface over time with repeated use.

Also have a spray bottle on hand to apply the cleaner and plenty of clean rags/towels.

Step-by-Step Guide to Remove Water Stains from Quartz

Follow these steps to safely and effectively remove water stains from your quartz countertop:

1. Prepare the countertop

First, clear everything off the countertop so the entire surface can be easily accessed. Remove any stuck-on food or grime – quartz can handle the use of gentle kitchen cleaners for this preliminary cleaning step.

Give the quartz a quick wipe down with a damp soft cloth. Wiping down first prevents the minerals in hard water deposits from spreading during the cleaning process.

2. Apply quartz cleaner

Spray the stained areas liberally with a specially formulated quartz cleaner. Avoid bleach-based cleaners.

Let the cleaner sit for 2-3 minutes. This gives the chemicals time to break down the mineral deposits.

3. Scrub with a soft pad

Gently scrub the water stains using a soft scrub pad or sponge, such as a white Scotch-Brite pad.

Apply light pressure and small circular motions. Let the cleaning agents do the work. Scrubbing too vigorously can damage the quartz.

Continue scrubbing until the water spots begin fading. Pay extra attention to any darker or tougher stains.

4. Rinse

Thoroughly rinse the countertop with clean water to remove all residue of the cleaner and dissolved mineral deposits.

Take extra care to rinse corners and crevices where cleaner can get trapped.

5. Dry and inspect

Carefully wipe dry the entire quartz surface with a soft lint-free cloth or microfiber towel.

Inspect closely under good lighting for any remaining water spots. Repeat steps 2-4 on any stubborn stains.

For really stubborn water stains that resist cleaning, use a fresh razor blade to gently scrape them away. Keep the blade at a low angle against the surface and scrape in the direction of the polish lines.

Spray a bit of cleaner to lubricate the blade if needed. Rinse and dry the quartz after scraping.

6. Final wipe down

Once all water spots are removed, do a final wipe down using a spray glass cleaner or 50/50 vinegar and water solution.

This helps remove any residual cleaner and results in squeaky clean quartz!

Tips for Preventing Water Stains on Quartz

Prevention is the best way to keep quartz countertops looking pristine and avoiding stains. Here are some useful tips:

  • Immediately wipe up spills, especially of acidic liquids like wine, fruit juice and coffee which can etch quartz.
  • Avoid letting soapy water from washing dishes sit on the countertop – always wipe down.
  • Use trivets and coasters under hot pots and cups to prevent etching or burns.
  • Clean up cooking oils and grease splatters quickly before they congeal.
  • Avoid using abrasive scrub pads and cleaners which can damage the finish.
  • Re-seal quartz countertops every 1-2 years with a quartz-safe sealant.
  • Deal with hard water with water softeners and filters to reduce mineral content.

With prompt cleanup and occasional deep cleaning as needed, you can keep your quartz counters looking like new for years.

Common Questions About Water Stains on Quartz Countertops

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about water marks and stains on quartz surfaces:

What are the white spots on my quartz countertop?

White spots and film are usually mineral deposits left behind when water evaporates. Calcium, magnesium, and silica dissolved in the water precipitates out leaving the white residue.

Can I use vinegar to remove water stains from quartz?

Yes, white vinegar is an effective cleaner for quartz because of its acidic properties which dissolve mineral deposits. Mix a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water and wipe down the stains.

Why does my quartz countertop stain so easily?

How prone quartz is to staining depends on the quality of the material and how well it was sealed during fabrication/installation. Poor quality or unsealed quartz is more likely to stain from water, oils and acids. Resealing helps prevent stains.

Do quartz countertops stain permanently?

No, stains on quartz are only surface level and can be removed with the right cleaning process. Unlike natural stone, the resins in quartz prevent stains from soaking in deeply. But prompt cleaning is best to avoid stubborn stains.

Can I use baking soda and water to clean stains off my quartz?

Yes, baking soda works well to gently scrub and lift stains from quartz countertops. Mix it with water to form a paste, scrub carefully, then rinse thoroughly. The abrasiveness of baking soda is very mild.

How can I remove dried lemon/lime juice stains from my kitchen quartz?

Citrus juice can etch light spots into quartz. For dried juice stains, scrub with baking soda paste, then use a razor blade lightly to scrape off remaining discoloration. Avoid using acidic cleaners which can further etch the stains.

When to Call for Professional Help

For the most part, DIY methods can successfully remove water spots, mineral deposits and other stains from your quartz countertops. However, if stains are very stubborn and persistent, don’t hesitate to call in a professional quartz cleaning company.

Professionals have specialized tools and strong cleaners available that give better results, especially on extensive staining. They also have experience dealing with difficult stains without damaging the quartz.

Signs it’s time to call a pro include:

  • Stains cover a very large area.
  • Stains are extremely stubborn and won’t lift after multiple cleaning attempts.
  • Stains are affecting the appearance of your home and need urgent removal.
  • Quartz has many etched spots or discoloration in multiple areas.
  • You want to restore uniform appearance and polish.
  • Unsure about chemicals/cleaners that can be used safely on quartz.

Look for a company that specifically advertises professional quartz and stone cleaning services. They should use safe, non-toxic cleaners and offer experience and expertise that prevents damage during the cleaning process.

Maintain Your Quartz Countertops

Quartz offers gorgeous good looks, durability, and low maintenance. But no countertop material is completely stain-proof. Following good care and cleaning practices keeps your quartz counters in tip-top shape.

  • Use trivets, cutting boards and pan liners to protect the surface.
  • Clean up spills ASAP using a specially formulated quartz cleaner.
  • Avoid abrasive scrub pads/cleaners which can damage the finish.
  • Reseal every 1-2 years with a compatible quartz sealant.
  • Deal with hard water issues to reduce mineral deposits.
  • Deep clean annually using the steps outlined.
  • Inspect regularly for stains and treat promptly.

With proper care and regular maintenance, you’ll enjoy stunning quartz countertops for years before needing professional resurfacing. Pay attention, follow prevention tips, and know how to safely remove stains when they occur.