How to Remove Yellow Stains from Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are popular in modern kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can develop stains over time with regular use. Yellow stains are particularly stubborn and unsightly on the crisp white background of most quartz. Luckily, there are several effective methods to remove yellow stains from quartz countertops and restore their original beauty.

What Causes Yellow Stains on Quartz?

Quartz is non-porous, so stains tend to sit on the surface rather than absorbing deep into the material. Yellow stains commonly form from:

  • Spices like turmeric, curry, and mustard
  • Some cleaning products and disinfectants
  • Marks from metal pans or utensils
  • Residue from adhesive tape or stickers
  • Spills like oil, grease, or wine that oxidize over time
  • Repeated heat exposure causing scorch marks
  • Prolonged sun exposure leading to UV damage

The pigments in these substances can leave stubborn yellowish discoloration on quartz. The stains may appear in a small spot, streak, or cover a large area depending on the cause and size of the spill. Identifying the origin of the stain can help choose the best removal method.

How to Clean Yellow Stains from Quartz Countertops

Cleaning yellow stains from quartz as soon as they occur will produce the best results. However, even old, set-in stains can often be removed with a little time and effort. Here are the most effective techniques and products to try:

1. Mild Dish Soap and Warm Water

For a basic first attempt, mix a few drops of mild dish soap like Dawn in warm water. Using a soft sponge or microfiber cloth, gently rub the soapy water over the stained area in circular motions. Rinse well and dry with a clean towel. This may lift fresh stains or provide a surface clean before using a more powerful treatment. Avoid scratching the quartz with abrasive scouring pads.

2. Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is a versatile household staple that can absorb discoloration. Make a paste by stirring 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable consistency. Apply the paste to the stained quartz and let sit for at least 30 minutes. The baking soda will help draw out the stain over time. Wipe away with a damp sponge and dry the area. Repeat if needed for stubborn stains.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

As a bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide can help lift yellow discoloration. Use a 3% solution – available at any drugstore. Dip a soft cloth in the hydrogen peroxide and dab it directly on the stain. Allow it to react for 5-10 minutes. The stain may bubble or fizz. Then wipe clean with water and dry well. Be careful, as hydrogen peroxide can also bleach colored quartz. Spot test first.

4. Lime or Lemon Juice

Fresh citrus juices contain acidic compounds that can break down staining compounds. Squeeze lime or lemon juice directly onto the yellowed area. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping clean with water. The natural acidity helps dissolve some stubborn stains without harsh chemicals. Repeat as needed for tough stains.

5. Baking Soda and Vinegar Paste

For a more intensive DIY cleaner, make a paste of baking soda and vinegar – two inexpensive but highly effective ingredients. Mix 2 tablespoons baking soda with 1 tablespoon white vinegar, adding just enough water to form a spreadable paste. Apply this fizzy paste to the stain and allow it to work for 20-30 minutes before rinsing clean. The combined acidic and absorbing properties help lift discoloration.

6. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

These popular melamine foam cleaning pads work well to remove yellow stains from quartz. Simply dampen a magic eraser and gently rub it over the stained area using moderate pressure. Rinse with water afterward. The texture helps scrub away discoloration without damaging the quartz. Be wary of “off-brand” melamine pads which may be too abrasive.

7. Bar Keeper’s Friend

This powdered cleaner contains oxalic acid to remove rust, mineral deposits, and other tough stains. Make a paste with water and apply to the stained quartz surface. Let it work for 5-10 minutes before rinsing clean. Bar Keeper’s Friend is safe for quartz but not other surfaces like marble. Use care not to splash onto other materials. Wear gloves as it can irritate skin.

8. Baking Soda and Peroxide Paste

For the ultimate DIY quartz stain attack, combine the powers of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Make a paste using 3 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide, and 1 tablespoon water. Spread over the stain and allow to sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing lightly and rinsing. The peroxide whitens while the baking soda lifts staining.

9. Commercial Quartz Cleaners

Several name-brand cleaners are specially formulated to remove stains from engineered stone like quartz, without etching or dulling the surface:

  • Zep Commercial Quartz & Granite Cleaner – spray and wipe away stains with a soft cloth
  • Method Daily Granite & Stone Cleaner – non-toxic and biodegradable formula
  • StoneTech Revitalizer Cleaner and Protector – cleans and adds protective layer
  • Weiman Quartz & Granite Cleaner – no rinse formula dries streak-free

Always follow product label directions closely and spot test in an inconspicuous area first. Avoid cleaners containing bleach, alkaline, or acidic ingredients which can damage quartz.

10. Professional Restoration Service

For severe, set-in yellow stains or damage, consider hiring a professional quartz cleaning and restoration service. They have access to the strongest cleaners and polishers to remove stains and refresh the surface. Technicians can assess the extent of the staining in-person and handle the intensive cleaning process. This service may cost over $100 but offers the best results for badly stained quartz.

Tips for Preventing Yellow Stains on Quartz

Once you get your quartz gleaming again, keep it looking like new with these prevention tips:

  • Wipe up spills immediately to prevent setting and staining
  • Use cutting boards and trivets to protect from hot pans
  • Clean quartz regularly with a mild soap and water
  • Avoid exposing quartz to direct sunlight for prolonged periods
  • Do not let oils, wines, or other staining substances sit on the surface
  • Use non-staining cleaning products free of dyes and acids
  • Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a granite sealer to prevent stains
  • Don’t use cleaners containing lemon, vinegar or other acids on quartz

With proper care and prompt attention, you can keep your quartz counters stain-free for years. But if discoloration does occur, utilize the effective techniques in this article to clean yellow stains from quartz. With a little time and elbow grease, you can restore the pristine white sheen.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Yellow Stains from Quartz

Can I use bleach to remove yellow stains from quartz?

No, avoid using bleach or products containing bleach to clean quartz countertops. The harsh chemicals in bleach can damage, pit, and discolor the quartz surface over time. Opt for safer cleaning solutions.

What is the fastest way to remove yellow stains from quartz?

For quick stain removal, try hydrogen peroxide, citrus juices like lemon or lime, or a commercial quartz cleaner. Apply to the stain, allow to sit 5-10 minutes, then rinse clean. For faster action, combine hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a paste.

Is quartz prone to yellow stains?

Quartz is less prone to staining than natural stone because it is non-porous. However, the surface can still accumulate yellow discoloration over time from common spills, heat damage, metals, and cleaning agents. Prompt cleanup prevents most staining.

Can yellow stains come back after removing them from quartz?

It’s possible for some faint staining or discoloration to return if the source of the problem is still present. Make sure to thoroughly clean, rinse, and dry the area after treatment. Prevent future stains by sealing quartz and wiping spills quickly to avoid resetting.

Does baking soda really help remove yellow stains from quartz?

Yes, baking soda is highly effective at absorbing and lifting many types of stains from quartz countertops. The abrasive texture also provides gentle scrubbing power. Make a paste and apply to stains for at least 30 minutes before rinsing.

Is lemon juice safe for cleaning yellow stains on quartz?

Yes, lemon juice is a mild natural acid that helps dissolve staining compounds. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto quartz stains, allow to sit 10-15 minutes, then rinse. Avoid products with added lemon fragrance or oils which may stain. Use citrus juices sparingly.

What kind of sponge should I use to remove stains from quartz?

Always use a soft, non-abrasive sponge or cloth to avoid scratching the quartz surface. Soft microfiber cloths work well. Melamine foam magic eraser sponges can lift stains with gentle scrubbing action. Avoid rough scouring pads.

How can I prevent future yellow staining on my quartz countertops?

Wipe up spills quickly, use cutting boards, clean with mild soap and water regularly, avoid exposing quartz to direct sunlight, seal the surface annually, and don’t let staining substances sit. Pretreat any spills using the techniques in this article.

Should I reseal my quartz counters after removing yellow stains?

It’s a good idea to reseal quartz about once a year after deep cleaning to prevent future stains and damage. Use a product made specifically for sealing granite, marble, and engineered stone. Resealing fills in microscopic pores and creates a repellent layer.


Yellow stains on quartz countertops are an unsightly but common occurrence in kitchens and bathrooms. Luckily, by identifying the cause of staining and utilizing the effective cleaning methods described in this article, these stubborn stains can be significantly reduced or removed completely. Simple household ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and citrus juices offer affordable and accessible options to start tackling quartz stains at home. For severe discoloration or damage, professional quartz restoration services may be needed to revive the countertop’s appearance. With some strategic cleaning and preventative care, your beautiful quartz counters can stay looking like new for many years.