Quartz countertops are popular in many modern homes due to their durability, stylish appearance, and low maintenance. However, over time even quartz can start to look worn, dull or stained. Don’t despair if your once-beautiful quartz countertops have lost their luster. With the right techniques and products, you can revive your quartz countertops to look like new again.
Cleaning Quartz Countertops
The first step to reviving your quartz countertops is giving them a deep clean. This removes built up dirt, stains, residue and etches that have accumulated on the surface over time.
- pH neutral stone cleaner or mild dish soap
- Soft cloths
- Scrub brush or soft-bristled toothbrush for grout lines
- Clean water
Avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners as these can damage and dull the quartz surface.
Step-by-Step Cleaning Process
- Remove everything from the countertop. It’s easier to clean and safer for your items if the surface is cleared off first.
- Rinse the countertop with clean water to remove any loose debris.
- Apply your chosen stone cleaner (or mild dish soap diluted with water) directly onto the quartz surface. Check the product label and do not dilute stone cleaners more than recommended.
- Using a soft cloth, gently scrub the entire countertop surface using circular motions. Pay close attention to heavily soiled areas. Let the cleaner sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Use a scrub brush or old toothbrush to scrub grout lines. This helps lift embedded dirt from the porous grout.
- Rinse the entire surface thoroughly with clean water to remove all cleaner and lifted dirt residue.
- Dry the countertop well with clean, soft cloths. Any lingering moisture can leave new water spots.
Repeat this thorough cleaning process as needed until your countertops look revived. For routine maintenance cleaning, use the same process but with just mild dish soap and water. Avoid harsh cleaners that can strip the sealant and etch the surface over time.
Removing Stains from Quartz Countertops
In addition to a thorough cleaning, you may need to spot treat stubborn stains that have set into the quartz. Different types of stains respond best to different treatments.
Oily stains like grease, cooking oil and cosmetics often penetrate into quartz leaving a dark, unsightly mark.
To treat oily stains:
- Mix a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Apply it directly onto the stain.
- Allow it to bubble for 5-10 minutes to lift the oil.
- Scrub with soft cloth or a magic eraser sponge.
- Rinse clean. Repeat if needed.
Stains from coffee, tea, juice, wine and other beverages leave behind colored residues deep in the microscopic pores of quartz countertops.
To remove these types of stains:
- Mix a paste of baking soda and water.
- Apply the paste to the stain. Allow to dry completely.
- Once dry, rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- For stubborn stains, repeat the process and allow the paste to sit for a few hours before rinsing. The baking soda will draw out the stain over time.
Acidic substances like citrus, vinegar and some cleaners can degrade and etch into the quartz leaving faint marks.
To treat etching:
- Use a specialty quartz etching repair kit found at most home improvement stores.
- Carefully follow the product instructions.
- Apply the etching cream or gel. Allow to sit for the recommended time.
- Buff the area with the included tool or soft cloth to remove the mark.
Avoid using any further acidic cleaners after repairing etching so it doesn’t reoccur.
Polishing Quartz Countertops
Once your quartz countertops are clean, you’ll want to polish them to restore their beautiful sheen.
- Soft, dry microfiber cloths
- Quartz polish or sealant
- Rubber gloves
- Clean water
- Wash counters thoroughly after any stain removal treatments. Rinse well and dry completely.
- Apply a small amount of quartz polish to a microfiber cloth.
- Rub the polish evenly over the surface using circular motions.
- Buff until there is no visible polish residue remaining.
- Rinse well and dry with a fresh microfiber cloth for maximum shine.
Be careful not to get any polish on surrounding surfaces. Also avoid applying too much, as excess polish residue can be hard to remove.
Re-apply polish anytime your quartz looks dull or hazy for extended shine protection.
Resealing Quartz Countertops
Sealing is an important step in quartz countertop maintenance. Factory-applied sealants prevent stains from absorbing into the stone. However, sealants naturally wear off over time.
Plan to reseal your quartz countertops every 1-2 years depending on use. More frequent sealing maintains water and stain resistance.
What You Need
- Quartz sealer or impregnating sealant
- Microfiber cloths
- Rubber gloves
- Masking tape
How to Reseal
- Clean counters thoroughly and allow to dry completely before sealing.
- Apply painter’s tape around the edges to protect walls and surfaces.
- Apply sealant evenly according to product directions. Avoid over-application.
- Let the sealant soak in for 5-10 minutes. Then thoroughly buff off any excess with microfiber cloths.
- Allow the sealant to cure fully for 24 hours before using the countertops.
Sealing quartz regularly prevents stains and makes cleaning much easier. It also enhances the natural beauty of the stone.
Protecting Quartz Long-Term
With the right care and maintenance, your revived quartz countertops will keep their restored beauty for years to come. Here are some tips for protecting them long-term:
- Use trivets, coasters and cutting boards to prevent hot pans or utensils from damaging the surface.
- Clean up spills immediately to prevent staining.
- Avoid using abrasive pads or cleansers that can scratch. Use soft cloths only.
- Reseal every 1-2 years and whenever water is no longer beading on the surface.
- Don’t place extremely hot items directly on quartz. Use trivets and hot pads.
- For heavy prep work or chopping, use a separate cutting board.
- Lift pots, pans and appliances to move them – dragging can dull the surface.
- Rinse coffee makers and removing staining residue regularly.
By caring for your quartz properly and thoroughly cleaning, polishing and resealing it when needed, you can enjoy stain-free, vibrant countertops for decades.
FAQs About Reviving Quartz Countertops
Still have some questions about restoring the beauty of your quartz countertops? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Can I use vinegar or lemon juice to clean quartz?
No, you should never use vinegar, lemon juice, or any other acidic cleaner on quartz countertops. The acid in these cleaners will etch and damage the surface leaving a hazy appearance. Always use pH neutral stone cleaners.
What is the best way to polish dull quartz?
Use a quartz polish product specifically designed for use on engineered stone. Apply a thin layer to the entire surface and buff with microfiber cloths until the dullness disappears. Avoid using polishes that contain abrasives or acids.
How can I get rid of hard water spots on my countertops?
Hard water spots can be lifted using a paste of baking soda and water. Let the paste sit on the spots for several hours before scrubbing and rinsing clean. Repeat as needed for stubborn buildup. Prevent new hard water stains by wiping up spills right away.
Should I condition my quartz countertops?
No, quartz does not require conditioning. Conditioners like mineral oil or beeswax that are sometimes used on natural stone will just create a residue on quartz. Simply polish and reseal quartz to keep it looking its best.
Is it possible to remove etched spots from my quartz countertop?
Yes, quartz etching kits are designed to polish out acid damage. Look for a kit formulated for engineered stone and follow the directions carefully to effectively remove light etching. Avoid further exposure to acidic substances to prevent new etching.
How long does quartz sealer last before needing reapplication?
On average, quartz countertops need to be resealed every 1-2 years. High traffic kitchen areas may need more frequent sealing. The best way to determine if it’s time is if water no longer beads and rolls off the surface. Reseal at the first signs of moisture penetration.
While durable, quartz countertops aren’t indestructible. Etching, stains and loss of shine can occur over years of use. Fortunately reviving tired quartz is very doable with some elbow grease and the right products. Get your quartz gleaming again with a thorough deep cleaning, stain removal as needed, polishing and resealing. With proper care going forward, your countertops will maintain their renewed beauty and luster for many years of enjoyment.