How to Stain Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Made from ground quartz minerals and resin, these engineered stone slabs are highly durable, low maintenance, and available in a wide range of colors and patterns. However, like any countertop material, quartz can become stained over time from spills, oils, and everyday use. While quartz resists stains better than natural stone and other materials, stains can still occur and may require special cleaning techniques to remove. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to stain, clean, and care for quartz countertops to keep them looking like new.

Can You Stain Quartz Countertops?

Quartz countertops are stain-resistant, but not entirely stain-proof. When properly sealed and cared for, quartz resists most household stains from foods, beverages, toiletries, and more. However, highly pigmented substances like wine, coffee, and oil-based products can potentially stain quartz if left to dwell. Prolonged exposure to strong chemicals and cleaners may also damage and discolor the surface over time. With prompt cleaning, most stains can be prevented or removed. But deeply-set stains will require professional repair or resurfacing. Overall, quartz offers excellent stain resistance compared to other countertop materials, but no surface is completely immune to staining.

Common Causes of Stains on Quartz

While quartz resists many stains, some substances can still discolor the surface under certain conditions. Here are some of the most common causes of stains on quartz countertops:

Foods and Beverages

  • Wine, juices, and sodas with deep, rich pigments that can penetrate the quartz surface.
  • Oils and grease from cooking that are not promptly cleaned.
  • Coffee and tea can stain if left to pool on the countertop.
  • Spices like turmeric and paprika contain vivid staining agents.

Personal Care and Cleaning Products

  • Hair coloring and nail polish with intense pigments. Apply over a towel to avoid drips.
  • Sunscreens and self-tanners with staining botanical extracts and DHA.
  • Concentrated cleaners like bleach, oven cleaners, and drain openers.

Other Staining Substances

  • Ink, permanent marker, and dyes from art supplies or printed materials.
  • Rust stains from flower pots, metal objects, or water with high iron content.
  • Hard water deposits and soap scum left to accumulate.
  • Heat or chemical damage from placing hot pans directly on the surface.

How to Prevent Stains on Quartz Countertops

Preventing stains on quartz requires proper care and some simple precautions:

Regularly Clean and Disinfect

  • Wipe up spills immediately before they have time to set.
  • Clean quartz daily with a mild soap and warm water.
  • Disinfect periodically with a quartz-safe cleaner.
  • Use a granite cleaner to remove hard water marks and mineral deposits.

Exercise Caution with Staining Substances

  • Place towels under applicators when using skin care and beauty products.
  • Clean up food prep oils and juices without delay.
  • Use trivets and hot pads under hot pans, dishes, and appliances.
  • Keep flower vases and potted plants in watertight containers.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals and Cleaners

  • Check cleaner labels and only use quartz-safe formulas.
  • Never use abrasive powders, alkaline or acidic cleaners.
  • Limit bleach, drain cleaner and oven cleaner contact. Rinse immediately if applied.

Reseal Quartz Periodically

  • Reapply a penetrating quartz sealer every 1-2 years.
  • Sealing fills microscopic pores to repel stains.
  • Hire a professional for best sealer application results.

How to Remove Stains from Quartz Countertops

If stains occur on quartz, prompt cleaning is key for removal. Here are the most effective methods and cleaning agents for treating quartz stains:

Blot up Wet Stains ASAP

  • Immediately blot wine, coffee and other wet spills with a paper towel. Avoid scrubbing.
  • For oily stains, cover with baking soda or cornstarch then wipe up.
  • This helps prevent deep penetration into the quartz pores.

Combine Warm Water and Mild Soap

  • For most stains, use warm water mixed with a few drops of mild dish or granite soap.
  • With a soft sponge, gently wipe the stain in circular motions. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Repeat as needed until stain is no longer visible.

Make a Poultice for Stubborn Stains

  • Mix flour and hydrogen peroxide into a spreadable paste.
  • Apply paste to the stain, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to dry overnight.
  • The poultice will draw out deep-set staining. Remove dried poultice and rinse clean.

Use a Quartz Polishing Paste

  • For superficial stains, apply a pequartz polishing paste with a soft cloth.
  • Gently rub paste over the stain for 1-2 minutes. Remove residue and rinse surface.
  • Avoid scrubbing aggressively, which may damage the quartz.

Bleach Gel Pen for Dark Spots

  • For isolated dark stains, apply a bleach gel pen and allow to sit for 1 minute.
  • Rinse thoroughly. Monitor area and reapply if needed.
  • Use bleach pens sparingly and only on stubborn, localized stains.

Seek Professional Help for Difficult Stains

  • For stains that resist DIY treatments, consult a countertop professional.
  • They can use specialized stain removal products not available to consumers.
  • Worst case, badly damaged areas may need quartz patching or resurfacing.

How to Clean Quartz Countertops Daily

Daily cleaning is the best way to keep quartz stain-free and looking like new. Follow these steps for easy everyday cleaning:

Supplies Needed

  • Soft sponge or damp microfiber cloth
  • Few drops of mild soap (dish soap or quartz cleaner)
  • Warm water
  • Clean towel for drying

Quick Cleaning Steps

  1. Rinse quartz with warm water. Wipe off any debris or crumbs.
  2. Apply a few drops of soap to the damp sponge or cloth. Avoid using too much cleaner.
  3. Wipe the entire countertop surface with your sudsy cloth or sponge. Apply light pressure.
  4. Focus on cleaning greasy areas like around the kitchen sink and stove.
  5. Rinse quartz thoroughly to remove all cleaner residue.
  6. Wipe surface completely dry with a clean towel. Allow to fully air dry.

Weekly Deep Cleaning

  • Make a cleaning paste with baking soda and water.
  • Spread paste over quartz and let sit 5 minutes. Use a soft brush to scrub.
  • Rinse paste then follow with a vinegar scrub to disinfect and remove buildup.
  • Buff dry with a microfiber cloth. Quartz will look polished and refreshed.

How to Disinfect Quartz Countertops

In addition to routine cleaning, quartz should be periodically disinfected to kill germs and bacteria. Here are effective methods:

  • Vinegar solution – Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray over entire surface, let sit 5 minutes, then wipe clean. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Wipe down quartz with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. No need to rinse.
  • Rubbing alcohol – Use 70% isopropyl alcohol full-strength or diluted with water. Disinfects on contact, no rinsing needed.
  • Lysol or Clorox disinfecting wipes – Look for quartz-safe formulas. Wipe surface and let solution sit wet for 5 minutes before wiping dry with a clean cloth.
  • Steam cleaners – Handheld steamers provide chemical-free disinfecting for quartz countertops. Hot steam kills germs instantly.

Remember to always use a new paper towel or clean cloth when disinfecting different areas to prevent cross-contamination.

How to Care for Quartz Countertops Long-Term

With regular cleaning and smart care habits, quartz countertops will stay looking pristine for years. Here are some tips for maintaining their long-term beauty:

  • Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a penetrating impregnating sealer made for engineered stone.
  • Use trivets, hot pads and cutting boards to protect quartz. Never cut food directly on the surface.
  • Avoid exposing quartz to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners or prolonged contact with bleach.
  • Immediately clean up any spills, oils or liquids that occur on the quartz.
  • Inspect quartz regularly for signs of damage like chips, cracks or dull spots. Have a pro repair any issues to prevent further damage.
  • For heavy use areas like kitchens, consider applying a quartz color enhancer every 6 months to renew the vibrant polished finish.
  • If your quartz develops etched marks or begins to look worn, have it professionally re-polished to restore its original beauty and luster.

FAQs About Staining and Cleaning Quartz Countertops

Can you use CLR to clean quartz countertops?

No, CLR and other acidic cleaners should never be used on quartz. The acidic formula can etch, pit, and fade the surface. Use a non-acidic quartz cleaner instead.

What happens if you use Windex on quartz?

Windex will not directly stain or damage quartz. However, ammonia-based cleaners like Windex may gradually dull the surface’s shine. Use a mild soap and water for daily quartz cleaning instead.

Can lemon remove stains from quartz?

Yes! A lemon half rubbed directly on stains can help lighten and eliminate them thanks to the citric acid. Rinse thoroughly after. But avoid using lemon long-term as it may erode the quartz over time.

How do you get dried grease stains off quartz?

Gently scrape off what you can with a plastic scraper or old credit card. Apply some baking soda and rub lightly with a soft brush. Rinse, then wipe with a degreasing quartz cleaner like Granite Gold Cleaner sprayed on a cloth.

How do you get tomato sauce stains out of quartz?

Blot up what you can, then spray with Bar Keepers Friend and let sit 5 minutes. Scrub gently with a non-abrasive sponge, then rinse thoroughly. Repeat if needed for stubborn stains. Avoid harsh scrubbing.

Can you use Magic Eraser on engineered quartz?

Yes, Magic Eraser sponges can safely be used to remove some stains from quartz surfaces. Dampen the sponge and gently rub stained areas using light pressure. Avoid excessive scrubbing.

What stain remover is safe for quartz?

Look for quartz-safe stain removers like a poultice powder or Dr. Beckmann’s Marble, Granite & Quartz Stain Remover Gel. Avoid formulas with acid, bleach or abrasives. Always spot test first.

Professional Quartz Countertop Stain Removal

For stubborn stains that resist DIY removal methods, contact a professional stone restoration company. They have access to commercial-grade stain removal products not available to consumers. Pro techniques like poulticing, steam cleaning, and stain extraction can often successfully remove stains without damaging the quartz. As a last resort, they may recommend spot resurfacing or replacement if the stain cannot be fixed cosmetically. Hiring a pro to remove difficult quartz stains is well worth the cost to restore its appearance and value.


Quartz countertops offer many advantages for busy kitchens and bathrooms, including impressive resistance to stains. But no surface is completely stain-proof under daily use. By immediately treating spills, regularly cleaning with mild soaps, avoiding harsh chemicals, and resealing every so often, most stains can be prevented on quartz. Persistent stains may require the use of poultices, specialty cleaners, or professional intervention. With proper care, quartz countertops will retain their like-new appearance for many years before needing replacement. By following these guidelines on staining and cleaning quartz, you can confidently install quartz in your home knowing its durability and longevity.