How to Take Stains Off Quartz Countertop

Quartz countertops are popular options for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, stain resistance, and stylish appearance. However, while quartz is less porous than natural stone and generally does not easily stain, it is still possible for some stubborn stains to occur over time. Removing stains from quartz requires using the right techniques and cleaners to avoid damaging the countertop surface. With some care and effort, it is possible to get quartz looking like new again.

What Causes Stains on Quartz?

Quartz is made from ground quartz aggregate blended with polymer resins. This makes it nonporous, so spills and stains have difficulty penetrating the surface. However, certain materials can still stain quartz if left for prolonged periods:

  • Oil-based products like cooking oils, grease, and cosmetics
  • Pigmented liquids like coffee, tea, wine, and juice
  • Harsh chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners, and drain openers
  • Foods with strong pigments like curry powder, turmeric, and berries

Stains also tend to build up in grout lines and rough areas on the countertop over time. High heat and direct sunlight can also discolor quartz. With proper care and cleaning, most stains can be prevented or removed before they have a chance to set in and permanently stain the quartz.

Cleaning vs. Stain Removal for Quartz

It is important to understand the difference between routine cleaning and stain removal when it comes to caring for quartz:

Cleaning: This involves quick daily wiping and cleaning spills as they occur. A mild soap and water solution is typically sufficient for regular cleaning. This prevents buildup that leads to stains.

Stain removal: This refers to dealing with set-in stains that require more effort to lift. Stain removal may require specialized cleaners and techniques depending on the type of stain.

Quartz requires minimal regular cleaning due to its low maintenance nature. But when stains do occur, specific stain removal procedures are needed to avoid permanently damaging the surface.

How to Remove Common Stains from Quartz

Here are some tips for removing the most stubborn stains from quartz countertops:

Oil-Based Stains

  • Kitchen oils, grease splatters, cosmetics, and mineral oil can leave behind oily residues.
  • Use a degreasing cleaner made specifically for stone and quartz. Spray it on and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Scrub with a soft cloth or nylon brush. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
  • For tough oil stains, use an absorbent such as flour or chalk to draw out the grease, then rinse.

Coffee and Tea Stains

  • Coffee, tea, sodas, and other drinks can stain quartz.
  • Mix baking soda and water into a paste. Spread onto stain and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Scrub with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
  • For stubborn stains, use a cleaner made for coffee and tea stains on quartz.

Red Wine Stains

  • Red wine is notorious for leaving behind pigmented stains.
  • Immediately blot up the spill. Do not wipe, as this can spread the stain.
  • Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste. Apply to the stain.
  • Let sit for 10-15 minutes then scrub with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Repeat as needed for stubborn stains.

Fruit and Berry Stains

  • Berries, tomatoes, and foods with natural pigments can stain.
  • Mix equal parts baking soda and dish soap into a paste.
  • Use a soft cloth to gently scrub the paste onto the stain in circular motions.
  • Let sit briefly, then rinse thoroughly with clean water and pat dry.

Dried or Caked-On Spills

  • For dried messes that have hardened on the countertop:
  • Soak the area with hot water to soften the spill.
  • Gently scrape away any solids with a plastic putty knife.
  • Apply a degreasing or all-purpose quartz cleaner to the area. Scrub with a soft brush or sponge.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth.

Mold and Mildew Stains

  • Mold and mildew can build up in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Make a cleaning solution of 1 part bleach to 4 parts water.
  • Apply it to the stain and let it sit briefly.
  • Scrub with a soft brush or sponge.
  • Rinse several times. Allow to fully dry.

Rust Stains

  • Rust from pots, pans, and metal utensils can stain quartz.
  • For light stains, use a brass, silver, or stainless steel cleaner and a soft cloth.
  • For heavier stains, make a poultice using vinegar, flour, and hydrogen peroxide. Apply to the stain and cover in plastic wrap.
  • Let sit for 4-6 hours, then rinse thoroughly. Scrub with a soft cloth.

Hard Water Stains

  • Mineral deposits from water can build up and stain quartz.
  • Wipe down regularly with distilled white vinegar.
  • For tough hard water stains, apply vinegar full-strength and let it sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.

Ink and Dye Stains

  • Ink, dye, and permanent marker can be tricky to remove.
  • Try using rubbing alcohol on fresh stains by blotting and scrubbing.
  • For set-in stains, make a poultice using baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and cream of tartar. Apply to the stain and let sit, then scrub.

Do’s and Don’ts for Preventing Stains on Quartz

Follow these do’s and don’ts to help keep quartz stain-free:


  • Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains.
  • Use cutting boards and trivets to protect from scratches and stains.
  • Clean quartz regularly with a mild soap and water solution.
  • Use only cleaners made specifically for quartz.
  • Rinse twice with clean water after cleaning.


  • Leave spills sitting for prolonged periods.
  • Use abrasive cleansers or scrub pads.
  • Use acidic cleaners like vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Allow grease or oil buildup.
  • Let food waste, grease or spills get into grout lines.

Step-by-Step Process for Removing Tough Stains

For really stubborn stains that resist normal cleaning methods, follow this full process:

Step 1: Identify the type of stain, if possible. This will determine the best removal method.

Step 2: Try an all-purpose stone and quartz cleaner first. Spray on, let sit briefly, scrub with soft cloth, and rinse.

Step 3: If stain remains, make a poultice by mixing a powder like baking soda or chalk with hydrogen peroxide to form a paste.

Step 4: Apply the poultice paste carefully to the stain, covering it completely.

Step 5: Cover the poultice with plastic wrap and allow it to sit for several hours or overnight.

Step 6: Remove the plastic and rinse the area thoroughly. Scrub with soft cloth or brush.

Step 7: Repeat as needed, using a stain remover specifically made for the type of stain.

Step 8: Rinse several times with clean water and dry completely.

Step 9: If the stain persists, contact a professional quartz restoration specialist. Harsh chemical cleaners or abrasives should be avoided.

Step 10: Schedule professional deep cleaning and resealing every 1-2 years to keep quartz stain resistant.

How to Remove Specific Stubborn Stains from Quartz

Here are some remedies for really tough, set-in stains on quartz:

Removing Dried Food and Grease Stains

  • Allow a degreaser or all-purpose quartz cleaner to sit on the stain for 10-15 minutes to soften it.
  • Gently scrape off any chunks with a plastic putty knife.
  • Mix together baking soda and dish soap and scrub into the stain using a soft brush.
  • Rinse clean and dry thoroughly.

Eliminating Red Wine Stains

  • Liberally apply baking soda directly onto the stain.
  • Pour hydrogen peroxide over the baking soda until it bubbles up.
  • Allow it to fizz for 15 minutes undisturbed.
  • Wipe up with damp cloth and rinse thoroughly.

Lifting Up Coffee and Tea Stains

  • Make a paste with 2 parts baking soda and 1 part water.
  • Spread paste thickly over stain and let sit overnight.
  • In the morning, wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  • Rinse several times with hot water to remove any residue.

Removing Ink, Marker, or Dye Stains

  • Carefully dab rubbing alcohol onto the stain repeatedly with a cotton ball.
  • Make a poultice using baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and cream of tartar.
  • Apply to stain, cover in plastic wrap, and allow to sit for 24 hours.
  • Scrub vigorously with soft cloth or brush, then rinse thoroughly.

Homemade DIY Stain Removers for Quartz

Try these homemade stain fighting solutions:

All-Purpose Quartz Cleaner

  • 1⁄4 cup vinegar
  • 1⁄2 tsp dish soap
  • 1 cup warm water


  • 1⁄2 cup ammonia
  • 1⁄4 cup baking soda
  • 1⁄2 gallon warm water

Bleach Cleaner

  • 1 part bleach
  • 4 parts water

Rust Remover

  • Equal parts white vinegar and salt
  • Just enough water to make a paste

Always spot test homemade cleaners on an inconspicuous area first. Rinse thoroughly after application.

When to Call a Professional for Quartz Stains

If stains persist after numerous cleaning attempts, or if the stain has etched or damaged the quartz surface, it’s best to call in a professional:

  • Quartz restoration specialists have commercial-grade stain removers and tools for deep cleaning and stain removal. This is recommended for tough stains that have set into the surface.
  • Quartz fabricators can examine the damage and determine if the stain can be removed or if the quartz needs to be refinished or replaced. Refinishing involves mechanical polishing to remove layers of quartz until the stain disappears.
  • Counter installers can remove and replace sections of quartz if the stain damage is severe. Seam lines between new and existing sections can be quite subtle with professional installation.

Professionals have access to the strongest stain removal methods that are not available to the average consumer. Getting expert help can prevent further damage from improper cleaning attempts.

Stain Removal Tips and Tricks

  • Always start with the gentlest method first, like soap and water. Move up to stronger cleaners only if needed.
  • Apply cleaners and let them sit and work for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. Don’t immediately wipe.
  • Use a toothbrush or soft nylon brush for scrubbing stains in textured areas and grout lines. Avoid stiff scrub brushes.
  • For oil-based stains, sprinkle cornstarch, flour, or chalk on the stain to absorb excess grease, then wipe away.
  • After cleaning, rinse twice with clean water to remove all cleaner residues which can re-stain quartz.
  • Consider resealing your quartz every 1-2 years to boost stain resistance and ease cleaning.

FAQs About Removing Stains from Quartz

Can I use bleach or abrasives to remove stains from quartz?

No, avoid using bleach, scouring pads, or abrasive cleansers on quartz as they can damage the surface. Always use cleaners specifically formulated for quartz and apply gently with a soft cloth or brush.

What happens if I accidentally stain my quartz?

Don’t panic! Many stains can be removed with the proper cleaning methods. Start with a mild cleaner and gentle scrubbing. For tough stains, use a poultice method. Getting stains professionally removed is an option for severe staining.

How can I prevent stains on my quartz countertops?

Clean spills immediately before they have a chance to set in. Use cutting boards, trivets, and coasters to protect the surface. Apply sealers every 1-2 years. Clean regularly with mild soap and water.

Why do some stains keep reappearing on my quartz?

Residue from cleaners and stain removers can get trapped in the porous areas of quartz and wick up moisture to show the stain again. Always rinse thoroughly several times after cleaning to remove all residue.

What is the best homemade stain remover for quartz?

Make a mix of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste. Apply it to the stain, allowing it to bubble and work. The peroxide breaks up staining while the baking soda draws it out. Rinse thoroughly after.


Quartz countertops are prone to fewer stains than other surfaces, but some discoloration can still occur over time. Being diligent about cleaning up spills right away will go a long way in keeping quartz stain-free. For set-in stains, using the right stain fighting cleaners and techniques will help restore the surface. In most cases, stains can be removed at home with some persistence and elbow grease. But for irreparable stains, calling in professional help from quartz restoration or installation specialists may be warranted. With the right care, quartz countertops can maintain their good looks and withstand years of use.