How to Take Stains Out of Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, stain resistance, and sleek appearance. However, while quartz is resistant to stains, it is not completely stain-proof. Spills from coffee, wine, oil, and other substances can leave behind stubborn stains if not cleaned up promptly and properly. The good news is that with the right techniques and products, even set-in stains can be removed from quartz. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to remove various types of stains from quartz countertops.

Why Quartz Countertops Stain

Before learning how to remove stains from quartz, it helps to understand what makes stains happen in the first place. Quartz countertops are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The resin forms the binding agent that gives the countertop its shape and structure.

While durable, the resin is still porous enough for some liquids – particularly acidic substances like wine, fruit juice, vinegar, etc. – to seep into the microscopic pores and cause stains over time. Dark-colored liquids tend to stain worse since their pigments are more likely to get trapped in the pores. Heat and sunlight also accelerate the setting and oxidation of stains.

So while quartz won’t stain as easily as other natural stone surfaces, it’s not impervious. But with prompt cleanup and targeted stain removal techniques, quartz can look as good as new again.

Supplies Needed for Removing Stains from Quartz

Having the right supplies on hand will make stain removal easier. Here are some must-have items:

  • Soft clean cloths: Avoid abrasive cloths or paper towels that could scratch the surface. Microfiber cloths are ideal.
  • Warm, soapy water: Dish soap diluted in warm water can lift many fresh stains.
  • Baking soda: A gentle abrasive that can break down stubborn stains. Mix with water to form a paste.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: Helpful for lifting darker stains through oxidation. Use the 3% concentration sold in stores.
  • Barkeeper’s Friend: Contains oxalic acid to dissolve rust, minerals, and built-up grime.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser: Can scrub away stuck-on messes. Be gentle to avoid scuffing.
  • Poultice: Absorbs oil-based stains. Mix baking soda or powdered oxygen bleach with hydrogen peroxide.
  • Sealant: Reseal quartz after cleaning to prevent future stains.

General Tips for Removing Stains from Quartz

Follow these basic rules when tackling any type of stain on quartz:

  • Act quickly to clean spills before they have a chance to set and dry. The longer a stain lingers, the harder it will be to remove.
  • Blot liquids immediately with an absorbent cloth. Don’t scrub fresh spills as it can drive the stain deeper.
  • Work from the outside of the stain inward to prevent spreading.
  • Spot test stain removers on an inconspicuous area first to check for any adverse effects on the quartz.
  • Rinse the surface thoroughly after applying cleaners to remove any residue.
  • Reseal the quartz once stained areas are cleaned to prevent future stains.
  • For stubborn stains that resist cleaning, consider calling in a professional quartz restoration service. DIY methods can sometimes worsen ingrained stains.

How to Remove Common Stains from Quartz Countertops

Coffee and Tea Stains

Coffee, tea, and other beverage stains are some of the most common to plague quartz countertops. Tannins give these drinks their signature hue and also bind them stubbornly to the surface. To remove:

  • Blot away any excess liquid immediately after a spill.
  • Mix baking soda and water into a spreadable paste.
  • Apply the paste to the stain and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Scrub gently with a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.
  • For stubborn coffee stains, apply hydrogen peroxide and rinse after 5 minutes.

Wine, Juice, and Fruit Stains

Acidic substances like wine, fruit juice, lemons/limes, tomatoes, and berries can all etch and discolor quartz over time. To clean:

  • Immediately blot the spill.
  • Mix baking soda and water into a paste and apply to the stain.
  • If needed, lightly scrub with a Magic Eraser.
  • Rinse and dry thoroughly afterwards.
  • For tough stains, use hydrogen peroxide before rinsing.

Oil and Grease Stains

Oils and greases from food prep can penetrate quartz and cause dark discoloration if not cleaned promptly. To remove:

  • Right after a spill, blot with a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
  • Apply a poultice to draw out the grease. Mix baking soda or oxygen bleach powder with enough hydrogen peroxide to form a paste.
  • Cover the stain with the poultice and let sit for up to 24 hours.
  • Once dry, scrape away the poultice and rinse the area.
  • Repeat as needed for stubborn grease stains.

Hard Water Marks and Mineral Deposits

Hard water can leave behind calcium and mineral deposits on quartz surfaces. To clean:

  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water.
  • Apply the solution to the deposits and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Scrub deposits gently with a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Rinse thoroughly afterwards and wipe dry.
  • For tough buildup, use Barkeeper’s Friend applied with a damp sponge.

Dried Food, Grease, and Grime

Quartz can collect sticky food residue, built-up cooking grease, and other grime that requires heavy duty cleaning. To remove:

  • Apply a degreasing cleaner like Barkeeper’s Friend to grimy areas.
  • Let it sit briefly to penetrate the grease.
  • Scrub with a stiff nylon brush or scrubbing pad, applying more cleaner as needed.
  • Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
  • Repeat this process for extremely dirty quartz to fully degrease the surface. Let the countertop dry completely.

Other Tips for Preventing Quartz Stains

  • Use cutting boards and trivets to protect quartz from knives, pans, and other items that could scratch and stain the surface.
  • Seal quartz countertops every 1-2 years with a penetrating quartz sealant to boost stain resistance. Reseal after intensive cleaning.
  • Avoid using strongly pigmented cleaning products like dye-based disinfectants which can stain quartz.
  • Wipe up spills as soon as they happen to prevent stains from setting.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s care and maintenance instructions.

When to Call a Professional for Quartz Stains

For stains that are extremely stubborn or cover a large area, it’s best to have a professional quartz cleaning service tackle the job. DIY cleaning can sometimes make stains worse by driving them deeper into the pores. Professionals have access to more powerful cleaners like chlorine bleach and can examine the stain’s cause to determine the most effective stain removal method. They also have the right tools for safely deep cleaning the entire countertop afterwards to prevent cleaned areas from standing out. Calling in the experts protects your investment and saves you time and hassle.

With the right techniques and supplies, you can keep your quartz countertops looking like new by acting swiftly against stains. Just remember to always use gentle cleaners and motions to avoid damaging the quartz surface. Prompt stain removal and routine care will maintain the good looks of your quartz countertops for years to come.