How to Treat Quartz Countertop Discoloration from Heat

What Causes Discoloration on Quartz Countertops?

Quartz countertops are made from crushed quartz combined with resins and pigments. While quartz itself can withstand heat, the resin binders are more vulnerable. Intense, direct heat from hot pans, especially cast iron pans, can scorch and discolor the resin. This results in unsightly marks and stains on your countertop.

Prolonged exposure to lower levels of heat can also gradually cause discoloration over time. Things like placing hot cups, leaving the oven door open, and having a toaster oven near the edge of the countertop allow heat to build up and take its toll.

How to Remove Existing Discoloration

If you already have discolored spots and stains on your quartz countertops, there are ways to improve their appearance:

Use a Countertop Cleaner and Soft Cloth

Gently wipe the discolored areas with a countertop cleaner formulated for quartz and a soft, non-abrasive cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach. The cleaner will help lift some of the superficial stains.

Try a Poultice

For more stubborn stains, make a poultice by mixing a countertop cleaner with an absorbent powder like flour or talc. Apply to the stain and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 24 hours then scrub and rinse away. This draws out deeper discoloration.

Sand with Extra-Fine Sandpaper

For significant discoloration in a small area, use 400 grit sandpaper to lightly buff the spots. This gently removes the top layer of resin. Be careful not to overdo it and expose more quartz. Wipe clean afterwards.

Use a Countertop Restoration Kit

These kits contain specialized abrasive pads and polishing compounds to sand out discoloration and restore the quartz finish. Follow kit directions carefully. Professional refinishing may be needed for large affected areas.

How to Prevent Future Discoloration

Prevention is key to keeping your quartz pristine. Follow these tips:

  • Always use trivets and hot pads under hot pans, dishes, and heat-producing appliances.
  • Avoid prolonged direct heat exposure from things like pizza boxes or toaster ovens.
  • Clean up spills as soon as possible, especially from oils, acids, and alkalis.
  • Use only quartz-safe cleaners and avoid abrasive pads.
  • Consider having your countertop resealed periodically for added protection.
  • If significant discoloration occurs, act quickly to treat it before permanent damage sets in.

Common Questions about Treating Quartz Heat Damage

How can I tell if my countertop needs refinishing?

Signs that your quartz countertop needs professional refinishing include etching, pits, cracks, large stained areas, a generally dulled appearance, and an inability to remove stains through regular cleaning.

Will refinishing quartz damage the surface?

In the hands of an experienced professional, refinishing should not damage a quartz countertop. The process involves buffing off a thin top layer to reveal fresh, undamaged quartz underneath.

Is it possible to completely remove heat discoloration yourself?

While many stains can be improved with vigorous cleaning, poultices, and sanding, complete removal is difficult without professional equipment. Severely damaged areas likely require expert refinishing.

How can I prevent heat damage when cooking?

Always use hot pads, trivets and cutting boards. Keep pan handles turned inwards. Clean up spills right away. Open windows to release steam and heat. Don’t leave oven doors open needlessly.

Should I replace instead of refinish my discolored quartz?

Refinishing is much more affordable than replacement. As long as the essential structural integrity remains intact, even quartz with significant discoloration and etching can typically be restored successfully.


Quartz countertops are susceptible to discoloration when subjected to excessive heat over time. Preventing damage through careful use is ideal, but remedies like poultices, sanding, and refinishing can often restore their appearance successfully. With some care and quick action when needed, you can enjoy beautiful quartz countertops for years before replacement is warranted.