White quartz countertops can lose their bright white luster over time. Daily wear and tear, spills, and stains can cause them to appear dingy or yellowed. However, whitening quartz countertops without damaging the material is possible with the right techniques and products. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to safely whiten white quartz countertops and restore their original beauty.
Cleaning vs. Whitening Quartz Countertops
It’s important to understand the difference between cleaning and whitening. Regular cleaning of quartz involves using a mild soap and water to remove dirt, stains, and debris. This maintains day-to-day cleanliness but does not significantly whiten or brighten the countertops.
Whitening goes beyond cleaning to remove dullness, yellowing, and stains that cleaning alone cannot fix. Whitening restores the original vibrant white color of the quartz.
Step 1: Remove All Items from the Countertops
Before beginning any whitening process, thoroughly clear the countertops of everything – small appliances, countertop accessories, cleaning products, etc. Having a completely clear workspace allows you to whiten the entire surface thoroughly and evenly.
Step 2: Clean the Countertops
Use a soft microfiber cloth or sponge with warm water and a small amount of mild soap. Avoid abrasive cleansers. Gently scrub the entire surface to remove any dirt, residue, or debris. Thoroughly rinse away all soap with clean water and pat dry with a towel.
The countertops must be completely free of debris before whitening, so take your time with this pre-cleaning step. Check for any remaining dirt or stains after drying and re-clean if necessary.
Step 3: Apply Whitening Cleanser
There are a few options for whitening cleansers that are safe and effective for use on quartz:
- Baking soda – Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and apply it liberally over the countertop surface. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Hydrogen peroxide – Use a 3% solution and apply it directly onto the countertop. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- Bar Keepers Friend – This abrasive powder formula can safely lift stains from quartz. Make a paste with water and apply it to the countertops. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes.
No matter which cleanser you choose, be sure to uniformly cover the entire countertop surface with the paste. Apply a thick layer to achieve the best whitening results.
Step 4: Scrub the Paste
After letting the cleanser sit, scrub the paste over the surface using a soft-bristle cleaning brush or sponge. Apply light pressure as you scrub. This will help lift dullness and stains from the quartz.
Step 5: Rinse Thoroughly
Once you have scrubbed the entire surface, rinse away all of the paste thoroughly with clean water. Use a sponge or microfiber cloth to remove any remaining residue. Wipe the countertops dry with a towel.
Step 6: Repeat as Needed for Stubborn Stains
Examine the quartz countertops closely under good lighting after drying. If any yellowed or stained areas remain, repeat the whitening process by re-applying cleanser and scrubbing those spots again.
Allow the quartz to dry fully between whitening rounds. For tough stains, you may need to repeat the process 2-3 times for full whitening power.
Step 7: Seal and Protect (Optional)
To help prolong the freshly whitened appearance, use a sealant made specifically for quartz countertops. These protective sealants fill pores and create a barrier to prevent stains. Apply a thin layer across the entire surface following the product instructions.
Buff off any excess for a smooth shine. Reapply sealant every 6-12 months for ongoing resistance to staining.
Avoid These Mistakes When Whitening Quartz Countertops:
- Using bleach, alkaline cleaners, or abrasive scrubs which can damage the quartz surface. Stick to gentle cleansers like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
- Failing to rinse off cleansers thoroughly after scrubbing which can leave a hazy residue.
- Applying excessive pressure when scrubbing which can scour the surface. Use only light pressure.
- Neglecting to clean up spills quickly which allows stains to set in and become harder to remove.
Tips for Maintaining a White Quartz Countertop
Once you’ve successfully whitened your quartz countertops, keep them looking bright and beautiful by:
- Cleaning up spills immediately to prevent stains
- Using a cutting board and coasters to protect from knives and hot pans
- Avoiding using colored cleansers that can stain the white surface
- Cleaning regularly with mild soap and water
- Re-sealing every 6-12 months
With the proper care and whitening techniques, white quartz countertops can stay looking like new for many years. A little effort goes a long way in maintaining their fresh white luster and brilliance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use bleach or alkaline cleaners to whiten my quartz?
No, avoid using bleach, alkaline cleaners, or abrasive scrubbing pads on quartz countertops. They can damage the surface. For whitening, stick to gentle cleansers like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or Bar Keeper’s Friend.
How often should I whitening my quartz countertops?
Most quartz countertops only need whitening once or twice per year to maintain the original white color. However, countertops in heavily used kitchens may need touch-up whitening every 3-4 months.
Can stains come back after whitening quartz?
Yes, it’s still possible for stains to return over time after whitening quartz countertops. That’s why it’s important to properly seal and routinely maintain quartz after whitening it. Quickly wiping up spills also helps prevent new stains from setting in.
Is it safe to use lemon juice to whiten quartz?
No, you should avoid using lemon juice or any acidic cleaners to whiten quartz. Acid can damage or etch the quartz surface over time. For best results, stick to non-acidic cleansers specifically formulated to whiten stone countertops safely.
Should I re-seal my quartz countertops after whitening them?
Yes, it’s highly recommended to re-seal quartz with a specialty stone sealant after whitening the countertops. The sealant will help protect the renewed white surface from future stains. Be sure to use a sealant made for quartz.
With the proper techniques and products, you can safely restore the original white luster of stained or yellowed quartz countertops. Regular sealing and maintenance cleaning will help maintain that bright white look. Be sure to avoid harsh cleansers and always scrub gently. Follow these steps for best results when learning how to whiten white quartz countertops.