Is Acetone Safe on Quartz Countertops?

Acetone is a powerful solvent that is commonly used to remove nail polish, clean tools, and dissolve certain plastics. However, there is some debate around whether or not acetone is safe to use on quartz countertops. Here is a detailed look at the effects of acetone on quartz and whether it should be used as a cleaning agent for this popular stone.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, have become increasingly popular in recent years as an alternative to natural stone surfaces like granite and marble. Quartz is made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The result is a durable, non-porous material that resists scratches, stains, and heat.

Some key properties of quartz:

  • Extremely hard and dense
  • Non-porous so resistant to staining
  • Contains over 90% ground quartz crystals
  • Resists heat, scratches and chips
  • Available in wide range of colors and patterns

Quartz offers an attractive, low-maintenance surface for kitchens and bathrooms. However, it still requires some care and cleaning to keep it looking pristine.

Is Acetone Safe for Cleaning Quartz?

Acetone is a harsh chemical solvent capable of dissolving or damaging many materials. So is it safe to use on engineered quartz?

The short answer is no. Acetone is generally not recommended for routine cleaning of quartz surfaces. Here’s why:

  • Can damage sealant: Quartz countertops are sealed to increase stain resistance. Acetone can break down this sealant, causing the countertop to become more prone to staining over time.
  • Removes color: While acetone won’t etch or corrode quartz, it can strip away applied color coats. This causes discoloration and blotchiness on the surface over time with repeated exposure.
  • Not needed: Quartz is non-porous, so harsh chemicals like acetone are not required for cleaning. Simple mild cleaners are effective for most messes.
  • Safety concerns: Acetone has a very strong odor and fumes that can cause headaches and irritation. It’s also highly flammable. Using this chemical regularly in your home introduces safety hazards.

While an occasional acetone application may not cause immediate damage, repeated use will degrade the finish and appearance of quartz over time. It’s best to avoid this chemical when possible.

Recommended Cleaners for Quartz

To safely clean quartz countertops, stick to pH-neutral cleaners free of harsh acids, bleaches or solvents. Here are some good options:

  • Mild dish soap and water – For basic cleaning, a bit of dish detergent mixed with warm water works well to lift dirt and residues.
  • Cleaners made for stone – Look for cleaners specifically formulated for engineered stone and quartz. These contain gentle surfactants to dissolve grime.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – A mild solution of hydrogen peroxide and water can disinfect and brighten quartz. Rinse well after cleaning.
  • Baking soda – For scrubbing away tougher stains, make a paste of baking soda and water. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Always refer to your countertop manufacturer’s care guidelines for their recommended cleaners and procedures. And be sure to seal and reseal quartz regularly according to instructions to maintain stain resistance.

How to Remove Nail Polish from Quartz

One of the main reasons people reach for acetone is to remove nail polish spills from countertops. Thankfully, this is possible without the harsh effects of acetone:

  • First try to blot up as much of the spilled polish as possible with a paper towel.
  • Apply a small amount of mild cleaner like dish soap to the area and let it sit briefly to dissolve the polish.
  • Gently scrub with a soft cloth or brush in a circular motion. Take care not to scratch the surface.
  • For stubborn dried polish, soak the area with a cloth dampened in nail polish remover for 30-60 seconds. Then scrub gently to remove.
  • Rinse the area thoroughly and pat dry with a soft cloth.

With a little time and a gentle touch, nail polish can be removed from quartz without damaging the finish. Take care to test cleaners in an inconspicuous spot first.

Can You Use Acetone on Quartz?

In summary, it’s best to avoid acetone when cleaning quartz countertops. While a one-time use causes minimal damage, repeated exposure degrades quartz over time by:

  • Breaking down protective sealants
  • Erasing applied color treatments
  • Producing noxious fumes and safety hazards

For routine cleaning and removing nail polish, use milder cleaning agents designed specifically for engineered stone. With proper care, your beautiful quartz countertops will maintain their flawless look for many years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does acetone damage or dissolve quartz?

No, acetone does not dissolve or etch quartz like it does some plastics. However, it can degrade sealants, remove applied colors, and damage the overall finish with repeated use.

What happens if I accidentally use acetone on my quartz?

An occasional accidental cleaning with acetone won’t immediately ruin your countertop. However, repeated use will break down sealants and finishes over time. Discontinue use and stick to mild cleaners to avoid long-term damage.

Can I use acetone to remove adhesive or paint from quartz?

It’s best to avoid acetone. Use a mild adhesive remover formulated for stone instead. For dried paint spots, soften the area with mild solvents first, then gently scrape away paint. Be careful not to scratch the surface.

Is nail polish remover with acetone safe on quartz?

Nail polish remover contains varying amounts of acetone, so it’s best avoided. Use a small amount of mild cleaner to remove nail polish instead. For dried polish, target treat the area first before gently scrubbing.

What ratio of hydrogen peroxide and water can be used to clean quartz?

A typical safe cleaning solution is 1 part hydrogen peroxide diluted with 4-5 parts water. Apply with a soft cloth and rinse thoroughly after cleaning. Always spot test first. Increase dilution if you notice any surface damage.


Quartz countertops offer durable, low-maintenance beauty. While acetone won’t directly etch this engineered stone, repeated exposure can degrade surfaces over time. For best results, stick to pH-neutral cleaners specifically designed for quartz and other solid surfaces. With proper care, your quartz countertops will stay looking like new for many years of beauty and enjoyment.