Meta description: Find out if ammonia-based cleaners are safe for use on quartz countertops. This article provides insightful information on how ammonia affects quartz and cleaning recommendations.
Quartz countertops are popular in many modern kitchens due to their durability, scratch-resistance, and low maintenance. However, there is some debate on whether ammonia-based cleaners are safe for cleaning quartz surfaces. In this article, we will dive into whether ammonia is safe for quartz countertops.
How Ammonia Affects Quartz
Quartz is an engineered stone made from crushed quartz crystals and resin binders. The quartz crystals make the countertops incredibly hard and durable. However, the resin used in manufacturing can be affected by harsh chemicals like ammonia.
Pure ammonia has a pH of 11-12, making it a strong alkaline. When ammonia comes into contact with quartz, the alkaline solution can erode the resin binders. Over time, this can dull the finish and create micro-pitting on the surface.
Ammonia is also abrasive, which can slowly scratch and damage the surface of quartz countertops. Any damage caused by ammonia will be permanent and irreversible.
Is Ammonia Safe for Routine Cleaning?
Most manufacturers advise against using ammonia-based cleaners for routine cleaning of quartz. Ammonia should never be used undiluted on quartz countertops.
Diluted ammonia is not immediately damaging when used occasionally. However, even diluted formulas can degrade quartz surfaces over time. For routine cleaning, it’s best to avoid ammonia completely.
Quartz is naturally stain-resistant, so daily cleaning only requires a mild soap and water. For deeper cleans, look for quartz-safe cleaners that contain non-abrasive chemicals like hydrogen peroxide.
Removing Stains with Ammonia
While not recommended for daily cleaning, ammonia can be effective for removing stubborn stains on quartz. Diluted ammonia works well on organic stains like coffee, wine, and fruit juice that soap alone cannot remove.
To safely use ammonia as a stain remover on quartz:
- Only use household ammonia diluted with water at a 1:4 ratio. Stronger concentrations increase the risk of damage.
- Spot test a small inconspicuous area first to check for any reaction.
- Apply the diluted solution and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Avoid rubbing aggressively.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.
- Repeat if needed, but limit ammonia use to tackle occasional stains only.
Cleaning With Window Cleaners
Some window and glass cleaners contain ammonia. While these are marketed as safe daily cleaners, they can still be damaging to quartz countertops over time.
The ammonia content in these products is lower, around 3-5%. However, long-term use will degrade the finish. It’s best to avoid using window cleaners on quartz.
For an effective glass cleaner alternative, mix together water with a small amount of rubbing alcohol or vodka. This helps provide streak-free cleaning without ammonia.
Maintaining Your Quartz Countertops
Here are some tips for keeping quartz counters looking like new:
- Use pH-neutral soaps and detergents only. Avoid alkaline cleaners like ammonia and bleach.
- Blot spills promptly to prevent staining. Acids like wine can etch into the surface.
- Always use a cutting board. Quartz is very hard, but knives can scrape the surface over time.
- Apply mineral oil periodically to enhance the shine and help fill in light scratches.
- Avoid placing hot pots or pans directly on the surface. Use trivets to prevent thermal shock.
FAQs About Ammonia and Quartz Countertops
Is ammonia okay to use occasionally on quartz?
Occasional use of diluted ammonia likely won’t damage quartz immediately but it’s still not recommended. Over many cleanings, ammonia will degrade the finish. It’s better to stick to dedicated quartz cleaners for best results.
What ratio of ammonia and water is safe for quartz?
A 1:4 solution of ammonia diluted with water is the maximum strength that should ever be used on quartz for stain removal. More concentrated solutions increase the risks of damaging the surface.
Can I use ammonia-based glass cleaner on my quartz countertops?
It’s best to avoid glass cleaners containing ammonia on quartz counters. The ammonia content is lower but long-term use can still degrade the surface over time. Use an ammonia-free alternative instead.
Does ammonia also damage other engineered stones like granite?
Yes, ammonia should be avoided on most engineered stone surfaces including granite, marble, and others. The resin binders that ammonia damages are present in many engineered stone products.
What happens if I accidentally used undiluted ammonia on my quartz?
Rinse immediately with water and do not use ammonia again. Check for any immediate damage like loss of shine or etching. If you notice dulling, try restoring the shine with a quartz polish. Avoid ammonia for future cleanings.
While ammonia can be an effective occasional stain remover, it should be avoided for routine cleaning of quartz surfaces. Always dilute ammonia and spot test first, as the resin binders in quartz can be degraded by prolonged ammonia exposure. For regular upkeep, stick to mild pH-neutral soaps and detergents made specifically for engineered stone. With proper care, your beautiful quartz countertops will stay looking like new for years to come.