Is It OK to Use Vinegar to Clean Quartz Countertops?

Quartz countertops are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and ease of maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz countertops require proper cleaning to keep them looking their best. Some homeowners opt to use vinegar as a natural cleaning solution for quartz. But is vinegar actually safe for quartz countertops? Here is a detailed look at whether or not vinegar is an effective and safe cleaning solution for quartz surfaces.

An Overview of Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The result is a durable, non-porous surface that resists scratches, stains, and heat.

Some key features of quartz countertops:

  • Extremely durable and scratch-resistant surface
  • Non-porous so resists staining
  • Contains natural antibacterial properties
  • Resists heat and scorching
  • Available in a variety of colors and patterns
  • Low maintenance compared to natural stone
  • Does not require regular sealing

Quartz’s resistance to stains, scratches, and heat make it an ideal choice for heavy-use areas like kitchens. With simple cleaning using mild soap and water, quartz can maintain its beautiful look for many years.

Is Vinegar Safe for Cleaning Quartz?

Vinegar has become a popular cleaning agent due to it being a natural, non-toxic, and affordable option. The acetic acid in vinegar can help dissolve some types of dirt and stains. However, vinegar is an acidic substance with a pH between 2-3. Quartz manufacturers caution against using acidic cleaners like vinegar, lemon juice, or harsh chemicals.

Why is it not recommended to use vinegar on quartz? There are a few reasons:

Can damage sealant – Quartz countertops are sealed during fabrication to prevent staining and damage. Acidic cleaners can break down this sealant over time.

Can etch surface – The acidic nature of vinegar could potentially etch or dull the smooth surface of quartz. This can lead to a hazy, frosted appearance.

Leaves film behind – Vinegar can leave behind a stubborn cloudy, white film on the surface that is difficult to remove completely.

Affects color – On quartz with vivid colors, the acidity of vinegar could potentially cause fading or discoloration over time.

Voids warranty – Many manufacturer warranties prohibit the use of vinegar and other acidic cleaners. Use of these substances can void or limit the warranty.

While vinegar may have some mild cleaning properties, the risks generally outweigh the benefits for routine maintenance of quartz surfaces.

Recommended Cleaners for Quartz

To safely clean quartz without causing damage, follow the recommendations from quartz manufacturers:

  • Mild dish soap and warm water – For routine cleaning, use a small amount of mild, non-abrasive soap diluted in warm water. Avoid dish soaps that contain lemon, as these have higher acidity.
  • pH-neutral stone cleaner – Use a cleaner specifically formulated for stone surfaces. These are pH-balanced and won’t damage the sealant or etch the surface.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – As a weekly cleaner, use a non-acidic disinfectant like hydrogen peroxide. This can kill bacteria and give a deep clean without risks.
  • Baking soda – For scrubbing tougher messes, make a paste with baking soda and water. Baking soda is mildly abrasive without being too harsh.
  • Microfiber cloths – Always use soft microfiber cloths when cleaning quartz to avoid scratches. Paper towels can sometimes leave behind fibers and lint.

Avoid using any products containing acids, alkaline, or abrasives. This includes vinegar, lemon juice, bleach, ammonia, bathroom cleaners, or polishing compounds. Always refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions for your specific quartz.

Alternative Uses for Vinegar in the Kitchen

While vinegar should be avoided for quartz countertop cleaning, it still has many helpful uses throughout the rest of the kitchen:

  • Natural all-purpose cleaner – Mix with water to clean stainless steel and other surfaces.
  • Remove grease and grime – Use diluted vinegar to dissolve sticky grease buildup on appliances, cookware, and range hoods.
  • Shine faucets and sinks – Removes water spots and mineral deposits from metal fixtures.
  • Freshen produce – A vinegar rinse keeps fruits and veggies fresh longer.
  • Disinfect cutting boards – Kills bacteria on wooden and plastic cutting boards.
  • Clean coffee maker – Run a vinegar solution through to remove mineral deposits.
  • Clean windows and glass – Combine with water for streak-free windows and mirrors.
  • Unclog drains – Pour vinegar down the drain followed by baking soda to deodorize and break up clogs.

Tips for Proper Maintenance of Quartz Countertops

  • Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains, especially oils, wine, and citrus juices.
  • Use trivets and hot pads under hot pots and pans to prevent thermal shock.
  • Cut only on designated cutting boards, not directly on the quartz surface.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals and acidic cleaners which can damage the protective seal.
  • Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a stone sealer to refresh protection.
  • Inspect countertops periodically for any signs of damage like chips or cracks.
  • Consider professional deep cleaning services every 2-3 years to keep surfaces pristine.


While the acidity of vinegar may seem helpful for cleaning, it should be avoided for quartz countertop maintenance. The risks of damaging the sealant, altering the color, and voiding warranties makes vinegar too harsh for routine use. For best results, stick to mild pH-balanced cleaners and soaps recommended for engineered stone. With regular gentle cleaning and caution around heat, quartz countertops can stay looking like new for many years.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cleaning Quartz with Vinegar

Is it OK to clean quartz countertops with vinegar?

No, vinegar is not recommended for cleaning quartz countertops. The acetic acid in vinegar can damage the sealant, etch the surface, and void the manufacturer’s warranty. Quartz requires pH-neutral cleaners and mild soap and water instead of acidic products like vinegar.

Why is vinegar bad for quartz?

Vinegar is acidic with a pH around 2-3. This level of acidity can erode quartz sealants over time, causing etching and hazing on the surface. Vinegar can also react with minerals in quartz leading to stubborn hard water stains.

What happens if you use vinegar to clean quartz?

Using vinegar on quartz countertops can damage the protective sealant, leading to staining and increased damage over time. Vinegar could also potentially etch the surface, causing a rough, frosted look. Most manufacturers advise against vinegar, as it voids warranties.

Can white vinegar damage quartz?

Yes, even white vinegar can damage quartz surfaces. All types of vinegar are highly acidic, so white vinegar can still etch and erode quartz. Any vinegar variety should be avoided for routine quartz cleaning.

Is vinegar OK for engineered stone?

No, vinegar should be avoided on all engineered stone surfaces, including quartz. While vinegar can work well for cleaning other materials, engineered stone contains minerals that can react negatively to acids. Use only manufacturers recommended pH-neutral cleaners.

What is the best homemade cleaner for quartz countertops?

A good homemade cleaner option is mixing together warm water and a very small amount of mild dish soap without added acids or lemon. For stubborn messes, make a paste with baking soda and water and scrub gently with a soft cloth. Vinegar and other acids should always be avoided.

How do you disinfect quartz countertops?

To naturally disinfect quartz, use a gentle option like hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol. Make sure they do not contain added fragrances or colors. Sanitizing wipes are another option, but look for brands without acids or bleach. Vinegar should not be used to disinfect quartz due to its acidic pH.

What happens if you leave vinegar on quartz?

Leaving vinegar or any acidic cleaner sitting on quartz can increase the chances of damage. The acid could have time to react with the surface, potentially etching and eroding the sealant. Any spills should be wiped up immediately, and vinegar should not be allowed to linger.