Is It Safe to Steam Clean Quartz Countertops?

Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz countertops require occasional cleaning to keep them looking their best. Some homeowners wonder if using a steam cleaner is safe for quartz. Here is a detailed overview of whether steam cleaning is an advisable cleaning method for quartz countertops.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resin and pigments. The result is a man-made material that is highly durable, stain-resistant, and scratch-resistant.

Key properties that make quartz an excellent countertop material:

  • Highly durable – Quartz is harder than granite and resists scratches, chips, and cracks.
  • Stain-resistant – Quartz resists stains from spills like wine, coffee, and juice.
  • Low maintenance – Requires little ongoing maintenance compared to natural stone.
  • Available in various colors and patterns – From solid white to patterns mimicking natural stone.
  • Non-porous – Unlike granite, liquid cannot penetrate the surface.

Is Steam Cleaning Safe for Quartz?

Steam cleaning is generally considered safe and effective for routine cleaning of quartz countertops. Most quartz manufacturers approve using steam cleaners on their products.

Here are some key advantages of using a steam cleaner on quartz:

  • Sanitizing – The heat and pressure of the steam kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and germs without harsh chemicals. This helps keep quartz hygienic.
  • Removes stains – Steam cleaning can blast away dried-on spills, grease buildup, and other residues. The heat helps loosen and lift stains.
  • Environmentally friendly – Steam cleaning avoids chemical cleaners that can be toxic and harmful to the environment. The only ingredient is water.
  • Versatile – Steam cleaners can sanitize and clean not just countertops but appliances, floors, windows, and more.

However, there are also some precautions to take when steam cleaning quartz:

Use Lower Steam Settings

High-pressure or heat settings can potentially damage the resin binders in quartz. Most manufacturers advise using lower steam temperature and pressure settings. Check your steam cleaner manual and start on the lowest settings.

Don’t Use on Seams or Edges

Avoid aiming steam directly at countertop seams, joints, or edges. These areas are vulnerable to damage from concentrated high heat.

Wipe Surface Dry

Don’t allow the quartz surface to air dry after steaming. Wipe it dry with a soft cloth to prevent mineral deposits from the water.

Test a Small Area First

If unsure, first test steam clean a small inconspicuous section of the quartz to check for any issues.

Best Practices for Steam Cleaning Quartz

Follow these methods to safely and effectively steam clean quartz countertops:

  • Vacuum loose debris before steaming to avoid pushing dirt into stone.
  • Pre-treat any dried-on spills by allowing a damp cloth with mild soap to sit on them for a few minutes. This loosens buildup.
  • Use steam cleaner on the lowest settings for temperature and pressure. Move steam head constantly.
  • Work in sections and wipe with microfiber cloth pad between sections. Buff dry.
  • Target stubborn spots and stains by holding the steam head 6-10 inches away for short bursts.
  • Avoid steam cleaning edges, seams, joints or textured areas. Use a soft cloth in those areas.
  • After steaming entire surface, do a final wipedown with clean soft cloth.

Alternate Cleaning Methods

While steaming is generally safe for routine cleaning of quartz countertops, here are some other effective cleaning methods:

  • Dish soap and water – For everyday cleaning, a soft sponge and mild dish detergent dissolve spills.
  • Baking soda – Make a paste with water to gently scrub stains. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Vinegar – Full-strength white vinegar removes soap scum and hard water marks.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Disinfects the surface without abrasive chemicals.
  • Ammonia – Adds cleaning power to remove tough grease stains.

Can You Damage Quartz Countertops from Steam Cleaning?

When done properly using lower steam settings and avoiding vulnerable areas, steam cleaning will not damage quartz countertops. The key is to not use excessively high heat and pressure.

Signs you may have damaged quartz from improper steam cleaning:

  • Discoloration or blistered areas
  • Cracks around seams and edges
  • Increased surface roughness or porosity
  • Resin binders appearing “melted”

If you notice any damage, stop steam cleaning immediately and consult your countertop manufacturer. For routine cleaning, use steam settings no higher than what is recommended and test a small area first to verify it is safe on your specific quartz material.


Steam cleaning provides a chemical-free, versatile way to effectively sanitize, descale, and clean quartz countertops. When used properly on lower settings and avoiding vulnerable spots, steaming is considered a safe cleaning technique approved by most quartz manufacturers. Pay attention to pressure and heat settings, test a small area first, and wipe the surface dry after steaming. Implementing best practices allows homeowners to safely harness the power of steam for sparkling clean quartz countertops.