Quartz countertops are an incredibly popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, ease of maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, like any surface, quartz can get dirty over time and require cleaning. A common question homeowners have is whether rubbing alcohol is safe to use when cleaning quartz countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and pigments. The mixture is molded into slabs and hardened under intense heat and pressure.
The result is a non-porous, highly durable surface that resists scratches, stains, heat, and most household chemicals. Unlike natural stone, quartz does not require routine sealing. This makes caring for quartz straightforward compared to more high-maintenance countertops like marble or granite.
Is Rubbing Alcohol Safe for Cleaning Quartz?
The short answer is yes, rubbing alcohol is generally safe to use on quartz surfaces. When diluted with water, rubbing alcohol can help remove many types of dirt and stains.
However, there are a few precautions to take when using rubbing alcohol on quartz:
Use a Diluted Solution
Rubbing alcohol should always be diluted with water before applying to quartz. A 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and water is ideal. Using straight, undiluted rubbing alcohol could potentially dull the surface.
Spot Test First
Before cleaning the entire countertop, do a spot test on a small, inconspicuous area. Check to make sure the diluted rubbing alcohol does not discolor or damage the quartz.
Avoid Prolonged Exposure
While a brief application is fine, you don’t want to let rubbing alcohol sit on the quartz for an extended period. Prolonged exposure could damage the finish. Wipe it off quickly after applying.
Use a Soft Cloth
Only use a soft, clean cloth to apply the diluted alcohol. Avoid abrasive sponges or paper towels that could scratch the surface.
After cleaning with rubbing alcohol, be sure to rinse the surface thoroughly with clean water to remove any residue. Residual alcohol could damage the quartz over time.
Rubbing alcohol works great as an occasional spot treatment for difficult stains and dirt. However, for routine cleaning, a simple soap and water solution is best for maintaining the luster of quartz over time.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops
Here is a quick guide to keeping quartz counters clean on a daily basis:
- For food and drink spills, wipe up immediately with a soft sponge or cloth. Warm water is usually sufficient for basic cleaning.
- For grease, oil or soap scum, use a degreasing cleaner formulated for quartz or stone surfaces.
- For stuck-on dirt or stains, make a 50/50 diluted rubbing alcohol solution. Apply to the stain with a soft cloth, let sit briefly, then rinse.
- For a deep clean, use a quartz cleaner or mild soap and water. Avoid abrasive scrubbers.
- Rinse thoroughly after each cleaning. Completely dry the surface to prevent streaks.
- Every few weeks, give the quartz a polish with a soft cloth and quartz-specific polish or sealant. This helps maintain the shine.
When to Avoid Rubbing Alcohol on Quartz
While diluted rubbing alcohol is useful for occasional spot cleaning, there are a few situations where you’ll want to avoid using it on a quartz countertop:
- On newly installed quartz – New quartz has a protective finish that could be damaged by rubbing alcohol. Wait several weeks before using any cleaners.
- After re-sealing – Avoid alcohol cleaners immediately after sealing, as they can break down sealants before they fully cure.
- With matte finish quartz – Many matte quartz options have a more delicate finish that may be dulled by rubbing alcohol.
- Around joints and seams – Alcohol can seep into crevices and cause damage over time. Use a soft cloth and mild soap and water around seams.
- With strong concentrations – Undiluted or high concentrations of alcohol may discolor or etch quartz. Always dilute with water before use.
When to Call a Professional
If you encounter a difficult stain that diluted alcohol and other DIY methods can’t remove, it may be time to call for professional help. Companies specializing in quartz repair and restoration have access to more powerful cleaners. They can also re-polish the surface if needed.
For problems like noticeable scratches or etching that impact the appearance of the quartz, you’ll also want to bring in a pro. They can often re-finish damaged areas to restore the original beauty of your countertop.
Maintain Your Investment with Proper Care
Quartz countertops are an investment that can last for decades when properly cared for. Using the right cleaners and techniques will keep them looking like new. Diluted rubbing alcohol can be used occasionally for spot cleaning stains, but avoid overusing it. For the best results, stick to mild soap and water for routine cleaning and immediately wipe up spills as they occur. With regular polishing and sealing, your quartz counters will maintain their smooth surface and resistance to damage.