What Can I Use to Clean Quartz Countertops?

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any countertop material, quartz requires regular cleaning to keep it looking its best. Here is a detailed guide on how to properly clean quartz countertops.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. This combination creates a very hard, non-porous surface that resists scratches, stains, and heat.

Compared to natural stone like granite, quartz requires very little maintenance besides regular cleaning. It does not need to be sealed, is stain resistant, and heat damage is rare. This makes quartz an excellent choice for busy kitchens.

Routine Cleaning of Quartz Countertops

For regular, day-to-day cleaning, quartz countertops only need a simple wipe down with a soft, damp cloth or sponge and warm water. This removes normal dirt, dust, and spills.

A mild soap or dish detergent can be used for sticky spills or grease buildup. Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads during routine cleaning, as these can damage the surface over time.

It is best to wipe spills as they occur to prevent staining. For dried spills, simply soak the area with warm water to soften residue before wiping away.

Deep Cleaning Quartz Countertops

For a more thorough periodic cleaning, a gentle quartz countertop cleaner or stone cleaner is recommended. Look for ones specifically formulated for engineered stone.

Popular options include:

  • Method Daily Granite & Stone Cleaner – Natural citrus-based formula.
  • StoneTech Revitalizer Cleaner and Protector – Cleans and adds a protective barrier.
  • Weiman Granite Cleaner and Polish – Cleans, shines, and protects.
  • Zep Commercial Quartz and Granite Cleaner – Disinfects and deodorizes.

Follow the product instructions carefully. Spray a light amount over the entire surface and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping clean with a soft cloth.

What NOT to Use on Quartz Countertops

It is important to avoid certain cleaners and substances that can damage quartz:

  • No bleach or ammonia – Can discolor and pit the surface.
  • No vinegar – While it has natural cleaning properties, the acidity can dull quartz over time.
  • No abrasive cleansers – Scouring powders, creams, or scrubbing pads can scratch.
  • No oil-based soaps – Can leave a residue leading to buildup.
  • No high heat – While quartz is resistant, extreme direct heat from a hot pan can damage. Always use a trivet.

Tips for Cleaning Quartz

  • Wipe up spills immediately before they have a chance to set.
  • Use a cleaner formulated for engineered stone. All-purpose cleaners may be too abrasive.
  • Only apply cleaners to a soft cloth first rather than directly spraying the countertop.
  • Use a gentle, circular motion when cleaning rather than harsh scrubbing.
  • Thoroughly rinse off any cleaning solutions with water when done.
  • Blot dry any excess water with a towel to prevent water spots.
  • For food prep areas, clean regularly to prevent bacteria growth in crevices.

How to Remove Stains from Quartz Countertops

While quartz resists stains well, they can still occur under certain circumstances. Here are some tips for removing common quartz countertop stains:

Dried food stains – Let warm water soak on the area to soften, then gently scrape with a plastic scraper. Avoid metal scouring pads.

Oil/grease stains – Use a degreasing cleaner formulated for stone. Baby oil can also help break up grease.

Rust stains – Use a rust remover made for stone. Or make a paste with cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide.

Hard water spots – Wipe with undiluted white vinegar using a soft cloth.

Dye transfer – Try acetone nail polish remover or alcohol on a cloth. Test first.

Ink marks – Apply rubbing alcohol to the area with a cloth.

For stubborn stains, consult a professional stone cleaner for stronger solutions like poultices. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.

How to Disinfect Quartz Countertops

To safely disinfect quartz countertops:

  • Use a cleaner made specifically for stone disinfection, like Zep Commercial Quartz and Granite Disinfectant.
  • Make a dilute bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Do not let it sit – wipe immediately.
  • Use isopropyl alcohol wipes.
  • Hydrogen peroxide wipes can also sterilize quartz.
  • For food contact areas, use an ammonia-based cleaner and rinse thoroughly.

Always rinse completely after disinfecting quartz and follow cleaner instructions carefully. Increase ventilation.

Caring for Quartz Countertops Long-Term

With proper care and cleaning, quartz countertops can stay looking like new for many years:

  • Use trivets and cutting boards to protect from heat damage and cutting scratches.
  • Immediately wipe up any spills – especially oils, wines, and acidic foods.
  • Avoid harsh cleaners and abrasive pads/sponges.
  • Only use cleaners made specifically for engineered stone.
  • For heavy cleaning, hire a professional stone cleaner annually.
  • Reseal quartz every 1-2 years for added protection with a quartz sealer.

By using the proper quartz cleaning techniques, your countertops will maintain their beauty and function for decades to come. Be sure to clean quartz regularly and safely. Avoid damaging it with overly abrasive scrubbing or chemicals. With some simple maintenance, quartz countertops can stay looking pristine.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertops

Can I use vinegar to clean quartz?

Vinegar is acidic, so it is not recommended as a routine quartz cleaner. The acidity can eventually cause etching and dullness. However, diluted white vinegar can occasionally be used for hard water spots and other stains – just rinse thoroughly after use.

How can I make my quartz countertops shine?

Using a stone-safe polishing cream or spray cleaner formulated for quartz will help enhance the surface shine. Apply a light amount with a soft cloth using gentle circular motions. Avoid excessive rubbing.

What is the best homemade quartz cleaner?

Make a DIY daily quartz cleaner by mixing together 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1 tbsp dish soap, and 1 cup warm water. For a deeper clean, try mixing 2 tbsp hydrogen peroxide, 1 tsp mild dish soap, and 1 cup warm water. Always rinse well after using.

Can I use Windex on quartz?

No, avoid glass cleaners like Windex. The ammonia in these products can damage or discolor quartz surfaces. Use only cleaners made specifically for stone countertops.

How can I get baked-on stains off my quartz?

For stubborn baked-on stains, let a cloth soaked in warm water sit on the area for several minutes to soften the residue. Then try gently scraping with a plastic spatula. Avoid using metal scouring pads or scrapers which can scratch.

Bottom Line

Regular cleaning is important for quartz countertops to retain their beauty and function. Simply use a soft cloth, mild soap, and warm water for daily cleaning. For a deeper clean, use a quartz-specific cleaner. Avoid abrasive cleaners or pads that could scratch the surface. With the proper care, quartz countertops can stay looking like new for many years.