Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface in the home, quartz countertops are prone to collecting germs and bacteria. Proper cleaning and disinfecting is key to keeping quartz surfaces safe and hygienic. Here is a detailed guide on how to effectively disinfect quartz countertops.
Why Disinfect Quartz Countertops?
Quartz is a very hardy material that resists scratches, stains, and heat. However, quartz is still porous with microscopic pores that can allow bacteria to gain a foothold. Food preparation and general use creates opportunities for bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Staphylococcus to spread.
Regular cleaning removes surface grime, but disinfecting kills harmful microscopic organisms and prevents them from multiplying. Thorough disinfection protects the health of your family by eliminating illness-causing germs.
Effective Disinfectants for Quartz
Not all cleaning solutions have disinfecting properties strong enough to sanitize quartz. Here are the most effective quartz-safe disinfectants:
Distilled White Vinegar
White vinegar is a natural disinfectant. It kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold, and 80% of germs and viruses.
- Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. After cleaning, spray the solution onto the quartz and wipe off with a paper towel. Allow to air dry.
- Undiluted white vinegar can also be used to spot treat stubborn stains or grime buildup.
Hydrogen peroxide at 3% concentration is proven to kill norovirus, E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and other nasty pathogens.
- Spray undiluted hydrogen peroxide onto the quartz surface. Allow it to sit for 1-2 minutes before wiping clean with a soft cloth.
- Make a disinfecting solution by mixing 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 1 part water. Apply it to the quartz with a spray bottle or clean cloth.
The CDC recommends using rubbing alcohol solutions with at least 70% isopropyl alcohol to disinfect surfaces.
- Isopropyl alcohol sanitizers are very effective against coronavirus when used correctly.
- Spray or wipe quartz down with rubbing alcohol and let it sit wet on the surface for 30 seconds to disinfect completely before wiping dry.
How Often Should I Disinfect Quartz Countertops?
Disinfect high-touch quartz surfaces like countertops daily or every other day. Areas prone to food contact like kitchen counters and dining tables should be disinfected before and after use.
Disinfect the entire quartz surface after contact with raw meat, eggs, fish, or poultry juices to prevent foodborne illnesses.
Clean up spills immediately and disinfect the area to keep bacteria from setting in.
Tips for Proper Disinfection
- Always start by cleaning surfaces thoroughly with warm soapy water or a quartz-safe cleaner to remove dirt and debris before disinfecting.
- Follow the product instructions carefully and allow proper contact time for the disinfectant to work completely before wiping dry.
- Rinse disinfectants like bleach thoroughly as residues can damage quartz over time.
- Disinfect microfiber cloths regularly to prevent cross-contamination. Paper towels are ideal for one-time disinfecting tasks.
- Make sure the quartz and disinfectants used are completely dry before placing food directly on the surface.
- Increase ventilation and wear gloves when working with strong disinfecting solutions like bleach.
What Not to Use on Quartz Countertops
Avoid the following cleaners that can etch, stain, or dull the quartz surface:
- Vinegar-based cleaners
- Citrus or lemon cleaners
- Abrasive powders, scouring pads, steel wool
- Alkaline cleaners like ammonia and bleach ( Exceptions: see bleach guidance above)
- Acidic cleaners
- Bathroom cleaners or disinfectants with higher acidity
- Oil or wax-based cleaners and polishes
Maintain a Clean and Hygienic Kitchen
By establishing a regular disinfection routine, you can keep illness-causing germs at bay and your quartz sparkling. Be sure to use disinfectants proven to be safe and effective for quartz surfaces. Consistent cleaning and disinfection will promote good hygiene and give you peace of mind that your countertops are sanitized for food prep.
Frequently Asked Questions About Disinfecting Quartz Countertops
Can I use bleach to disinfect my quartz countertops?
Yes, you can use diluted bleach to disinfect quartz countertops safely. Make a 10% bleach solution by mixing 1 part regular bleach to 9 parts water. Apply the solution sparingly to the quartz and wipe off promptly after 10 minutes contact time. Avoid long exposure and rinse thoroughly, as concentrated or prolonged bleach contact can damage quartz.
What removes stains from quartz?
A mix of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide makes an effective paste to remove stains from quartz. Apply the paste to stubborn stains, allow to sit for 5 minutes, then scrub gently with a soft cloth or sponge rinse. DO NOT use harsh alkaline cleaners like ammonia or a bleach/ammonia mix on quartz.
Does quartz need to be sealed?
No, quartz countertops do not require sealing. The resin binder used to make engineered quartz makes it non-porous, so liquids do not penetrate the surface. However, quartz can be stained by prolonged exposure to strongly colored liquids. Be sure to wipe up spills promptly.
Can you use rubbing alcohol on quartz?
Yes, you can safely use 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol to disinfect quartz. The alcohol concentration is low enough that it will not damage or dull the quartz surface. Wipe the surface with rubbing alcohol and allow it to dry completely. Avoid alcohol cleaners containing additives like fragrance or colorants.
How do you sanitize quartz countertops?
The best way to sanitize quartz is with disinfectants like hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, or rubbing alcohol. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and wipe down the surface. Undiluted hydrogen peroxide or 70% isopropyl alcohol can also be applied straight to the quartz to sanitize.
What removes bacteria from quartz countertops?
Bacteria can be killed and removed from quartz countertops using disinfecting cleaners that contain ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, chlorine bleach, or vinegar solution. Thoroughly clean countertops first, then apply disinfectant and allow the necessary contact time before rinsing/wiping away any grime and bacteria.
Does quartz have antibacterial properties?
Plain quartz does not have natural antibacterial properties. However, some quartz countertop products are manufactured with built-in antibacterial silver ions or nanoparticles like silver oxide. The silver inhibits bacterial growth, making the quartz surface more hygienic.
What is the best homemade quartz cleaner?
An effective homemade quartz cleaner recipe combines 2 cups of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap, and 15 drops of tea tree oil (antibacterial/antimicrobial). Mix well and use on quartz countertops by spraying and wiping clean with a soft cloth. Avoidusing DIY cleaners containing lemon, baking soda, or other acidic/abrasive ingredients.
How often should you disinfect quartz?
It is recommended to disinfect quartz countertops after each use when preparing raw meat or produce. For general hygiene, disinfect high traffic quartz surfaces like kitchen counters at least once daily. After cleaning, apply your choice of disinfectant to the entire surface and allow the necessary contact time before wiping away.
Regular disinfection of quartz countertops using the proper solutions helps eliminate harmful germs that can compromise the health and safety of your family. Stick to sanitizers like hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, 70% isopropyl alcohol, or diluted bleach (sodium hypochlorite) solution. For best results, quartz should be thoroughly pre-cleaned before applying disinfectants. Be consistent with daily or after-use disinfection of kitchen counters and tables to maintain good hygiene. With the right disinfecting techniques, you can keep your beautiful quartz surfaces sanitary.