What Can You Clean Quartz Countertops With?

Quartz countertops are popular in many homes today thanks to their durability, style, and relatively easy maintenance. However, quartz still requires regular cleaning to keep it looking its best. Using the right cleaning solutions and techniques helps protect your investment and maintain the beauty of your quartz surfaces. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about safely and effectively cleaning quartz countertops.

Why Proper Cleaning is Important for Quartz Countertops

While quartz is very durable, it still needs proper care and cleaning. Here are some key reasons to properly clean quartz countertops on a regular basis:

  • Prevent Buildup of Stains and Residues: Food, grease, soap scum and hard water deposits can accumulate on quartz over time. Regular cleaning prevents buildup and keeps surfaces pristine.
  • Disinfect Surface: Wiping quartz down with a disinfecting cleaner helps kill germs and bacteria that can spread illness. This is especially important in kitchens.
  • Avoid Etching: Quartz can become etched over time from exposure to acidic foods and chemicals. Proper cleaning minimizes etching and maintains the glossy surface.
  • Retain Beauty: With frequent cleaning, quartz maintains its like-new sheen and appearance. Quartz will look its best for many years with consistent care.

Cleaning quartz regularly using appropriate cleaners and techniques will keep it in optimal condition. Follow the recommendations in this guide to safely clean and care for your quartz countertops.

Routine Cleaning of Quartz Countertops

Daily or weekly light cleaning keeps quartz free of common messes, deposits and microbes. Here are tips for routine quartz countertop maintenance:

1. Remove Surface Messes

Wipe up spills, crumbs and grease from cooking as soon as possible. Leaving food debris and liquids on the counter can lead to staining. Use a soft cloth or paper towel to wipe the surface clean after each use.

2. Wash with Mild Soap and Water

For routine cleaning, wash quartz with warm water mixed with a couple drops of mild dish soap. Use a soft microfiber cloth or sponge to gently wipe the entire surface. Avoid abrasive sponges that could scratch.

3. Rinse Well and Dry

Always rinse quartz thoroughly after cleaning to remove any lingering soap residue. Wipe the surface completely dry with a soft towel. Allowing water spots to air dry can lead to buildup of minerals.

4. Disinfect Weekly

In addition to daily surface cleaning, disinfect your quartz countertops at least once a week. Use an EPA-registered disinfectant or diluted bleach solution. This helps kill harmful germs that can reside on countertop surfaces.

5. Remove Hard Water Stains Monthly

About once a month, clean quartz with a hard water stain remover to prevent calcium and mineral deposits from accumulating. Use a product made specifically for removing hard water stains from quartz and other engineered stone.

What to Avoid Using When Cleaning Quartz

While quartz stands up well to a variety of cleaners and chemicals, there are some products to avoid using when maintaining your counters:

  • Abrasive cleaners: Avoid scrubbing pads, microfiber cloths or sponges with an abrasive side. The coarse textures can create faint hairline scratches.
  • Acidic cleaners: Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice, or cleaners containing acids. Acid can etch and corrode quartz.
  • Harsh chemicals: Bleach, oven cleaners, drain openers, etc can damage and discolor quartz surfaces. Only use cleaners labeled safe for quartz.
  • Alcohol: Avoid exposing quartz to excessive amounts of alcohol. Disinfect with an appropriate quartz cleaner instead.
  • Scouring pads: Stay away from stiff scrubbing pads that can mar the surface. Soft sponges are better.

Using the proper cleaning techniques and solutions will ensure long-lasting beauty for your quartz countertops.

Best Cleaners & Supplies for Quartz Countertops

Having the right supplies makes cleaning quartz easy and effective. Here are some recommended cleaners and tools:

  • pH-neutral stone cleaner: Look for a non-abrasive daily cleaner specifically formulated for stone. pH-neutral cleaners are safest for routine use.
  • Disinfecting wipes/spray: Use an EPA-registered disinfectant made for use on quartz and stone. This kills germs weekly.
  • Microfiber cloths: Soft microfiber cloths are ideal for wiping down quartz without scratching. They’re machine washable for reuse.
  • Soft non-abrasive sponge: A soft sponge can be used wet for gentle scrubbing to remove stuck-on messes. Avoid coarse scrubbing pads.
  • Hard water stain remover: Use a specialty stain remover formulated to dissolve and remove mineral deposits monthly.
  • Dish soap: A couple drops of mild dish soap mixed with water can be used for routine cleaning. Avoid harsh degreasers.
  • Protectant: Applying a stone-safe protectant 1-2 times per year can help boost stain resistance.

Investing in the proper supplies makes maintaining your quartz counters much simpler.

Step-by-Step Guide for Cleaning Quartz Countertops

Follow these steps for a thorough deep cleaning routine to keep quartz counters spotless:

1. Remove Everything from Countertops

Clear everything off the quartz surface–appliances, dish racks, canisters, etc. This allows access to the entire area.

2. Vacuum Loose Debris

Use a handheld vacuum to suck up any loose crumbs or dirt particles on the quartz. This prevent spreading debris when cleaning.

3. Apply Quartz Cleaner

Spray or wipe a pH-neutral quartz-safe cleaner over the entire surface area. Avoid acidic cleaners. Let sit briefly.

4. Scrub with Soft Sponge

Gently scrub the quartz using a soft, non-abrasive sponge. Apply light pressure and wipe in circular motions to remove stuck-on messes.

5. Rinse Thoroughly

Carefully rinse the entire surface with clean water to remove all cleaner residue. Make sure no soapy film remains.

6. Blot Dry with Soft Cloth

Blot up remaining water using a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth. Buff dry any water droplets. Don’t allow to air dry.

7. Disinfect with Wipes

Wipe the entire surface with EPA-registered disinfecting wipes or spray cleaner. Allow the proper contact time to thoroughly disinfect.

8. Inspect and Reapply Protectant if Needed

Inspect quartz for any remaining spots or film buildup. Reapply a stone-safe protectant if needed per the label directions.

How to Remove Common Messes from Quartz Countertops

Quartz stands up well to most spills, but some stubborn messes require a bit of extra attention. Here’s how to remove common quartz countertop stains:

Dried Food, Grease and Grime

For stuck-on food residue or oily buildup, let a degreasing cleaner or mix of baking soda and water sit on the area for 5 minutes before gently scrubbing clean with a soft sponge. Avoid abrasive pads.

Limescale and Water Spots

Hard water deposits can be dissolved and removed with a hard water stain remover made for quartz and stone. Agitate with a sponge and rinse thoroughly.

Coffee and Tea Stains

For pigmented stains from coffee, tea, wine or fruit juice, use a mildly alkaline cleaner to lift the stain without damaging the quartz. Avoid acidic cleaners.

Nail Polish, Paint or Marker

Carefully scrape off any hardened material with a plastic putty knife. Softly wipe with a solvent like acetone or alcohol using a soft cloth.

Difficult Oily Residues

For really tough oil stains in the kitchen, try sprinkling some baking soda, salt or powdered dishwasher detergent on the area to help absorb oils, then scrub clean.

With the right cleaning techniques, supplies and a bit of elbow grease, most messes can be removed from quartz surfaces.

How Often Should Quartz Countertops Be Cleaned?

Here are some best practice recommendations for cleaning frequency:

  • Daily: Quick wipe downs after use to remove surface spills and debris
  • Weekly: Thorough cleanings with a pH-neutral stone cleaner to remove stuck-on messes
  • Monthly: Focus on hard water stain removal and reapplication of protectant
  • As Needed: Spot treat any spills or stains immediately as they occur

The frequency needed may vary somewhat based on usage and traffic in your home. Highly used kitchen counters may need more frequent cleaning than a guest bathroom. Adjust as needed.

Tips for Easy Cleaning and Care of Quartz

Follow these pro tips to keep your quartz counters in beautiful condition with ease:

  • Always use cutting boards, trivets and heat pads to protect quartz surfaces from damage.
  • Clean up spills immediately before they can soak in and stain.
  • Run the kitchen exhaust fan when cooking to minimize grease splatters.
  • Reseal quartz every 6-12 months with a stone-safe protectant for added stain resistance.
  • Use coasters under glasses to prevent etching rings from developing.
  • Keep cleaning products, soft cloths and sponges handy under the sink for quick cleanups after use.

How to Care for Different Quartz Finishes

Quartz comes in different surface finishes, each with slightly different care recommendations:

Polished Finish

The glossy polished finish requires gentle cleaning as abrasives can create faint scratches and swirls. Use a soft cloth with a pH-neutral cleaner.

Honed Finish

Honed quartz has a matte look but is prone to showing marks and fingerprints. Wipe gently and clean frequently to keep the softened finish looking its best.

Concrete Finish

Concrete-look quartz needs daily dusting and cleaning to prevent dirt from settling into crevices in the textured surface. Use a soft brush or cloth.

Metallic Flecked Finish

Quartz with metal, glass or colored flecks needs special care to avoid losing the shimmery particles. Avoid harsh scrubbing and use a soft cloth.

Tailor your cleaning routine to the type of quartz and finish for optimal results.

Cleaning Quartz Countertops: FAQ

Have more questions about keeping quartz counters clean? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Is it okay to use vinegar to clean quartz?

No, avoid vinegar and other acidic cleaners which can damage and etch quartz surfaces. Stick to pH-neutral stone cleaners instead.

How do you sanitize quartz countertops?

Use an EPA-registered disinfecting cleaner or bleach solution according to label directions to sanitize quartz. Avoid excessive bleaching.

Can I use rubbing alcohol to clean quartz?

While alcohol can disinfect, avoid excessive exposure as it can dull the surface over time. Use a dedicated quartz disinfecting cleaner instead.

What removes hard water stains from quartz?

A hard water stain remover designed for engineered stone safely dissolves and removes calcium deposits without damaging quartz.

How do you get dried food off quartz?

Let a mix of baking soda and water or a degreasing stone cleaner sit on stuck-on dried food for 5 minutes before gently scrubbing with a soft sponge to remove.

Maintain the Beauty of Your Quartz Countertops

Caring for quartz countertops doesn’t need to be a chore. By using the right cleaners and techniques, you can easily keep your quartz surfaces looking like new for years to come. Be sure to clean up spills quickly, sanitize regularly, and avoid abrasive cleaners or pads that could damage the surface. With some simple maintenance, your beautiful quartz counters will maintain their luster and elegance indefinitely.