Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. Unlike natural stone, quartz is non-porous, making it resistant to stains, scratches, and heat. However, proper care is still required to keep quartz looking its best. Here is a comprehensive guide on what can and cannot be used on quartz countertops.
Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Water and pH-Neutral Cleaner
For routine cleaning, a soft cloth or paper towel with warm water and a small amount of pH-neutral cleaner is recommended. Look for cleaners specifically formulated for stone and quartz. Avoid dish soaps, countersprays, vinegar, and any cleaners containing lemon, bleach or abrasives as these can etch or dull the surface over time.
Baking soda makes an effective cleaning scrub due to its mildly abrasive nature. Mix a paste of baking soda and water and use a soft cloth or brush to gently scrub surface stains. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
As a mild disinfectant and whitening agent, hydrogen peroxide can be used to remove stains from food, beverages, and oils. Apply peroxide to the stain and let sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping away. No rinsing is required.
Polishing Wax or Gel
Applying a polishing wax or gel 2-4 times per year will maintain the glossy sheen and fill in minor scratches. Use a microfiber cloth to rub the polish over the entire countertop surface in a circular motion. Remove any excess.
What to Avoid Using on Quartz
No Abrasive Cleansers
Avoid comet, Ajax, Bon Ami as these will scratch and damage the surface. Even soft scrub cleaners contain pumice that will wear away the finish.
No Solvent-Based Chemicals
Do not use mineral spirits, paint thinner, nail polish remover or drain cleaners as these can dissolve the resin used to make quartz countertops resulting in irreparable damage.
No Bleach Products
While bleach can disinfect, long term use will yellow and eat away at the polish leaving quartz dull and porous. Opt for hydrogen peroxide as a safer alternative.
No High Heat
While quartz can withstand brief exposure, prolonged direct heat from hot pans can cause cracks or discoloration. Always use a trivet with a hot pad underneath quartz surfaces.
Caring for Quartz Countertops
Use Cutting Boards
Always use a cutting board when chopping, slicing, dicing, etc. to prevent dulling and chipping of the countertop edge.
Clean Spills Promptly
Due to the non-porous nature of quartz, spills can easily be wiped away preventing staining. However, certain spills like wine, coffee and oil-based products if left to sit can absorb resulting in discoloration.
Avoid Standing Water
Though resistant to water damage, letting water pool can provide an entry point for bacteria growth in seam and edge areas. Always wipe up excess water from cleaning, spills, etc.
Re-seal As Needed
Quartz does not require regular sealing like natural stone. However, periodic resealing every 3-5 years will add extra protection especially in heavy use areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use bleach on quartz countertops?
No, bleach will damage and discolor quartz over time. For disinfecting, hydrogen peroxide is a safer alternative.
What happens if quartz gets scratched?
Minor scratches can be buffed out with a polishing gel. Deeper scratches may require professional refinishing. Make sure to always use a cutting board.
Can you set hot pots and pans on quartz?
Brief contact with hot pots is fine, but prolonged direct heat can cause thermal shock cracks. Always use trivets and hot pads to prevent damage.
How often should quartz countertops be sealed?
Quartz does not require regular sealing like natural stone, but reapplying sealer every 3-5 years will add extra protection against stains and damage.
What’s the best way to clean dried food and grease from quartz?
For dried on messes, let a damp cloth soaked in hot soapy water sit on the area for 5-10 minutes to soften. Then use a plastic scrub pad or soft cloth to gently remove the gunk without abrasives.
Can vinegar damage quartz countertops?
Yes, vinegar is too acidic for quartz and can dull and etch the surface. Stick to pH-neutral stone cleaners and avoid acidic or abrasive cleaners.
By following these do’s and don’ts for quartz countertop care, you can safely clean and maintain the look and integrity of your quartz surfaces for years to come. Always test new cleaners on an inconspicuous spot first. With routine cleaning and proper use, quartz countertops will retain their luxurious appearance. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasives or risk permanently damaging your countertops. With the proper care, quartz can handle tough kitchen tasks while providing beauty and durability.