Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom renovation projects. Made from engineered stone, quartz counters are praised for their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, even this hardy material requires regular cleaning to keep it looking its best. Choosing the right quartz countertop cleaner is key to maintaining the beauty and integrity of your investment. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about keeping your quartz counters spotless.
Why Proper Cleaning is Essential for Quartz
While quartz countertops are resistant to scratches, stains, and heat damage, they are not completely impervious. Without proper care, you may notice dulling, etching, and the build up of dirt and grime over time. Using the wrong cleaning solutions can also degrade the countertop sealant, opening up tiny pores that allow stains to penetrate.
Consistently cleaning quartz with the proper products will:
- Maintain the glossy, like-new sheen
- Prevent etching and dulling of the surface
- Stop dirt and grime from building up
- Keep food and liquids from soaking in and staining
- Allow any minor damage to be buffed away
- Preserve the integrity of the sealant
In short, keeping your quartz spotless and clean means it will continue looking fabulous for years to come.
Which Cleaners to Use for Routine Maintenance
When it comes to day-to-day cleaning, simple is best for quartz countertops. Here are effective cleaners to use:
Mild Dish Soap
A few drops of mild dish soap like Dawn mixed with warm water makes an effective everyday quartz cleaner. Use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to gently wipe down the counters. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean towel. The key is to use a gentle touch – no harsh scrubbing required!
As a mild acid, white vinegar helps dissolve dirt and grime. Mix a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts warm water and wipe over the counters with a soft cloth. Dry thoroughly. For stubborn spots, let the vinegar solution sit for 5 minutes before wiping. The vinegar smell will dissipate as it dries.
Hydrogen peroxide is another mild acid that can be used to clean quartz. Mix 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide with 4 parts water and wipe over the surface with a damp microfiber cloth. No rinsing is required as it will dry streak-free.
Window & Glass Cleaners
Store-bought glass and window cleaners like Windex are perfectly safe for cleaning quartz counters. Spray a light coat on the surface and wipe clean with a soft cloth. Avoid using anything with harsh chemicals or ammonia.
How to Address Stains, Etching & Dull Areas
For more stubborn stains or etched and dull areas, you will need to use more intensive cleaning methods. Here are some effective options:
Baking Soda Paste
Make a paste by sprinkling baking soda on the affected area and adding just enough water to form a spreadable consistency. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing gently with a soft bristle brush. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Bar Keeper’s Friend
This popular cleaner contains oxalic acid making it effective at dissolving stains, etching, and tough dirt buildup on quartz. Make a paste, apply to problem areas, and scrub gently using a soft sponge or magic eraser. Rinse and dry well.
Soft Scrub with Bleach
For sanitizing and brightening dull quartz, use a soft scrub product like Mr. Clean that contains bleach. Rub gently over affected areas using a damp sponge and rinse thoroughly. Don’t allow bleach products to remain on the surface for more than 5 minutes.
Lightly rubbing a Scotch-Brite pad over dull or etched areas helps buff out minor damage. Rub gently using small circular motions and check often to avoid over-scrubbing.
Be sure to test any new cleaning products on an inconspicuous spot first before applying to the entire counter. Aggressive scrubbing or harsh chemicals can damage quartz.
Cleaning Techniques to Avoid
Just as important as choosing the right cleaners is avoiding these common mistakes:
- Don’t use abrasive scrub pads like steel wool or scouring pads – they will scratch quartz.
- Don’t let spills sit for prolonged periods. Wipe up promptly to avoid staining.
- Don’t use strongly alkaline or acidic cleaners which can etch quartz.
- Never place hot pans directly on quartz. Always use a trivet. Rapid heating/cooling can cause cracks.
- Avoid getting quartz excessively wet. Dry quickly with a towel after cleaning to discourage damage from moisture.
- Don’t use waxes, polishes, or sealants unless recommended by the manufacturer. Most quartz doesn’t require sealing.
By sticking to pH-balanced cleaners free of harsh chemicals and scrubbing only when needed, your quartz counters will retain their beauty for many years.
6 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Still have some questions about keeping quartz counters spotless? Here are answers to some of the most common queries:
1. How often should quartz countertops be cleaned?
- Quartz should be cleaned once or twice per week using a mild soap and water solution. For high-traffic kitchens, daily cleaning is best to prevent the build up of dirt and grime.
2. Can you use Lysol or Clorox wipes on quartz?
- Yes, disinfecting wipes are safe for regular use on quartz counters. Just be sure to rinse and dry thoroughly after using to avoid residue buildup. Avoid harshly scrubbing.
3. What about using lemon juice or vinegar as a cleaner?
- Mild acids like lemon juice, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide can be used as part of a regular cleaning regimen for quartz counters. Rinse thoroughly and follow up with water and mild dish soap.
4. How do you remove dried food and grease stains?
- For dried-on messes, let a dish soap and warm water solution sit on the stain for 5-10 minutes to soften. Then gently scrub with a soft sponge before rinsing. Repeat as needed for tough stains.
5. Is rubbing alcohol okay to use on quartz?
- Yes, isopropyl alcohol is safe for disinfecting quartz counters. Dilute with an equal part water and wipe the surface with a soft cloth. Avoid aggressive scrubbing.
6. Can you use Magic Erasers on quartz countertops?
- Magic erasers can be used to remove some stains from quartz surfaces. Dampen the eraser first and rub gently on problem spots, rinsing thoroughly after. Don’t use dry or excessively scrub.
Regular cleaning with the proper supplies is crucial for keeping quartz looking like new. Stick to mild, pH-balanced soaps, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or glass cleaners for routine maintenance. For stains and dull areas, use a soft brush or sponge and powdered cleansers. Avoid abrasive pads and harsh chemicals. With the right gentle care, your beautiful quartz counters will stay spotless and damage-free for decades.