Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodels thanks to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, quartz requires proper cleaning and care to keep it looking like new. Using the wrong cleaners can damage the surface and cause discoloration. So what cleaner is safe to use on quartz? Here is a detailed guide on how to clean quartz countertops and the best cleaners to use.
Why Proper Cleaning is Crucial for Quartz
Quartz countertops are composed of ground natural quartz combined with polymer resins and pigments. This makes the material resistant to scratches, stains, heat, and most household acids. However, quartz is not indestructible. Using abrasive cleaners or applying too much pressure can dull the surface over time. Acidic cleaners can also etch or discolor quartz.
Regular cleaning is essential to prevent buildup of dirt, grime, oil, and hard water deposits. Food particles left behind can lead to staining. Proper maintenance keeps quartz looking brand new and also helps preserve the integrity of the material.
Recommended Cleaners for Routine Maintenance
Mild soap and water
For day-to-day cleaning, a mild dish soap diluted in warm water is all you need. The key is to use a gentle soap without harsh ingredients. Dish soap allows you to clean without leaving any residue behind.
pH-neutral stone cleaners
Specialty stone cleaners designed to be pH-neutral are safe for quartz. They will not affect the finish or etch the surface. Look for ones specifically made for engineered stone.
A mild hydrogen peroxide solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 20 parts water can disinfect and brighten quartz countertops. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
Regular glass cleaner works well for shiny spotless quartz. Avoid anything with ammonia.
Distilled white vinegar
For disinfecting and removing hard water spots, distilled white vinegar is a good option. Mix a solution of 1 part vinegar to 20 parts water and rinse thoroughly. The acetic acid in vinegar can etch quartz if left too long.
What Not to Use on Quartz Countertops
Stay away from abrasive cleansers, pads, and brushes. Things like Comet, Ajax, and Soft Scrub have gritty particles and chemicals that can scratch and dull quartz.
Cleaners with a high alkaline pH can damage and etch quartz surfaces. This includes baking soda, ammonia, and bleach.
Vinegar and water
Avoid cleaning quartz with straight vinegar. The acetic acid can break down the resin binding and cause etching. Always dilute vinegar with water.
Citric acids in cleaners like orange, lemon, etc. can wear away quartz sealants with repeated use. Stick to milder options.
Some popular DIY cleaners use lemon oil or other essential oils. While these smell nice, they can potentially dissolve quartz resin.
Tips for Proper Quartz Cleaning
- Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains. Blot liquids instead of wiping to avoid spreading.
- Clean quartz 1-2 times per week for routine maintenance.
- Use a soft microfiber cloth or sponge when cleaning. Avoid anything abrasive.
- Rinse soap residue thoroughly after cleaning to prevent streaks.
- Buff quartz with a dry cloth post-cleaning for shine.
- For stubborn stains like food or grease, use a non-abrasive cleaner and soft cloth. Avoid excessive scrubbing.
- Check cleaner labels and do not assume natural means safe for use on quartz.
- Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a stone sealer made for engineered stone.
Can You Use Bleach or Disinfecting Wipes on Quartz?
Undiluted bleach and harsh disinfecting wipes with ingredients like sodium hypochlorite should not be used on quartz surfaces. The chemicals can react with the resin binders in quartz and cause erosion or discoloration over time.
However, diluted bleach is generally considered safe for occasional use. Mix 1 part regular bleach to 20 parts water. Spray on and wipe off after 5 minutes.
Quartz-safe disinfectants are also available if you want a stronger cleaning solution. Look for ones made without chlorine bleach. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after using any chemical cleaner on quartz.
How to Remove Stains from Quartz Countertops
Quartz is less prone to staining than other countertop materials. But it is still possible for food, drinks, oil, and other spills to stain if left too long. Here are some tips for removing common quartz stains:
Dried food stains – Let a damp cloth with dish soap sit on the stain to soften it, then gently scrub with a soft bristle brush. Rinse and repeat if needed.
Grease/oil stains – Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste. Apply and let sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
Water spots – Wipe with a cloth dipped in distilled white vinegar followed by a clean water rinse.
Wine, coffee, juice stains – Make a baking soda and water paste. Gently scrub, rinse, and dry. Use diluted hydrogen peroxide if needed.
Hard water deposits – Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Soak a cloth and place over the deposits for 1 hour before scrubbing.
Dried paint – Carefully scrape off excess paint with a plastic putty knife. Clean any remaining stain with acetone or nail polish remover on a soft cloth.
Ink, dye stains – Gently dab rubbing alcohol on the stain and rinse. Repeat as needed, testing first on an inconspicuous spot.
Rust stains – Use a commercial rust remover safe for quartz or make a paste with cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide. Let sit before rinsing.
How to Seal and Shine Quartz Countertops
Sealing and polishing are great ways to enhance the appearance and protection of your quartz:
- Use a quartz-safe sealer 1-2 times per year to prevent stains and fill minor scratches.
- Polish quartz with a stone polish product and microfiber cloth to restore luster. Avoid wax or solutions with dyes.
- For a diy shine, mix a squirt of dish soap in water. Dampen a cloth and buff in circular motions.
- Maintain shine by wiping quartz down daily with a soft cloth. This prevents water spotting.
- If quartz looks dull, buff with a baking soda and water paste. Rinse and dry completely.
DIY Homemade Quartz Cleaner Recipes
Looking to go green with your quartz cleaning? Here are some effective homemade cleaner recipes:
All-purpose – Mix 2 cups water, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 tbsp dish soap. Add 10 drops essential oil (optional for smell).
Disinfectant – Combine 2 cups water, 1/3 cup hydrogen peroxide, and 5 drops tea tree oil.
Degreaser – Mix 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, and 15-20 drops lemon essential oil.
Scrub – Make a paste with 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. Gently scrub stains.
Polisher – Stir together 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp lemon juice and warm water. Buff with soft cloth.
Be sure to test cleaners first on an inconspicuous spot and adjust recipes as needed. Only use food-safe ingredients.
FAQ About Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Can you use rubbing alcohol to clean quartz?
Yes, diluted rubbing alcohol is generally considered safe for occasional cleaning. Mix 1 part alcohol with 3 parts water. Avoid excessive scrubbing and rinse thoroughly.
What about using acetone or nail polish remover?
Only use nail polish remover containing acetone sparingly on very stubborn stains. Test first and rinse immediately to avoid damage.
Is it okay to use lemon juice on quartz?
No. The high citric acid content in lemon juice can damage quartz over time. A safer option is dilute white vinegar.
Can I use Clorox wipes on my quartz countertop?
Regular Clorox wipes are too harsh for quartz. Look for disinfecting wipes specially formulated to be gentle on stone surfaces.
Is Windex safe for cleaning quartz?
Yes, Windex is fine for occasional use as long as you select a formula without ammonia. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
How do I get water spots off my quartz?
Mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Dip a soft cloth in the solution and wipe spots. Rinse with clean water afterwards.
Regular cleaning and maintenance with the proper products keeps quartz countertops looking pristine. Always use non-abrasive cleaners and avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the surface. Diluted dish soap combined with water works great for daily cleaning. For stubborn stains, try mixing baking soda with hydrogen peroxide. Resealing and polishing also helps maintain the beauty of quartz countertops. With the right gentle care, quartz countertops will stay looking like new for years.