Quartz countertops are incredibly popular in modern kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. Unlike natural stone, quartz is non-porous, making it resistant to stains and microbes. However, quartz still requires regular cleaning to keep it looking pristine. Using the wrong cleaners can damage the surface, so it’s important to know what cleaners are safe for quartz.
Benefits of Quartz Countertops
Before diving into cleaners, let’s overview some of the key benefits of quartz countertops:
- Durability – Made from crushed quartz and resin, these engineered countertops are hard, scratch-resistant, and withstand impacts. They hold up better than granite or marble.
- Low Maintenance – The non-porous surface repels liquids, resists staining, and doesn’t need yearly sealing like natural stone.
- Appearance – Available in a wide array of colors/patterns. The look can mimic granite, marble, and more.
- Heat Resistance – Quartz doesn’t burn or scorch easily, so hot pans won’t damage the surface. However, using trivets is still recommended.
- Non-Toxic – Contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Safe for food prep and households.
Knowing why quartz makes an excellent countertop material, let’s now dive into the do’s and don’ts of cleaning quartz.
Everyday Cleaning of Quartz Countertops
For routine cleaning, quartz only requires a simple wipe down with a soft, damp cloth or paper towel. Warm water works fine for most messes.
Here are some everyday cleaning tips:
- Use a pH-neutral cleaner designed for stone. Look for brands like Method or Seventh Generation.
- Dish soap and warm water also works well. Avoid harsh detergents.
- For best results, follow with a clean, dry cloth to remove residue.
- Microfiber cloths are ideal for quartz as they easily grab dirt.
- Blot up spills as soon as possible before they have a chance to stain.
- Though quartz resists stains, don’t let messes sit too long.
Daily wipe downs keep quartz sparkling and help prevent buildup of grime. Move to a more heavy-duty cleaner for tougher messes.
Cleaners to Avoid on Quartz
While quartz stands up well to lots of common cleaners, some products can dull the finish or cause etching over time:
Avoid These Products:
- Vinegar – It has acetic acid that can etch/cloud the surface.
- Citrus Cleaners – Contain acids that damage the shine and polish.
- Bleach – Can discolor and fade the quartz surface over time.
- Ammonia – Has a high alkaline pH that erodes the finish.
- Abrasive Cleansers – Scratch the surface reducing shine and polish.
- Alcohol – Can dull the appearance of quartz countertops.
The active ingredients in these cleaners wear down the quartz and degrade the quality over time with repeated use.
- Old rags and sponges that may contain gritty residues.
- Leaving spills and moisture sitting too long on the surface.
- Putting hot pans directly on the quartz. Always use trivets.
With proper care, quartz countertops should maintain their beauty and luster for many years. Using the wrong cleaners can accelerate wear and damage.
Best Cleaners for Tough Messes on Quartz
For tackling tougher messes like grease, food residue, and hard water marks, use a specially formulated quartz cleaner found at home improvement stores.
Look for stone cleaners that specify “safe for quartz” on the label. Popular options include:
- Zep Commercial Stone Cleaner – Spray and wipe away grease, soil, and soap scum.
- Method Daily Granite & Stone Cleaner – Non-toxic formula dissolves stuck-on grime.
- Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Cleaner – Cleans without dulling the finish.
- Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser – Removes stains while being gentle on the surface.
Always rinse thoroughly with water and dry with a soft cloth after using these cleaners.
For stubborn stains, a non-abrasive scrubbing pad can help agitate and lift the mess before rinsing. Just avoid aggressive scouring that could scratch the quartz.
How to Sanitize Quartz Countertops
In addition to cleaning quartz, you may want to occasionally disinfect the surface, especially after food prep. Here are some safe options:
- Hydrogen Peroxide – Has natural antibacterial properties. Mix with equal parts water and wipe over the surface. Rinse thoroughly after.
- Rubbing Alcohol – The 90% concentration works well for sanitizing quartz. No abrasive residue. Just avoid over-frequent use.
- Lysol or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes – The pre-moistened wipes kill germs and conveniently clean up. Look for formulas marked “stone safe”.
- White Vinegar – Though not ideal for routine cleaning, the low acidity of vinegar can sanitize without etching if thoroughly rinsed.
Be sure to read product labels and test sanitize cleaners in inconspicuous spots first to ensure no damage.
How to Remove Oil Stains from Quartz Countertops
Oil spills seem to find their way onto kitchen countertops no matter how careful you are. Here are some tips for tackling oil stains on quartz:
- First, blot up any excess oil immediately with paper towels. Don’t let it penetrate.
- Sprinkle baking soda over the greasy spot and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. This will help absorb some of the oil.
- Create a paste by mixing 2 tbsp baking soda with 1 tsp dish soap. Gently rub paste onto the stain with a soft cloth or sponge.
- Rinse the paste thoroughly and dry the area. Repeat if needed for stubborn oil spots.
- For tough stains, apply a dollop of ammonia-free cleaner labeled safe for quartz. Agitate with a non-scratch pad.
- Avoid abrasive scrubbing as this may dull the finish. Be patient and let cleaners sit before rinsing.
The key is to lift oil before it has a chance to soak in and cause stubborn discoloration. Act promptly to make cleanup easier.
How to Remove Dried Food from a Quartz Countertop
Dried-on food and sauce splatters can be a headache to remove from quartz if left too long. Here are some tips for tackling dried gunk:
- First soften the mess by covering it with a wet paper towel or rag. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Apply a few drops of dish soap and water mixture directly onto the spot to help loosen residue.
- Gently scrape the food debris with a plastic spatula or cooking spoon. Take care not to scratch.
- For stuck-on messes, allow a quartz-safe cleaner to penetrate for 2-3 minutes before gently scrubbing with a soft sponge or cloth.
- Avoid using metal scouring pads or abrasive scrub brushes which can damage the finish.
- If needed, use a plastic grill brush or toothbrush for some extra scrubbing power on stubborn spots.
- Rinse thoroughly after cleaning and dry with a soft towel.
Don’t forcefully chip away at dried food as this can etch the quartz. Let moisture and cleaners loosen the gunk before gently scrubbing.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops Around Sink
The areas around sinks and faucets tend to collect hard water spots, soap scum, and toothpaste drips. Here are some tips for cleaning a quartz backsplash and countertops around the sink:
- Daily, wipe down surfaces using a streak-free quartz cleaner or mixture of dish soap and warm water.
- For limescale deposits, use a non-acidic hard water stain remover safe for quartz and rinse thoroughly after letting it sit briefly.
- To remove soap scum, apply a dollop of Bar Keeper’s Friend Soft Cleanser and scrub gently with a sponge.
- For light toothpaste spatters, spray with an ammonia-free cleaner and wipe clean. Rinse thoroughly.
- Avoid getting quartz too wet near the sink and backsplash. Thoroughly dry surfaces after cleaning to prevent water marks.
- If mildew develops, spray diluted hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol and let sit 5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
Frequent cleaning is key for high-traffic areas around sinks. Use a squeegee after doing dishes to dry surfaces quickly.
How to Make Quartz Countertops Shine Like New
Over time, quartz can lose its luminous shine, especially on dark colors. Here are some tips for restoring the polish:
- Regular cleanings with pH-neutral stone cleaners help maintain the factory sheen.
- Once monthly, treat the entire surface with a quartz polish/sealer using small circular motions. Avoid applying too much.
- Use a clean microfiber cloth to buff the quartz thoroughly after polishing until any haze disappears.
- For small scratches or etched spots, use a quartz repair kit to gently smooth the surface.
- Avoid homemade polishing concoctions as these can damage and etch quartz. Use designed products only.
- If shine can’t be restored, professional refinishing/resurfacing may be required.
With proper care, quartz countertops should only need occasional polishing to look like new again.
Does Quartz Need to Be Sealed?
Unlike natural stone, quartz does not require sealing as it’s non-porous. The resins used to make engineered quartz prevent stains from penetrating into the material.
However, you can apply a penetrating quartz sealer/polish to enhance shine and provide extra protection:
- Keeps surface looking newly installed.
- Adds a layer of water repellency.
- Easier cleaning and prevents etching.
- Reduces appearance of scuffs and scratches.
- Enhances the vibrancy of color.
Apply a thin layer 1-2 times per year on cleaned quartz. Wipe away any excess sealer immediately to prevent residue.
How to Remove Etching from Quartz Countertops
Since quartz lacks the permeability of natural stone, etching doesn’t penetrate deep into the material. However, surface etching can give quartz a cloudy, frosted appearance.
Here are tips for restoring an etched quartz finish:
- For light etching, buff using a quartz polish and microfiber cloth to help clear up haze.
- For deeper etching, use a product containing etch removerand scrub gently with a non-abrasive pad to smooth the area.
- Avoid using acidic cleaners like vinegar that can worsen etching damage on quartz over time.
- If extended etching exists, you may need professional resurfacing which involves mechanical polishing.
- To help prevent future etching, seal quartz annually and ensure spills are wiped up quickly.
With the proper maintenance and cleaning, quartz countertops should stay beautiful and etch-free for years before needing resurfacing. Pay attention to chemical cautions.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops Before First Use
Brand new quartz counters should be cleaned before being put to use for food prep and daily wear-and-tear. Here are tips for prepping new quartz:
- Remove any construction debris using a soft broom and damp microfiber cloths. Avoid abrasive scrub pads.
- Mix a mild soap and warm water solution. Apply to the surface and wipe clean.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove any soapy residue.
- Let the quartz dry completely with a towel. Scan for any remaining dirt spots and clean those areas.
- Apply a stone polish using small circular motions. Remove any haze.
- Consider applying a protective sealer for added stain prevention.
- Avoid placing hot pans or abrasives directly on new quartz. Always use trivets and cutting boards.
Proper prep helps new quartz counters stay pristine and prevents damage. Follow manufacturer care guidelines too.
How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Quartz
Hard water contains minerals that when dried lead to unsightly spots and scaling on quartz. Here are some removal techniques:
- Soak a cloth in vinegar and place over the stain for several hours. The acid dissolves the minerals. Rinse thoroughly.
- Make a paste with baking soda and water. Gently rub onto the stain and let sit briefly before rinsing.
- Use a scale remover made specifically for stone and other surfaces. Rinse completely.
- For light deposits, sometimes just a good quartz cleaner will remove spots with some scrubbing.
- Avoid aggressive pressure and scrubbing which could etch the finish.
To help prevent recurring hard water stains on quartz, regularly wipe down surfaces and towels dry. Improving home water filtration can also help.
How to Remove a Stain from Quartz Countertop
Thanks to their non-porous quality, quartz countertops resist staining quite well. But some absorbed pigments can occur. Here are tips for stain removal:
- First try gently rubbing a damp cloth over the stain to see if it lifts. Rinse with clean water.
- Apply a few drops of mild dish detergent directly on the spot and let sit briefly before wiping.
- Use a stone-safe cleaner made for quartz and scrub with a soft sponge or cloth. Avoid abrasive pads.
- For stubborn organic stains, use diluted hydrogen peroxide or bleach. Always spot test first and rinse thoroughly.
- Avoid over-rubbing as this can alter the surface. Let cleaners sit before gentle wiping.
- If stains won’t lift, professional deep cleaning or resurfacing may be needed.
With prompt care, most spills and stains can be removed from quartz before becoming permanent. Just take care not to etch the surface when cleaning.
Does Quartz Stain Easily?
Due to its durable non-porous composition, quartz generally does not stain easily. Spills and messes tend to remain on the surface rather than absorbing in. However, all quartz surfaces still require proper cleaning and care. Here are stain prevention tips:
- Always promptly wipe up spills, especially oils, wines, and pigmented liquids. Don’t let puddles sit.
- Avoid letting soaps, lotions, and toothpaste residue dry on quartz. Rinse thoroughly.
- Wipe up food debris after meal prep instead of letting crumbs and juices sit.
- Use trivets and cutting boards to prevent hot pans or sharp utensils from damaging the surface.
- Re-seal quartz every 6-12 months using a penetrating stone sealer for added protection.
- Spot clean quartz after heavy use or gatherings where spills occurred.
- Routinely clean quartz with a gentle pH-balanced stone cleaner.
With conscientious maintenance habits, quartz countertops should stay beautiful and stain-free for many years.