Quartz countertops are engineered stone surfaces made from ground natural quartz combined with polymer resins. They are popular in kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, stain resistance, and low maintenance. However, quartz still requires proper cleaning to keep it looking pristine. Using the wrong cleaners can damage the surface over time. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about safely and effectively cleaning quartz countertops.
An Introduction to Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops are non-porous, so spills and stains remain on the surface rather than soaking in. This makes quartz an ideal choice for busy kitchens prone to splatters and spills. However, quartz still requires regular cleaning to prevent grime buildup and preserve the flawless finish.
Here are some key facts to understand about cleaning quartz:
- Quartz resists stains from common food and drinks. However, prolonged exposure can lead to staining, so prompt cleaning is best.
- Heat can damage quartz. Avoid placing hot pans directly on the surface. Use trivets and hot pads.
- Acidic substances like lemon juice and vinegar can etch quartz over time with frequent exposure. Wipe up spills quickly.
- Abrasive cleaners should never be used. They will scratch and dull the quartz.
- Non-abrasive cleaners specially formulated for stone surfaces are ideal for routine cleaning.
- Quartz should be cleaned frequently with mild soap and water to prevent buildup of grime that can become harder to remove.
- Disinfecting quartz periodically will keep bacteria at bay in kitchens.
By keeping these facts in mind, you can safely clean and care for your quartz countertops. Read on to learn about the best cleaners and techniques.
Mild Dish Soap and Water
For routine daily or weekly cleaning, a mild dish soap diluted in warm water is a safe and effective option for quartz. Dish soaps are formulated to cut through grease and grime without damaging surfaces. Here’s how to clean quartz countertops with dish soap:
- Mild liquid dish soap
- Warm water
- Soft microfiber cloth or sponge
- Fill a bucket or spray bottle with warm water. Add a small squirt of liquid dish soap and swirl gently to combine. The solution should produce some suds when agitated.
- Dampen a soft cloth or sponge with the soapy solution. Wring out excess liquid.
- Wipe down the entire surface of the quartz countertop using broad circular motions. Apply light pressure.
- Work from back to front if cleaning an entire countertop. For a small area, wipe in expanding concentric circles moving outwards.
- As you wipe, pay attention to any sticky, oily, or grimy areas. Allow the sudsy solution to penetrate briefly before wiping again. This will help lift built-up messes.
- Rinse the microfiber cloth in clean water and wring thoroughly. Use this to wipe down the quartz again to remove any soap residue.
- Finally, buff dry with a fresh soft cloth.
This technique with dish soap and water should suffice for regular cleaning of quartz countertops. The quartz will look clean with minimal effort.
For a deeper periodic clean, continue on to learn about other recommended cleaning solutions.
Specialized Quartz Cleaners
Using a cleaner specially designed for engineered stone is ideal for periodic deep cleaning or problem areas on quartz. These cleaners contain mild detergents and agents to dissolve grease and lift dirt. Look for products labeled as suitable for quartz, granite, marble, Corian, or other solid surfaces. Some top options include:
Method Daily Granite & Stone Cleaner Spray
- Plant-based formula with no harsh chemical fumes
- Contains sanding minerals to gently scrub surface
- Removes up to 95% of bacteria
- Certified by Green Seal
Granite Gold Daily Cleaner Spray
- Concentrated formula diluted with water before use
- Designed to clean without damaging sealers
- Removes dirt, grime, and debris buildup
- Also available as wipes for convenience
Fuller’s Stone Cleaner & Brightener
- Light acidic gel gel clings to surface to dissolve grime
- Can be used on polished or honed finishes
- Removes hard water stains, soap scum, and more
- Safe for granite, marble, travertine, and quartz
Black Diamond Stoneworks Cleaner
- Powder formula activated with water
- Gentle on surfaces but tough on stains
- Phosphoric acid-free
- Restores vibrancy and removes etched spots
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution and usage. Check that the cleaner is safe for quartz before using. Test on an inconspicuous spot first.
Apply the solution to the quartz and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Use a soft scrub sponge or microfiber cloth to gently scrub the surface. Then rinse thoroughly and buff dry. For a streak-free shine, follow with a quartz polish or conditioner.
Hydrogen Peroxide Disinfecting Solution
Since quartz countertops are popular in kitchens, disinfecting them is smart to eliminate bacteria that can cause illnesses.
Hydrogen peroxide makes an ideal non-toxic disinfectant for quartz. With just two ingredients, you can easily mix up a sanitizing solution.
- 3% hydrogen peroxide (found at any drugstore)
- Warm water
- Spray bottle
- Fill a spray bottle with warm water, leaving room for the hydrogen peroxide.
- Add 1 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
- Replace spray nozzle and shake gently to mix.
- Spray or wipe the solution liberally over the quartz surface.
- Allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes to thoroughly disinfect.
- Wipe clean with a soft cloth. No need to rinse.
Repeat this disinfecting regimen once or twice per week or when someone sick has been around. The hydrogen peroxide solution will kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.
Note that straight 3% hydrogen peroxide should not be used undiluted on quartz, as it can damage the finish over time. But properly diluted with water, it is very effective and quartz-safe.
Isopropyl Alcohol for Stubborn Stains
For dried-on greasy stains or residues that dish soap alone cannot combat, try an isopropyl alcohol cleaner formulated for stone surfaces. The alcohol will cut through the oily gunk without damaging quartz.
- Look for a 50/50 blend of isopropyl alcohol and water pre-mixed in a spray bottle. Straight rubbing alcohol is too harsh.
- Spray on the stain and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Scrub with a soft bristle brush or sponge using light pressure.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry.
This type of cleaner works great for cooking oil splatters or cleaning product buildup that soap cannot budge. But take care not to overuse alcohol, as it can dry out quartz sealers with repeated exposure.
Things to Avoid Using on Quartz
Just as important as knowing which cleaners are safe for quartz is knowing which products to avoid:
- Abrasive cleansers – These include powders, creams, or scouring pads with grit that can scratch and scrape quartz. Look out for terms like “bleach”, “scrub”, “scour”, or “polish” which often indicate abrasives.
- Vinegar – While vinegar dissolves some buildup, frequent use creates a chemical reaction with quartz that etches the surface. Opt for cleaners formulated for stone instead of vinegar.
- Citrus or lemon juice – Acidic juices strip away quartz sealers, leaving the surface vulnerable and etched. Never use them in cleaners.
- Alkaline cleaners – Chemicals like ammonia, bleach, or oven cleaner are too harsh and can damage, pit, and erode quartz surfaces.
- Acetone – Found in some nail polish removers and strong paint thinners, acetone damages quartz. Avoid at all costs.
- Scouring pads – Wire wool, metal brushes, and abrasive scrub sponges scratch quartz. Even those claiming to be “non-scratch” contain minerals that mar quartz.
Stick to the recommended cleaners we covered, along with soft microfiber cloths and non-abrasive sponges. This will keep quartz counters looking immaculate for decades.
How to Remove Different Types of Stains from Quartz Countertops
Quartz is impressively stain-resistant against common kitchen and bathroom messes. But some stubborn stains require a bit of extra effort to remove completely. Here are tips for tackling various stains on quartz:
Dried Food Stains
Pasta sauce, oil drips, coffee rings, or sugary spills that don’t get wiped up immediately can adhere to quartz. For dried-on messes:
- Soak the stain with warm water for 5 minutes to rehydrate. This makes scrubbing easier.
- Apply a specialist quartz cleaner and let it penetrate for 10 minutes.
- Gently scrub with a soft cloth, brush, or sponge using small circular motions. Take care not to scratch.
- Rinse and dry thoroughly. Repeat if needed.
Grease and Oil Stains
Cooking splatters happen! Greasy films are easy to remove while fresh. When hardened over time:
- Dampen a cotton cloth with isopropyl alcohol and lay over the grease spot for 2-3 minutes to soften it.
- Use a dobie pad or soft sponge to gently scrub. Take care not to mar the finish.
- If grease remains, repeat allowing the alcohol to soak longer before scrubbing again.
- Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.
Pots, pans, and metal utensils can sometimes leave gray streaks or scratches on quartz:
- Rub a paste of baking soda and water on the marks using a soft cloth.
- Allow to sit briefly before rinsing and drying. The baking soda is mildly abrasive to lift metal marks but won’t scratch quartz.
- For superficial thin scratches, rub in a quartz polish using small circular motions. The fine polish restores the shine.
- Avoid using metal around quartz whenever possible to prevent these marks.
Hard Water Stains
Mineral deposits in water can leave chalky etched spots on quartz. To remove:
- Make a paste from borax powder and water. Apply to stains and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Scrub gently with a soft cloth or sponge.
- Rinse borax paste thoroughly before drying.
- For tough hard water stains, use a stone cleaner containing phosphoric or glycolic acid such as Fuller’s Stone Cleaner.
Mold and Mildew Stains
In bathrooms, quartz around sinks and showers can develop blackish mildew stains over time. To remove:
- Spray moldy spots with hydrogen peroxide or bleach disinfectant cleaner. Ensure the product is formulated for stone.
- Allow cleaner to penetrate for 10 minutes before scrubbing with a soft nylon brush.
- Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. This should lift even set-in mildew stains.
- Prevent future mold by squeezing bath mats dry between uses to eliminate excess moisture.
With some focused attention and the proper cleaning techniques, even the most stubborn stains don’t stand a chance against quartz!
How to Maintain Quartz Countertops In Between Cleanings
Keeping quartz counters tidy and shining brightly between deep cleanings comes down to developing some simple daily habits:
- Rinse spills promptly – Don’t let puddles of juice, wine, coffee or other liquids sit. Blot immediately with a paper towel. For best results, rinse the area thoroughly with water.
- Use cutting boards – Avoid slicing fruits and vegetables or kneading dough directly on quartz. The dyes, acids and oils can stain over time.
- Clean up cooking messes ASAP – Don’t allow food splatters or drips to dry on. Deal with them after each meal prep session to keep quartz clear.
- Run water when pouring – When adding pigment-rich liquids like red wine to a pot or bowl, run the tap to help rinse splashes instantly.
- Wipe up toothpaste – Toothpaste contains abrasives, so don’t let it stick to bathroom quartz. Rinse thoroughly after brushing.
- Deal with spills from kids and pets – Little ones and furry friends can unintentionally make a mess. Stay on top of cleanups.
- Avoid direct high heat – Don’t place roasting pans or pots fresh from a hot burner onto quartz. Use trivets and boards.
- Blot wet counters – Dry quartz around sinks with a soft towel after washing to prevent waterspots and buildup in crevices.
- Clean up cleaning product residue – Overspray and drips from cleaners can leave a film. Rinse thoroughly after using.
Regular attention paired with periodic deep cleaning keeps quartz countertops shining.
How to Remove Stains from Different Quartz Finishes
Quartz comes in a few different surface finishes, each requiring slightly adapted techniques:
This high-gloss smooth finish is most common. It highlights the granite-like speckles in quartz. Polished quartz shows marks easily but cleans up well with dish soap and water. Isopropyl alcohol also works great on oily stains. Follow direction of polish lines when scrubbing.
Honed quartz has a matte, soft sheen. It camouflages smudges and fingerprints well. Clean with a gentle stone cleaner and soft pad. Mineral spirits remove tougher stains. Scrub lightly to avoid creating a different sheen.
This finish has a rough concrete-mimic texture. It’s prone to holding onto grime in the depressions. Use a soft bristled brush and mild cleaner to lift dirt from the grooves. Rinse thoroughly.
Quartz with a leather texture has a less porous non-slip surface. Stick to mild cleaners without acids or bleach. Use a non-abrasive scrub sponge rather than brushes which can catch on the pebbled texture.
Knowing the finish of your quartz will ensure you tailor cleaning techniques accordingly.
How Often Should You Clean Quartz Countertops?
Quartz is a low-maintenance material, but does require routine cleaning to look its best. Here are general guidelines on cleaning frequency:
- Daily – Quick wipe downs of kitchen quartz counters before and after cooking to remove food debris, spills, and splatters. Also wipe bathroom quartz around sinks.
- Weekly – Thorough cleaning of food prep and dining areas using dish soap and water to eliminate grease buildup. Disinfect high traffic bathroom quartz.
- Monthly – Deep clean kitchen quartz using a specialist stone cleaner to dissolve stuck-on grime and residues. Use rubbing alcohol on oily stain spots as needed.
- Every 6 months – Intensive cleaning session on all quartz surfaces with a stone polish to remove etching and restore sheen. Reseal if needed.
- As Needed – Spot treat any staining or etching that occurs by following removal techniques discussed. Deal with spills ASAP.
Keep quartz looking like new with routine maintenance. Frequency will depend on your household’s needs. Heavily used kitchen quartz may need daily attention, while guest bathroom counters can go longer between cleanings. Adjust as needed.
Top Tips for Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Here are some helpful quick tips for fuss-free quartz cleaning and care:
- Mix up a simple soap and water solution in a squirt bottle for quick cleanups at the ready.
- Use microfiber cloths and sponges with soft scrubby side for routine cleaning. Avoid old rags and paper towels.
- Let hot pans and dishes cool completely before setting down on quartz. The extreme heat damages the solid surface resin.
- Blot up spills immediately, and scrub sticky messes before they have a chance to dry and adhere.
- Be mindful of pouring near the quartz edge where spills can run over and soak into crevices.
- Rinse cleaning solutions thoroughly, taking extra care with Stone cleaner residues which can become abrasive when dry.
- Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a stone sealer to maintain stain resistance and sheen.
- Avoid the temptation to use automatic dishwasher detergent on quartz countertops. The chemicals are too harsh.
- Keep quartz looking flawless between deep cleans with daily wipe downs using water or gentle cleaner.
With the proper care, quartz countertops will stay looking like new for a lifetime in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Many homeowners have questions when learning how to clean and care for quartz countertops. Here are answers to some of the most common queries:
What’s the best way to clean quartz daily?
For daily cleaning, simply use a soft microfiber cloth or sponge with warm water and a small amount of mild dish soap. Wipe the entirety of the surface using light pressure. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. This removes light dirt and maintains the glossy look of quartz.
How do you remove dried food from a quartz countertop?