Quartz countertops are popular in modern kitchens and bathrooms because of their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, you need to clean quartz properly and avoid using abrasive cleaners that can damage the surface. Using the right cleaning products is key to keeping your quartz counters looking like new. This comprehensive guide will outline which cleaners are safe for quartz and proper care techniques.
An Introduction To Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops, often referred to as engineered stone, have become a top choice for home renovations and new construction projects. Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know about quartz:
- Made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments
- More durable and heat resistant than natural stone
- Non-porous so resistant to stains
- Available in wide variety of colors and patterns
- Requires minimal maintenance compared to other counter materials
- Not entirely heat or scratch proof
With proper care, a quartz countertop can stay looking fresh for many years. However, you need to be careful about which cleaning products you use. Quartz has a glassy surface that can be damaged by harsh chemicals and scrubbing.
Why It’s Important To Use The Right Cleaners On Quartz
Using the wrong cleaning products on your quartz counters can lead to a variety of issues:
Damages The Surface
Quartz contains polymers that give the material its shine and visual depth. However, abrasive cleaners and scrubbing can ruin this top layer leading to a dull, scratched appearance over time.
Some chemicals in cleaners can react with quartz and cause yellowing or etching. Once these stains set in the counter, they are often permanent.
Leaves Residue Build Up
Many conventional cleaners leave soapy film, streaks, and deposits on quartz. This creates an unattractive hazy look.
Voids Manufacturer Warranty
Using the incorrect cleaning solutions may void the warranty on your quartz countertops. Most manufacturers recommend specific care guidelines.
The good news is that when armed with the right information, keeping your quartz counters in pristine shape is simple!
What To Avoid Using To Clean Quartz Countertops
Here are the types of cleaners and products to keep away from your quartz:
Any cleaner containing gritty particles or harsh scrubbing pads can scratch and dull the surface of quartz countertops. Steer clear of:
- Bon Ami
- Bar Keepers Friend
Vinegar is acidic. Over time, routine cleaning with vinegar can etch and corrode a quartz surface leading to permanent damage.
Bleach is too alkaline and can yellow and fade quartz countertops.
Ammonia is also too alkaline and should never be used on engineered stone.
Citric acids in cleaners like orange, lemon or lime can damage and fade quartz.
Products meant for cleaning sinks, tubs and toilets are often far too harsh for quartz counters. Avoid these in the kitchen.
Isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, and cleaning products containing alcohol can dull the shine of your countertops.
Never use abrasive pads like steel wool or stiff scrub brushes. Even scrub sponges can create fine scratches.
Recommended Cleaners For Quartz Countertops
Now that you know what not to use, here are the best, safest cleaning solutions for quartz:
Mild Dish Soap
For routine cleaning, a gentle liquid dish soap works well. Avoid anything highly concentrated or with added bleach. Use a soft cloth or sponge and lukewarm water.
pH Neutral Cleaners
Look for non-abrasive cleaners that are pH balanced. These won’t etch or discolor the surface. Countertop specific products are ideal.
Choose a specialty stone cleaner made for engineered quartz. These are designed to lift soils without damaging the finish.
As a mild disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide is safe for cleaning quartz. Combine with dish soap and warm water.
For scrubbing more stubborn messes, make a paste of baking soda and water. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive and won’t scratch. Rinse thoroughly after use.
These cleaners work well to eliminate streaks and create a shiny surface. Use a lint-free cloth to buff dry.
Always spot test any new cleaner on an inconspicuous area first. Check that it does not discolor or damage the surface.
Step-By-Step Guide To Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Follow this simple step-by-step process for keeping quartz counters clean:
1. Remove Surface Clutter
Clear counters of any removable items including appliances and decor. This allows for thorough cleaning access.
2. Dust Surfaces
Use a microfiber cloth to dust quartz and remove any dried spills or debris.
3. Fill a Spray Bottle With Cleaner
Choose a recommended quartz-safe cleaner and dilute with warm water in a spray bottle if needed.
4. Apply Cleaner and Let Sit
Spray the cleaner over the entire surface. Avoid flooding the countertop. Allow the solution to sit for 2-3 minutes.
5. Scrub With Soft Sponge/Cloth
Use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to gently scrub the wet surface. Apply extra elbow grease for sticky spills.
6. Rinse Thoroughly
Wipe all traces of cleaner away with a clean cloth and fresh water. Ensure no soap residue remains.
7. Dry With a Soft Cloth
Use a lint-free cloth or paper towel to dry the surface. Buff in the direction of the countertop veins.
8. Inspect for Streaks/Residue
Carefully inspect under lighting and re-clean any leftover residue or water spots.
Repeat cleaning regularly to prevent buildup of grime.
Tips For Maintaining Quartz Countertop Appearance
Here are some extra pointers for keeping quartz counters looking their best:
- Never let spills sit. Immediately wipe up liquids, oils, grease etc.
- Avoid using countertops as a cutting surface. Always use a cutting board.
- Don’t place hot pots/pans directly on the quartz. Use trivets and hot pads.
- Seal quartz every 6-12 months with a penetrating sealer.
- Check manufacturer care instructions for your specific quartz brand.
- If counters develop dull spots, use a quartz polish made for engineered stone.
- For tough dried-on messes, let a damp cloth soaked in cleaner sit on the spot for 5 minutes before scrubbing.
- Periodically deep clean grout lines using a soft bristle brush and mild cleaner.
- Keep cleaning solutions and tools specifically for quartz to prevent cross-contamination.
Can You Use Granite Cleaner On Quartz?
While granite and quartz are both popular stone counter materials, you should not use the same products to clean them. Granite is porous and needs strong cleaners and sealers to prevent stains and bacteria buildup in the rock pores. Quartz is non-porous so does not require such intense cleaning agents. Using a granite cleaner can damage a quartz surface. Stick to cleaners specially formulated for engineered stone instead.
Simple Do’s and Don’ts For Cleaning Quartz Countertops
To recap, follow these simple do’s and don’ts when it comes to cleaning and caring for quartz:
- Use pH neutral stone cleaners
- Mix baking soda and water paste for gentle scrubbing
- Dry surfaces thoroughly after cleaning
- Apply sealer every 6-12 months
- Use citrus, vinegar, bleach or ammonia
- Let spills sit – wipe immediately
- Place hot items directly on quartz
- Use abrasive pads/sponges
- Allow soap film or residue to remain
Can You Use Clorox Wipes on Quartz?
Clorox and other brand disinfectant wipes are commonly used for quick clean-ups in kitchens and bathrooms. But are these wipes safe for quartz countertops? The short answer is no.
While using Clorox wipes occasionally may not cause immediate damage, regular use can dull the surface and fade quartz over time. Here’s why it’s best to avoid them:
- Too abrasive – Disinfecting wipes contain scrubs and chemicals that can wear away the protective top layer of quartz.
- Residue buildup – Wipes often leave sticky residue and film behind that attracts more dirt.
- May bleach/discolor – Bleach and other powerful antibacterials can react with quartz pigments.
- May void warranty – Using harsh wipes and cleaners can void manufacturer warranties.
Instead of Clorox wipes, use a soft microfiber cloth dampened with a small amount of mild dish soap and warm water. For disinfecting, hydrogen peroxide is a safer choice. Be sure to always rinse and dry the surface thoroughly after cleaning.
How To Remove Dried On Spills From Quartz Countertops
Even with prompt cleaning, sometimes spills dry and get stuck on quartz counters. Materials like food, grease, and liquids can leave behind hard to remove residues. Here’s how to tackle dried-on messes:
Step 1: Try soaking a cloth or paper towel in warm water and cleaner. Place it over the spill and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. This softens the mess.
Step 2: Use a plastic scraper to gently loosen the spill without scratching the surface. Plastic dish scrapers or a credit card work well.
Step 3: Create a paste of baking soda and water. Apply to the spill and let sit briefly. The baking soda will help absorb and lift the residue.
Step 4: Wipe away the baking soda paste then scrub with a soft cloth, mild soap and water.
Step 5: For stubborn spots, spray with glass cleaner after cleaning. Use a microfiber cloth to gently buff dry. This helps remove any leftover film.
Step 6: Thoroughly rinse with clear water and dry the area to prevent water spots.
Repeat if needed for difficult spills that resist removal after first attempts. Just take care not scrub too vigorously to avoid damaging the quartz.
How To Get Grease Off Quartz Countertops
Greasy cooking splatters and spills are some of the trickiest substances to remove from quartz. However, these simple steps will allow you to get quartz counters grease-free:
- Blot fresh grease immediately with an absorbent cloth or paper towel. Don’t rub, which spreads grease around.
- Spray or dab a degreasing cleaner formulated for stone surfaces onto the greasy spot. Leave for 2-3 minutes.
- Rub the cleaner in with a soft brush or sponge using light circular motions.
- Rinse the quartz surface with warm water and dry thoroughly with a lint-free cloth.
- For stubborn grease stains, apply baking soda and let sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
- Cleaning grease promptly is key. If a stain sets in, try a poultice paste to draw out the oil.
Avoid harsh chemical cleaners and citrus degreasers on quartz. With the proper techniques, you can keep quartz grease-free without damaging the finish.
How To Remove Rust Stains From Quartz Countertops
Quartz itself does not rust since it is non-porous. However, small metal objects like keys or cooking utensils left on the surface can oxidize and leave behind rust marks. Here’s how to remove:
For Light Stains:
- Create a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the rust spot.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes then scrub gently with a soft cloth. Rinse.
- Repeat until the stain fades. Baking soda helps dissolve light rust marks.
For Stubborn Stains:
- Soak a paper towel in lemon juice and lay it over the stain for 30 minutes. The acid lifts rust.
- Sprinkle salt on top of the lemon juice-soaked towel. The salt provides light abrasion.
- After 30 minutes, scrub the area gently with the salted paper towel.
- Rinse thoroughly – acid can etch quartz if left.
- Immediately wipe up any metal items left on quartz. Don’t let rust set in.
- Use trivets and potholders rather than placing hot pots directly on counters.
- Avoid leaving wet metal cookware and utensils sitting on quartz surfaces.
With prompt care, most light rust marks and stains can be removed from quartz counters without issue.
Does Quartz Stain Easily?
One of the biggest benefits of quartz countertops is that unlike marble and granite, engineered stone does not stain easily. The combination of ground quartz and resins creates a non-porous surface that resists absorbing liquids, oils, grease, and other contaminants.
However, while quartz has excellent stain resistance, it is not completely stain proof. Some spills, especially darker liquids and foods, can stain quartz if left to set:
- Coffee, tea, cola, and wine
- Certain dark juices like pomegranate, cherry, cranberry, grape
- Soy sauce, tomato sauce, curry and mustard
- Permanent markers, dyes, and inks
- Hair color and cosmetic products
To prevent staining, immediately wipe up any spills on quartz. Don’t let items sit. For dried on stains, use a stain remover made for engineered stone along with baking soda scrubbing.
With prompt care, you should not experience extensive staining and any minor stains can be removed. Always use sealers and avoid harsh cleaners that degrade quartz’s stain resistance.
Does Quartz Need To Be Sealed?
Unlike granite and other natural stone, quartz does not require regular sealing due to its low porosity. In fact, most manufacturers claim their engineered stone counters are maintenance-free and never need sealing.
However, applying a penetrating quartz sealer every 6-12 months can provide added protection by creating an impermeable barrier resistant to stains. Sealing also enhances the glossy finish.
Choose a specialty sealer formulated just for quartz:
- Tenax Hydrex – Premium quartz sealer
- StoneTech BulletProof – Popular stone sealer
- Miracle Sealants 511 Porous Plus – Great budget option
Follow directions carefully. Apply sealer evenly with a clean cloth. Buff off any excess. Quartz rarely needs sealing but it can help prolong the life and look of your counters.
How To Clean Quartz Countertops Daily, Weekly, and Deep Cleaning
Establishing regular cleaning routines is key to keeping quartz counters spotless. Here are tips for daily, weekly, and deep cleaning.
- Clear countertops completely each evening.
- Use soapy water to wipe up spills and splatters immediately.
- Rinse any sink areas with only water after use.
- If cooking grease occurs, spray with degreaser immediately.
- Thoroughly wipe counters using a soft sponge and mild soap.
- Inspect closely and spot treat any areas needing extra attention.
- Disinfect surfaces using dilute hydrogen peroxide spray.
- Dry and buff with lint-free cloth.
- Clear all items off counters.
- Apply a pH balanced quartz cleaner and let sit before scrubbing.
- Use baking soda paste to work on tough, stuck-on spots.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry.
- Follow with a quartz polish if needed.
- Clean any dirty grout lines using a grout brush.
Stay on top of daily and weekly cleaner to prevent the need for time-consuming deep cleaning.
How To Remove Hard Water Stains From Quartz Countertops
Hard water contains a high concentration of minerals. These minerals can leave unsightly deposits, spots, and residues on quartz surfaces, especially around the sink area. Try these simple fixes:
- Wipe down quartz with an equal parts vinegar and water solution. The mild acid in vinegar dissolves mineral buildup. Rinse thoroughly after.
- Spray lemon juice mixed with some baking soda onto the hard water marks. Let fizz for 2 minutes then scrub and rinse away.
- For light deposits, rub a cloth dampened with bottled water over the area. Sometimes H20 alone can lift hard water spots.
- Use a buffing sponge designated just for quartz to gently scrub stubborn staining.
- Apply a hard water stain remover made for engineered stone following the product instructions.
- Improve ventilation so surfaces dry quickly after use, preventing water spots.
With consistent care, hard water damage on quartz can be minimized or reversed. Prevent permanent etching by addressing any spots ASAP.
Does Quartz Need To Be Polished?
Quartz counters are designed to stay glossy and reflective without needing polishing. In fact, polishing is not typically recommended. The resins mixed in during manufacturing produce the shine and polish.
However, if your quartz countertops develop dull, foggy patches or simply lose luster over time, then polishing can help revive the glossy