Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms thanks to their durability, ease of maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. However, like any surface, quartz requires proper cleaning and care to keep it looking like new. Here is a comprehensive guide to cleaning quartz countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, often referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The result is an extremely hard, non-porous material that resists scratches, stains, and heat.
Benefits of Quartz Countertops
There are several reasons why quartz makes an excellent choice for countertops:
- Extremely durable – Quartz is nearly indestructible under normal use. It does not scratch or chip easily.
- Low maintenance – Due to its non-porous quality, quartz repels liquids and resists staining. It does not require sealing or polishing.
- Hygienic – The non-porous surface inhibits bacterial growth.
- Heat resistant – Quartz can withstand heat up to 212°F. Hot pans can be placed directly on the surface.
- Stylish – Available in a wide range of colors and patterns to suit any décor.
- Non-toxic – Contains no VOCs and is NSF/ANSI 51 certified safe.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops
Regular cleaning is important to keep quartz free of dirt, grime, and bacteria buildup. Here are the recommended methods:
1. Routine Daily Cleaning
For day-to-day cleaning, simply wipe the counters with a soft microfiber cloth and warm water or a mild soap and water solution. Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads which can damage the finish. Immediately wipe up spills as they occur to prevent staining.
2. Deep Clean as Needed
Once a week or biweekly, clean the counters more thoroughly:
- Mix a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid like Dawn with warm water in a spray bottle. Avoid harsh detergents.
- Liberally spray the solution over the entire surface.
- Wipe clean with a soft microfiber cloth, scrubbing gently if needed to remove stuck-on dirt or residue.
- Rinse with fresh water and dry with a clean towel.
To sanitize and kill germs:
- Make a non-bleach disinfecting solution like Lysol or an alcohol-vinegar mixture.
- Spray or wipe over the surface. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly with water and dry.
4. Removing Stains and Marks
For stubborn stains:
- Make a paste of baking soda and water and gently rub onto the stain with a soft cloth or sponge.
- Rinse and dry thoroughly afterwards.
- For marks from metal pans or utensils, use a non-abrasive cleaner like Bar Keeper’s Friend.
- For dried spills, soak the area with hot water to loosen before cleaning.
5. Preventing Damage
To avoid damaging quartz surfaces:
- Use cutting boards and trivets for hot items. Never place hot pans directly on the counter.
- Clean up spills immediately before they have a chance to stain.
- Avoid abrasive cleansers, scouring pads, and scrub brushes.
- Rinse thoroughly after using acidic cleaners like vinegar.
- Blot wet spills instead of wiping to prevent spreading.
What NOT to Use on Quartz
Avoid the following products, which can etch, discolor, or dull the quartz:
- Vinegar or other acidic cleaners
- Abrasive cleaners like Comet or Ajax
- Bleach-based cleaners
- Sodium hydroxide, drain cleaner, paint remover
- Oil soaps
- Alcohol-based cleaners
- Scouring pads, steel wool, abrasive sponges
Simple Daily Maintenance Keeps Quartz Pristine
By following these basic cleaning guidelines, you can easily keep your quartz counters looking like new for years. Daily wiping and prompt spill cleanup prevents buildup that leads to stains. Periodic deep cleaning removes residues and sanitizes. With proper care, quartz countertops will retain their original beauty and luster for the lifetime of your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use vinegar to clean quartz?
Vinegar is too acidic for quartz and can dull the finish. For routine cleaning, stick to mild soap and water. For stubborn stains, use a baking soda paste instead of vinegar.
How do I get dried food stains off my quartz?
Soak the stained area with hot water to loosen the food residue, then gently scrub with a soft cloth or non-abrasive cleaner. Avoid using a scouring pad or abrasive chemicals which can damage the surface.
What is the best quartz countertop cleaner?
For everyday cleaning, simple mild soap and water works well. Commercial quartz cleaners are also available, but check that they are non-abrasive and acid-free. Look for ones made specifically for engineered stone.
Can I cut food directly on quartz?
It’s best to use a separate cutting board instead of cutting directly on quartz. While minor nicks and scratches won’t harm quartz, cutting repeatedly in one spot can damage the surface over time.
How can I make my quartz counters shine?
Quartz does not require sealing or polishing to maintain its lustrous finish. Simply follow regular cleaning practices to keep it free of grime buildup. An occasional application of quartz polish can help enhance the shine.
With simple daily maintenance like wiping up spills and periodic deep cleaning, quartz countertops will stay beautiful and hygienic for years of heavy use. Avoid harsh cleaners and abrasives. Stick to mild soap and water for daily care. For stubborn stains, use a baking soda paste or commercial quartz cleaner. With the proper care, quartz surfaces will retain their sleek, elegant look indefinitely.