Quartz countertops are a popular choice for modern kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, even this hardy material requires regular cleaning to keep it looking its best. Here is a comprehensive guide on the best practices for cleaning quartz countertops.
Why Quartz Needs To Be Cleaned
While quartz is non-porous and resistant to scratches, stains, and heat, it is not impervious. Over time, dirt, grime, soap scum, and spills can build up and dull the surface. Cleaning helps prevent bacteria from growing and keeps the counters hygienic. It also removes etching from acidic foods and maintains the polished appearance. With proper care, quartz countertops can look pristine for decades.
Best Cleaners For Quartz
Mild soap and water – For daily cleaning, a mild liquid dish soap diluted in warm water works well. Avoid heavily concentrated or abrasive cleansers.
pH-neutral stone cleaner – Specialty stone cleaners, either homemade or store-bought, are safe as long as they have a neutral pH between 7 and 8. Check the label before using.
Hydrogen peroxide – A mild 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide can disinfect and brighten quartz. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
Baking soda – Make a paste with baking soda and water and use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub away stains. Rinse well and dry.
Vinegar – White vinegar helps remove soap scum buildup and hard water stains. Mix with water and rinse completely.
Ammonia – Diluted ammonia works to clean stubborn dirt and grease. Never mix ammonia with bleach or other cleaners.
Rubbing alcohol – Isopropyl alcohol wipes disinfect quartz without leaving residue. Avoid colored alcohol which can stain.
How To Clean Quartz Countertops
- Clear the counters – Remove everything from the surface before cleaning quartz. This prevents accidental spills and splashes on items.
- Mix your cleaner – Prepare your cleaning solution according to the manufacturer’s directions. Avoid using full-strength cleaners directly on the stone.
- Wipe up spills – Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe up any crumbs or spills. This prevents abrasive particles from scratching the surface when scrubbing.
- Apply cleaner and scrub – Put the cleaning solution directly on a soft cloth or sponge. Gently scrub the entire surface using small circular motions. Avoid scouring pads.
- Rinse thoroughly – Wipe off all soap residue with a clean damp cloth. Any leftover cleaner can cause streaks or etch the stone.
- Blot dry – Use a microfiber towel to blot up remaining moisture. Rubbing can leave lint and streaks behind. Let air dry completely.
- Reseal yearly – Reapply penetrating sealer every 6-12 months for added protection, especially on heavily used areas.
How To Remove Specific Stains From Quartz
- Dried food stains – Let a damp paper towel soaked in ammonia sit on the stain for 5-10 minutes. Scrub and rinse.
- Oily residues – Mix baking soda and water into a paste and rub into the grease stain. Rinse thoroughly after 10 minutes.
- Hard water marks – Wipe with equal parts water and vinegar. For stubborn buildup, apply vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing.
- Soap scum – Use a plastic scraper to gently lift off soap residue before wiping with vinegar and water mix. Rinse well.
- Rust stains – Make a paste with cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide. Let sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
- Dried spills – Carefully scrape off any hardened spills with a plastic putty knife. Clean the area afterwards to remove any marks left behind.
What Not To Do When Cleaning Quartz
- Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach, drain cleaner, rust removers, or alkaline cleaners which can damage and discolor the stone.
- Don’t use abrasive scrubbing pads, steel wool, or scouring powders which can scratch and dull the polished surface.
- Skip the lemon juice or other acidic cleaners which can etch and corrode quartz over time.
- Don’t drag pots, appliances, or other objects across the countertop which can scratch. Always use hot pads.
- Avoid leaving spills of red wine, coffee, and other staining liquids on the surface. Wipe up promptly to prevent permanent discoloration.
Maintaining Quartz Countertops
- Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains.
- Use trivets and hot pads under hot pans and dishes to prevent burns.
- Clean up cooking messes right after preparing food. Don’t let grime dry on the surface.
- Avoid using knives directly on the quartz to prevent accidental scratching and damage to blades. Use a cutting board.
- Clean with a soft cloth, sponge or paper towel. Avoid abrasive cleaning pads.
- Reseal quartz every year for the best results, especially for heavily used kitchen counters.
- For scrubbing, use a soft nylon brush or plastic scraper. Avoid metal scouring pads.
With proper maintenance and by using the safest cleaners, quartz countertops will stay looking like new for decades. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for your specific brand of quartz. Consistent gentle cleaning and prompt stain removal will keep quartz counters in impeccable shape.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Should I use different cleaners on polished vs. matte quartz finishes?
No, you can safely use the same mild cleaners on quartz whether it has a polished, rough, or matte finish. Just be sure to avoid anything too abrasive or harsh that could damage the surface texture.
How can I polish out light scratches in my quartz countertop?
For minor superficial scratches, use a buffing pad designed for quartz along with a polish made specifically for engineered stone. Rub gently in circular motions to buff out imperfections. Avoid intensive polishing which can thin the finish.
Can I use toothpaste, baking soda, or vinegar to clean my quartz?
While these household ingredients are handy for some spot cleaning tasks, avoid using them daily throughout your whole quartz surface. These can be mildly abrasive and cause etching over time with repeated use.
Should I disinfect my quartz countertop?
Yes, it is a good idea to periodically disinfect your quartz, especially after preparing raw meat or produce. Use a diluted bleach cleaner, ammonia, or isopropyl alcohol wipe to kill germs without harming quartz.
How can I restore the shine to my quartz counter?
If your quartz has lost its luster, use a buffing pad and specialty stone polish product. This will help seal pores and restore the glossy finish. Avoid applying wax which can lead to a slippery, filmy buildup.
With a routine cleaning regimen using mild soaps, specialty stone cleaners, and gentle scrubbing, quartz countertops will retain their beauty and functionality for many years. Avoid harsh chemicals and acidic cleaners which can damage surfaces. Prompt spills removal and disinfection are also key. Follow manufacturer’s directions and reseal quartz every 6-12 months. With proper care, quartz can handle the demands of busy kitchens while maintaining its polished, like-new appearance.