Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. However, like any countertop material, quartz requires proper cleaning and care to keep it looking pristine. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to clean quartz countertops and what products to use.
Why Quartz Needs Special Cleaning Attention
Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. This makes it non-porous and resistant to scratches, stains, and heat. However, quartz can be affected by:
- Buildup of dirt, grease, and grime
- Residue from spills that are not cleaned promptly
- Etching from highly acidic substances
- Dulling of the surface over time
Using the wrong cleaning solutions can also degrade quartz and cause damage. It is important to use only recommended cleaners and techniques when maintaining your quartz countertops.
Recommended Cleaning Supplies for Quartz
Having the right supplies on hand will make cleaning quartz countertops simple and effective. Here are some must-have cleaning agents:
pH Neutral Stone Cleaner
Look for a high-quality cleaner specifically formulated for stone surfaces like quartz. pH neutral cleaners contain mild surfactants to lift dirt and do not contain harsh acids or alkalis that can etch or discolor the stone.
Soft microfiber cloths are ideal for cleaning quartz without scratching the surface. They lift and trap dirt effectively.
For sanitizing quartz, use a non-bleach disinfectant labeled safe for stone. This kills germs without any bleaching agents that can yellow the surface.
Gentle Scouring Pad
A soft scouring pad adds light abrasion to remove stubborn spots and buildup. Opt for plastic-based scrubbers, not metal scouring pads that could scratch.
Step-By-Step Guide to Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Follow this simple routine regularly to keep quartz counters spotless:
1. Remove Surface Clutter
Clear counters of any removable items like appliances, dishes, rags etc. This gives you access to the entire surface area.
2. Rinse with Warm Water
Use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe down the quartz with warm water. This removes light dust and debris.
3. Clean with pH Neutral Cleaner
Spray a pH balanced stone cleaner over the entire counter surface. Use a fresh microfiber cloth to rub it into the quartz. Cover all areas and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
4. Rinse and Dry
Take another clean cloth and wipe the quartz thoroughly to rinse off the cleaner residue. Dry the surface completely.
5. Disinfect Weekly
Once a week, give counters an antimicrobial cleaning. Spray or wipe a non-bleach disinfectant labeled safe for quartz. No need to rinse.
6. Scour Tough Stains
For stuck-on messes like food or grease, use a gentle scrub pad and some pH neutral cleaner. Rub in circular motions but avoid excessive pressure.
7. Polish Twice a Year
Every 6 months, buff quartz with a stone polish to restore sheen and luster. Use a soft pad and minimal pressure. Rinse and dry completely afterwards.
Cleaning Solutions to Avoid on Quartz
Just as important as using the right cleaners is avoiding unsuitable cleaning agents that can damage quartz:
- No bleaches, alkaline or acidic cleaners which can etch and discolor. Stick to pH neutral options.
- No abrasive powders, scouring creams, or stiff scrub sponges which can scratch the surface.
- No oil-based cleaners like mineral oil, furniture sprays or kitchen degreasers that will leave residue.
- No vinegar, lemon juice, or other acids found in kitchen cleaners that etch and pit quartz.
- No harsh bathroom cleaners or grout whitener that contain chemicals unsafe for quartz.
Answers to Common Quartz Cleaning Questions
Cleaning and caring for quartz correctly ensures it stays flawless for years. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Can you use bleach or baking soda to clean quartz?
No, avoid bleach and baking soda as they are too alkaline and abrasive for quartz. Always use a pH neutral stone cleaner instead.
How do you remove dried spills or stuck-on gunk?
For dried spills, soak with a damp microfiber cloth to loosen residue, then use a non-abrasive scrubbing pad with some pH neutral cleaner applied. Rub gently, don’t press too hard.
Is window and glass cleaner okay for cleaning quartz?
Avoid glass cleaners as they contain alcohol and ammonia that can dull quartz’s shine. Use only stone-safe cleaners.
How can you prevent quartz from getting etched?
Rinse spills like juices immediately before they have time to etch the surface. Daily cleaning also prevents buildup of acidic grime that can damage quartz over time.
Can you polish out scratches and etch marks from quartz?
Very minor scratches can be smoothed by using a stone polish product and a soft pad. But deeper scratches and etch marks are usually permanent. Take care to prevent them.
Maintain Your Quartz Countertops Properly
Caring for your quartz countertops does require some attention and safe cleaning practices. But the payoff is years of unmarred beauty and convenience in your home. Use only approved cleaners, disinfectants, and pads. Clean quartz regularly following proper techniques. Avoid placing hot pots directly on the surface. Watch out for spills and stains, rinsing them quickly. With this simple routine, your quartz countertops will always have that showroom shine.
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