Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for modern kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. However, while quartz is resistant to scratches, stains, and heat, it still requires proper cleaning and care to keep it looking like new. Learning the right techniques and products to clean and maintain quartz will help preserve its beautiful finish for years to come.
Cleaning Quartz Countertops Daily
A simple daily cleaning routine helps prevent buildup and keeps quartz free of dust, dirt, and grime that can dull its surface over time. Here are some tips for cleaning quartz countertops on a regular basis:
Use a mild soap and soft cloth – For daily cleaning, a mild liquid dish soap diluted in warm water works well. Use a soft microfiber cloth, sponge or paper towel to gently wipe down the countertop. Avoid abrasive scrubbing pads or brushes.
Rinse and dry thoroughly – After washing with the mild soap solution, rinse the quartz thoroughly with clean water to remove any soapy residue. Wipe the surface completely dry with a soft cloth. Residual water can leave behind mineral deposits as it evaporates.
Remove spills promptly – Immediately wipe up any spills, especially acidic substances like wine, fruit juices or oils that can etch or stain the quartz surface if left too long. A quick response helps prevent lasting damage.
Use cutting boards – Avoid direct food prep on the countertop. Always use a cutting board for chopping, slicing or dicing to prevent dulling of the surface.
Keeping quartz clean daily takes little time and effort, while protecting its appearance and performance.
Weekly Cleaning for Quartz
In addition to daily cleaning, quartz countertops benefit from weekly deep cleaning to keep the surface free of any unseen buildup. Here are tips for effective weekly cleaning sessions:
Use a Quartz Cleaner
- For weekly maintenance cleaning, a specially formulated quartz cleaner offers the best results. Look for a non-abrasive cleaner made for quartz from reputable brands.
- Quartz cleaners contain mild detergents to break down oil, grime and residues without damaging the quartz surface.
- Follow label instructions for dilution and application. Spray or wipe the cleaner over the entire surface.
- Steam cleaning is an effective chemical-free method to deep clean quartz. The heat and pressure of the steam dissolve stuck-on dirt and grease.
- Use a steam cleaner designed for countertops. Do not apply direct high heat steam for prolonged periods, as thermal shock can damage quartz.
- Work in sections, steaming the area first then wiping away dissolved grime with microfiber cloths.
- For killing germs and bacteria, use a disinfecting cleaner or spray containing bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
- Check that the disinfectant is rated safe for quartz surfaces before using.
- Allow the disinfectant to sit on the quartz for the recommended contact time before rinsing.
Regular weekly cleaning gives quartz the deep cleaning required to maintain its pristine factory finish long-term.
How to Remove Stains from Quartz
While quartz resists staining better than other countertop materials, prolonged exposure to spills can result in stubborn stains that require special techniques to remove. Here are tips for getting rid of various stains from quartz surfaces.
Food and Beverage Stains
- For stains from coffee, tea, wine, juice or greasy food, immediately wipe up excess liquid. For dried stains, use a baking soda paste, mixing baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable paste. Spread the paste over the stain and allow to sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. The baking soda will help lift the stain.
- For very stubborn organic stains, use a weak bleach solution – mix 1 part bleach to 4 parts water. Pre-test on an inconspicuous spot to ensure the bleach won’t discolor the quartz. Apply the solution, allow to sit briefly, then scrub and rinse thoroughly. Only use bleach occasionally as a spot treatment.
Marker and Pen Stains
- Marks from permanent markers or pen can sometimes stain quartz. Try rubbing alcohol first – dampen a cloth and rub it over the mark until it fades.
- If alcohol alone doesn’t work, try gently scraping off the mark using a plastic putty knife, followed by alcohol applied with a cloth to remove any remaining discoloration. This should lift off stubborn pen stains without damaging the finish.
Hard Water Stains
- Mineral deposits from tap water draining on quartz can leave etching that appears like stains. Use a damp cloth soaked in full strength white vinegar and let sit on the deposits for several minutes to dissolve them. After, scrub and rinse thoroughly. Repeat as needed for hard water stain removal.
With the right cleaning agents and techniques, even set-in stains can be removed to restore quartz’s original beauty. Test any strong cleaners first in inconspicuous areas to avoid accidental damage.
How to Make Quartz Countertops Shine
While quartz lacks the high gloss finish of polished stone, its matte to satin sheen can be enhanced with these handy tips for making quartz shine:
Polish with olive oil – Rub a small amount of olive oil over the quartz surface using a soft cloth. Allow to sit briefly, then buff the countertop using a dry microfiber cloth. The oil will add depth and shine while smoothing small scratches.
Clean with vinegar – For a streak-free shine, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. After deep cleaning the quartz, spray the vinegar solution and wipe dry with a lint-free cloth. Vinegar helps remove residue that makes surfaces look dull.
Use a restorative cleaner – Specialized quartz gloss enhancers contain oils, light abrasives and sealers to buff out superficial scratches and restore the surface’s sheen. Use sparingly according to label directions to avoid an overly glossy result.
Address etching – If the quartz has developed a rough texture from chemical etching, extremely fine sanding may be required to rebuild the polish. Consult a countertop professional, as improper sanding can damage the finish.
With some easy DIY techniques, you can keep your quartz counters gleaming and looking like new.
Cleaning Quartz Countertop Edges and Backsplashes
The edges and backsplashes on quartz countertops tend to get overlooked when cleaning. But giving extra attention to these areas prevents buildup of dirt, soap scum, and grime that can detract from the beauty of quartz over time.
Use a toothbrush – For textured edges or intricate backsplash tile patterns, use an old toothbrush dipped in the mild soapy water. Gently scrub to loosen debris from crevices. Rinse thoroughly after scrubbing.
Remove grease buildup – Degreasers like ammonia, acetone or all-purpose cleaner work to dissolve oil and grease accumulation on edges and around sinks. Use sparingly on a small inconspicuous area first to check for any adverse reaction with the quartz.
Detail caulk and seams – Look for any mildew or grime buildup in caulk around edges and seams. Carefully scrape out gunk with a plastic putty knife, then use bleach or hydrogen peroxide cleaner to kill bacteria and whiten discolored caulk.
Address trouble spots – Persistent grime around faucets or near cooking areas may require occasional use of Scotch-Brite Dobie scrub pads. Rub gently only on affected spots to remove built-up grease and restore the quartz shine.
Proper care of edges prevents damage, preserves beauty, and keeps quartz surfaces hygienic.
How to Sanitize Quartz Countertops
Sanitizing quartz countertops using proper disinfecting techniques helps eliminate bacteria and viruses that can cause illness. Here are effective methods to sanitize your quartz:
Use an EPA-registered disinfectant – Check label to confirm the disinfectant is rated safe and effective for use on quartz surfaces. Spray or wipe over entire surface and allow to sit for indicated contact time to kill germs before rinsing.
Apply diluted bleach solution – Make a sanitizing bleach solution by mixing 1 tablespoon bleach per quart of water. Apply lightly with cloth and let sit 5-10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Only use bleach solutions occasionally.
Try hydrogen peroxide cleaner – Disinfecting cleaners containing at least 3% hydrogen peroxide are an effective non-toxic alternative to bleach for sanitizing quartz. hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen after killing germs.
Heat treatment – While quartz can withstand brief exposure to moderately hot temperatures, thermal shock from sudden extreme heat can damage the solid surface. As an alternative, use a disinfecting wipe rated safe for quartz.
Air purifiers – Installation of air purifiers using UV light can help sanitize countertop surfaces and the surrounding environment. This adds a layer of passive sanitization.
With regular cleaning and occasional disinfecting, quartz counters can remain free of illness-causing pathogens.
Avoiding Damage When Cleaning Quartz
Certain cleaning mistakes can lead to damaging quartz countertops. Follow these guidelines to help prevent harm to the surface:
- Never use abrasive scrub pads, brushes or cleaning tools marked as too harsh for quartz. Light scrubbing with soft materials is safest.
- Avoid acidic cleaners like vinegar, citrus-based products or Tilex Mold & Mildew Remover, as these can etch the finish. Only use occasionally for short time periods when needed to remove hard water or soap scum buildup.
- Do not allow spills of strongly pigmented substances like dyes, makeup or paint to remain on the surface. Promptly wipe up anything that could stain.
- Take care with bleach – only use diluted bleach solutions occasionally as a spot cleaner, not for everyday cleaning. Avoid prolonged exposure and immediately rinse any overspray that gets on adjacent surfaces.
- Check that cleaners specifically state “safe for quartz” on the label before use. Never mix different cleaning products together – potentially hazardous chemical reactions can occur.
With responsible cleaning practices, it is possible to enjoy quartz countertops for many years without any wear or damage. Be sure to address any damage like etching or stains as soon as possible to limit severity.
Simple DIY Quartz Countertop Maintenance
Quartz requires very little routine maintenance to keep it looking pristine between deeper cleaning sessions. Here are some simple DIY tasks that help maintain its condition:
Sealing – Although quartz itself is non-porous, sealing is recommended occasionally for joints and seams to prevent moisture penetration that can damage substrate material. Use a specially formulated sealer and apply a thin coat per label directions.
Polishing – Every few months, buff quartz gently with a polishing pad or soft cloth coated in a small amount of mineral oil, quartz polish or automobile wax. This fills in micro-scratches and enhances the surface sheen.
Inspecting – Look over the entire surface once in awhile for any cracks, chips or damage. Catching issues early allows for easier repairs. Mark damaged areas with painter’s tape to monitor for further spread.
Cleaning filters – Keep sink water filtration systems maintained to maximize removal of minerals that can leave etching hard water stains on quartz with regular use. Check and change filters per manufacturer directions.
With simple regular care, quartz can stay looking like new for many years before professional restoration is required.
When to Call for Professional Quartz Countertop Repairs
While DIY cleaning and polishing can handle most quartz countertop maintenance needs, some situations call for contacting an experienced professional installer for repairs:
Visible cracks or loose areas – Unaddressed cracks run the risk of moisture intrusion leading to more extensive damage. Repairs should be done as soon as cracking appears.
Chips or gouges – Small chips can worsen over time. Severe chips or gouges require patching and resurfacing to restore the integrity of the quartz.
Etching or blistering – If improperly cleaned, quartz can develop rough, corroded areas. Refinishing is needed to restore the original smooth finish.
Stains not removable with DIY methods – Difficult stains may need professional techniques like poultice application or stain extraction systems to lift the discoloration.
Installation problems – Issues like hairline gaps, uneven seams, or adhesion failures call for a fabricator/installer’s expertise to correctly re-secure or replace pieces.
Seeking timely professional help maximizes the lifespan and aesthetics of your quartz investment. Be sure to use a reputable, experienced quartz professional.
FAQs about Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Can I use vinegar to clean my quartz counters?
- Yes, you can use vinegar to clean quartz surfaces. Diluted white vinegar mixed with water works well for removing hard water stains, soap scum and other deposits. Undiluted vinegar can dull or etch quartz over time, so make sure to mix with water. Always rinse thoroughly after using any vinegar solutions.
What natural cleaner alternatives are safe for quartz?
- Some effective natural cleaner alternatives include hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, liquid castile soap, baking soda and diluted tea tree oil. Always test natural cleaners first on a small inconspicuous spot before applying to the entire surface.
How can I restore the original sheen to my quartz countertops?
- If your quartz has lost its original lustre, try using a quartz polish formulated specifically for use on engineered stone. Apply a thin layer with a soft cloth and buff gently. Repeat regularly as needed. This helps fill in micro-scratches and restore the surface shine. Avoid using automotive polishes, waxes or ceramic/glass cooktop cleaners, as these can damage quartz.
Can I use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on quartz?
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser pads can be used sparingly on quartz countertops if needed for removing stubborn marks and stains. However, the abrasives in the pads can potentially dull the surface if used aggressively or over an entire area. Spot treat stains only with light pressure, then rinse and dry well after cleaning.
How do I get rid of hard water stains on my quartz countertop?
- For hard water stains, use a cloth soaked in full-strength white vinegar and let sit on the deposits for 5-10 minutes. This should help dissolve the mineral stains. After letting the vinegar sit, scrub with a soft brush or sponge and rinse thoroughly with clean water. Repeat as needed for stubborn deposits. Avoid harsh scrubbing.
Regular cleaning and disinfecting using methods safe for quartz will help keep countertops looking like new for many years. While quartz’s durable composition resists most spills, stains and scratches, proper care is still required to maintain the pristine factory finish. Avoid abrasive cleaners or pads and only use products specifically formulated to be non-damaging to quartz surfaces. With the right gentle techniques, quartz countertops can stay protected and beautiful for a lifetime. Implementing a routine cleaning regimen removes soil before it can build up, while occasional deep cleaning and polishing keeps the quartz surface sparkling.